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Old 01-27-04, 10:34 PM
LhShea LhShea is offline
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Adderall side effects, coughing tic?

I am a mother of a 7-year-old son diagnosed with ADHD 3 years ago. He just started Adderall this school year. He started with regular Adderall, but it didnít last long enough and he was easily agitated when it was wearing off. So we started with the 10 mg of the XR version and bumped up to 20 mg, which is working, like a charm.

My problem is during the past week he has developed a dry hacking cough. It comes and goes all day long. It doesnít bother him during sleep. He was seen in the ER after a coughing spell lasting 4 hours. Chest x-rays were clear and albuterall treatment temporarily stopped the cough. The pediatrician and pulmonary specialist agree it is not asthma but might be a tic caused by the Adderall. I am at my wits end, he needs the medication but not the side effect. Has anyone ever had this type of side effect and if so how did they treat it?
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Old 03-08-04, 12:05 AM
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I have an 11-y/o son with what sounds like a similar problem. He doesn't cough for hours at a time, but he has a kind of dry, intermittent cough all the time that really sounds like a nervous cough. I think it probably is a result of his medication--he also seems to blink a lot. He takes 30mg of XR daily and I'm thinking about lowering his dose. However, we don't dose him on the weekends and the cough seems to persist. If you have learned anything else since posting, please let me know.
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Old 03-15-04, 06:34 PM
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My son is not yet medicated (mom is researching this to death first). However, when he started a new school this fall he also began to cough and blink his eyes a lot, he also flexed his hands while writing. I thought for sure he had Tourettes. We later figured out with help from our psychologist , and after visiting the eye doctor...that it all had to do with anxiety. He only does these things when he is anxious. And the hand flexing has stopped since we realized he was holding his pencil too tight.
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Old 03-15-04, 07:56 PM
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Stimulants can cause tics, and a cough is a kind of tic. I'm not sure how you can differentiate between a ticklish little cough and tic related cough. To complicate the situation stimulants will give you a dry mouth which might also cause a dry cough? You would think that a tic related cough would not persist when off the drug - or the frequency would go way down. If it's anxiety related, the stimulant would generally make it worse, so you'd want to deal with the anxiety as well (and not just because of the cough). I wonder if Strattera might be worth looking at if a stimulant gives coughing spells 4 hours long? It works well in a lot of children and I think it might work for anxiety too, but I am not sure. Sometimes a stimulant is used along with Strattera, but I suspect it might be a lower dose than a stimulant alone? It might be worth asking your pediatrician about?
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Old 03-22-04, 12:33 PM
LhShea LhShea is offline
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Thank you all for your input. I thought I should update you on our ongoing med situation.

UPDATE 3/1/04

The doctors decided that his cough was a tic aggravated by the Adderal XR. Now they have put him on Concerta 27 mg. He has only been on it for 4 days but there is no sign of cough. Although already Iím not liking the side effects. He is too quiet now and seems to be ďzoned outĒ. When he starts to come down off the medication he is very quiet and seemingly depressed. At his last basketball game, Sunday 4:30 pm, he didnít even want to play, he just walked up and down the court for the 2nd period. He sat out the 3rd, sitting on my lap with a ďzoned outĒ stare. I asked him if he were feeling okay, he said yes. When the coach asked him to play the 4th quarter, he started to cry (me too, almost). After the game they had a little party with pizza, juice and cookies. He had certainly come down off the meds, because he ate 3 pieces of pizza, 12 cookies and 2 juicies. He was also running around playing with all the kids, like normal.

I have made a call to the doctor to have his dosage lowered. She lowered it to 18 mg. Now it seems to have no effect at all.


Update 3/15/04

Once again they have changed his meds to metedate 20mg. I'm not sure this is working for him either. He seems to have the same issues with self control and fidgeting. I will give it some more time, but so far I'm not happy with the results.
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Old 03-22-04, 12:40 PM
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One thing you might consider is whether your son has some depression as well. Depression and ADD/ADHD are often comorbid. You might want to mention this to the doctor as well, as symptoms of depression and some medication side effects can be very similar.
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Old 03-22-04, 08:39 PM
LhShea LhShea is offline
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I did bring up my concerns with the doctor and she seemed to think that the dosage was too high. But now our problem is the dosage at 18 mg of concerta isn't enough. The "specialist" suggested 20 mg of metedate. This doesn't seem to be working as well as the adderall XR. I wonder if he will suggest another medication. I know it takes a long time to get just the right medication and dosage, but this is getting ridiculous.
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Old 04-22-04, 08:09 PM
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My 7 year old just started dexedrine, and he is experiencing the exact same cough you describe. We weren't sure if was a cold, or maybe allergies. (he's never had any). Now it sounds as if it is tic related. He was doing so well on the dexedrine otherwise. But that dry, hacking constant cough is too much. I'm glad I found this forum, because I didn't know where to turn for answers.
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Old 04-23-04, 03:21 PM
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Glad to be of help

I too was searching for answers and found this forum. It is great to know there are people out there going through the same thing you are. Sometimes they are a little farther along in the process and have valuable information to pass along. AJ is now on Mededate 20 mg and so far, so good. No side effects at all.

Hope you get some answers soon.
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Old 04-27-04, 08:01 PM
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My pediatrician says he's definately sure my son's cough is tic-related. We took him off the dexedrine, and the cough started to subside, but it's still there. Guess the only other option is Strattera, but he has terrible trouble swallowing pills. If one stimulant causes tics, wouldn't they all?
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Old 04-28-04, 10:26 AM
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I also thought that all the stimulants would cause the tic. But the "behavioral specialist" explained to me that even though they are all stimulants they target different parts of the brain and have varying side effects. AJ is now on 20 mg of Metedate, a stimulant, and is responding well. Adderall and Metedate can be sprinkled on a spoonful of applesauce if your son canít take pills. AJ has no trouble with pills, he likes to keep up with his older twin siblings and has to do anything they can do. It did take a week or so before we noticed a difference, but it is there. He is now excelling at school, and is excited to come home and tell me about all the other kids in class getting in trouble for talking and it's not him. What a morale booster for him to be the role model for a change.

