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  #1  
Old 03-22-18, 11:26 AM
kris4chloe kris4chloe is offline
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College Son Prescribed Trazodone - Would like others thoughts

My son is in his sophmore year at college and has been struggling. He always struggled in highschool as well but is determined to see this through. Through high school he chose not to use medication and did ok because teachers would let him turn in things late etc. When he went away to college I convinced him to try meds again (he hadn't tried them since elementary school).

He has tried a few different things, the stimulant meds did not work for him at all, made his heart rate to much etc. He appears to suffer more with ADD and not necessarily the hyperactive piece. He has a difficult time with focusing on reading and processing information. You can see when you talk to him he is trying to process everything you say, he gets it, just takes him longer. He is a very bright kid, but I know how frustrated he is with everything taking him longer then his peers.

He was recently on Intuniv and that was giving him to many side effects, then they switched him to Guafacine and that seemed to work but then he started battling depression. Thank goodness he reached out to me, and with my encouragement he went back to the dr. They added Welbutrin and that helped for a bit. Here we are about 6 months later and it was apparent that the meds were not working. He started suffering from severe insomnia as well as blurred vision and irritability and headaches. So his dr has now switched him to Trazodone only. Everything I see online says that it is for depression and insomnia. We asked the dr about it, and why he is not on something for ADD as well and she stated that Trazodone was originally created to treat ADD and then was found to work for depression and sleep issues so this should treat all three. I am not seeing anything online that states this. He is going to give it a try, but I am concerned that this is the wrong path?

By the way, he goes to school 7 hours away from home, so I am only able to encourage via text and phone calls. Sometimes he won't respond for days at a time, so then I know he is battling his depression.

I am concerned that he is not going to be able to get the depression under control. I have told him that if he can not manage in college, it is ok. He can come home and he can figure out something else such as a trade school etc. He is the one who is determined to make this work.

Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-22-18, 12:35 PM
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Re: College Son Prescribed Trazodone - Would like others thoughts

I've taken trazodone for sleep issues and never for ADHD. I think you might seek a second opinion. It's definitely not first line treatment for ADHD and isn't even the most effective repurposed antidepressant.
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Old 03-22-18, 01:00 PM
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Re: College Son Prescribed Trazodone - Would like others thoughts

Get a competent doctor who knows something about medications.

Trazodone created for ADHD? That’s laughable, at best.


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Old 03-22-18, 01:39 PM
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Re: College Son Prescribed Trazodone - Would like others thoughts

Trazodone is an old medication that was approved a long time ago to treat depression. It had nothing to do with ADHD. Nowadays, it is rarely even prescribed for depression. Instead, it's mainly prescribed for off label use as a sleep aid.

If your son has ADHD, then stimulants have the highest success rates, and work right away. I have never heard of trazodone as a treatment for ADHD. That's ridiculous.

Btw, Intuniv is simply an extended release version of guanfacine, which is the active chemical. Intuniv tends to be better tolerated than the immediate release version of guanfacine, but I guess maybe your son is an exception!

When your son was a young kid, was he hyperactive? It's common for ADHD kids to learn to suppress their hyperactivity by adolscence/adulthood, and instead internalize it into restlessness, anxiety, etc. If your son was never hyperactive as a young kid, he might have sluggish cognitive tempo (SCT), which is different from the classic type of ADHD.
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Old 03-23-18, 05:05 PM
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Re: College Son Prescribed Trazodone - Would like others thoughts

No hyperactivity when he was younger. Itís a form of ADD where he processes slowly and just canít focus. My gut is telling me that this medication isnít the right one. This dr is part of his health center at college and Iím sure they try to figure out ways to prescribe non stimulant meds due to the problem with abuse on campus. Iím heading in to visit him this weekend so i plan on seeing if we can go to the medical center together Monday morning to voice our concerns. His depression stems from his inability to focus and get his assignments done. I think we need to focus on addressing that first?
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Old 03-24-18, 02:49 AM
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Re: College Son Prescribed Trazodone - Would like others thoughts

I question that doctor's knowledge and abilities. Never have I heard of trazodone for adhd.
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Old 03-24-18, 05:13 AM
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Re: College Son Prescribed Trazodone - Would like others thoughts

The only way I can think of that it was for ADHD at one time would be for those who are very hyperactive and it was given to slow them down a bit at lower doses like 12.5 mg. The lowest I ever give to my patients is 25 mg with the majority of them are on it- followed by melatonin, seroquel and ambien. I've never seen it ordered for depression either.
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Old 03-24-18, 06:07 PM
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Re: College Son Prescribed Trazodone - Would like others thoughts

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Originally Posted by kris4chloe View Post
No hyperactivity when he was younger. Itís a form of ADD where he processes slowly and just canít focus. My gut is telling me that this medication isnít the right one. This dr is part of his health center at college and Iím sure they try to figure out ways to prescribe non stimulant meds due to the problem with abuse on campus. Iím heading in to visit him this weekend so i plan on seeing if we can go to the medical center together Monday morning to voice our concerns. His depression stems from his inability to focus and get his assignments done. I think we need to focus on addressing that first?
If his depression stems from his inability to focus, as you said, then it would make sense to treat the focus issue first.

