What to do with teenager who refuses ... - ADHD Parents Toge...

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What to do with teenager who refuses to take ADHD meds

corster
corster
12 Replies

What do you do with a teenager who refuses to take his ADHD meds because he hates the side effects? Do you let him fail his high school classes and pay the price by going to summer school? We’ve been to therapy, we’ve been to the doctor for new meds but he simply refuses to take them.

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Aniusia

Hi, what are the side effects that bother him so much?

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corster
corster
in reply to Aniusia

no appetite, difficulty sleeping, depression (suicidal thoughts) and stunting growth

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Mmagusin
Mmagusin
in reply to corster

The stimulant probably not causing the depression. Don’t discount the effects of hormones and adolescence. Major identity crisis! Make sure you’re working with a psychiatrist to monitor both the medicine and his emotional health.

1 like
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willandgrace

there are non-stimulant medications you can try - Stralera (something like that) is one- There is another one too. My 14 year old started really pushing back about his Vyvanse (30mg) so I let him go two weeks without it- He wasn't listening in class and he didn't know what his assignments were, etc. But he hated taking the V because it made him irritable, sad, and he even had hot flashes, so the dr. said to reduce to 15 mg- When I did that I saw a big change. He is much better on the very low dose. Maybe you could reduce your son's dosage even more? But I wanted to let you know that there are meds that are not stimulants- That was going to be my next step if the lower dose of Vyvanse didn't work. Good luck- I know how hard it is.

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Azbee

Reduce down to 20mg vyvanse. It was a huge help to my son and I.

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corster
corster
in reply to Azbee

yes we did this but it didn’t help enough with the focus

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Azbee
Azbee
in reply to corster

How long did he try the lower dosage?

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corster
corster
in reply to Azbee

six months on and off when he had tests and exams

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Janice_H

My son has the same side effects and hates when he has to take medication. Although I hate that he has the side effects, it is the only way to manage his attention, poor impulse control and other chaotic behaviors. I have cut back on his doses and do not give it to him on weekends, holidays or during summer breaks.

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seller

First of all, please don't let him fail high school.....this will cause enormous problems in many other areas of his life, perhaps permanently. Second, also please realize that he does not have the maturity right now to know that he needs this medication. You wouldn't allow him to refuse meds for diabetes, right? He has to take his something for ADHD. I don't recommend Straterra because it's not very effective for kids and you can't start and stop it like you can stimulants. The side effects from the stimulants can be managed, but never completely. My son is now 24 and back on his Vyvanse....he still reports issues with sleep, and the "crash" as the meds wear off, but the appetite suppressant effect is not a problem now. I suspect that maybe your son's refusal is partly just his way of asserting control over his life. He doesn't really understand the consequences of his ADHD in regards to driving, social activities, etc. in addition to the problems with school. Our boys are about 2-3 years behind their non-ADHD peers with maturity, so when you take this into consideration, you realize they really need every advantage, and ADHD meds are the most effective. A final note on the depression: stimulants meds have been implicated in these thoughts. I would consider switching to a different stimulant if you think these thoughts are really related to the medication. It is true that many teens, especially ADHD teens, are depressed and need an antidepressant for a few years. We ended up putting our son on Prozac in high school and this did help. However, switching meds or lowering the dose may be your answer here.

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Azbee
Azbee
in reply to seller

Agreed. Very well stated. All true and valid points. Many here should read your statement.

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