Attention Deficit Disorder

PatchATLFebruary 2, 2004

Has anybody put their children on the new ADD drug called Strattera? If so has it helped? My son's doctor just prescribed that for him and we were wondering what we could expect.

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Is strattera the new non-stimulent drug? If so, a friend put her son on this and it had very little affect.

My daughter is on concerta, which is a once per day medication. There are dramatic differences when she's on the meds vs. when she's not. We like the fact that it's time released and we don't have to give it to her several times per day. I've research the side-affects and discussed them w/her doctor and we feel this is the best thing for my daughter. Not only is there a difference in her ability to concentrate and focus, her behaviour is much better and her attitude has a 100% turnaround.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2004 at 1:33PM
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We were told that the patients are started off on a low dose and they keep increasing the dose until they find the right dosage that works for each particular patient. Your friend's son may not have a strong enough dose. My son just started on his 2 days ago so its too soon to tell. We are suppose to give it about 3 weeks for the full effects to take place, then he'll go back to the doctor and be evaluated. If there is little change, he will increase the dose. This is the only non-stimulant drug for ADD. The thing about Concerta and Aderall and Ritalin is that it has become one of the teens' street drugs. They actually sell them on the street to each other. They are amphetamines, so there is the possibility of addiction. If the Strattera doesn't work we'll have to go back to the amphetamines, but I'm really hoping this will work for him.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2004 at 5:16PM
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Hopefully it will work out for your son. My friend used Strattera w/her son over a period of 6 months, changing the dose, etc. but they finally gave up and the doctor prescribed Aderall - they've seen dramatic results. There must be merit to Strattera for some people or (hopefully) doctors would not prescribe it.

I don't know about the "teen street drug" issue - or why it would matter if your child needed the medicine unless you are concerned about theft in your home. My child is young and since the meds are time-released she takes them in the morning (not at school).

    Bookmark   February 10, 2004 at 2:29PM
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Just as an aside-

A woman I work with had her daughter diagnosed with ADD.
She did some research and contacted a doctor in Tigard Oregon (I think his name is Dr. Brown). He told her would do a blood test to look for allergies, but in the meantime he recommended taking all artificial colors out of her diet. Within 2 weeks, her daughter had a complete turnaround. The blood test narrowed the allergen down to three specific artificial colors.

That is the only change she made and her child is now medication-free and exhibits none of her previous symptoms!

It may be worth researching other causes for your children's behavior.

It certainly wouldn't do any harm.


    Bookmark   February 12, 2004 at 12:41AM
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My DD is allergic to Yellow Dye 5 and 6. And not only does she break out when she eats it, but I see a merked increase in hyperactivity - almost like we act on 4 cups of coffee. I, too, have seen those articles, and in my case since I already know about the allergy, I know it's directly related to consuming it.

The trouble is - take it from someone who looks at labels and goes to restaurant web sites for ingredients - it's so hard nowadays to avoid the dyes. I even once saw sushi that had yellow dye #5 added to it.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2004 at 8:19PM
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O.K. by son has been on Strattera for three weeks now and we have seen absolutely no difference. I wish his problems could be as simple as an allergy, but we are having some really bad problems with him. He is 20 years old. He is very smart, always scoring in the 90 percentile on Achievement Tests. He scored 1190 on the SAT, but he barely made it through high school. He would not go to school, so he failed most subjects. Had to go to summer school every year of high school to make up failures. He has suffered from depression. He says he just can't make himself concentrate on things that don't interest him. He has never kept a job for more than 2 weeks - same thing he would just keep not showing up. He tried college, but flunked out the first semester because he missed so many classes. He decided he really wanted to do the art route because he is very very creative. So we enrolled him in a very expensive private Art School. He wanted to have a career in adveretising. He was so excited about starting the school. He started January 2, and already the first quarter he missed 89% of one of his classes and 25% of the other. So he failed the one class and made a C in the other. He lies about missing class. He even leaves in the morning with us when we go to work, but I guess he just goes back home. His second quarter started today. And guess what -- I went to the student portal on the website, and discovered he did not show up for class. He denies it of course, but I know better. I really have no idea what to do with him. We have nagged him and nagged him about finding a job but he claims there aren't any. But really I know that even if he got one he would not keep it. All I can see for his future is doom and gloom and failure. I know some people would just say we should put him out, but there have been times when he goes for several weeks not getting out of bed. He is seeing a psychistrist, but I don't see him making any attempt to help him. He has seen several psychologists but there has never been anyone who has made any difference. He has tried Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta, and now Strattera. I don't know what to do next. The only thing left to try is a Doctor out of Dallas who has developed a treatment called Remedial Neurofeedback Training. He claims he can cure the symptoms of ADD and depression and alot of other brain problems with this treatment that consists of about 20 treatments. It is around 3,000 dollars and insurance doesn't cover it. We know two different people who used him for obsessive compulsive disorder and also for an eating disorder and they claim he worked miracles. He comes to Atlanta on occasions to do treatment here, and I've thought about going that route. Sorry for the long post, but I was hoping that someone out there have had some of these problems and could give me some advice.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2004 at 6:15PM
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Patch, I wish I knew what to tell you about this situation. I didn't realize you were talking about an adult child when you first posted. My first reaction is that your son sounds like he's depressed and needs to get on meds to treat those symptoms first and then look into treatment for the ADD. If his current psychiatrists don't understand this then you need to find him a new doctor.

