medications don't work if you don't take 'em

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by tiredm0m, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. tiredm0m

    tiredm0m New Member

    My 6yo difficult child, is making me nuts about taking the medications. We have tried a couple since we started in late Aug (plus dosage changes), and have found Concerta 27 mg seems to be what he needs for his ADHD. The problem is he has convinced himself he can't swallow it. No matter that he HAS done it successfully several times.

    Every day is a battle to take the capsule. It can take a hour to get it down. We tried yogurt and it worked great 1 day, got it down day 2, then no more effective than water the next day. Tried bottled water vs. a cup. Same thing. When he gets distracted by a cough or near gag, then he swallows it, almost by accident. What kills me is that for almost the first whole week, he did it with a glass of water without issue.

    He's going to class late and making me late (I work at his school). Should we contiue on taking the medications however long it takes? Should I issue him a "deadline" and after that just impose consequences? I hate to do that, because the medications really make a difference in his focus/behavior in class, but this daily battle is killing me. We did buy a new eductional game for his Leapster game player to try and motivate him (take medications every day for 1 week and it's his, then he can play it every day that he takes medications after that. If no medications, it takes a rest for the day). He wants the game but it is not speeding up the medicine swallowing in the morning.

    I am trying to be very patient with him - but hom many times can you explain to put the pill on your tongue and swallow it quickly without getting annoyed?

    What do you think? Tips on how to get it down are appreciated, but even more important is how do we handle it in the meanwhile?

  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Some kids really do have sensory issues that make it difficult for them to swallow pills. My son is like that, and we've had to work around his gag reflex. We either choose capsules that can be opened up and sprinkled on food or tiny pills that are not as difficult to get down.

    What other ADHD medications has your son trialed? Focalin XR can be opened up and sprinkled on food. Daytrana is a patch that can be placed on the skin. Both contain methylphenidate, which is also the active ingredient in Concerta.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Does he have issues with food and clothing textures too?
  4. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I think that there should be either some sort of consequence or reward for taking/not taking the medications. If he takes his medications every day, maybe on Saturday he can rent a video game or have $5 to spend at the dollar store. Taking medications is just part of his job as your son, and perhaps his allowance should be based upon that.

    I take an enormous amount of pills every morning and evening. I can't say off the top of my head, but probably 15 - 20 ranging in size from smaller than a baby aspirin to 3/4 inch fish oil and green tea capsules. I find that it is easier to swallow pills when I hold some water in my mouth and then pop the pills in. If you are only taking one smaller pill that way, it never even touches your tongue.

    I suspect your difficult child has gotten himself worked up about it, and it is going to be a battle unless and until he decides that it's worth it to him to take them.

    Honestly, the pharmaceutical companies could make a fortune if they marketed these medications in a chewable or gummy variety. There are adults who have difficulty with pills as well.
  5. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Many medications CAN be compounded as a chewable, liquid or gummi variety. Walgreen's for one offers compounding services.

    Check and see if your difficult child's medications are the sort that can be compounded and what the costs would be.

    Also, I'm bipolar and am on the spectrum (Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) as well). I have to take several huge tablets per night. Best way I've found to get the things down is to use a water bottle and place the tablet UNDER my tongue. It will float up as you take a big sip of water.

    I still hate it; I still gag on occasion, but I get the suckers swallowed...having tasted valproic acid liquid...let's just say I'm motivated.
  6. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Because of the delivery mechanism, Concerta cannot be compounded in any way. However, the medications I mentioned above are the same ingredient, Methylphenidate, in different delivery mechanisms.
  7. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

  8. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Important note. Don't EVER crush a pill unless a pharmacist has told you it is OK to do so.

    For example. When I was taking valproic acid (depakote) liquid, I had to take it3x daily. Taking Depakote ER I take it once every 24 hours.

    It's easy to see where one could OD on some of these medications if not following directions to the letter.
  9. 4sumrzn

    4sumrzn New Member

    That's correct GoingNorth!!! And, some capsules can NOT be opened & sprinkled either. Does he happen to like applesauce??? My difficult child can takes quite a few pills in one spoonful of applesauce. I gave up liquids a couple of years ago because she can take a horse pill if need be as long as it's with-applesauce. Hope that helps!
  10. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We have done medication battles with my difficult child many times over the years. We tried many different things-applesauce, ice cream, etc... For him a big part is being defiant. We have never bent on the medications. His world literally stops until he takes his medications. He knows this now and will only push it so far.