Thoughts on medication Vacations?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by HMBgal, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. HMBgal

    HMBgal Active Member

    I did try to do a search but perhaps am not using the correct search string (medication + vacation). If you guys could send me to the right place, I can look around. I'm concerned about my grandson who just turned six, on Concerta, and he's strong (incredible at gymnastics) but so thin and eats really poorly. He's not catching up with his calories at breakfast and late dinners. He does take a multi-vitamin and an Omega-3 supplement. He goes to bed early and sleeps hard, so just can't find time to get the food in. He acts hungry and interested in his lunch and dinner, then takes two bites and pushes it away. We've tried lots of different things, even high calorie power shakes, and he simply isn't interested. And his food preferences have really narrowed down.

    I've Googled it and there are differing opinions, and it all comes down to what's best for the child. He's been on Concerta since last November and it (along with many other things we've learned to do--and not do-- along the way) has helped him so so much.

    It used to be part of the accepted treatment to go off the medications to let kids catch up on their growth, but not as much anymore. Thanks for any thoughts, advice, etc.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    It's now felt that, other than a "medications wash" which is a whole different concept, taking a "vacation" from medications is not a good idea.

    Better to find whatever it takes to counteract the problematic side-effect. Sometimes, it means switching medications - because even a different medication in the same class can produce different results. For example, dexedrine vs. concerta (both stims). Sometimes it helps to add a different class of medication, so that the problematic one can be given at a lowered dose... such as, using straterra for 24/7 coverage, and then boosting with a stimulant. There are also other medications that can take the edge off the appetite-suppressing effect.

    Another option that I've seen done is to REDUCE the dosage during holidays, rather than take a medications holiday. Some even do this for weekends. For example, if the child is on Concerta 54 mg, drop to 36mg on weekends and holidays. That is... assuming that school is a major impact (for many kids, it is).
  3. HMBgal

    HMBgal Active Member

    Ah, that is a good idea and worth trying, I think. School is a major trigger for him, but home ain't no picnic, either. Things are exponentially better, but we are holding our breaths as the beginning of school looms on the 27th. His parents and I have talked about this and they worry that the blood levels won't be up to usual for Monday morning. It will be interesting to see how much the other kids have grown and if difficult child is looking really shrimpy, they may consider taking a look at it.

    We're all so tentative about rocking the boat because his hold on himself is pretty shaky at times and he's a little scary when he loses it. We're working on tools for self-control all the time and he's trying so very hard. Things are sinking in, on his own timeline, as he's able.
  4. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    They seem to take the children off medications during holidays as a matter of course in France. Seems that growth/appetite issues are a real concern.