What to do when stimulants do not work

Hi there!

I have an 8 year-old son who has been diagnosed with obsessive compulsive symptoms, bipolar disorder/mood disorder/emotional dysregulation, anxiety, depression and ADHD. The ADHD is a new diagnosis from a nuero-psychologist who is an expert in his field (horrible bedside manner--very smart man). When we were first working with the psychiatrist, we tried him on Straterra and Ritalyn; both had very adverse effects on our son. He had extreme OCD behavior, ticks, extreme aggression--to name a few. Then we tried fluoxetine and aripirazole and that combo was much more effective at helping to manage his violent outbursts. After receiving this diagnosis over the summer, we decided to try Vyvance, but his reaction was the same.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to other ADHD medications that are non-stimulants that they've tried? (And we are doing everything else we know how to do--structure, predictability, routine, keeping him physically active, watching his diet, focusing on positive behaviors vs. negative ones, he has a 504 at school, and he visits regularly with a psycho therapist and psychiatrist.)

9 Replies

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  • Stimulants will only make the manic part of bipolar worse. Think of it this way; give a crack head more crack, do they sober up or getting more wasted? Stimulants are legal crack or speed. They do the opposite in people with adhd compared to a person without adhd. If your child has bipolar, a non stimulate and mood stabilizer would work better.

  • Great advice. Thanks! Do you know of any non-stimulants out there that address ADHD? He's already on a mood stabilizer. . .

  • ur son sounds just like mine he's on intutiv and starrtera it's not working he's still aggressive has constant out bursts I don't know what med to try either he's also no polar but not on a mood stableizer which one is ur son on ? does it really work?

  • We use Abilify and it has made ALL of the difference with him. He's still pretty much angry a lot, BUT the intensity and frequency of the extreme violent outbursts have decreased. I would talk to your psychiatrist and see what s/he recommends. It's a long road sometimes to find out what works. We are six years into trying to find solutions for him, but this is only our second year working with medicine.

  • Strattera, Guanfacine and clonidine.

  • THANK YOU!!! Strattera did the same thing to him; it was the first thing we tried, but we haven't tried the others. Have you ever heard of using provigil?

  • I looked up provigil and it says it's used to "keep people up" and adult adhd.

  • I'm having same problem with the right medication for my grand son

  • It's SO frustrating! And what's crazy about kiddos is that what works changes all of the time, because of their constant growth. Hang in there and don't give up!

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