View Full Version : Hyperactivity level higher when meds are out of system than before meds at all?


musikat
03-23-10, 08:06 AM
Does anyone find that their child is more hyperactive and out of control now (on meds) when the meds are not in their systems than they were before meds at all?

I am not talking about the rebound, but later evenings and mornings before the meds kick in. It seems like my son is worse than before when the meds aren't in his system (and we are still trying to find the right dosage that works, so we aren't seeing a lot of improvement during meds, either, but today is the first day of increased dosage, so we'll see).

I was just curious if this is my imagination, if he is reacting to the meds or something other's have experienced.

Lady Lark
03-23-10, 11:01 AM
It's most likely perception. The bad looks so much worse when held up against the good. After a while you tend to forget what the baseline (pre meds) was like, and that makes it look worse then it probably is too.

The ADHD Fan
03-23-10, 12:15 PM
Hi Musikat,

Just out of curiosity, which type of meds are we looking at here?

One thing to really be aware of when dealing with medications (especially the more "potent" ones), is the fact that the body really likes to keep things stabilized and does not like sudden chemical changes. Most ADHD meds work by either blocking or reversing the receptors or transporters for the neurochemicals dopamine and norepinephrine.

The body sees these changes and often tries to "push" back against these chemical stimulants. Once these medications begin to stabilize, the body may still be in the process of "pushing back", and hence push beyond the normal "baseline" levels. Think of two kids playing tug of war with equal force and the bigger kid letting go of the rope all of a sudden.

Another analogy to this is like the whole sugar rush followed by a crash after eating a highly sugary meal. The crash dips blood sugar and energy below the baseline levels until the body is able to stabilize. It can be a lot like this with meds, especially the stimulant variety. Switching to more of a controlled, long-lasting, smooth release med can sometimes help, but individual variations in drug metabolism can lead to the need for significant "tweaking".

Hope this helps you out a bit, musikat! If you give us the type/dose of medication, you might be able to get a bit more input from forum members who have had similar experiences with themselves or with their children.

musikat
03-23-10, 12:40 PM
ADHD Fan,

That makes some sense. He is on Vyvanse. He started Saturday with 20 mg, with not much effect. He was maybe slightly more focused and calm, but overall barely perceptible change. That continued through yesterday, with little to no benefit, but definitely more symptoms when off the meds. I guess even if he isn't getting much effect his body is still getting used to them, as you explained?

Today is the first day on 40 mg. His pediatrician had me go ahead and double it since he got so little effect from 20. We'll see how it goes. I didn't notice anything this morning, but then again he went to school less than an hour after taking it (with food). Should be an interesting afternoon.

MGDAD
03-23-10, 04:27 PM
Vyvanse takes at least an hour until you will see any effects. Of the long acting meds, Vyvanse is one of the slowest to start working.

angel46701
05-24-10, 10:23 PM
YES! I feel the exact same way! I honestly had very minor behavioral issues with my son before putting him on adhd meds. He is not on them for behavioral problems at all. ONLY for focus so he can learn but now when he comes off of them he acts like a totally different kid. If he doesnt get his second dose of ritalin during the day he is more hyper than I have EVER seen him. After the second dose wares off just before bedtime he gets angry and throws temper tantrums. This has left me soooo confused as to what I am supposed to be doing as a parent here. I cant handle these violent tantrums he is throwing. I just want to cry!!

Noah44
05-24-10, 10:58 PM
I also see his behavior off meds seems worse than pre-meds. Also, like angel46701, my son isn't normally hyper, just inattentive and needs meds for school. We've only been giving him meds this past school year (4th grade) and we've recently been trying different meds/doses since the downtime emotional swings were torture for the whole family, esp him. We're currently also new on Vyvanse 20 mg. Too early to give feedback but I'd be curious to compare notes in a few weeks to a month.

Moonlight29
05-26-10, 06:10 PM
this is what i always thought about our daughter.
As soon her meds about to wear off, she seems to be worse.

I am not sure yet what to believe.
One hand it makes sense ,since u ''enjoy'' her on meds.The other hand after or without meds it seems worse.

Sometimes i think, maybe i should give her body a ''drug free day'' to help the body cope.
But to be honest, i havent had the strenght and patient yet to do so:rolleyes:

chris_ann
06-01-10, 09:24 AM
I have definitely experienced this. I'm quite sure its not just my perception either. My son is 10 years old and has been on several different stimulants since 1st grade. We don't give him the meds on the weekends and he is always more hyper than his "norm" for the entire weekend. I also don't give meds during the summer and it takes a solid 3-4 days before he returns to his normal baseline behavior.

