View Full Version : meds and growth


mike1w
07-18-11, 12:34 PM
My son is on focalin 30 mg, and also gap medicine of dexmethylphenadate (sp?) 10 mg. It doesn't work completely, but my son's neurologist won't increase the focalin. Apparently it both speeds up his metabolism and decreases his appetite. The result is no height growth and a loss of weight, as well elevated heart rate and blood pressure. We can't take him off it, and its still the most effective med for him, but its an issue. We are going to take him to a pediatric endocrinologist. If anyone has similar experiences or concerns I would like to hear how you are handling it, or have handled it.

sarahsweets
07-18-11, 12:53 PM
Well growth and appetite was a concern for both of my kids but when they hit various growth spurts it kind of made up for it. We always followed the eat every 2-3hours rule so their blood sugar was constant.

happytexas
07-18-11, 05:06 PM
In this situation you end up having to monitor what and how often they eat more closely than with an non-medicated child. What they do eat has to "count" a lot -- so I recommend reading up on calorie and nutrient dense foods. You may also want to relax rules about what is a breakfast food/lunch food/dinner food, if you have rules like that (when I was in HS my mom threatened to stop getting me soup if I ate it for breakfast :rolleyes:).

My ds (Vyvanse 50mg), eats a lot of peanut butter, bread, and cheese; since school ended he has gained 3lbs and gained 1/4 inch. During the last school year he didn't gain, but didn't lose any weight, and gained 1/4 inch in height.

My son also has a laptop lunchbox for school that allows me to make a more buffet type lunch; it keeps food from getting squished for the most part and can be good for grazers.

I also involve ds a bit in caring for himself. He was having behavior issues only in the afternoon for awhile--I figured out that he wasn't eating more than a granola bar for lunch, so I explained the whole "food is your fuel" thing and if you don't fuel your body it doesn't work right (like being grumpy in the afternoon) or grow enough.

Another time I talked about how the medication keeps his tummy from telling his brain when to eat, so he has to eat X amount of food a day even if he doesn't really feel hungry.

Below is a quote from a post I made awhile back on this topic:

Stimulants tend to decrease the appetite. Children in my family tend to be skinny (and tall) as well so that is definitely something to keep in mind--if you can give your doctor your old growth charts that may help him evaluate your ds' growth.

If he'll eat cheese, try cheese, crackers, and "summer" sausage as a snack--ds (also 7.5) likes to make "sandwhiches" out of those. Ds also makes himself "peanut butter circle flakes" which are tortillas with PB and/or jelly, with Parmesan cheese. Tortillas are great to keep around the house (you can usually find them in wheat as well) and they can roll up anything into them; I also use them to make chicken and cheese quesidillas and I put sour cream on them before serving.

I would also try to add some "good" fat (peanut butter w/salt as only other possible added ingredient--the PB you have to stir), avacado/guacamole) and more calorie and/or (hopefully both) nutrient dense foods like rice. I usually do stir frys once a week and my son LOVES rice. I also make a fair amount of pasta with meat sauce or cheese and sauce and garlic bread (I mix softened butter with garlic and parsely and put on a french roll/bake). My ds hasn't gained any weight this year but (1) his growth slowed in K before medication, (2) he gained at least a quarter inch in height, and (3) he's "all muscle" (so not just skinny).

CrazyLazyGal
07-18-11, 07:17 PM
Here are some threads on appetite suppression:

Help I'm at my wits end - My Son WON'T EAT!! (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=87642)

Lack of appetite w/ 10 year old (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=95384)

Do you take medication breaks? Those are good for catching up on calories.

If nothing works, you can consider Periactin, an allergy medication that is also prescribed to increase appetite. It's been shown safe.

Dovie
07-18-11, 09:17 PM
You may also want to relax rules about what is a breakfast food/lunch food/dinner food, if you have rules like that (when I was in HS my mom threatened to stop getting me soup if I ate it for breakfast :rolleyes:).

We did this even before medication. We don't eat normal breakfast foods because Joey just won't. So, instead of arguing with him about cereal, we make spaghetti at 7 am. Better than him not eating!

Willblake13
08-16-11, 01:05 AM
So I am 16 and I am on 2 54 mg concertas, 1 3 mg intuniv, 2 15 mg busparone (I think that Is how you spell it) 1 100mg sertraline, 1 2mg abilify, as well as another 18mg concerta. My friends pick on me because I sound and look 13. I get called m'am when I drive through a drive through. When I call tech support they tell me to get my mommy and I snap at them that they will be talking to me as I know several programming languages and I even know hardware algorithms. I am sick of it, my psychiatrist says it isn't my pills but I can't believe that at such a high dose to where our insurance had to grandfather me in to cover us, that my mess have no effect on my growth. I can't get a girlfriend, everyone treats me like I am 12 I snapped today and just broke down and cried. Will someone please tell me the truth about my growth. I swear to you I am not lying about my dosage, I have a ridiculously high tolerance for ADHD medication

happytexas
08-16-11, 10:24 AM
I am sick of it, my psychiatrist says it isn't my pills but I can't believe that at such a high dose to where our insurance had to grandfather me in to cover us, that my mess have no effect on my growth. I can't get a girlfriend, everyone treats me like I am 12 I snapped today and just broke down and cried. Will someone please tell me the truth about my growth. I swear to you I am not lying about my dosage, I have a ridiculously high tolerance for ADHD medication

I can't say that the meds aren't at all responsible, but the parents here whose children have had seemingly ADHD/med related slow-growth have said that it resolves with onset of puberty. Since you are well past that point I suggest being evaluated by a pediatric endocrinologist (http://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/health-management/pediatric-specialists/pages/What-is-a-Pediatric-Endocrinologist.aspx).

Dizfriz
08-16-11, 11:53 AM
As I understand the evidence, the very large and important MTA study showed about a 1/4" difference (loss) in growth with medication.

A number of studies however indicate that ADHD results in a slower growth pattern but catching up in later adolescence and early adulthood. I read one study showing that Tourette's kids showed a similar growth pattern.

My son displayed this pattern, he was somewhat short for his age but continued to grow until his early twenties where he finished right at 6 foot. His growth pattern continued longer than most of the population but did not seem to impair his height in the long run.

I have not followed up much on this since I did my original research on the issue but I have seen nothing definitive so far so the jury still seems to be out on this. I lean toward the slower growth but catching up later model for what it is worth.

Dizfriz