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Old 06-23-10, 11:03 AM
eard1421 eard1421 is offline
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Question adderall withdrawl

My 10 year old son has done very well taking adderall - a lower dose. His ADHD is mainly the spacey kind - he really isn't hyper - just fidgity - but has a hard time focusing, attending, organizing. Anyway, with some controversy over long term effects of these meds - I decided to take him off of it for the summer - figured we can deal with any adhd issues during the summer. He has become so anxious without it - has had several melt downs over little things -obsessing over stupid things - he just appears unhappy- can't sleep well - he has been off it for over a week now. I was under the impression that this drug is short lived - and that you can choose not to give it on weekends and such. I am thinking about putting him back on it - because he just doesn't appear his happy self. Has anyone here experienced adderall withdrawl? How long does it last? Does this just mean he really needs this med to function? I hate seeing like this. He isn't a behavior problem - he just seems so anxious and is worrying over every little thing. Doesn't seem to want to go out and play with his friends as much. Thanks for any imput. Anne
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Old 06-23-10, 11:24 AM
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Re: adderall withdrawl

I should also explain that "melt downs" are not usual for him - he is usually pretty easy going - but these are true, tears, fear worrying meltdowns, where he is pacing, and crying and fretting over things -last night is was the fact that he doesn't want braces on his teeth - and is afraid they will hurt. We have never even mentioned braces - and although one day he may need them - that is a ways down the road. But he fussed and stressed over it all evening. Today he couldn't make up his mind whether to go to swim practice - usually we make the decision and he goes - but today is a swim meet day this evening -so decided to let him decide about morning practice - he just couldn't do it. Thought this info may be helpful to understand what we are dealing with.
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Old 06-23-10, 11:55 AM
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Re: adderall withdrawl

It's possible that what you're seeing isn't withdrawal, but a child who had the ability to function and think clearly taking away from him. You said he was doing well on medication, and I can only imagine that after being able to do so well it must be frustrating to not be able to anymore.

Think of it like this, some people need glasses all of the time, while some only need glasses to read. For the readers, taking a break (med holiday) makes sense. For those that need glasses all of the time, to try and say "don't use them for now, but do what you would, at the same level as if you had them on" is unrealistic.

I'm also curious as to what worries you have over long term use.
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Old 06-23-10, 12:24 PM
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Re: adderall withdrawl

Don't lose sight of the (well documented) fact that 67-86% of all AD/HD patients have one or two or more co-morbid conditions.

What happens if you try a single dose?
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Old 06-23-10, 12:42 PM
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Re: adderall withdrawl

Did you stop it cold turkey? Even if it's a small dose, you should always taper off if possible. Cut the pill(s) in half for a week, then in half again if they can be cut twice. Same with going back on. Some people can go off it cold turkey without any withdrawal other than perhaps sleepiness, but other people can't.

Since your son is 10 and old enough to express his feelings--whether he wants to is another issue--perhaps have a conversation with him about what's making him anxious. I wouldn't recommend demanding an answer right there and then, but to tell him to think about it a little, and get back to you at the end of the day or the next day. Maybe offer to have him see a therapist.

Another thing you may want to try is meditation, which can help anxiety. There's a kids meditation CD called "A Still Quiet Place". I use it myself to calm down because the sessions are only 3 minutes each, so I can do it wherever. He may find it too childish, in which case you can get a short adult meditation CD.
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Old 06-23-10, 05:18 PM
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Re: adderall withdrawl

I thought Adderall was time-release, some time release medications can't be cut in half, that should be checked first.
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Old 06-23-10, 06:07 PM
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Re: adderall withdrawl

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Originally Posted by OnlyMe View Post
I thought Adderall was time-release, some time release medications can't be cut in half, that should be checked first.
I do believe they have both an extended release, and an instant release of Adderall. Regardless you should always check with the doctor and/or pharmacists before cutting up medication.
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Old 06-23-10, 09:02 PM
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Re: adderall withdrawl

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Originally Posted by OnlyMe View Post
I thought Adderall was time-release, some time release medications can't be cut in half, that should be checked first.
Sorry for not being clear. I didn't mean the XR type, but since the original post didn't mention it being XR, I assumed it was the short-duration type, which can be cut up.
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Old 06-24-10, 05:55 AM
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Re: adderall withdrawl

What I've noticed about myself when I take breaks is that initially I seem extra inattentive (may be me just noticing the stark difference, but I feel like its worse right after I stop the meds.)

This extra spacey feeling makes me feel like I'm crazy, that I can't focus on anything, pretty much that I'm a waste of space due to my inability to do stuff.

However after a longer period of time I either get used to "me" or the adhd-i regulates back to where I was pre-medication.

His brain may just be readjusting to not having his (prefrontal cortex?) firing as fast as when on his meds. (And I don't mean its extra fast, I read somewhere that adhd-i people's fire slower/process slower and that the stims bring our brains up to normal speed. I'll find the article if you wish.)
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Old 06-24-10, 12:24 PM
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Re: adderall withdrawl

Sorry I was not clear - but it is the XR Adderall - so cutting it in half is not an option. I just decided to put him back on it - he seems happier - more himself. I will discuss this with his doctor when we see her in August. It just doesn't seem that important to take him off it to make him miserable all summer. The reason I was trying to in the first place was that I have read some controversial studies about long term effects - later in life with mental issues - schizophrenia - etc. I don't like giving any chemical if it isn't absolutely necessary -we agonized over whether to start it - tried different homeopathic methods and special diets...nothing seemed as effective as the meds. Thanks for the input! Anne
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Old 06-24-10, 02:25 PM
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Re: adderall withdrawl

Quote:
Originally Posted by eard1421 View Post
The reason I was trying to in the first place was that I have read some controversial studies about long term effects - later in life with mental issues - schizophrenia - etc.
That is SERIOUS misinformation. These medications have never been linked to schizophrenia. ADHD (not the medications, but having ADHD) has been linked to schizophrenia only for people with a family history of schizophrenia, in which their risk for getting it would be high anyway. Schizophrenia is probably the most hereditary of all mental illnesses, so it's about family history, not medications, diet, or anything else. Really really tragic illness, but not something to be concerned about unless you have a family history, and in any case it's not something ADHD medications will increase or decrease the risk of.

ADHD medication--for those who actually have ADHD and need it, obviously--has been linked to later life mental issues in that it reduces the risk of depression and drug addiction!!!

Misinformation like this is the primary reason I'm an adult who participates in the children's board. Such misinformation, plus my parents' general resistance and distrust of psychiatry, kept me from getting help for so many years. I don't want that to happen with other families.

Back to the topic of Adderall XR--what dose is he on? Generally, I'm not opposed to medication breaks as long as there is no safety issue involved such as driving or kids who would climb trees when not on medications (nor am I in favor of them; it should be considered on a case-by-case basis). The lowest dose of XR is 5mg I believe. Since I assume he doesn't need the long term coverage for school, you could try tapering even more slowly by asking for short-dose Adderall and cutting that and giving it to him 2-3 times a day for a week. Some people do well on XR and not on short-dose--and some are the opposite--but in general, people who respond well to one have a good chance of responding well to the other.

If you've done a careful taper and he still exhibits these symptoms, then I would suggest putting him back on it, tapering up over a week or so. It indicates that his meltdowns are due to frustration at not having the medication and not withdrawal.

But before that, have you asked him why he thinks this might be happening?
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Old 07-01-10, 09:40 PM
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Re: adderall withdrawl

This site might help My daughter is on metadate CD CD and it does have Withdrawal doing a taper is best. Best wishes..

http://ehealthforum.com/health/adder...s-t134586.html
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