View Full Version : New Here - Need Advice For My Son!


Doesnt_ADD_Up
01-12-10, 12:46 PM
Brand new poster here. I've been doing some reading and am concerned about some of the meds my 13-year old son is on. He was diagnosed with ADHD when he was about 8 or 9. His doctor seems to treat every issue my ex-wife comes to her with by prescribing a new medication. He was afraid to go to school because he was bullied and teased, and she put him on anti-anxiety meds. This is what I've been dealing with.

I've just got his new ADHD regime and am not happy - particularly about the addition of Strattera, which I have read many bad things about already. Although the Adderall has greatly improved his ADHD symptoms, he's been gradually exhibiting more concerning behaviours and I'm worried that some of these other medications he's on are making things worse in other areas. I'm hoping someone with more experience can offer their advice. His daily med list is below:

Adderall (30mg) 1x daily in morning w/ 1x Resperidone (0.5mg)
Dexedrine (5mg) 1 full tablet @ 4:30
Strattera (18mg to start, working up to 40mg) @ dinner time on full stomache
2x Clonodine (0.1mg), + 1x Risperidone (0.5mg) now at 7:30pm

My instinct is to get a second opinion from another doctor but with the ex and I divorced, joint decisions such as these can be a bit of a minefield. I just thought I'd see if I have actual cause for concern or are just being a panicky parent.

Many thanks in advance to you all.

MuscleMama
01-12-10, 12:54 PM
Whoa I would also be concerned. That is a lot of meds. No real advice to offer, but hopefully some of the more knowledgeable posters will help you out. What sort of evaluations has he had - school, neurologist, psychiatrist, etc?

daveddd
01-12-10, 12:59 PM
Brand new poster here. I've been doing some reading and am concerned about some of the meds my 13-year old son is on. He was diagnosed with ADHD when he was about 8 or 9. His doctor seems to treat every issue my ex-wife comes to her with by prescribing a new medication. He was afraid to go to school because he was bullied and teased, and she put him on anti-anxiety meds. This is what I've been dealing with.

I've just got his new ADHD regime and am not happy - particularly about the addition of Strattera, which I have read many bad things about already. Although the Adderall has greatly improved his ADHD symptoms, he's been gradually exhibiting more concerning behaviours and I'm worried that some of these other medications he's on are making things worse in other areas. I'm hoping someone with more experience can offer their advice. His daily med list is below:

Adderall (30mg) 1x daily in morning w/ 1x Resperidone (0.5mg)
Dexedrine (5mg) 1 full tablet @ 4:30
Strattera (18mg to start, working up to 40mg) @ dinner time on full stomache
2x Clonodine (0.1mg), + 1x Risperidone (0.5mg) now at 7:30pm

My instinct is to get a second opinion from another doctor but with the ex and I divorced, joint decisions such as these can be a bit of a minefield. I just thought I'd see if I have actual cause for concern or are just being a panicky parent.

Many thanks in advance to you all.

are we missing something , is he bipolar, or aspergers?

risperdone is an antipsychotic , not an anxiety med

Doesnt_ADD_Up
01-12-10, 01:01 PM
Well he was having some very obvious issues for a long time. Ultimately he was sent to a pediatric doctor by his GP and she assessed him with ADHD and started treatment. In the beginning it was great - there was an almost instantaneous change in his behaviour for the better and it felt like we had regained the son who had been slowly spiralling out of control prior to that.

But then more meds came to compliment the other meds. Then the anti-anxiety meds. Then a pill to take the edge off so he could sleep and another so he could gain weight. And now he's 13, has trouble socializing, poor impulse control, is overly emotional, has poor self-esteem and trouble controlling his anger. Now, that's true of a lot of 13 year olds I guess, but I just feel that increasingly something isn't right. It's either fatherly instinct or fatherly paranoia.

Doesnt_ADD_Up
01-12-10, 01:03 PM
are we missing something , is he bipolar, or aspergers?

risperdone is an antipsychotic , not an anxiety med

He has neither, which is why I've been concerned about the risperidone as well. Thankfully they are going to try and ween him off that over the Spring Break, but I still don't fully understand why it was given in the first place. My understanding at the time was that it complimented the Adderal and improved his appetite, which was being hindered by his other meds.

atrain
01-12-10, 01:38 PM
I think that you should be concerned about our son. Have you tried going to a doctor that specializes in add/adhd. Why would your son be on meds that he is not diagnosed with.

MuscleMama
01-12-10, 01:52 PM
Well he was having some very obvious issues for a long time. Ultimately he was sent to a pediatric doctor by his GP and she assessed him with ADHD and started treatment.

What type? Has this been the only assessment he has had?

daveddd
01-12-10, 02:07 PM
maybe it is something more than adhd, but instead of jumping to a label they are just treating symptoms

i dont think a legit doctor would prescribe an anti psychotic for a little anxiety

Doesnt_ADD_Up
01-12-10, 02:34 PM
The doctor who assessed and treats him is supposedly an ADHD specialist. I found some reviews of her on a website which were fairly evenly split between her being a very good doctor and her being a total quack diagnosing ADHD on a whim.

