Ive Ruined My Child :,(: My 5 year old... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Ive Ruined My Child :,(


My 5 year old boy was diagnosed w ADHD. It was mostly the hyper and then the focusing started in. He drove us nuts w his impulsiveness. Nothing was ever fun. We started him on methyl liquid, methylphenadate suspended, vyvanse and now guanfacine (all in one month). The stimulants turned him into a raging crazy almost disturbing human being. Immediately stopped meds and 5 days later (dr assures me all meds are out of his system and he should be at baseline) well yesterday he threatened to kill his teachers kids and was crazy all day. HOW???? HE WAS NEVER EVER LIKE THIS BEFORE MEDICATIONS!!! Now the Dr says there could be something else going on and throws out Functional Behavior Analysis. This was not the case before meds, can medication reroute his brain? Im confused and just want my "normal" hyper baby back :( . Anyone w similar experience? Are there underlying issues?

Guanfacine 1mg was started last night. He woke up like he was drunk this morning.

23 Replies

Don’t lose hope. Continue to have the doctor evaluate and eventually they will find the right medication that will work. It is not uncommon for children to become more aggressive after taking a stimulant. Are you seeing a specialist like a psychiatrist or neurologist? Or is this his primary pediatrician?

We tried 1/2 mg Guanfacine over Thanksgiving and tapered back to 1/4 mg. I didn’t see any improvement in the impulsivity or hyperactivity. I did see more aggression, so we stopped. We go back to Kennedy Krieger on Wednesday to explore other options. I’ve heard it’s a process and every child is different. Keep the faith.

So sorry to hear what you and your son are going through. It’s my understanding that you wait two weeks before starting a different med, but this is my Dr’s View.

Are you seeing a Ped or psychiatrist?

Maybe you could seek a second opinion, he’s quite young. Their brains are moving so fast and their bodies can not keep up and vs.

Kids don’t have the articulation we as adults seek especially at this age. Maybe he felt mistreated by his teacher or peers at school. Maybe he was having a rough time during a task, And this was his best way of expressing his feelings not meaning the words but expressing his frustration. Is he in a good and supportive environment at school?

Wishing you and the lil guy much healing.

I have a similar experience.

My daughter diagnosed with ADHD has not returned to baseline since we started trying stimulants from May 2019. We have tried biphentin, vyvanse and concerta. All made her aggressive, irritable and just name it.

She used to be a sweet little girl at least at home, who just needed frequent reminders to complete chores. But not anymore.

She has been on and off medications - mostly off these medications but not back to her baseline.

However, my son does not have aggressive behaviour on vyvanse. So not all kids would have this problem.

Wow - that’s a lot of meds for one month. I’m sorry you are going through this! And at such a young age. Please know you did not ruin your child.

How long did you try each med before you stopped, and what specific behaviors were you seeing on them? Were they while the medication was active, or after it wore off? It took my son a little bit of time to get use to the stimulants, but most of our behavior issues are when it wears off.

If you aren’t seeing a psychiatrist for medication, I’d also consider start looking into that. Though if the meds are clearly not working, there could also be something else at play.

My son was quite sleepy his first week on guanfacine - it takes a little longer to work & also to move past side effects. For us, it did help calm my son’s body, but after 2 weeks it didn’t help enough with focus & flattened his personality a bit, so we discontinued it. Some people have success combining it with a stimulant.

The aggressive behavior must be scary! Having ADHD is very frustrating- it’s like being in a room with 100 TVs on and constantly being quizzed on a randomly selected show. And like another poster said, at 5 they really don’t know how to express themselves very well yet - so the aggressive behavior is possibly just a cry for help. Does he have behavioral supports in place at home & school? This could help, especially during the medication journey. It helped decrease my son’s oppositional tendencies when combined with positive discipline techniques, though not to the same extent as finding the right medication.

Thinking of you & your boy!

Hey, I have a son also 5 with adhd, social and separation anxiety and issues with school avoidance. He has said things like this is his classroom usually it happens when he is asks to do something he is not comfortable doing or afraid to do. Mainly with transitions. Has your son been tested for anxiety? Does he have issues with socializing? When kids with anxiety (or adults) are in a situation that they really don't like, generally the brain will automatically go right to the fight or flight response and it seems to me like your son has a fight response to something being asked of him in school. I have not medicated my son so I have no advice in that regard but having anxiety myself makes it easier for me to understand how to help my son with anxiety by communicating with him different methods of calming down when he starts to feel like his mood or behavior is escalating. Good luck! You are not alone!

