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Trying Adderrall XR, lots of questions

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These are aren't dr questions, but experience type of questions


1) My almost 14yo dd tried 10mg Adderrall XR for 3 weeks. She really liked the way it helped her for the first week, but didn't feel as focused the next two weeks. Any idea what happened here? Is it just a matter of tolerance?


2) Dr increased Adderrall to 20mg, but dd could only take it for 2 days before the side effects were too overwhelming (high heart rate, headache, dizziness).


3) Dh thinks maybe dd is misdiagnosed because the med isn't fitting like the puzzle piece we always hear about. You know, the aha moment...


4) Without meds, dd is back to playing with the water bottle when she's supposed to be finishing Latin, etc. If I sit with her as a coach, she just gets irritated with me. Now what? I have a call in to the dr. DD thinks she needs a different med.

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Since she responded well the first week, it could be that she needs a different med or different formula.


Most doctors will start out with a short acting med and then once they find one that works well, move to a longer acting formula.


There are many choices out there and it can take some time to find the right med and dosage. It took several tries here and now my girls are doing well on Dexedrine which is an older stimulant.


I would say to keep trying. Also, don't hesitate to seek out an expert here--pediatric psychiatrist or other doctor with tons of experience with these meds with ADHD teens. Many primary care doctors don't have the expertise to figure this all out. Once you find the right med and dose, they can help monitor things though.

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I keep hearing that different meds work differently for different people. The process of finding the right one can be daunting, though!


My teen ds has tried Concerta and Vyvanse. I believe Vyvanse and Adderal are supposed to be similar. He had a terrible time with the COncerta, but the Vyvanse actually worked pretty well. We upped the dose a couple of times and probably went too high. He suddenly refused to take it anymore. Said it made him a "zombie" and felt weird in his system.


If I can get thru his hard head, we are going to try Focalin next. Sigh...:rolleyes:


I know what you mean about the fiddling with stuff when they have work to do. He is the worst! I have to walk away or we make each other crazy. BUT...if I leave him completely to his own devices, he will not get a thing done. Dh gets really ticked off. Then we have a clash of wills. I am sick of ADHD and public school.

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We started with a pediatrician. My DS is on Concerta, and as meds work differently I don't know if our experience will help.


DS started on a low dose of Concerta as our first med. We noticed immediate improvement on days 1 and 2. Day 3 and for the next few weeks the difference was more subtle, but there was a definite difference between meds and no meds.


We moved up a notch and again, the body's reaction to the new dose was stronger the first 2 days and then leveled out. That worked well, and we were happy with the performance for months.


We just moved to a new area and now we're seeing a pediatric psychiatrist. (The pediatrician here was overbooked and couldn't take ADHD patient care.) I went in, happy with the dose we were using, but after her knowledgeable, subtle screening... she told us we could stay where we were, but pointed out definite signs that his meds needed "tweaking." We bumped him up one more notch and it seems to be working better than ever.


I've heard that it can take a while to find the right med... for us it was the first one we tried.


I'd give each med a minimum of a week before deciding whether it really works. Some non-stimulant meds take up to 6 weeks, but if you're talking about stimulants... a week is plenty long enough.

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We switched from Metadate CD to Adderall, and dropped it after a few weeks. With the Adderall, once it started wearing off late in the day, he just went nuts. His level of hyperactivity went through the roof, and he became very argumentative. We never had problems like that with the Metadate.


Anyway, we just saw a ped psych who specializes in ADHD kids, and he has switched DS to Ritalin LA. Apparently, it is exactly the same as Metadate, but delivers the dose in a different "pattern". So far, it appears to be really helping.


In the past, we have tried Concerta, which made DS quite aggressive, and Strattera, which did nothing. I have also started giving DS Coromega fish oil each day, and that seems to be making a difference too.

Michelle T

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Thanks so much for sharing your experiences. We might just have to find a specialist. The pediatrician wants to try her on 15mg now and get her back to 20mg. Adderrall is her preferred med but dd says she likes the way it works, but makes her feel like she drank too much coffee. I find that it makes her sociable, amiable, and productive. However, she's very slender and has lost 4 pounds in the few weeks we've been doing this. When this wears off in the evening, she's crabby and tired, but can't sleep. Heck, she can't sleep when she's not on meds, either! :rolleyes: The dr thinks that the side effects of 20mg will settle down, but she was a zombie with a headache, dizzy, pale, rapid pulse, and didn't feel well. The side effects were distracting, KWIM?


The doc wants her to get IQ tested, so that's our next step.

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I haven't had to deal with ADHD, so I hesitated to post but, from what I have seen on other boards, the side effects you are listing are too much and your dd should be testing other meds. There are quite a few meds out there so it's highly likely you can find something that works without all the negative side effects.

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