View Full Version : Lower dose for the summer?


Tonysmimi
06-15-11, 02:54 PM
My son, now 7, has ADHD for which he is taking Adderall XR. After a couple of months of tweaking, we finally had our "Ah-hah!" moment (more like a relieved "Aaaahhh" moment) at 15 mg. He stopped having violent tantrums, started getting marks for good behavior in school, and his reading level shot up all at once. Unfortunately, he has all but stopped eating, and looks like a world hunger victim.
The Dr. suggested we take him off the meds on weekends before. We tried that, but he was completely unmanageable, so we went to 5mg XR on weekends. Now we are trying to do that for his summer dosage, in the hopes that he will eat more while staying on task is not so important.
We have not noticed that he is eating much more than before, but he is definitely more difficult to "rein in" - he puts the "H" in ADHD. More distressing, however, is he seems to have frequent bouts of overwhelming emotion now.
Here is my theory - his violent tantrums finally quieted when the dose was at 15 mg because finally, for the first time in his life, he had whole days that were not full of the chaos of ADHD. And now that I have lowered the dose, the chaos is back. Sorry for the lengthy intro, but my question is this - have any of you tried the lower dose? What are the pros and cons? Am I imagining the emotional issues, or does this sound familiar to any of you, either with your kids or in your own experiences?
Thanks in advance. I will be waiting to hear from you.

CrazyLazyGal
06-15-11, 03:40 PM
It sounds like your son is very sensitive to dosages, much more than average. That's the way his body and brain are, so you can't change that and have to work around it.

Some suggestions:

--Maybe the jump from 15mg to 5mg is too big. Have you tried 10mg?

--Switching from Adderall XR to regular Adderall, which lasts only 4-6 hours in most people, though metabolism rates vary from person to person. Try to jam a lot of calories in at breakfast, give him 5mg of the regular Adderall once after breakfast and maybe 5mg again 4-6 hours later depending on his metabolism. Then jam a lot of calories after the Adderall has worn off. Let him eat all the way until bedtime if he's hungry. That way, he'll have medication in his system throughout the day, but hopefully it will have worn off by the evening.

--As a last resort, there is an allergy medication called Periactin that is sometimes prescribed as an appetite stimulant. Studies have shown that it's safe. It's kind of like Benadryl but stronger.

Whatever you decide, remember that structure and avoiding boredom are crucial in the summertime. Good luck!

Tonysmimi
06-15-11, 03:59 PM
Thanks, CrazyLazy. I will try the 10mg XR next week if there is no improvement this week. We tried the regular (not XR) Adderall first, and unfortunately, the way it spikes up and then drops down was enough to make him cry inconsolably for an hour, even at 5mg.
I am with you on the feeding him as many calories as possible early and late - we do that every chance we get, although the kid has not had a vegetable in months.
I appreciate your ideas!

CrazyLazyGal
06-15-11, 04:37 PM
Thanks, CrazyLazy. I will try the 10mg XR next week if there is no improvement this week. We tried the regular (not XR) Adderall first, and unfortunately, the way it spikes up and then drops down was enough to make him cry inconsolably for an hour, even at 5mg.
I am with you on the feeding him as many calories as possible early and late - we do that every chance we get, although the kid has not had a vegetable in months.
I appreciate your ideas!Oh dear, he really is super sensitive to dosage variations. As far as vegetables, V8 has these Fusion drinks that taste like fruit juices but have a full serving of vegetables in them. He won't even notice the vegetables if you don't tell him. I recommend not telling him because he might be like ewwww if he finds out.

Have you been giving him supplements to make sure he gets all the vitamins and nutrients he needs?

Tonysmimi
06-15-11, 04:54 PM
Oh, yes - he gets vitamins and he does eat fruit. I will try the juice (in the evening, when it won't affect his meds). You reminded me, though, he used to love V8. Thanks again!

CrazyLazyGal
06-15-11, 05:06 PM
Good timing, as I'm heating up pasta sauce. Ragu has some pasta sauces that have 2 servings of vegetables in every 1/2 cup, according to the label. I love the Super Vegetable Primavera flavor. So he can get vegetables that way.

Codykins
06-15-11, 08:38 PM
Lowering dose does not help appetite. My doctor told me that but I tried it anyway and it didn't make a difference.

I just let my son eat at odd times when he is hungry. A good breakfast, lots of protien to carry him thru the day. He does have a caloric snack after school. Candy bar, cookies and milk, yogurt.

