Log in
ADHD Parents Together
8,828 members2,861 posts

About Vyvanse

Hi, so I’m new at this and I am freaking out . So today we finally found out my son needs to start taking Vyvanse , my son is 6 and half , he is doing really bad in school with his behaviour , he has good grades all B’s but his behaviour is out of control , he is always hitting, pushing , fighting back , not listening and we have the same problem at home , he doesn’t know how to control himself when he is around ppl , calling for attention, and can’t focus on task . His dr gave him 7 day try for this medication to see how his body and himself would react. BUT after reading these sides affects and what can happen my husband and I got into a huge discussion about it and NOT giving it to him . I don’t know what to do ?? Will my son be my son funny ,outgoing , clowning around , happy , and if we take him off it will he be okay ??

27 Replies
oldestnewest

It's very scary to decide to give your child a medication with such a stigma and huge list of side effects. I went through the same process. Until I had a child with ADHD I admit I was very judgemental about stimulants for children.

I tried dietary changes, vitamin supplements, all varieties of discipline, more outdoor activities, tutoring....... Until I finally decided to try the medicine. The first two did not work and I almost gave up. Then we found the right one and it helped tremendously. He is still my outgoing busy little boy, but just dialed down a bit. He was failing all classes, three grade levels behind on reading, couldn't tie his shoes

All of this improved rather quickly with the med. Everything was great for a couple of years, ( far from perfect but in the education realm he was staying on task and on level) then the med quit working and we had to go through the process again.

So bottom line, the medicine really does help but just like any other medical condition one med doesn't fit all so to speak. And I think if we didn't battle ourselves about giving this medication to our babies we would have a problem. Questioning it, being apprehensive and scared is a normal part of the process. And if it doesn't help at least you can cross that off the list and go for other methods, ya know.

Best of luck. It is a marathon.

4 likes
Reply

Yes it is a struggle , we are doing the same giving him healthier food , vitamins, omega 3 we cut out the juice , he is in karate and not even that he can focus , we did all the exams eyes, ears, blood everything is normal , we play with him trying to come up with more activities but man boy has energy!! But he is stubborn doesn’t listen to no one doesn’t care , has tantrums for no good reason and now that we have a 6 month old baby girl things just got worse . And I know he needs a push and help .

Did you child go throw the withdrawal? That’s what scares me ?

Reply

He did have a time of moodiness, extra emotional on the afternoon when it was wearing off. Which made homework a nightmare, that was when we increased the dose. Went through several increases over the years and it usually helped. No he didn't have withdrawal but I didn't give it to him on weekends, breaks from school, ect.

That was what our Dr recommended, I know many people who consistently dose everyday.

Reply

I understand your worries and frustration. Although mine is a teen now, my son sounds just like yours at that age. He had been on various meds as a last resort because of pressure from teachers about his disruptive behavior.

There's no way to answer how much your child's personality will change, as each child will respond differently to medication...depends on metabolic differences, etc. I've read posts from other parents that had good success with Vyvanse. By the way, there is metabolic testing to see how his body will react to different stimulation meds so you can avoid the ones that the test shows he would not do well on. It is expensive if insurance doesn't cover it.

And although some have done with Vyvanse, personally, that wasn't the case with us. My son was on it for a few years after other meds weren't enough. We tried taking him off on the weekends, but it would take several days for his brain and body to reset so to speak (his behavior was bizarre honestly), so we kept him on it every day. I wish we had not. He was more "focused" at school but the side effects for us outweighed the benefits. To make a long story short, we took him off on last day of middle school due to mood swings and extreme weight loss (Vyvanse is prescribed for binge eating disorders, therefore a major side effect is weight loss). Reading the package insert, it stated that it could stunt their growth. That was my tipping point, as my son was shorter and smaller than most of his peers. It took several weeks to clear his system when we took him off. Happy to report that his weight and growth have taken off since.

