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General Parenting Issues The purpose of this forum is to discuss general parenting issues related to children with AD/HD(ADD & ADHD)

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  #1  
Old 11-26-05, 09:53 PM
Rapid Rapid is offline
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Give meds on weekend or not?

Hi All
We're debating whether it's better to give our 7 yr old boy his meds(Adderall) on the weekend. He has been on meds 2 months, Mon - Fri. He's had great results academically since starting meds and yesterday his teacher said he had a huge social breakthrough with his peers at school.

To this point I thought its ok to let him have a break from meds at the weekend, eating some high calorie food during the day, and generally doing what he wants even if it is just bouncing of the walls.

But last week we went visiting and he was dancing around the house all day and asked at least 20 times what the name of the dog in the house was. I knew he was getting odd looks from the other kids, not that it bothered me, but the thought occurred to me, is it more beneficial to be on meds and interact 'acceptably' with others on the weekend, or to just let him go?

What do you think, any advice?

Thanks in advance
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Old 11-26-05, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rapid
To this point I thought its ok to let him have a break from meds at the weekend, eating some high calorie food during the day, and generally doing what he wants even if it is just bouncing of the walls.
I've been on Adderall for three weeks and the one day I took off (Thanksgiving) I'm still paying for. I feel like I took a slide backward.

It sounds to me like you are viewing his meds as a sort of restraint or punishment. Losing control of your impulses isn't fun. I think that if a child has social problems off meds, you leave him socially crippled when you take them away. I'm willing to bet that, as much as your son hates having to take a pill every day, he probably feels better on them than off.

I admire you for considering both giving him the break and the idea that the break might not be the best thing.

Good luck
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Old 11-26-05, 11:17 PM
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Our children's developmental pediatrician advises us to leave the kids on meds during the weekends. If your child is showing more social development at school, he's probably picking up on more social clues at home as well. They miss out on a lot of the subtle rules and unspoken boundries that are present when they are not on their meds. He will learn what is appropriate at home by how you treat him without meds...You may be very suprised at how mature his decisions become.

We've tried leaving my daughter (who started taking meds at 8 and is now 11) off during the weekends, but her dosage is so high that she has a hard time functioning without them. She prefers to be on them because her behavior gets her into trouble without them. It took her a long time to realize that, but she now recognizes the difference on her own.

Stay with the meds...it will take a while for him to get used to it, but he will eventually. It's very off-routine and new for him so he will probably fight it for a while. Make sure you point out the difference in his behavior on and off meds, and talk to him about the better choices he makes with them. Assure him that the meds let his brain work the way it's supposed to..that ADHD has a biological basis it is not just a psychological impairment. The more he can learn about it and the more you talk openly about it, the sooner he will adjust.

If you pick a day to leave him off...make sure it's a day that you have nothing to do. I'd also talk to the doctor about having maybe some short acting forms so that he can go part of the day without if you need to or you can extend his meds during late nights for the holidays activities. If weight becomes a problem, give his meds after breakfast and let him eat high-cal foods at night or afternoons after the meds wear off. My kids love smoothies and milkshakes made with real fruit...just watch the citrus because it affects the med uptakes.
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Old 11-27-05, 04:23 PM
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Thanks!
Excellent advice folks. We're going to start giving him meds on weekends. I agree that not being on meds impeds his 'learning'. I never picked up on that.

Thankfully, we don't have any problems getting him to take his pill, I can't imagine how bad that battle would be in the mornings.

Much thanks.
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Old 12-09-05, 09:21 PM
mctavish23 mctavish23 is offline
 

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Everything I've heard or read advises to leave them on it.
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Old 12-10-05, 10:31 AM
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Umm, I know in my instance (I'm on strattera), I'm in a huge rush to get the stuff to start working for me. So, I would rather take my pills on the weekend...
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Old 12-10-05, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adamant1988
Umm, I know in my instance (I'm on strattera), I'm in a huge rush to get the stuff to start working for me. So, I would rather take my pills on the weekend...
Adam,

Just FYI -- drugs like Strattera shouldn't be skipped. If your doc ever suggests a "holiday" from it, you'll be taking a few weeks off, not days. The half life is much longer.

