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Children's Diagnosis & Treatment This forums is for parents to discuss issues related to diagnosis and treament of children with AD/HD

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Old 08-24-06, 03:56 PM
thndrcloud thndrcloud is offline
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Focalin for a 3 year old

After our second visit with the psychiatrist she has recommended that we do a trial of Focalin (5mg). She's not given us an official ADHD diagnosis because her hyperactivity is not constant however her impulsivity it a continual threat to her safety. The doctor has suggested that I get her evalutated for sensory integration problems in the area of sound and touch which I will be doing first through the school district then privately if the school doesn't help.

If this is going to help her I want to do it. Right now I can't start her in preschool because of her hitting, kicking and biting. I have to put a harness on her to take walks otherwise she runs into the street. Our house is a fortress to protect her from wandering out the door and I can't take my eyes off her for a minute or she starts climbing the walls.

I'm not against meds and if she were older I wouldn't think twice about it but she is only 3. My concerns are the following:

The doctor said Focalin can cause weight loss. How much weight loss is considered normal? My daughter is only 30lbs to being with and can't afford to lose much weight.

If my daughter doesn't have ADHD what effect with the meds have on her? It is a stimulant, will this make her even more hyper and impulsive?

I'm not looking for opinions on whether medicating her is a good idea or not, just information and possibly experiences on Focalin.

TIA
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Old 08-28-06, 04:14 PM
MGDAD MGDAD is offline
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My daughter's Dr. described the affect of ADHD meds something like this. An ADHDer has a good "motor" in their head to keep them going. However, they have no brakes to control impulsive behavior. When they have an impulse to do something, they do it. They do not have the "brakes" to prevent them from doing it. When trying concentrate they do, but then jump to the next thing, and the next. The meds put on the "brakes" to keep them focused on their current task. That was not his exact words, but something like it.

As far as making them more hyper, it does not. If it does, it is not the right med.

My daughter takes Focalin and it works great for improving focus and reducing impulsiveness. My daughter is not hyper, but Focalin should help with that too.
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Old 08-28-06, 04:43 PM
thndrcloud thndrcloud is offline
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Do you have any experience with the "rebound"? We started the Focalin XR on Saturday, one dose at 8am. She normally will take a 1-2 hour nap after lunch but wouldn't sleep on Saturday then didn't go to sleep until 10pm when her normal bedtime is 8. She also went sort of crazy towards late afternoon. Just non-stop motion.

Sunday morning she was up at 6:45, took med at 8:30 and was incredibly clingy and anxious in the morning. Took a 10 minute nap in the car then starting around 3:30 was out of control. She finally crashed around 8, then was up at 1 when she normally sleeps like a rock. She was awake by 6:15 this morning.

Is this normal while her body adjusts? Does it even out after time?
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Old 08-28-06, 07:16 PM
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No that is not normal. First of all why did you start with the XR version. It is better to start with the short acting to ensure there are not bad side affects. Especially if you want her to take a nap I would just try the short acting version.

The XR med has a portion of the med that is quick acting, and a nother portion that is released in about 3-4 hours. So, there are two humps in the concentration of the med in the body.

You listed the bad things that happened when on the med. Were there any benefits noted?

You also do not need to use the entire pill. Is she swallowing the pill? or are you sprinkling the med on apple sauce?

Either way, I would try the short acting first. It is much easier to monitor the effects.
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Old 08-28-06, 07:37 PM
thndrcloud thndrcloud is offline
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I honestly have no idea why she (the psychiatrist) started us on the XR but that's the script she gave us. I didn't see any difference over the weekend except the craziness in the evenings but I'm hoping that maybe it wasn't medicine related and she was just having a bad weekend. She was at the sitter's today and had a really good day but there were only 4 kids today so that might have been it. On a positive note we came home tonight and I asked her to pick up the mess she made last night and she has been complying fairly well.

I think we're just going to ride out this week and see what happens and re-evaluate then what to do next week. Thanks for the feedback, it helps to know what's normal and not.
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