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ADHD Parents Together
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Acceptable side effects

We are in the process of finding the right medication and dosage for my 9 year old daughter. We first tried Adderall - she seems to have had some gains at school but she lost weight (she is already tiny) and said that it made her feel sick. With dosages over 5mg she became a zombie. We moved to Vyvanse this week. She is complaining about stomach cramping, she has no appetite and going to sleep is becoming impossible. So this one feels like a miss as well.

I resisted medicating her and going through this process is heartbreaking. My questions are:

Do we need to just accept some side effects? Or do I keep trying other meds?

How do you get a good read on the gains at school when your teacher is new and does not have a baseline (time with your inmedicated child) on your kid?

Thank you!

5 Replies

We had the same issue with my son, who will be 7 next month. I resisted medication because he is so young. We tried about 5 different medications over the course of six months when he was in Kindergarten but all had side effects I wasn't willing to put up with. We finally settled on a non-stimulant, Guanfacine ER, brand name is Intuniv. When he started first grade, it became apparent that it was not enough. He is now on Focalin as well. It's not the extended release but gets him through the school day. The only side effect is not wanting to eat lunch. We now supplement with a high calorie Ensure. I'm willing to deal with that side effect because his teacher noticed a huge improvement in his behavior and focus. Maybe try a medicine that is shorter acting. There is also the Genesight test you could request.

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My daughter takes vyvance since she was six now twelve. With the sleeping problem, melatonin works for her. Two years ago we tried for two months Guanfacine to help with the side effects of vyvance,but she it was horrible she looked as sleep walking. She normally tries to have a good breakfast before taking the vyvance. About the stomach pain, she says it comes and goes.

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We had our pediatrician order a DNA test to see what medications our son could handle. It came back that he can't really handle any of them except maybe a low dose of Adderall.

1 thing I will say is that we started with 5mg of Adderall and he was still violent and oppositional - perhaps more so than without meds. So at first we were like "hell no!" but then it dawned on us... 5mg might be too low and so he's basically not medicated yet.

Best decision we made was to keep upping the dosage slowly. We got to 10mg and he's a different kid. Violence and aggression is gone. He's now picking up books. He's drawing. He's singing songs. He's as close to "typical" as we've ever seen.

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Interesting about the DNA test, that’s new to me. I’ll talk to my doc about getting one for my kiddo. The process of trying drugs (and failing) really stinks.


Quillivant has worked wonders for us with minimal side effects and its approved for pediatric use. Hope this helps


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