This seems to be the right medication and dosage for him. It takes enough of the fidgeting out of him so he can sit and concentrate, but not so much that he sits in a "zombie" state. He also has maintained his appetite too. The first medications we tried, Adderall and Concerta, took away his appetite so much so that he dropped 5 pounds in the first 4 weeks. That had me very concerned, He couldn't afford to loose 10% of his body weight on his small frame. He has since gained it back.

As for the cough, it did take about 2 weeks off all medication before it was completely gone. On the bright side, we now know is only allergic to cats and not the host of thing I thought he was. But we are still not getting him a dog like he wants. (at least not now anyway) He also has a very mild case of asthma. Both good things to know, but not a way we had intended to find out.

My son now looks forward to going to school and learning and being with friends after school and on weekends. He was always social but had a hard time with maintaining friendships. I no longer fear that other parents wonít want him back at their house because of his behavior. As a matter of fact he had his first sleep over last weekend. I was nervous, but we both survived. Hang in there JMOM, it takes a while to find whatís right for your child, but the payoff is so worth it. And keep checking this forum, it is a wealth of information from people like you and me, and their experiences dealing with ADD/ADHD every day.
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Old 02-06-08, 11:38 PM
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Re: Adderall side effects, coughing tic?

My 7 yr old son has been on Daytrana (patch) for ADHD for 1 1/2 years. Everything was going great up until 4 months ago. He has been scratching at his bottom excessively (enough to wear holes in his underwear). We took him to a GI doctor who believes it is psycological. We are going through a few other tests this week just to rule out other things though. It wasn't until this evening when my son coughed that I realized that he started having this same dry, hacking cough about the same time the bottom scratching started. It just dawned on me tonight that these symptoms are probably tics. I feel so helpless! I am reading how MPH (active ingredient in ADHD medicine) actually helps with Tourettes. And I can't help but wonder if the Daytrana created the tics. Do I stop with the ADHD medication now? I am very concerned and the information I am finding on the web is contradicting. Just when I thought things were going good. Does anyone have any advice for me??
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Old 02-08-08, 05:32 PM
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Exclamation Re: Adderall side effects, coughing tic?

I find all of this talk on how the coughs or itching must be automatically a tic quite interesting, and actually feel a bit frustrated for the kids that get labeled with yet another symptom and or condition that they actually may not have, and may just be their body responding to the medication. I guess it's just parents and doctors hypothesizing on what must be happening because they typically aren't the ones experiencing what these medications do to your body. (See my post in Ritalin/Coughing section as well) If you think about one of the possible scenarios that may be going on here, in reality it's very basic human-biology, these medications consist of salts, salts that are not usually part of our bodies, at least in these concentrations I would assume, (I am not a doctor or a bioloigist) If your you or your child is coughing his/her sinuses are probably dehydrated as a result, it affects your mucous membranes, in some more than others. As a natural defense to protect your sinuses etc, you're body is going to react by covering them with phlegm, not that pleasant to think about, but true just the same. This causes it to accumulate in the back of your throat and then the natural reaction is to cough, a lot of the time due to post nasal drip or to clear your throat. As I stated in my other post I was able to find temporary relief using a nasal saline spray. It works, but requires me to use it many times an hour. I am thinking of trying Strattera to see if it's possible that dries me out less.fficeffice" />>>
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Old 02-26-08, 09:53 AM
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Smile Re: Adderall side effects, coughing tic?

I can't tell you how happy I am that I found this forum!!!! I have an 11 year old girl that has had a cough on and off for about 4 years. It seems worse during the school year and disappears in the summer. At first I thought it was season related. Then it hit me that I take her off her adderall xr during summer and any other time when she is not in school. Her Psychiatrist told me that I shouldn't do that because the poor kid cant sit still and it's better than people crabbing at her for something she can't help. You know what ? The constant movement doesn't bother her and I'm used to it. I only give it to her so she does well in school . She can't focus without it. I asked about the coughing and he said that it could cause tics but he didn't think thats what it is. Doctors tried to treat the symptoms , (cough syrup, singulair, inhalers)
This is the first place that I have seen where anyone acknowledges the fact that adderall is associated with a cronic cough. I even took her to an allergist. No allergies !! One even told me it was an asthma.
Inhalers dont help and she has no breathing problems, and she doesn't cough at night. I switched to a medication called "vyvanse" and she used it for a month and the coughing stopped. I went to fill the prescription again and my insurance said that it isn't in their formulary, so they wont pay for it unless I try all the other adhd meds that are in their approved list. Tomorrow I am taking to a new psychiatrist at foote hospital in jackson . Hopefully this Doctor will get it !! One other thing I learned by taking her off the medicines whenever possible, she would grow!! She was not growing when I kept her on it year round. She is starting to catch up now. People need to keep an eye on their weight and growth. You always need to keep and eye out for problems because no one knows better than you if something is not right. Just because they are Doctors doesn't mean that they know everything.
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Old 04-10-08, 10:32 PM
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Re: Adderall side effects, coughing tic?

We had the same issue with Straterra and throat clearing. It was every 2 seconds. It took 6+ weeks to go away after discontinuing the med. It came back on day 1 on daytrana lowest dose.
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