You'll find this with most of the antidepressants, too. Prozac's half life is 2-3 weeks; it takes that long to return to "baseline".

The good thing is, if you miss a dose, no big deal! If I miss a dose of Adderall -- I'm miserable.
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Old 12-10-05, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barbyma
Adam,

Just FYI -- drugs like Strattera shouldn't be skipped. If your doc ever suggests a "holiday" from it, you'll be taking a few weeks off, not days. The half life is much longer.

You'll find this with most of the antidepressants, too. Prozac's half life is 2-3 weeks; it takes that long to return to "baseline".

The good thing is, if you miss a dose, no big deal! If I miss a dose of Adderall -- I'm miserable.
I was saying you *should* take them on the weekend lol... Sorry for the misunderstanding.
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Old 12-10-05, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adamant1988
I was saying you *should* take them on the weekend lol... Sorry for the misunderstanding.
No misunderstanding; I knew what you meant. I was just giving you a tidbit of info because I know the Strattera is new to you....
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Old 12-11-05, 07:20 PM
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I look at it this way: my adhd doesn't take the weekend off. I may let myself take my concerta a bit later than usual, but I still take it.
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Old 12-11-05, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ms_sunshine
I look at it this way: my adhd doesn't take the weekend off. I may let myself take my concerta a bit later than usual, but I still take it.
I agree.

Meds should not be discontinued 'cold turkey'. doing so can be harmful to the
body. Also, if he is on them consistantly, he might get better quicker, because
the meds are not interrupted. Hope everything works out

-Gil
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Old 12-12-05, 09:25 PM
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I heard a dr speak once that is isn't fair to kids to not give them the meds sometimes. They just dont understand why they can not control themselves. I am begining to really understand this with my daughter. I know she can not control herself in the evening and doesn't understand it. Socially it is an issue with after school playdates as well. I am starting to seriously consider Strattera for this reason, to hopefully help her keep more even behaviorally. I still need to talk to the dr though, she is on focalin xr now.
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Old 12-16-05, 12:36 PM
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Rapid

We did this with our son for many years.... no meds on week ends and summer vacation. (because he wouldnt eat on it and was very skinny and sick looking, and had insomnia, so he basically would eat and sleep all week end) well we learned that it took at least 2 days after he was off (even for only 2 days) to really "get back". Thankfully we finally found one that gives him less side effects (Concerta) and he is now on all the time.
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Old 12-28-05, 10:00 AM
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loss of appetite so....

Quote:
Originally Posted by happymamaklute
We did this with our son for many years.... no meds on week ends and summer vacation. (because he wouldnt eat on it and was very skinny and sick looking, and had insomnia, so he basically would eat and sleep all week end) well we learned that it took at least 2 days after he was off (even for only 2 days) to really "get back". Thankfully we finally found one that gives him less side effects (Concerta) and he is now on all the time.
Same here (newbie poster btw). My son is very small (~52# at age 8.5). He's normally a finicky eater without meds, although appetite seems to be picking up with age. While on meds his appetite seem to almost vanish. He'll eat at dinner but more often than not he'll say that he is full after but a few bites. My doctor suggested not giving meds (Concerta) during weekends and summer.

However, I have given him (and will again in future) his meds on a Sat once or twice when I took him to an event of his which required sitting indian style on the floor for a good while. I learned from the first event that he'd talk up a storm to the kid(s) around him. Out of the corner of my eye I could see constant "activity" where he was sitting and I kept having to try to get his attention to tell him to stop talking and keep still. He seems to "talk" to keep himself "busy" whenever he can't do much of anything else.

So, to the original poster, I'm all for taking meds on the weekends IF there are no negative side affects that you're trying to limit ... like in my case a loss of appetite that affects the child's weight.
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