I don't doubt that my son has ADHD (or at least he did when we brought him to her), but I've never felt that my son had an anxiety disorder, bi-polar disorder, autism or anything of that sort. He's definately not been officially diagnosed with any of them - just ADHD.

daveddd
01-12-10, 02:59 PM
i dont know about doctors who "specialize" in anything

like dr amen who labels every mental disorder as adhd, and treats them with the same meds that you would the seperate mental disorder

i would try a non-biased reputable child psychologist

MGDAD
01-12-10, 03:12 PM
I would go to a different doctor to get another opinion for sure.

It is fairly easy to diagnose ADHD, plus the meds work immediately, so I think doctors tend to jump on that diagnosis. OTOH, stimulants can exacerbate other problems. Namely mood dissorders. Problem is, the DSM is not a very good guide book for diagnosing mood dissorders in children. My childs current doctor feels that child psychiatrist cling to the ADHD diagnosis too easily. Especially if other problems start cropping up. His next step if other issues crop up is to quit the stimulants and fix the mood problems first. Sometimes that fixes the ADHD. SSRI antidepressants can cause mood problems in kids too.

My daughter went through years of trying to manage her anxiety, and explosive anger by adding a variety of meds to her stimulants. It finally became unbearible. So, we quit the stimulants (and the doctor) and started an anticonvulsant. She is a completely different girl. Not taking any ADHD med and her focus is pretty good.

Good luck with everything.

daveddd
01-12-10, 03:19 PM
I would go to a different doctor to get another opinion for sure.

It is fairly easy to diagnose ADHD, plus the meds work immediately, so I think doctors tend to jump on that diagnosis. OTOH, stimulants can exacerbate other problems. Namely mood dissorders. Problem is, the DSM is not a very good guide book for diagnosing mood dissorders in children. My childs current doctor feels that child psychiatrist cling to the ADHD diagnosis too easily. Especially if other problems start cropping up. His next step if other issues crop up is to quit the stimulants and fix the mood problems first. Sometimes that fixes the ADHD. SSRI antidepressants can cause mood problems in kids too.

My daughter went through years of trying to manage her anxiety, and explosive anger by adding a variety of meds to her stimulants. It finally became unbearible. So, we quit the stimulants (and the doctor) and started an anticonvulsant. She is a completely different girl. Not taking any ADHD med and her focus is pretty good.

Good luck with everything.

agreed about docs and people in general clinging to adhd,

do you mind telling me what anti-convulsant, thats whats next for me and even though im an adult (well by age at least) i have been having same symptoms since child hood

Justtess
01-12-10, 08:26 PM
Have you checked your current doctor's expertise in adolescent psychiatry? I would certainly check to see if the doctor treating your son has experience and also a passion to helping adolescents.

I enjoy my current psch doctor however, he does not want to treat teenagers. I searched for a few months before I found one I felt confident in...mainly because he was an ADHD teenager (or so I suspect). There's a whole lot of reorganization going on in a teenager's brain and top it off with teen hormones so medication may need adjusting. We visit the doc monthly and make adjustments aproximately every three months or so

Doesnt_ADD_Up
01-13-10, 04:01 PM
Thanks everyone for your responses. I've spoken with the ex and she's unwilling to even get a second opinion on the matter. Ultimately there is little I can do other than take her to court over it, which seems somewhat extreme at this point.

She is claiming that the overall plan is to end the Risperidone, then the Dexedrine, then possibly the Clonadine - leaving only the Adderal in the AM and the Strattera in the evenings. I'll believe it when I see it, but there isn't much that can be done right now.

I plan on booking an appointment with my son's current doctor and have her explain everything in agonizing detail to me. This will help me to keep up on exactly what's going on and remind her that I'm going to be watching her decisions like a hawk. A persistent, annoying, beligerant hawk ;)

PS to Justtess: She is a pediatric doctor specializing in ADHD, but not a psychiatrist. My argument has been - and remains - that my son would be better served by regular counselling than constantly tweaking his meds, so I'm hoping to shift the focus more in that direction.

MGDAD
01-14-10, 02:02 PM
Couselling does not help with ADHD, but it can help with other issues.

I would try stopping the Adderall to see if that helps his mood.

If you even have partial custody, you have the right to take your child to any doctor you want to. You dont need permission from your ex. It is rediculous for your ex not to want a second opinion.

Doesnt_ADD_Up
01-14-10, 03:27 PM
Well in terms of counselling my thinking was more along the lines of CBT which will help him cope with ADHD a little better. He's also had a lot of issues tangentially related to his ADHD behaviour (poor socialization, low self esteem) which I think could be helped by a counsellor.

According to our agreement, all medical decisions need to be made jointly - so if she decides to not allow the 2nd opinion I'd have to take her to court or mediation. She insisted on a specific clause which allows her to approve changes to his ADHD meds without my consent, because she knows we disagree on how this should be dealt with.