My son was like that on the methalphandate stuff it was a horrible he does alot better now that hes on the vyvance and clonidine. Give him time i doubt those other meds are out of his system hamg in there with the right meds it does get better

The Methyl gave him a great confidence that made me so happy (has social anxiety) It was the crash from that that turned him upside down. Vyvanse was a depressing nightmare start to finish. Dr felt Methyl crash effects were not good so took him off. Guanfacine is calming him but probably because it makes him tired. His confidence is not there tho. Nothing is working to my satisfaction. I have a feeling hes going to need 2 different types of medication.

Im sorry you are going through this i remember those days all to well i would have him see a neurologist they can tell you what meds may work for him talk to his pediatrician or doctor

I am sorry you are going through this. My son would also use what we called “dark language” about himself and others.

We went through a lot of different things over the last few years from stimulant meds to antidepressants to parent training to individual therapy.

I think what has helped my son is a combination of the right medicine at the right dose, the school finally giving him a 504 and BIP, parent training and a pinch of maturity.

Hang in there! Keep trying different things until you find what works.

One thing I will say is that if you feel the current doctor isn’t getting it right then try another doctor.

Wow! That's a bunch of meds,fast! Our psychiatrist always says we should wait at least 2 weeks before starting anything more, because if more than one product is started at a time and there is a reaction,how are we supposed to know which one is causing the problem? And that even goes for natural supplements. With that being said, I am wondering if you are working with a children's psychiatrist? If not I would suggest now is the time to consider finding a good one. Finding the right meds or med combo and dosage is a real trial and error, a psychiatrist may be better at fine tuning the program than a regular medical dr. Our 7yr old son has also reacted to Ritalin and Adderall... raging anger and aggression! And yes the drunk symptoms after guanfacine was how he responded too. Our psychiatrist specializes in functional medicine so she prefers natural supplements but doesn't hesitate to prescribe prescription meds if needed. We have seen good results with...L-Theanine, Magnesium, Spectrum Needs (which is a broad spectrum micronutrient), and Omega 3 fish oil. Recently we have started with PS (phosphatidyl serine)and so far we seem to be seeing good results with that. Hoping you can find something that works for your son.

TAKE HIM OFF THE GUANFACINE! it was nicknamed the “monster pill” for a reason.

in reply to Emoneyb

The Vyvanse and Methylphenidate (crash only) were the monsters to me. Guanfacine 4-5 days in now has calmed him for the most part. Side effects thus far are sedation (lessening) and low level confidence taking place. Not happy with this at all.

Oh boy, you’re telling my story here. First, breathe. This is a scary thing to watch and live through. It got to the point our psychiatrist was recommending Prozac for my barely 7-yr-old. We said no and she recommended broad spectrum micronutrients. Before you go any further with the meds talk to your doctor about them. There are two companies, Hardy Nutritionals and True Hope. Breathe again! If your doctor is not willing to consider them, look at finding a new doctor. We went from Quillivant to Adderral to Focalin, then through in Guanfacine up to 4 mg. Nothing worked for long. The Guanfacine took away our sons personality and he was a zombie. All it did was mask his emotions and he would go into a rage. My son has been on micronutrients for almost a year. He has gone all this time without any aggression at school or home. He has been placed back in a general education classroom. He plays soccer and has friends. I wish this for everyone. Breathe again, you will get through this. You can’t change the past so keep moving forward. We are warriors!

What dose did you start with? A good MD would start a very low dose of stimulant to start. The stimulant leave the body pretty fast after stopping dosage. An XR stays longer due to delivery capsule. With our son, we observed VERY aggressive behavior when the stimulant wears off, like a withdrawal or crash. So his symptoms come back 10x worse. But then he eventually comes down. We time his doses during the day to avoid this at school. Do you see improvement at all in his behavior within 30 min of taking it? How long does that last? Also Vyvance was a disaster for my son. I’d stick with one med at a time because there’s trial and error here. Also, I’ve often wondered if the aggression after meds wear off is worth it to treat his impulsivity, inattention, or not. You have to decide if his ADHD is enough of a disruption in his life to treat with powerful meds or if it’s manageable through behavior redirection tactics. Our son needs both for now, but am hoping to find a way to get him off all this shit as he develops

in reply to Mmagusin

Low dose to start and it was exactly what you mentioned. The crash made him worse. The methylphenidate extended was good compared to all this other crap were dealing with. He had a great level of confidence on that which made me VERY happy to see. The comedown was atrocious tho so the dr seemed he was just to sensitive and stopped. Vyvanse = DISASTER. Now the Guanfacine has been in him for like 4/5 days. Confidence is not there but hes a little calmer. Still seems sedated a lot and trying to get past that little hump. I still dont feel confident that this is the one either. We do PCIT therapy but with a useless husband who doesnt know how to stick to his guns with what is being taught-its quite hard. Hes one of those highly intellectual/photographic memory kids with high impulsivity. Hes a shy kid and I know theres anxiety. Im starting to think he may need two different types at this point. :(

I agree with others, and feel strongly that only Psychiatrists are qualified to manage your son’s medications. After going through months of different stimulants, we took a break from meds. My son was 5 at the time and I was trusting his pediatrician to manage medications. He was also filled with rage and became violent. It was scary and very sad to witness. When we started seeing a Psychiatrist, I was told stimulants are not recommended for younger kids, and would be better to try in a couple years. We did try stimulants again at age 7, but the rage came back. We have been going to a Psychologist for behavioral therapy and parent management therapy. You’re doing your best and keep fighting for your child. It’s not easy but it will get better.

