Adderall XR experience.: We are on day... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Adderall XR experience.

Kylee162 profile image

We are on day 3 of 10mg adderall XR with my 6 year old son. It’s been heartbreaking so far. He’s so irritable and emotional. The sitter says he hasn’t even laughed or smiled today. We are trying to give it a good week, but gosh… it’s hard to know what to do!

12 Replies

Hello! I have a 7 year old son with ADHD, inattentive type. Adderall XR was the first medication we tried in kindergarten. He was also very emotional—he would cry over any inconvenience or unfairness, we stopped it less than a week in. He’s a sensitive child anyway (doesn’t like scary movies, sleeps and snuggles with stuffed animals), so I’m not sure if that made him more predisposed to this reaction, but emotional lability and irritability are possible side effects of stimulants unfortunately. We then tried focalin, which didn’t make him cry, but did take away some of his smiles/laughing/silliness, which is heartbreaking—you are right!

We have just been prescribed adhansia, but have yet to try it.

Sadly, trial and error of these medications are the only way to know effectiveness for a given kid.

Don’t give up! I would definitely notify your sons doc about the reaction though.

Bipasa profile image
Bipasa in reply to NPMom

It is definitely very heartbreaking to see kids in this condition. I myself was crying when I used see my 15 yr irritable, tired and always sleepy due to side effects of medication!! As Mom first time I was feeling very helpless!

Try Genomind test. Talk to you Dr. this might help to reduce some trial and error. It will be out of pocket cost about $400 but may help.

Don’t be afraid to pull him off the Adderall and try something else. With my son we first tried Ritalin for about 1 week and he became angry and very emotional. We then tried Adderall which took away his personality, but had less side affects than Ritalin. We tried that for 3 months but it simply took away too much appetite and thirst. Then we tried Vyvanse which didn’t seem to metabolize correctly and now we we are on Focalin, which has been the best fit thus far and he has more of his personality. There are some tests that you can do that can help find the best fit for your son (we found out after trying all the medications).

My son started Adderall XR when he was 9… His main side effect was severe weight loss as he wouldn’t eat. He also had a flat effect.. Remember you are seeing an entirely different kid because of the medication so I suggest you take your time before switching medications so quickly. I stayed in rough with my sons psychiatrist and she walked me through my concerns. My son was overweight due to “impulse eating” so the weight loss was drastic because the weight gain was drastic. His weight eventually balances out. Despite the side effects, when my son looked at me and said, “ I like myself now mom.” That was affirmation and confirmation that I did the right thing by keeping him on it. Nine years later, he graduated HS with honors and a scholarship. He is headed to college and then the army. Patience…

We had a negative experience with focalin and told our psychiatrist right away. She replaced the focalin with adderall and it was like night and day. Different kids respond differently to different meds. Dosages make a difference too. I’d call the doctor right away to get their opinion. It often takes several tries to get the right fit. Hang in there!

My 6 yr old is 2 yrs in and 20 plus med/med combos and still nothing has worked. Every med turned him into a different human being. It’s been the saddest 2 yrs of my life as a mother to witness. My heart is with you. 🙏

We had a similar experience with Adderall when our son started taking it in first grade. The medication was effective for several hours, but the come down period in the afternoon was awful. Our son would be moody, sullen, and depressingly philosophical. We ended up switching him to Focalin after a couple of months (with Intuniv at bedtime), and it was a big improvement.

Good morning and sorry for just replying to you. We have had success with Adderall our daughter has been on it for a few years. Yes she was a bit testy at first and eventually it settled in. We had to adjust the dose levels a few time too so please keep that in mind. She is 16yrs old now and we had to re-examine if Adderall was the drug of choice. We just moved her over to Vyvanse 10mg and so far so good. We are looking forward to seeing how she gets on with Vyvanse when school starts. Watch your son's diet, it can be a challenge at that age. I also find melatonin( the lowest strength you can fine) helpful at bedtime. Our daughter has Autism and is high function. Also we just had our daughter tested thru Genesight, talk with your child's pediatrician about it. We are meeting with our daughter's pediatrician later this week to discuss the test results findings. Good luck, and please keep in mind you are your child's biggest advocate and your have options!

Find the right medication is tough. We had about 8 months of different meds, doses and combinations, until we found the right fit. Some meds we used less than a week and others were almost 6 weeks till we said no. We now are on the same med for over 6 months with our 6 yo. Meds shouldn’t change his personality, if that happens don’t feel bad to move on. The one take away I’d say is, every kid has a different reaction with different meds. Don’t give up, just try a new med or dose.

Hello there, just reading your post. Adderall was horrible on my son. He displayed extreme mental health behaviors. At times he was high and very low emotionally. It was not until that i researched and found out that for some kids with ADHD, Adderall can cause adverse effects, go figure. I did not wait to tale my child off. I could not stand my child to be all-over the place emotionally and not being able to have any type of control. If you provider is not listening to you change providers who will. I took my child off. He now takes Concerta and has been on it for about 3 years.

My son only made it on Adderall for about 4 days before we pulled the plug. He has anxiety issues and we've tried a number of these stimulants and they all seem to increase his anxiety and irritability. He's been on Concerta for about a month now and no anxiety or anger but it seems to be causing him nightmares and other OCD behavior so I don't think this is going to work either. It is a process. I feel like Foculin might have given the best results a few years ago, so we may try that again. Keep trying!

Are you working with an ADHD specialist? Adderall may or may not be a good fit, but the dosage definitely needs to be titrated. He may be taking too much as irritability is not something he should feel. I tried Ritalin, which made me extremely irritable and anxious, and my specialist switched me to Adderall. I started at 5mg and slowly titrated up. I was a zombie at 7.5, so I titrated back down. I now take 2.5 mg Adderall first thing in the morning followed by Vyvanse 10 mg around 8:30am.

The specialists told me that there is a “right dose” of medication for each individual. It’s not based on age, weight, or height. It’s based on a person’s unique metabolism and how their body manages the blood-brain barrier.

The drug manufacturer is also an important factor as some add more or different “fillers” than others. She prefers Teva and Global Pharmaceuticals (or Shire if name brand is a requirement for Adderall). This explains why I had the worst restless leg syndrome during my first Adderall experiment (with my PCP). No problems now that we’ve indicated which manufacturers are acceptable.

It’s a slog, I won’t lie. When I wasn’t on the right type of medication or appropriate dosage, I still had much more clarity and knew exactly how I was feeling and what I was thinking every minute of every day. It was emotionally draining and physically exhausting. Irritable - definitely irritable.

I wish you patience on this journey and a good specialist to support your son and family. ADHD is a tricky thing, and for me, a specialist has eliminated a lot of the anxiety of medication management.

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