Dr. Russell Barkley is one the leading experts in the field of ADHD, and he thinks there's a distinct disorder known as Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT). SCT isn't officially recognized by the DSM, but based on how he describes SCT, your son seems to match up. No hyperactivity symptoms, even as a kid. Processing info slowly. Adverse/unimpressive response to stimulant medication.

He speculated that Strattera or modafinil might be worth trying in SCT patients, but there hasn't been enough research in this area yet.
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Old 03-26-18, 03:34 AM
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Re: College Son Prescribed Trazodone - Would like others thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by kris4chloe View Post
My son is in his sophmore year at college and has been struggling. He always struggled in highschool as well but is determined to see this through. Through high school he chose not to use medication and did ok because teachers would let him turn in things late etc. When he went away to college I convinced him to try meds again (he hadn't tried them since elementary school).

He has tried a few different things, the stimulant meds did not work for him at all, made his heart rate to much etc. He appears to suffer more with ADD and not necessarily the hyperactive piece. He has a difficult time with focusing on reading and processing information. You can see when you talk to him he is trying to process everything you say, he gets it, just takes him longer. He is a very bright kid, but I know how frustrated he is with everything taking him longer then his peers.



He was recently on Intuniv and that was giving him to many side effects, then they switched him to Guafacine and that seemed to work but then he started battling depression. Thank goodness he reached out to me, and with my encouragement he went back to the dr. They added Welbutrin and that helped for a bit. Here we are about 6 months later and it was apparent that the meds were not working. He started suffering from severe insomnia as well as blurred vision and irritability and headaches. So his dr has now switched him to Trazodone only. Everything I see online says that it is for depression and insomnia. We asked the dr about it, and why he is not on something for ADD as well and she stated that Trazodone was originally created to treat ADD and then was found to work for depression and sleep issues so this should treat all three. I am not seeing anything online that states this. He is going to give it a try, but I am concerned that this is the wrong path?

By the way, he goes to school 7 hours away from home, so I am only able to encourage via text and phone calls. Sometimes he won't respond for days at a time, so then I know he is battling his depression.

I am concerned that he is not going to be able to get the depression under control. I have told him that if he can not manage in college, it is ok. He can come home and he can figure out something else such as a trade school etc. He is the one who is determined to make this work.

Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance.
I take trap adore for sleep and it has never benn mentioned it helps add. Talk to doc about vyvanse
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Old 03-26-18, 11:32 AM
kris4chloe kris4chloe is offline
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Re: College Son Prescribed Trazodone - Would like others thoughts

I want to thank everyone for their input. I was pretty sure the dr was not correct on that. Like o said it is the dr on his campus. They work offsite but also on campus as well. I looked into it further and this individual is a nurse practitioner with a PhD but i can not find info on what area thatís in. I would assume psychology? I am in town visiting him right now and he has a follow up appointment tomorrow so my plan is to go with him and confront her about the mis-information. Iíve not found any info online that itís anything more then a medication for insomnia. Since Iím in town i told him to go ahead and take a half pill (50mg) and see how he does. It is helping him sleep and he doesnít say it makes him anymore or less tired or foggy in the morning. He always feels really groggy in the morning and started drinking coffee in the morning to get going. The fact that the caffeine helps him for energy has always led me to believe that stimulant meds would not work on him as it would for someone with hyperactivity. He is a very mellow kid and i think Iím going to encourage her to let him try stratera. I really donít want him relying on the sleep meds either. The last few months he has been having trouble going to sleep so he gets online and plays his video games and ends up staying up til four or five in the morning then ends up sleeping through class. As a result his grades are suffering. One of the reasons i came into town was to address this and help him.

Again thanks for your input and Iíll let you know how the dr appointment Trent goes tomorrow.
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Old 03-26-18, 02:38 PM
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Re: College Son Prescribed Trazodone - Would like others thoughts

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Originally Posted by kris4chloe View Post
He always feels really groggy in the morning and started drinking coffee in the morning to get going. The fact that the caffeine helps him for energy has always led me to believe that stimulant meds would not work on him as it would for someone with hyperactivity.
Hate to break it to you but you have nearly entered myth territory. Yes, stimulants help hyperactive kids calm down mostly but thats not a confirmation of adhd. Caffeine is a different stimulant and a "wakefulness promoting agent" which is different than the way rx stimulants work. Coffee gets most people going in the morning. This theory that everyone who gets energy from coffee must not have adhd and those who do not do have adhd has been swirling around forever. A positive or negative reaction to adhd meds or caffeine is not a confirmation that you do or do not have adhd.