Guanfancine was a miracle addition for both my grand kids. It is used in conjunction with anxiety medications though. Our psychiatrist has never taken them off medicine for 2 weeks before starting another one, that leaves them so unstable. But I guess each doctor has his own opinions on how to do that.

Guanfacine does cause some drowsiness at first but it goes away. Don't give up hope , nothing is permanent.

Guanfacine was toxic to my 12 year old. Literally. He ended up in ER with severe psychotic reaction and dehydration. They had to forcefully start an IV with 3 nurses because he was hallucinating and gave him tiny doses of a medication with his fluids to try to flush it out of his system. Severe, and I mean severe headache came before the event, but cognitive function was slowly degrading where he wasn’t even making sense when we would talk to him. This was on only half of one pill at night. The prescription was for one whole pill in the morning and one at night. I had called the dr. after the first couple doses because of exactly what you are describing, and she cut it down to the half only at night. The headache started day two very mild, and I didn’t relate it to the medicine at first. The next day it was a little worse. He said it hurt when he leaned down so I still was thinking maybe sinuses or something along those lines. By day five he was unable to even move his head without crying out in pain, was speaking garbled and non sensical. I called the dr. and told her what was happening and that I was worried something worse would happen if I just stopped it cold turkey. Some meds will do that. She told me she didn’t believe it was the meds even though he never had headaches before and it only started when he started taking it. She could hear him crying and screaming in pain while I was on the phone and I was asking her what I could do to help and she told me “I don’t know, take him to the pediatrician. It’s not the meds”. I told her “of course it was given the course things had taken”. I asked her what the hell he was going to be able to do, seeing he didn’t even know yet that he was on it and they are not prepared in the offices for psychotic episodes in children. And I was again told that it was not the med. I took him to the Er and the whole team came out immediately when they saw him. Took history and tried for 45 mins to get that IV in him. Dr. Came to tell me that he didn’t know why the med dr. Was adamant it wasn’t the guanafacine because he had looked it up in the pediatric guide for med reactions in children and headaches along with psychotic reactions were the first adverse side affects listed. I was beyond myself with guilt and so afraid it was permanent and that I had done this to my child. He did end up coming out of it after a day and some major rehydration, thank God!! This was my experience on only the one med, never mind the other two they put your child on. They should always try one at a time, or how will you know what works and what doesn’t? That’s where it sounds like you are now. Which one of the cocktail is reacting with the others to make this happen. Just our experience, there are kids that don’t react well to these meds and mom’s know when something isn’t right for them.

in reply to Inspyrdbyu

:( ❤️ this whole process has been a nightmare. Something no parent and child should go through.

in reply to Inspyrdbyu

I just wanted to share that I too have guilt over an adverse reaction my son had on Vyvanse. Worse, I had to deal with retaliation from the school for stopping the med. It is a hard thing to reconcile with when others do not want to believe medications cause side effects.

From what I've seen/heard from other parents struggling to help their children, finding the right medication, at the right dose, is a long process. It's hard, and it can be ugly. And once you get into a groove with the right chemistry and dosage, they'll grow, and you might need to change again. Work with medical professionals because they will know what to do. Also, a great therapist can help you and your child manage behaviors.

I am so sorry! Every child is different and reacts to meds in a different way. My son had adverse reaction to Vyvanse. At first it seems to be okay but over time I came to recognize the issues they were giving him but was having has time communicating about it. He begged to be off it. Since I preferred it when he was't on them (weekends and holidays) I agreed. That when I realized what damage it was really causing. I had a lot of push back from the school for not medicating him but he refused to try anything new for almost a full year. When he did decide to try a new stimulant he made it clear to the dr that he did not want Vyvanse again. He has trouble communicating so his insistence meant a lot to me! He is on a different stimulant now and so far no adverse reaction other than the rebound at night. The trouble is he does so much better at home unmedicated, but inversely does so much worse behavior wise at school when he is not.

The FBA is something I have actually fought for my son to have at school as a part of his IEP. It will hopefully help identify if there are any environmental or underlying issues or triggers. For my kid I think there is a lot of unrecognized anxiety. Hang in there!

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