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ADHD Parents Together
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Not extended release stimulant

If your child is taking a stimulant that is short acting (not extended release) what have you found that works, what time of day do they take it, and what time do they go to bed?

We are going to need to add in a stimulant to help with focus for school days and I would love some input. My son is almost 8, in second grade, and goes to bed around 7:30. We don’t do extra curricular activities during he school year because we would never get homework done and sleep is vital for a good attitude in our son.

He has taken focalin ER in the past and it worked wonders for him at school but it made him super angry and super defiant at home. I’m a little nervous to add a stimulant back into our routine but I’m willing to try to find out if it will help him at school.

I know that every child is different and reacts differently to medication but knowledge is power so I wanted to ask what has worked for others. Thanks in advance for any info you’re willing to share!

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We have our son on Adzenys 6.3 mg, and he goes to bed at 7:30. We also use Risperdol and Melatonin to help with sleep. Other stimulants have made him miserable (one made him bounce off the walls and the other made him curl up on the couch all day), but this one seems to be helping. We also treat him for anxiety which has also been a major player in his behavior.

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Our sons anxiety was also very high while he was taking a stimulant. If you don’t mind sharing, how are you treating his anxiety? Our son picked scabs really bad as a result of the anxiety. I hate to see that start back up.

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He’s on 30 mg of Prozac. It wasn’t until we treated the anxiety that we saw an improvement in his overall behavior at school.

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After what we went through this summer that makes total sense to me. Thank you for sharing!!!

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My son takes Ritalin 7.5 mg (4hr release) 3 times a day. 7am, 11 am and 3 pm. This has worked well for us, especially for after school care. The last dose at 3 is early enough that we don’t typically have sleep issues.

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This sounds like it might would work well for us also. If he could take one at 7 and another at 11 it would get him through the school day. We could always add in the 3:00 if we needed help with homework. Thank you!!

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No problem! The only issue we have this school year is his lunch time is at 12:40, so he has been coming home with food still in his lunch box. Last year was perfect with lunch at 10:40 and then meds right after. It’s worth a try.

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Our son takes genetic Ritalin 30mg XR multiple phase, from what I understand this means it stays in his system longer during the day (I give it T 6:30am and it lasts until 3pm) and it releases a little at a time. He then takes Initiv. 24hours at 4pm and 10mg Ritilin which is short acting which gets us through the homework. The Initiv helps with focus in school.

Our pediatric psychiatrist knew exactly what to give and th correct dose. I really recommend have this type of specialist work with you on making these adjustments with you.

Best of luck.

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If the focalin XR is working during the school day it sounds like it may be wearing off by the time he gets home. Depending on how your son metabolizes the medication, it could last only 6-8 hrs.

On another note, I did the same thing with my son (now 16) about not doing extracurricular activities since he wanted to get homework done. He did not want to show up without it done and he did not want abbreviated homework provided by his IEP accommodations. I now regret not having him do something. First for the social/friend aspect. Also, ADHD kids need an exercise routine to help natural dopamine release and build life long healthy strategies. By the 7th grade he was burnt out. He would do school work from the time he woke up til the time he went to sleep. He needed an outlet and other interests that got him involved in the community.

I was going to sign off with good luck but instead will say stay strong! Luck has nothing to do with it.

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The focalin xr really changed his personality. He was aggressive, angry, explosive, and extremely defiant. None of those are how he is without medication. He was unable to get enough sleep even after trying a couple of different medications to help on that front. Once we changed to non-stimulant meds he was my little boy again. The only thing this medication doesn’t help with is focus. So I’m just trying to get some info on short acting stimulants that have worked for others. The doctor and I discussed previously that this might be necessary once he started school.

We really don’t have time for extra curricular activities in the fall. He plays soccer in the spring and loves it. Socially he has lots of friends and stays active. He spends all summer at a very active camp and some of his friends are involved there too. I’m good with where he’s at socially. I also agree it is important for them to get their energy out!!

Thank you so much!! I am trying to stay strong. It’s like a never ending roller coaster. I’m hanging on for dear life all while trying to keep my son securely in the car too. Every now and then we come to a flat point and I can rest but before I know it we’re back on the hills, twists, turns, and loops.

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Hi there. I would definitely recommend you work with a dr who specializes in ADHD if your not seeing one already. As your son gets older, the school work will get much harder. There are so many meds available to help kids focus but it sometimes it takes awhile to find the right one, My son didn’t do well on the Focalin extended release meds but he did very well on the short acting doses (4hrs). He needs it for both focus and for impulse control. He’s a high metabolizer so we do several small doses through the day, Breakfast, lunch and around 2;30 to help him substain through homework /sports and into the evening, He eats and it keeps his personality. I also found after coming off the meds if he doesn’t have a small afternoon dose he also gets angry/irritated. We found this out in the weekends when we give him a smaller dose of Meds.

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My daughter is 11 and just started taking Medadate two months ago. School starts next week and she will take one dose of 20 mg at 7am right before school then the same dosage at 1pm during school. It’s out of her system by 7pm and hasn’t disrupted her sleep. It’s helped immensely.

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Start with the lowest does and evaluate with his doctor regularly to fine tune the dose I take a short acting adderall and if I took one at 7am I’d be falling asleep at 7:45pm

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I wish kids didn’t have to get homework I wish there Job was to do something active stimulating fun after school

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