Your son sounds a lot like my SIL, I've been around her for 21 years and she suffers from serious depression, I know within minutes of being around her whether or not she's on her depression meds or not. After dealing w/her for so many years I will tell you that you are not doing him any favors by supporting him while he's not in school or working. Get him to a good psychiatrist, meet with the doctor yourself and explain the situation. He needs to get the medical help he needs and then help himself.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2004 at 1:49PM
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This is a bit of a late post (and I'm not usually in this forum) but PatchATL, you might look into bipolar disorder as a concurrent illness with the ADD diagnosis. I've heard that research has recently described that these often coincide but one or the other is "missed". My nephew is ADHD and bipolar and once the bipolar meds were added he was a diferent boy from just being on the ADHD meds.
Just my .02
I hope things get better for you and your must be frustrating for both of you.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2004 at 8:52PM
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Hi PatchATL, I can symperthize with you. I have a 17 year old who is very bright (scores 33 on the ACT) but does not do well at school. He became very depressed in January and we sought counselling from a psychiatrist. Three months and medication later he is doing much better. The more we talked the more apparant it became that ADD may be the cause of the depression. Since taking Adderall the change is amazing and he is feeling so much better. We now have to look at lifestyle changes before college ( he just graduated from high school). I must admit that it scares me that we wsent through several years of really not knowing wheat was going on. He would miss classes, do assignments but not hand them in, and just didn't seem motivated to do anything. Well, now i think he may actually make it! We are hjoping the the depression medication can be gradually withdrawn and are also looking at life with and without adderall - ie does he really need it all the time or just at certain times. My son has never been hyper - just has the consentration issues. Hang in there. If you are in Atlanta I can give the name of a good doctor

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 9:24PM
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Just lurking here but thought Id add a bit here.
I come from a family of super intelligent people. Most have flunked out of school due to ADD, but all score(abnormally) high. Many have been on prescription drugs etc.
I would beg that You look into fish oil suppliments for Your children. I could go on and on, but to do Your own research would be more convincing. We now have ALL the familys grandchildren on them daily..They are all thriving!!! Most of us adults take them as well, some of use are less likely to take pills daily. We buy them at Sams club, we have found them to be a great price there.
The fish ol pills are mercury FREE but not to be confused with cod liver oil, which can be dangerous.
Harvard school of mediceine has done some studdies which have shown fish oil to cure depression and ADD.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2005 at 6:17PM
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If anyone is interested in alternatives to drugs here's a link to an interesting forum.

I found Adderall or Ritalin to work better for my ADD and my daughter's ADHD than Strattera. If we hadn't gotten her on Ritalin she would probably be an abused child. Only half kidding, it was a godsend. She turned out to have Aspergers Syndrome, though.

I would agree though that the depression should be treated first. That sounds like his biggest problem. He sounds like a good candidate for Wellbutrin. It's a great antidepressant AND great for ADD. Good luck with him.

Here is a link that might be useful: curezone ADHD forum

    Bookmark   June 11, 2005 at 12:58PM
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Its sad that in todays world kids are put on drugs to calm them down and make them happy.Seems schools are quick to recomend Ritoulin to hiper kids.So the teachers do not have to deal with them.Until they get back to teaching respect and have good displine practices it will not get any better.

Parents also need to grow up them selves before having children.Have family morals rather then expecting someone else to raise there kids.Go back to spanking and mom and dad acctually being married.Rather then trying marriage and giving up then shacking up with who ever.Spend free time with the kids.Fishing,Weekend getaways.Rather then kids running the streets while mom and dads out on the town.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2005 at 11:46AM
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John -
Thanks for the useless advice. Maybe you and Tom Cruise can go into practice together and solve all the medical problems of today's world.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2005 at 10:10AM
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i too do not post on this forum as my children are basically grown up. my son (age 22!), had add, this was when no one understood what add was and basically said you have a bad distruptive kid. we had the most kindness doctor - he still will say hi to him if we see him in public - son didn't want to go to a "baby doctor" even when he was 12 years old, he wanted a people doctor. anyways, this doctor gave us 3 ritolin, which after the first pill i found it to be the most scariest drug, so it was not for him. what this wonderful doctor did, was put him on the Finegold diet, where everything was natural, and no additive (no i am not a health nut, believe me) he didn't eat apples - natural form of aspirin, we ate white cheese, no fruit roll ups, it took about 6 weeks to "flush all the other stuff out of his system" then within a month out of that we saw the difference, it was like night and day, we stayed on this diet (there is also a recipe book that goes with it) till he went to high school - he had his first hot dog again when he was 14! i would recommend it to anyone anytime, plus we all ate better. but one funny thing was when halloween was safe to send your kids out to, and people would give him bananas (because you could eat them). if it makes you feel better, they do grow out of it - ds has had the same girlfriend for years, holds down a full-time job, plays sports and has a ton of friends. i do wish you well, meds have come along way and there are alot of them out there to try.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2005 at 10:43AM
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There is an enormous amount of quasi- and misinformation about ADD/ADHD. If a child can be helped with symptoms by eliminating certain items from the diet, whether those items be particular foods or simply preservatives and additives, then they are NOT ADD/ADHD. They have food or food additive allergies or sensitivities. True ADD/ADHD is a genetic variant. I say variant because that is the current thought, is not really considered a disorder any longer. However, ADD/ADHD is sometimes found comorbid with certain disorders such as OCD, general anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, aspergers, tourettes. The reason is that these are all found to affect the same areas of the brain.