Quote:
He is a very mellow kid and i think Iím going to encourage her to let him try stratera. I really donít want him relying on the sleep meds either. The last few months he has been having trouble going to sleep so he gets online and plays his video games and ends up staying up til four or five in the morning then ends up sleeping through class. As a result his grades are suffering. One of the reasons i came into town was to address this and help him.

Again thanks for your input and Iíll let you know how the dr appointment Trent goes tomorrow.
Of course you know your son best but I thought I would give my opinion on Stratterra and meds like adderall or ritalin:
Stratterra was studied and marketed as an antidepressant originally- thats what it was made for. After seeing very margional improvement in attention and focus Lily decided to capitalize on the adhd movement and it is now marketed as the "stimulant free way of treating adhd". Bear in mind it works the same way an antidepressant does. Stimulants have been around for like 75 years and have been completely vetted as a solid first line treatment for adhd. Usually it goes: Stimulants-Wellbutrin-Stratterra. Just something to think about.
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Old 03-26-18, 08:49 PM
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Re: College Son Prescribed Trazodone - Would like others thoughts

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Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
Hate to break it to you but you have nearly entered myth territory. Yes, stimulants help hyperactive kids calm down mostly but thats not a confirmation of adhd. Caffeine is a different stimulant and a "wakefulness promoting agent" which is different than the way rx stimulants work. Coffee gets most people going in the morning. This theory that everyone who gets energy from coffee must not have adhd and those who do not do have adhd has been swirling around forever. A positive or negative reaction to adhd meds or caffeine is not a confirmation that you do or do not have adhd.



Of course you know your son best but I thought I would give my opinion on Stratterra and meds like adderall or ritalin:
Stratterra was studied and marketed as an antidepressant originally- thats what it was made for. After seeing very margional improvement in attention and focus Lily decided to capitalize on the adhd movement and it is now marketed as the "stimulant free way of treating adhd". Bear in mind it works the same way an antidepressant does. Stimulants have been around for like 75 years and have been completely vetted as a solid first line treatment for adhd. Usually it goes: Stimulants-Wellbutrin-Stratterra. Just something to think about.
Thanks for the input. He tried stimulants and they didnít work. He would get heart palpitations and feel on edge. The symptoms didnít outway the benefits. Then they tried intuniv which was supposed to Non stimulant and that caused him headaches and general fogginess. Last he was on Wellbutrin combined with the Intuniv and thatís when the insomnia started along with even worse foggy feeling and feeling on edge. Iím starting to think thereís not much to help him. We have tried diet when he was younger and he was able to get by during highschool but i was there to help remind and guide. We have tried supplements (fish oil, b-complex and various focus supplements with ginkgo). Nothing seems to give him that focus. He never noticed any benefits, just side effects. Iím hoping tomorrow they let me in the appointment with him and i can pick the nurse practitioners brain and fill in what he may have left out to come up with a plan. Iíve read everything i can online and in book format about add and adhd and Iím at a loss here. Thatís why i reaches out to this forum since itís all first hand experience. I just want him to feel better about himself. Heís very bright but the add is making it so hard.
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Old 03-27-18, 08:46 AM
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Re: College Son Prescribed Trazodone - Would like others thoughts

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Thanks for the input. He tried stimulants and they didnít work. He would get heart palpitations and feel on edge.
Modafinil is sort of like a stimulant in that it works right away. It's less likely than other stimulants to cause heart palpitations. Might be worth trying.
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Old 03-27-18, 11:48 AM
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Re: College Son Prescribed Trazodone - Would like others thoughts

What about an inability to wake up? Anyone else have that as an issue? Every day we have been visiting this week i have had to wake him up. Just today i get to his room and both alarms are going off (alarm clock and phone alarm) and he’s not phased at all. Still sleeping. That’s my other issue with her prescribing him a sleeping medication. He needs to be able to wake up and make it to class. His classes don’t start til 11:30 yet he can not manage to get up for it? I’m exhausted and exasperated at this point and ready to throw in the towel. I feel like his ADD is effecting me more then him.
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Old 03-31-18, 06:49 PM
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Re: College Son Prescribed Trazodone - Would like others thoughts

I’ve found it to be a mild sleeping medication, it’s actually an older antidepressant. These days, it’s very commonly prescribed.

It’s not effective for me, unfortunately. If I wasn’t asleep within thirty minutes of taking it...I was up for,the night.

Best for your son!
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