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Giving breaks from the meds — weight issues

NMR8177 profile image

Does anyone else give your child a break from taking medication during the summer or school breaks? Our grandson lost a lot of weight and stopped growing for a year after we started his medicine, so we took him off. Later we started him on a different one, and he still lost weight but we gave him breaks from it when he was not in school and that seemed to help. His doctor said it was all right to do that. He was off it for the summer, and he has gained too much weight. I am wondering if the medicine affects his metabolism and slows it down too much when he is not eating so that when he does start eating normally, his body thinks it has been starved and does not process the food as it should. I know that this is the case with adults who go on strict diets. I am very concerned.

10 Replies

Yes my daughter was basically starving. So her child psychiatrist prescribed her Remeron. It has helped her stay asleep during the night and has greatly increased her appetite. She is not as crabby when she wakes up either. Before she would sleep but never be in a deep sleep. She constantly tossed and turned all night.

NMR8177 profile image
NMR8177 in reply to Brandhorst40

Does she take the Remeron along with her ADHD medicine, and what type is she on? Our grandson is on Concerta XR, and we notice that he is irritable after school and later on has more anger issues and outbursts than normal when it wears off. I think this is called rebound. He takes Melatonin for sleep and it helps, but sometimes he wakes up too early.

Brandhorst40 profile image
Brandhorst40 in reply to NMR8177

Yes, Faith was on Concerta XR too. But she was so angry and frustrated we took her off. And she did not understand why she was feeling this way either. I think we have tried every medicine out there. We finally found one that works for her after 4 years of trying different medicines. She takes Focalin XR 5mg CER for ADHD & Fluvoxamine Maleate 100mg for anxity, in the morning after she eats breakfast. Then she take Guanfacine HCL ER 1mg TER at 2pm at school. This helps her for when the ADHD medicine wears off. Finally, she takes the Remeron between 6-7pm. If she takes it to late it is really hard for her get up for school. I know it is early, and it is a challenge getting homework done. The biggest thing for Faith is it has to be the same routine everyday. And we usually stay home on the weekends and let her relax. My other girls are in sports and they understand how Faith is and most of the time I cannot go to their games during the week after school. Because of Faith having to stay on schedule. She always says she will be fine, but it never works out. I almost for got. We have to control the sugar intake and NO red dye. It takes about a week to get out of her system. And she even can tell a difference with the red dye. So she will even look on the labels and just ask for water if they are serving fruit punch.

I don't give my son his meds on weekends or the summer. He used to binge eat then at times, we just keep him busy and do not have junk food at home.

NMR8177 profile image
NMR8177 in reply to Jlarson52

Thanks for your response. How old is your son, and do you have any trouble with him losing weight when he is on it and then gaining it back plus more when he goes off?

Hi, sounds like you are working really hard to make the decisions best for your grandson! HUGS Have you considered not giving medication breaks so your grandson can experience life with some balance and see a nutritionist to help with the eating/weight challenges? My daughter is 6 and was tall and thin before we started with medications. So far (6 months) we have been able to maintain her weight but it is constant work. She eats ALOT of protein (each meal) in addition to fruits, veggies and snacks that are nuts or include peanut butter. She also drinks a protein shake for lunch at school (lunch is our hardest meal) and drinks ALOT of almond milk. For us taking medication is part of her routine. She has improved so much in her ability to know herself and build confidence in her abilities when she experiences herself as the same most of the time. I wish your grandson all the best and I hope you celebrate all of your efforts!

We use to do the same with our daughter Faith. But now she takes a antidepressant for sleep. Most kids who have ADHD their brain never rest even when sleeping. So they really never sleep a full night. She takes Remeron 7.5mg and she sleeps through the night and she has gained 12lbs. But she needed the weight. She looked like she was starving before. And her moods are better because she gets a full night sleep. Before she would be asleep but she would toss and turn all night. I slept a couple of nights in her room to see. And she non stopped moved.

Thank you for all of your suggestions. I know that we need to have him on a better diet, and he is starting to eat more things that are good for him without resisting. When we first started him on medication, we did not give him breaks and he did get pretty thin. That was when we started some bad habits like having ice cream at bedtime, just to get some extra calories into him. I know that some of the problem is my fault because I was always worried that he wasn’t getting enough to eat. He is 9 now, and it is probably normal for him to want to eat more. He has grown a lot this year. If we can get him to have a better attitude about taking his medicine, I think you are right about trying not to give him breaks so that he doesn’t have to adjust to feeling “different” when he goes back on it.

Brandhorst40 profile image
Brandhorst40 in reply to NMR8177

Yes, I agree. We used to do the same with our daughter and finally we realized it was hurting her more than it was helping her.

Even though my son is skinny we do not do breaks because he prefers to be on his medication. Make sure she can eat whenever she wants afternoon/night. Because we used to try the schedule, but realized it was more important that he eat when he feels hungry. Also make sure to get proteins in before the medicine in the morning, Keep protein bars and other nutrient dense foods she likes available for snaking. Good luck!

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