Ask almost any kindergarten teacher and they will tell you that the kids that bring red jello or or other red dye laden food will have a hyper afternoon. Of course this is probably because of all the sugar associated with those foods and not the dye itself in most cases.

Why stimulant medications work: Stimulants work by increasing both blood flow and Dopamine levels in the brain. Not by some magic "opposite" effect. I will include a link to the full medical explanation.

Kids who appear "zombie-like" on stimulant meds are likely on too high a dose. It causes hyper-focus symptoms. Stimulant meds do not address other possible comorbid or behavioral problems. Sometimes other medications are needed. Some kids, such as those who are also bipolar, should NOT be given stimulant meds. There are as many variations of ADD/ADHD as there are people who have it. Each case must be treated individually.

The upside of ADD/ADHD: Many ADD/ADHDers are highly intelligent and extremely creative. The ability to be a non-linear thinker can be a great gift. Thinking outside the box comes easily.

The downside: ADD/ADHDers can be irritating to live with! The poor impulse control, forgetfullness, chronic tardiness, inability to follow through or stay focused on tedious tasks, distractedness (hello...hello...hello...HELLO! huh? were you talking to me?) are considered to be huge social and professional failings. Because ADD/ADHDers get a lot of negative feedback about their behavior, it can cause low self esteem and subsequent depression.

ADD/ADHD is not "outgrown" as one ages. There can be a reduced need for medication. Some people find they only need meds under certain circumstances. The issues of impulse control, lack of time awareness, inability to stay focused on tedious tasks still remain. Lack of organization continues to be an issue. ADD/ADHDers are often overwhelmed by complex tasks. They lack the innate ability to break a large project into do-able portions. Fortunately, this can be taught. Lists are very helpful. Stress or depression will exacerbate ADD/ADHD symptoms.

What is difficult for ADD/ADHDers is to do embrace the good parts of themselves. Having loving, supportive people around who are patient and understanding is key.

When Tom Cruise gets his PhD in psychiatry, I'll give him the time of day. Until then he's just another clueless crackpot in my book.

Here is a link that might be useful: How Stimulent Medications Work

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 6:57PM
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As for Strattera, I have no experience with it but had a chat with my pharmacist one day. She takes it as does her son, they have been through numerous stimulant meds and are very happy with Strattera. She says it works well to keep everything in their feel do-able, focused, not overwhelming without the appetite suppressant and up and down effects of stimulant medication. The downside is that is doesn't work for everyone. Let us know how it works for your son. I'm curious. I'd like to try my son on it this summer before school starts.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2005 at 12:30AM
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The teacher and doctor think that my 10-yr-old son has ADHD - inactive type. Wouldn't it be wiser to try the Finegold Diet and some herbal remedies than to start on meds? Medication scares me. I don't want him in some insurance database or What if he wants to join the service? This can ruin his life -- if they are wrong. I just bought "Driven to Distraction" by Hallowell to educate myself. I'm new and scared. Is there a downside to having a 504 in school? He's bright, but daydreams too much. Started making some lists for him. Color coded his folders too. Maybe the teacher is boring. I'm not doing a thing, before I educate myself. I have a brother who has permanent ticks (irreverable nerve damage) from too much medication. He's in his mid-50s. I don't want to make the wrong decision. There has to be another way besides meds.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2006 at 1:36AM
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Take your son to a pediatric psychiatrist for a proper diagnosis. I really don't think most regular pediatricians and certain no teacher is qualified to make a diagnosis regarding ADD/ADHD. Sometimes kids check out when the teacher is reviewing material for the third time for the slower students if they are bright and got it the first time it was explained. Helping him become organized is a good start. Some kids develop organizational skills easily, some need more guidance.

I don't know what your brother was given or for what condition. Typical stimulent meds do not cause irreversible tics (tardive dyskinesia) that I have heard of. Long term use of some tranquilizers and antipsychotic drugs can do this, though.

For more information and possible support groups in your area check out the CHADD website.

Here is a link that might be useful: CHADD

    Bookmark   January 5, 2006 at 12:16AM
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