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ADHD update

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It might take some time to get your dose adjusted to the correct level. I take Adderall, but my ADHD daughter has tried Concerta several times, with varying effects. When the dosage was wrong it was REALLY wrong. Good luck! When you find the right medicine at the right dosage you will be SHOCKED at the difference, as will your family and friends!!

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My son was in PS in 2nd grade when he was diagnosed with ADHD around Christmas time. The Dr. prescribed Concerta and it took the rest of the year to get the dosage anywhere near comfortable. He was either totally distracted or drugged up like a zombie. We even tried Adderall and he would sob most of the day. A very sad little boy when on Adderall.


The reason why we started homeschooling was that I brought him home for 3rd grade to show him that he "wasn't stupid" as he thought he was because the teacher kept calling his name the entire class. That year, he read the complete Lord of the Rings trilogy and tested at above high school level in reading. He went back to PS for 4th, tested into their "ACE" advanced program and proceeded to be bored all year. I brought him home for 5th and he has never looked back (14yo and 9th this year).


When he was first diagnosed, I read and read about ADHD. My first thought was, "Wow - this is my Dad to a T". My dh said, "That is YOU to a T". I was tested and sure enough - ADHD. It explains so very much and although it is not an excuse - it is good to know so that when it is an issue, I know why.


I started also taking Concerta and it was a total failure for me. I was jittery, weepy, and cranky. Adderall is what works for me. I am on a very low dose due to heart skips if I go higher, but I can really tell it if I miss a day. Nothing seems to get done. For the first time I was able to think without all of the "noise" in my head. It always felt as if there was a party going on in there until the meds. It was a very strange feeling to not have the constant "noise".


When we brought our son home from PS for good, we changed him to Focalin (which is similar to Concerta, but only releases twice a day.) By doing this, it eliminated the problems he had been having with sleeping, eating and growth. He is also on a very low dose that has only been increased by 5mg since he began taking it in 5th grade. He is now 6'2".


The meds have made a world of difference for us, but we have tried to keep them at as low a dosage as possible. I have heard that the meds do not work for everyone, but I would give it as good a shot as you can.


Our doctors started us on a VERY low dose at first and kept working up. If your dosage does not seem to be working, let your doctor know because they may be doing the same with you. You should be able to tell a difference in your focus, but the med should not make you feel overly jittery, sad, or snappy. Please keep an eye on this.


I have to eat when I take the meds or it will make me a bit jumpy. Also, it can make me very thirsty and I try not to take it too late in the morning or it will keep me awake in the evening.


Good luck with this. As an adult - it made a HUGE difference for me and I know my son has benefited from it as well.

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If Concerta doesn't work, ask your doctor to try something else. Adderall seems to be the one most commonly prescribed for adults. A friend of mine takes Adderall. It was my talking about ds' issues that made her realize she probably had ADD. She said so many things I told her about him sounded just like her. Her doctor tried Vyvanse (that's what ds now takes) for a while but it didn't work for her, and made her tired. So now she's back to Adderall. Just don't be afraid to try a number of different meds and different doses.

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