Dinners he eats a little but right before bed he is starving... I make grilled cheese, left overs, cereal what ever he wants!

cheese and rice
06-16-11, 07:40 AM
I'm still fairly early in with my own daughters dosage so I can't give much advise there but I can tell you what has helped with her eating habits. I hide veggies in pretty much everything, you'd be surprised what you can do with a little imagination. For instance mashed potatoes are usually a favorite of kids and they won't notice a thing if you happen to mash some boiled cauliflower in with the rest. A little frozen chopped spinach in spaghetti sauce goes down without a fuss. I've added shredded carrot to spaghetti sauce too. Also if you let them help with preparations I've noticed my kids are a lot more likely to eat it. Especially my oldest, she a very hands on visual type person. We make our own bread sometimes and I let them decorate mini loves with raisins. I got a bunch of really small cookie cutters and I use it to make fun cutouts of fruit. Then I spread peanut butter, nutella or apple butter on a slice of bread. They decorate it with the fruit then eat it. Ohhhh and frozen banana halfs, dip in chocolate and then roll in some cherrios. IDK if that helps any but you could try it. Maybe expand his taste buds and get some extra vitamins in there along with much needed calories.

Tonysmimi
06-16-11, 08:39 AM
Thank you, Cheese and Codykins, for the additional suggestions. Yes, eating at mealtimes is a thing of the past, but I am with you on letting him eat right before bed - he does seem his most hungry then.
Codykins, that is interesting to hear about the lower dose not helping with appetite. That confirms what I am witnessing firsthand. After a serious tantrum with Tony lashing out physically - first time in two months - last night, I upped his dose to 10mg this morning. The only reason I lowered the dose at all was to get him to eat, so if that really doesn't figure into it then it seems cruel to subject him to the roller coaster of emotions that not being medicated puts him on.
Thanks all for your input. :)

Codykins
06-16-11, 08:51 AM
What I seen on the forums and experienced myself they do level out on weight lost. Cody is skinny but maintaining at a 10 pound loss for a year now. The last couple of checks he gained 1 pound each time and the loss has stopped.

Tonysmimi
06-16-11, 09:24 AM
What I seen on the forums and experienced myself they do level out on weight lost. Cody is skinny but maintaining at a 10 pound loss for a year now. The last couple of checks he gained 1 pound each time and the loss has stopped.

That would be nice. If Tony gets any skinnier I will have Family Services checking me out soon. On the other hand, he was a little too heavy before the diagnosis (he got some bad genes from my side of the family) so as long as he does not lose any more...

MommytoCaleb
06-17-11, 04:26 PM
My 10 year old son is ADHD, he defintely puts the H in Hyperactivity. He is on 5mg of adderLL XR, he started meds 7 weeks ago. We were very concerned with him maybe losing weight, but he has maintained his weight nicely. He has a VERY low body fat percentage, 2 years ago he was 3% body fat. He LOVES Ranch Dressing, so I buy LOTS of it and he dips almost everything in ranch dressing. It took a while for him to start gaining, but he has gained 9 pounds in the last 2 years, which is GREAT for him. He only weighs 60 pounds now but it is MUCH better than it was. He is now 12% body fat. We let him eat whenever he is hungry. We also give our kids multi-vitamins and Fish Oil every morning. We have also started giving our kids Carnation Instant Breakfast shakes with their breakfast. All 3 of my kids are tall and slim, but my 10 year old was just plain skinny. Try giving a dipping sauce, wether its dressing, ketchup, mayo...anything to add calories and sometimes mask the taste of veggies making the child more apt to eat....lol.

Tonysmimi
06-17-11, 04:40 PM
My 10 year old son is ADHD, he defintely puts the H in Hyperactivity. He is on 5mg of adderLL XR, he started meds 7 weeks ago. We were very concerned with him maybe losing weight, but he has maintained his weight nicely. He has a VERY low body fat percentage, 2 years ago he was 3% body fat. He LOVES Ranch Dressing, so I buy LOTS of it and he dips almost everything in ranch dressing. It took a while for him to start gaining, but he has gained 9 pounds in the last 2 years, which is GREAT for him. He only weighs 60 pounds now but it is MUCH better than it was. He is now 12% body fat. We let him eat whenever he is hungry. We also give our kids multi-vitamins and Fish Oil every morning. We have also started giving our kids Carnation Instant Breakfast shakes with their breakfast. All 3 of my kids are tall and slim, but my 10 year old was just plain skinny. Try giving a dipping sauce, wether its dressing, ketchup, mayo...anything to add calories and sometimes mask the taste of veggies making the child more apt to eat....lol.

Thanks, Caleb's Mom. I do the multi's and the fish oil, too. Yesterday we gave Tony 10mg, and the difference was palpable - much calmer, cheerier, and even-keeled. Funny thing was, he also ate some fettuccine alfredo, two enormous bowls of ice cream, and two quesadillas right before bed. So I guess you can't really tell with kids, can you? I guess they eat when they are hungry, and I have never heard of one starving to death because of Adderall.
So - chocolate sauce and mayo on everything!
Have a great weekend.