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ADHD Parents Together
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How long do you wait to call the doctor to say the medication is not working?

Hello. My son is 7 years old and was diagnosed with ADHD a year and a half ago. We started off on Concerta and we had seen improvements. Then we tried a higher dosage after it seemed like it wasn't working as well anymore and the teacher's feedback agreed with my observations. The higher dosage worked great for a few months and then everything changed. He no longer followed any routines, homework was not getting done and behavioral issues were increased. We switched to a low dose of Adderall on Tuesday. It is Wednesday and I don't feel like it is working well. He is more impulsive in actions and with the comments that slip out of his mouth. Like Oh look Mom does everything for me in the morning and she gets to run around tired.

My question is how long do you wait until you call the doctor to say the medicine is not working and try a higher dosage? In the past I would wait longer, at least see how he was on the weekend during the day But I am honestly tired as well as concerned. I am not seeing any side effects.

I am seriously thinking about the genetic testing that I saw mentioned on this site but wonder if such tests yield dependable results for African Americans.

4 Replies

My pediatrician has told me the meds work or don't work pretty quickly- like a week or so would be enough time to tell if a med or dose is right. Maybe stick it out to the end of the week and call the doc on Friday so you can start something new over the weekend?

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Thanks we will be traveling at the end of the month so I didn't want to wait too long either.


Especially with no side effects, I'd just call and see about a higher dose. We had a similar experience w/ Metadate CD, and my doc agreed to just up the dose rather than try to stick it out a few more days. As he said, with stimulants, the effect is immediate so there's no need for it to build up in the brain (the way an antidepressant would work) to see how a dose is tolerated.

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You should see effects almost immediately. Don't wait to call. Another tip: don't toss the old meds right away - lock them up someplace because there's a good chance your son will rotate through the different stimulants throughout the year. Many kids seem to build up a tolerance for the stimulant after weeks or even months, so it's not at all unusual to change them on a regular basis. Some kids do better on the methylphenidate combinations like Concerta and some, like my son, did much beter on the amphetamine drugs, like Adderall. He may need a higher dose of Adderall to show effectiveness.


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