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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 11-23-09, 08:42 AM
eamo eamo is offline
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Does Strattera work?

Hi there,
I have a 7 year old boy that is diagnosed with ADHD.

He was on ritalin but had to change to strattera because of side effects. While on ritalin, the improvements were not as pronounced as I hoped. However he became more engaged with us and in the classroom, but very much the same hyper intense person. Now he's on strattera for about 6 weeks now, and I am seeing absolutely no changes or improvements, in fact he is more aggressive and distracted. Does strattera work? (I am very vigilent about giving his meds at the right time each day).
I would welcome any advise. Thanks
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Old 11-23-09, 11:07 AM
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Re: Does Strattera work?

Maybe it's not the thing for him. I had the same thing on Vyvanse, I was super angry, had no appetite and couldn't focus hardly for the life of me. I felt a bit like I was tripping on straterra so I didn't get past a few days of taking it. It probably wouldn't hurt to call your doctor and ask if maybe he could try another medicine. ((though don't take my account that stuff like Vyvanse and Straterra doesn't work, so much stuff doesn't work for me right but others may be the right match for your son)).
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Old 11-23-09, 12:59 PM
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Re: Does Strattera work?

It works for some people, but not for others. The stimulants are generally more likely to work than the strattera. You should be seeing improvements by six weeks. Either the dose is not appropriate, or it just is not the right medicine. Tell your doctor.
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Old 11-23-09, 01:01 PM
yoredeyes yoredeyes is offline
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Re: Does Strattera work?

I agree with the last gal (sorry didn't catch your name). Each chemistry is different. I took strattera (37 yrs. old) and it worked great for about 3 month. Then, I started getting these aweful brain "zaps", and my doc said that happens sometimes. I'm on vyvanse now (4 months). Took awhile, depressed, angry, no appetite, but it's passed in the last month. Living with my mom for 3 months with a 3 and 5 yr old probably didn't help. lol But, 6 weeks should probably be long enough to know. I know I had to go through about 9 diff. anti-depressants before finding the right one in my late teens. Good luck to ya....
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Old 11-23-09, 03:21 PM
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Re: Does Strattera work?

When my son was 7, he was diagnosed with both ADHD and juvenile absence epilepsy, a minor seizure disorder. He was Rx'd Depakote for the seizures and Strattera for the ADHD.

Strattera works very well in addressing the nervous tension and motor clumsiness I get from my ADD, so I had high hopes for my son, who experiences the same problems. However, at about week 4 on the Strattera (this would be week 6 of Depakote), his entire personality changed. He became fascinated with anything morbid shown on the news, especially murder. He started drawing pictures of mutilated stick men lying in pools of blood. He took chalk and wrote profanities on our sidewalk, and even became physically abusive to his identical twin brother. His attitude became increasingly oppositional and he developed a hair trigger temper, going from smiling to violent in seconds. After these outbursts, he'd be hysterical with remorse and tried to self-injure to (in his words) "beat the evil out of me". I watched this bizarre transformation occur over only about 4 days, and on day 5, he tried to run into traffic on a busy street while we were playing in the park. I halved the dosage on both meds that night, called the doctor, and had him tapered off by the next week.

The doctor thought I was being an overwrought mom and cautioned against going off meds, but as soon as the meds were discontinued, the personality change reversed and he was again my regular little boy. At the next visit she was chewing me out about it, saying that as someone with ADD myself, I shouldn't 'chicken out' about meds for my son when his whole childhood could be made better than mine was. My son told her point blank that he'd done all the things I had described, and that he'd felt a humming sensation in his head that made him want to kill things--but that had all gone away when mom had stopped giving him the medicines. After that, she dropped the subject.

I can't say for certain whether it was the Strattera, the Depakote, or the combination of the two that did it. It is also possible that the epilepsy aggravated whatever side effects were going on. I have never tried either medication again, and now that he's 11, he and I have discussed his medication options for ADHD. He says he'd like to wait until he's an adult to make that decision himself. For now, I'm respecting that choice. I may bring the subject up again later if I think his school performance/teenage social experience might be helped by meds. As for the epilepsy, it subsided on its own by age 9, which is the usual case with juvenile absence.

Here's what I asked myself when I was going through this. Are you getting any real benefits from the Strattera in his behavior and attitude? How much more aggressive is he, and is it escalating? Are the benefits worth the change in personality? In my case, the answer was absolutely no.

Every case of ADHD is a different brain with different experiences in a different environment. All in all, I'd say trust your parental instincts and work very closely with your doctor. Thank goodness ADHD isn't a life threatening condition...you do have 'wiggle room' when it comes to using meds.

From what I've gathered off the internet, it looks like what my son went through is unusual in its severity. I hope hearing of our experience helps you with whatever decision you make and that your dear kidperson achieves balance.
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Old 11-23-09, 04:34 PM
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Re: Does Strattera work?

My pediatrician told me he has not had very good results with Strattera for his patients so far. My sister tried it for her son with no results.

Have any other stimulant meds been tried? Adderall?
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Old 01-08-10, 12:47 PM
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Re: Does Strattera work?

We've had good results with Straterra, but every kid (every person, really) is different. I have seen some commentary from doctors that they won't prescribe Straterra because it fails so often.

We didn't get to full improvement with my son (age 9) until about 8 weeks, after we gradually titrated up. But, we certainly saw changes well before then.

What dosage is your child on? It may not yet be high enough. My son takes 40 mg., and it's not enough to get him through a full 24 hours symptom-free.
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Old 01-08-10, 03:12 PM
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Re: Does Strattera work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MuscleMama View Post
My pediatrician told me he has not had very good results with Strattera for his patients so far. My sister tried it for her son with no results.
It has been very helpful for me but I am certainly not symptom-free on 100mg/day (but I'm a full grown adult).

I think, like all meds, individual responses will be individual.
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Old 01-15-10, 12:25 AM
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Re: Does Strattera work?

Strattera didn't work for me, but it does work for some people. It sound like your son, however, is not one of them. That's a sign for you to stop Strattera (but not without your doctor's guidance and tapering schedule of course). Why continue to give him a medication that doesn't work?

What have you tried besides Ritalin? Ritalin is a very old medication that works for a lot of people, but there are newer ones that are similar to Ritalin but have fewer side effects. Among them are Concerta, Focalin XR, Focalin, Ritalin LA, and Daytrana. They may be called different things in Ireland. If one of those works for the inattentive part, then perhaps you can add a low dose of Tenex or Clonodine to help with the hyperactivity part.
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Old 01-15-10, 12:57 AM
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Re: Does Strattera work?

I'm an adult and Strattera works great for me. it does take about 6 weeks to fully kick in and often the initial dose (which should be a low one to reduce side effects) needs to be upped.
Patience is needed with this med.
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