Halfway through high school I reluctantly put him on a stim med in the same stim category, called Evekeo. He's been on it a few months and for him, it appears to have fewer side effects so far. However, he started having mood swings and angry behavior. He used to take Epsom salt baths when he was younger and this always made him more chill, relaxed and calmer. I started supplementing him with a magnesium powder in his am juice about 2 weeks ago and I have my happier, calmer, funny, more relaxed teen back. And he doesn't take the Evekeo on the weekend, either and I don't see any withdrawal issues.

You could try the Epsom salt baths for a week (one cup daily in bath) and or the magnesium powder (whole foods magnesium powder garden of life) and see if there's any change in calming behavior. The powder container actually says "calm and anti-stress." Couldn't hurt to try! I supplement my son with everything under the sun for ADHD but for whatever reason, he needed more magnesium. Also, my son is Mr. Cranky if he doesn't exercise. Every day. Best wishes to you, hang in there.

3 likes
Reply

Thank you so much for the advice , I could try the baths and the powder .

Today in the morning I gave him his first dose and the teacher said it was a normal day but we are gonna see what happens for the next 7 days .

Reply

Pinkroses2019 said it perfectly!

My husband was very resistant to medication, and I even I was nervous. We had a bit of a trial period, but now that we found one that works, I wouldn't go back. For us, the side effects are far less than the problems of untreated ADHD.

I don't know much about Vyvanse, but most stimulant medications, if it isn't working, you can just stop - your child will probably be back to normal as soon as it wears off.

Since you are new to the diagnosis, probably my favorite book to recommend to people starting out is 'All About ADHD' by Thomas Phelan. After that, I'd read anything by Russell Barkley & look up his Essentials for Parents video on YouTube. It's so informative.

1 like
Reply

Thank you I will look it up .

1 like
Reply

HI Julez,

First, welcome! We all know what you are feeling and can empathize! Take a moment for you/husband to take all of his in and breathe (then get a glass of wine:-))

Remember what ADHD is. It is nothing more than a chemical imbalance in the brain. Break it down to small bits to understand.

The way we looked at it, is, if our son was diabetic, we would give him insulin. Why is this any different?

What complicates it, is that the world stigmatizes ‘mental disorders’. Which is ridiculous.

My son is now 12. He has been on Concerta, Strattera, Ritalin, Adderall and Vyvanse. All of them. Now, he is on both strattera and Vyvanse. Which in our situation works really well. Strattera takes a long time to get into the system, but keeps them more regulated. Vyvanse only helps with the focus. So make sure you understand, and see a psychiatrist and not just your primary.

I talk to my son. A lot. About his medicines, and how it makes him feel. We started when he was quite young (1st grade), and he would use very basic terminology. We gave him pictures (like emojis) and asked him to pick which one he felt while taking his medicine. We talk about how straight or crooked his brain is. Or if it goes crazy... Does the medicine make him feel more or less angry?

I figure it’s his life. He has to live everyday with ADHD. Why should I make those decisions for him? We should make them together (with a team of people).

Once we gave him a voice in his treatment, he was so much more willing to work with us, see a therapist, work with his dr’s and with teachers.

It’s a long road, but you and your son are not alone. I know it feels that way some days... but you aren’t.

I can’t tell you what the right answer is, only share our story and journey.

6 likes
Reply

I love the emoji idea! May have to steal that one. 😊

Reply

Thank you for sharing your story 🙂 with me this is a big help and helps me think more clearly, and your right ADHD is just like any thing else .

My son he is very talkative, he has no problems experiencing himself , he still can’t learn to tie his shoe lace and it’s hard for him to understand the word no like every other child . His thing is everything they do in school it bordes him , and he is a very smart boy . He learn to speak and understand French in 7 months and I’m still just getting it . It’s just his focus and hyperness is WOW out of control .

His primary did send papers over to a therapist so we can start seeing them and to give us more help and how to deal with all of it and how to help him .

And we are working with his teachers and explained what was going on and they are both informing me everything. (( and yes we are taking that glass of wine .. 🙂)))

Reply

Just one more food for thought....a wise man, who probably had undiagnosed adhd, once told me that these " strong willed" "difficult" children make great adults. They will be the leaders, the ones who go the extra mile at work, the encouragers, the innovators, etc ..

Everyday has challenges, but when I look back and see how far we have come from the start, I am encouraged. I know you will be too.

