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Life With ADD/ADHD - Online Support Group

Overwhelmed by medication choices - nothing so far has worked

Hi everyone,

We have been struggling for months trying to find a medication that works for my 7 year old son. Here's the short version on what we have tried:

- Adderall XR: worked for a year, then as we had to increase the dose, started seeing major anxiety

- Biphentin: absolute disaster...made anxiety even worse

- Straterra: tried it for 2 months, increasing the dose over time. Once we hit therapeutic dose, he became extremely emotional. We reduced the dose, but the emotional meltdowns didn't go away.

Right now he is on no meds at all (for 5 days) and the meltdowns are subsiding. We meet with the pediatrician tomorrow to talk about Vyvanse or Intuniv (guanfacine). I have no idea what to do anymore...the poor kid has had such a rough 6 months.

His father suffers from anxiety and is bipolar, so that is a complicating factor when looking at medication choices.

Anyone have any experience or advice? I am making these decisions on my own, and sometimes the weight of it is overwhelming

My son is on Vyvanse and Intuniv. Vyvanse in the morning and Intuniv in the afternoon to hijack the afternoon meltdowns. I cannot tell you how much the Intuniv helped. I am suprised your doctor did not suggest adding it to the Straterra.
We also tried Adderall XR (fairytale wonderful year) until it quit working, Concerta, Straterra, and Ritalin (multiple formulations). We finally tried Vyvanse almost 4 years ago, then added Intuniv a year later. We have gradually had to up the dosage but that it normal.
IF you decide to go that route, Shire offers discount cards for both (through your doctor) and Intuniv just went generic. We haven only tried the generic during the summer so don’t know if it works as well…
Hang in there! I understand how overwhelming this all is. You can only make the best decision you can with the information you have…

With his family history of bipolar has he been assessed or diagnosed with it? Are you seeing a psychiatrist with experience with ADHD and Bipolar? I've greatly benefited from seeing a psychiatrist (for my son who has ADHD) who is very helpful explaining everything to us. This must be extremely difficult for you not having someone else who knows your son help advise you. I often need reality checks from my husband. I drive myself crazy over thinking it all. My son is on guanfacine and it is helpful for decreasing impulsivity and hyperactivity. I personally also have ADHD and anxiety and have found prozac and long acting ritalin to help me. I really wish you the best but from my experience understanding what exactly is going on with your son will help you and the doctors medicate properly. I've recently realized or it became apparent my son also might have a learning disability which is another struggle he will have to overcome. A neuro-psychologist will be helping us with figuring that out.

My son had shifted three medications in 7 months Aripiprazole (Asprito in India), Stratera (Attentrol in India) then Ritalin long acting (Inspiral SR in India).

Aripiprazole has severe side effects and he was reduced to a vegetable. Strattera gave severe muscle spasm and stomach pain and none of these two improved his conditions. The the med went for Ritalin and at present situation has improved a bit. Cant say improvements are great but things are rolling.

It seems the Dr had grope around for the right medicine for the child and we in India dont have many choices. Also the problem ADHD at some spheres in India are not accepted as clinical.

Thanks so much everyone. It really does help to hear other people's experiences.

Met with the pediatrician today and we are going to try the Intuniv (guanfacine) on its own for the remainder of the summer. Hopefully there won't be the crazy side effects we have seen with the other meds. Then the plan is to see how school goes in September and possibly add a stimulant if we are not seeing enough of an effect with the Intuniv alone.

The doctor also put in a referral today to see a pediatric psychiatrist so we can try to tease out if there are any other underlying conditions. I live in a small province in Canada (PEI), so it may be a bit of a wait for the referral, but at least the ball is rolling.

Yesterday I was barely keeping it together, but today is a much better day. I am so thankful to have this board to vent to. It really does preserve my sanity when I feel I am hitting the breaking point. :-)

OMG...the over-thinking!!!! Some times I wish my brain had a switch I could just shut down.

skilene said:

With his family history of bipolar has he been assessed or diagnosed with it? Are you seeing a psychiatrist with experience with ADHD and Bipolar? I've greatly benefited from seeing a psychiatrist (for my son who has ADHD) who is very helpful explaining everything to us. This must be extremely difficult for you not having someone else who knows your son help advise you. I often need reality checks from my husband. I drive myself crazy over thinking it all. My son is on guanfacine and it is helpful for decreasing impulsivity and hyperactivity. I personally also have ADHD and anxiety and have found prozac and long acting ritalin to help me. I really wish you the best but from my experience understanding what exactly is going on with your son will help you and the doctors medicate properly. I've recently realized or it became apparent my son also might have a learning disability which is another struggle he will have to overcome. A neuro-psychologist will be helping us with figuring that out.