Lv2sleep
06-01-10, 11:17 AM
I couldn't really relate to this topic until now! My 5 year old has had no focalin for 2 days (we have started strattera) and she is off her rocker! I don't even think I will be able to complete a trial of Strattera because she is terribly hyper , emotional, and impulsive without her stimulant. Her behavior is worse now than when she was 3. Every 5 minutes I want to call her doctor and beg for the focalin! LOL :)

roseblood
06-01-10, 06:11 PM
Are any of your children more tired in the morning or showing other signs of sleep quality/quantity being affected by the medication? If they're sleep deprived they're likely to get more hyperactive and inattentive than usual when the medication wears off or at night when the tiredness creeps up on them the most.

chris_ann
06-02-10, 09:58 PM
No sleep problems here. He slept well both on and off meds. Every time I take my 10 year old off of his meds (concerta) he has about 3 days where he's most definitely more high strung than his norm. After 3-4 days he levels out and is his "old self" again. Ryan's last day of Concerta was Friday. It took until Tuesday to get him back to his norm. So those of you who are struggling going off meds for the summer need to give it a few extra days before throwing in the towel. Good luck!

angel46701
06-03-10, 10:33 PM
My 4 year old still takes his nap every day, still goes to bed at the same time, and still moves around kicking all night in his sleep lol I have not noticed any difference in his sleeping except for the very first day he took ritalin, nothing since then. I had my dr switch him to concerta after the last post and he does not have the moody side affects so far when the med wears off but we are having other problems with it as he has developed tics (coughing all the time and sniffing) I am not giving him the concerta now anymore either. This is honestly stressing me out more than anything ever has in my life. I hate having to give him meds but I also want him to be able to learn. They tried teaching him to write his name in preschool for 3 months and he was still drawing circles and squares to write his name. 2 days on the ritalin and he is writing his name and catching on very quickly to the portuguese that we are teaching him (his stepfather speaks portuguese as his first language) I am so happy that he can focus now but so sad because of the other side affects.

michinyuja
06-22-10, 11:54 PM
Medications are aids, they're definitely not cures.

So if you're expecting your child to actually improve using medication alone, this is simply not going to happen.

Finding the right activities for your child, building a support system of family and friends for the child AND for the parents, encouraging friendships with other children of various ages, and actively teaching your child to be responsible, patient, and confident...

Mind-altering medications were originally designed to reduce symptoms so that people could learn coping mechanisms and do all of the above. They are not a cure. They have to be used in partnership with active problem-solving skills and lots of loving, detailed attention.

escott
04-24-12, 01:23 AM
Yes he probably is reacting to the medication

escott
04-24-12, 01:25 AM
Yes he probably is reacting to the medication
Yes thats true would be higher

zette93
04-24-12, 10:30 AM
DS6's doc added Intuniv to Aderall XR when he developed tics.

We definitely see more hyperactivity after the meds wear off. Doc confirms ths is common. We tried a 5mg boost in the afternoon, but ultimately upped his Aderall XR to 20 mg.

mommytriz
04-24-12, 12:40 PM
Medications are aids, they're definitely not cures.

So if you're expecting your child to actually improve using medication alone, this is simply not going to happen.

Finding the right activities for your child, building a support system of family and friends for the child AND for the parents, encouraging friendships with other children of various ages, and actively teaching your child to be responsible, patient, and confident...

Mind-altering medications were originally designed to reduce symptoms so that people could learn coping mechanisms and do all of the above. They are not a cure. They have to be used in partnership with active problem-solving skills and lots of loving, detailed attention.

:goodpost:

My daughter has taken 20mg of Vyvance since late Jan. We do not medicate weekends nor did we do so spring break. She needs them to sit in a class and focus on schoolwork. She was meant to be the hunter, not stay home and farm the crops. lol We work really hard with her on behavior modification daily !!! I see her using the lessons/ideas that we stressed during the week to solve problems, listen better now when she is not medicated. I cannot say if she is more active because I am OK with an active kid, I stick her on the treadmill if it's raining and send her out to the trampoline if it's not. She can bounce for hours and not tire. I have no desire to medicate that. She is in dance, gymnastics and is an amazing little track runner. We make sure she uses any hyper in her ADHD to meet her full potential in these areas. I also recommend supplementing with Omega acids if you aren't already. I noticed huge changes in my 7 1/2 year olds behaviour with a high steady dose of these.

Fraser_0762
04-24-12, 12:59 PM
Stimulant withdrawal can make ADHD symptoms worse, because their is now an even bigger imbalance in the brain.

Before = Normal chemical level (for an ADDer)
While = Increased chemical level (closer to NT level)
After = Lower chemical level than to begin with (leading to worser ADHD symptoms)

Even people who don't have ADHD can display symptoms of ADHD if they are going through stimulant withdrawal.