4 likes
Reply

Thank you !!

Reply

Hello, I understand how you feel confused by all of this. You will not know whether the medication works unless you give it a try. Be sure to take note of any side effects, weight loss, mood swings, trouble sleeping or any other changes in behavior. The first medication you try may not be the right one. It can take several different medication trials before you find the right one. You will notice improved behavior at home and in school and less aggressiveness. You did the right thing by reaching out to others for advice. Just stay stay informed, take some deep breaths and allow the medications to work. Good luck!

2 likes
Reply

Thank you ! Yes that’s all I can do and wait and see , this morning he had a major moodswing because I was feeding the baby and he wanted to hold her but I told him no that he has to wait for later and OMG .. started crying and screaming why not , so I held him in my arms and told him to breath , calm down and I promise you will get to hold her later after her nap . I made him smile and now he’s okay ... and I am making him eat or ask him if he’s hungry .

Reply

Wow! What a great way to get him to cool down. You're a great parent!

1 like
Reply

Thank you I try , instead of screaming at him or getting myself frustrated. I calm myself and spoke to him

Reply

Sorry for such a long post but here it goes:

I put my son on Vyvanse at around that age(Kindergarten) due to a lot of school pressure. He was very much a trouble kid behavioral issues, ADHD, and ODD. And yes it killed that part of that was him. He would not eat during the day and then binge eat in the afternoons. His grandparents refused to give it to him when he stayed with him. He was melt down moody. My brother asked me not to give it to me when we visited for vacation because he just wasn't himself. I stopped giving it to him on weekends, vacations and holidays.

Now understand his behavior is really good with me and his family even when we are out traveling. So he doesn't need it at home. But I felt I had no choice to give it to him for school because we are out of district and was afraid that they would kick him out. I think choice is the keyword here. No matter what you decide it needs to be your choice.

Flash forward to now and he is in 2nd grade almost 9. During this year he kept making comments about "wanting his friends to know how happy he could be". He wanted to not take his "blue" pill before school. He was also having awful mood swings when coming off of it in the afternoon. He was binge eating. Going from moody/exhausted to super hyper. I could not get him to sleep until really late like 11-11:30 and he had always (pre-stimulant) went to sleep by 8-9 within a few minutes of laying down. It was one of those things that crept up slowly then suddenly.

I decided to take him off of it. He is still taking Intuniv which he was always on with the stimulant. It is a low dose blood pressure medicine that helps with aggression. It was an adjustment at first and he still gets into a lot of trouble. Him and his teacher do not get along very well but it does really well for his special ed teacher and other teachers/adults. In a lot of ways he is able to better control himself now in and he does not "melt down" anymore. He is still hyper and very defiant. He does not want to do the work for his teacher but he absolutely does not want to take the stimulant.

He is doing behavioral therapy now and I am working with supplementing. Along with mindfulness exercises that helps a lot but he was not able to do at age 6(too hyper and unfocused). I have a genetic mutation (MTHFR) that he has inherited that requires the mentholated versions of b vitamins and we have to avoid folic acid. Supplementing myself has fixed my brain fog issues and increased my energy and focus. He has good days and he has bad days. I am still working out the right path here.

I am not saying that we would not try stimulants again. From what I understand from my coworkers with adhd kids is that they take Ritalin and do not have the side effects I described except the decreased appetite. I recall reading a study that suggested that that the short acting stimulants like Ritalin was better for kids then the long acting ones like Vyvanse but I have not been able to find this study again. Maybe if I had recognized the side effects earlier we would have switched to another stimulant option. But for now he does not want any at all and I respect that. No matter what you decide do not be afraid to change it up as often as needed. Good luck and have hope.

3 likes
Reply

Hello lady so today is day 3 .. !!!!!!!!!! Omg today has been one of those days where I’m going crazy .. this boy has an attitude for everything doesn’t listen to a word I say , super rough with the baby and angry for everything.. I can’t it’s so bad to the point I snapped at him really bad that he stopped 😞😞 this is so hard . And I have a feeling is the medicine . But I don’t know if that’s normal for him to act this way !!!

Reply

Sorry to hear that!

What time of day are you seeing this behavior? It could be the medicine, or it could be the medicine wearing off.

Irritability can be a side effect, but not one I would live with. (My son was a real jerk on one of the non-stimulants.) I would call your prescribing physician and let them know what you’re seeing. They may want you to continue a few more days and see if it fades, or may be ready to try something new.

1 like
Reply

I gave him his medicine at 7:55am this attitude started an hr ago and it’s so annoying that he doesn’t listen 😐. It’s just so annoying that he is aggressive with the baby ugh. And doesn’t want to listen to me .. yes the dr wants us to continue till the last one which is Wednesday. To see if any changes

Reply

Wednesday is a long wait! Some of the side effects for my son did settle in after about a week. Though if the aggressiveness gets extreme, I’d consider calling again.

Also for my son, we had to add some modifications at home (Smart But Scattered by Peg Dawson is a leading authority on this), and to adapt our parenting style to focus more of positivity / praise / reward systems than and less on punishment. The nice thing is hat once my son was finally on medication, these things finally began to click with him, versus starting from zero almost every hour.

Might be a tangent - but is he sleeping well? I only ask because with my son, sleep has the biggest impact on him of anything we can do at home outside of medication.

Fingers crossed!

2 likes
Reply

He is sleeping no problem . Omg today was rough 😭 , it was to much he didn’t listen nasty attitude yelling , etc I feel like a horrible mother 😭I yelled so loud and said mean things and I cry because I don’t mean to but it was a lot today but I mean ALOT !!!! Especially with the baby he just would t leave her alone and if I let him hold her she would cry because he thinks she’s like a toy to ply with ... and I tell him what’s your problem Daniel James be nice .... I feel with the medicine he got more aggressive, he won’t listen angry , rough and he is hitting back .. should I stop it ??

Or wait ??

Reply

I would recommend following your pediatrician’s advise over my “stranger on the Internet” status.

That being said, it sounds to me like this medication is not doing its job. You mentioned you had behavioral issues before treatment - does his behavior seem worse now while the medication is active, or just not improved from unmedicated? If the former, may need to try a different med, if the latter, then maybe a higher dose is needed.

What we did when one of our medication trials seemed to be not working / severe negative attitude side effects (of which his teacher agreed), our dr first had us try a higher dose (partially because it was a non-stimulant that takes @ 4 weeks to fully kick in.) But when things just got worse and we’d rather have him untreated than like he was on that med, we asked to stop early. Of which he gave us the go ahead & we scheduled an earlier appointment to discuss our next step. He then prescribed us a methylphenidate, and it has been a good fit so far!

Hang in there - the medication trial can be.... a trial. My son’s teacher, who went through this herself for her son, jokes that she told the Dr she was going to need medication for herself to deal with her son’s medication. Lol!

1 like
Reply

With the medicine he is less hyper , with out it he is all over the place . But with the medicine he is angry or answers rudely. Winning a lot and if he hears the word NO forget it he snaps !!!!! Idk I feel like no giving it to him he is crying for everything and I feel bad . I don’t want him to be sad ,

But a lot of ppl tell me not to stop to finish like the dr said and see . But yes he has behaviours issues in which he doesn’t listen , he hits , pushes . And he thinks it’s funny. But in his mind he says I know mommy I’m a bad boy 😕 I told him no your not james your a great boy !! Ughhh I hate this

Reply

Just wondering how today went!

1 like
Reply

Hello so yesterday was really really bad , very very angry and then he started saying he wishes he was never born and was part of this world , right there then I threw away the medicine... he was having dark thoughts so no ,,, he started crying and saying mommy this is not me 🥺😭it broke my heart .. so today happy Easter by the way he is okay being hyper as usual and not listening, pushing my buttons lol but happy . So now I have to wait till Friday to see the dr and tell her what was happening and to see what medication is next . Ugh this is really hard

Reply

Hi what was the outcome, after the 7 days... what did the dr recommend ?

I have the same issue with my son we are suppose to start Vyvanse 20mg Monday my son is 7 years old

Reply

You may also like...