Just started meds...some questions

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Just started meds...some questions
Fri, 07-25-2003 - 9:51am
Hi, we finally had the appointment with the psychiatrist yesterday and he prescribed adderall xr 20mg. He said to give him 1/2 a capsule in the am for 3 days then 1 capsule each am. If it didn't last long enough, he said we could go up to a max of 2 capsules per day. One at 12 noon if he tolerates it (appetite and insomnia-wise). I probably made a mistake and gave him his 1/2 a capsule yesterday when I picked up the meds at noon time. I had a hard time measuring out what was half and I think I may have given him closer to 3/4. He was a perfect angel for about 5 hours. He even took a nap! I was amazed. Then at about 5pm he turned into a chatter box. He definitely seemed jittery. He had a hard time sleeping last night. Every time he fell asleep he said he had bad dreams. I gave him 1/2 a capsule again this am and he's been his usual self. No big improvement in behavior.

So, what do you all think about that first experience. Does it sound normal? I know stimulant drugs will hype up a kid who is not truly adhd, but it did work for a good 5 hours after he first took it. It seemed like once it wore off, it wore off hard. His doctor did say that he might have some side effects that might mask the benefits for the first few days while he adjusts to the meds.

Okay, I realize I'm babbling here...I'm just wondering if this sounds like what you all experienced.



Laura, mom to B & E
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-03-2003
Fri, 07-25-2003 - 7:43pm
Well, I think that it takes some time to see how the medicine works and if it will be a good dose for you.

The first day our DS took Concerta, he couldn't go to sleep at night and then he had bad dreams - I thought it was disaster, but that was only the first night. Since then it has been working great.

We've had "bad" days though, but heck - he's still a kid - overall - MOSTLY - the medicine has been helpful so that's what makes me think we had the right dose.

When do you go back to the doc?

For us, we had our DS on the med for 2 weeks and I kept track everyday - since we had seen a big change in behavior we figured we had the right dose and medicine. And, it's been good for about five months.

But, I've heard from LOTS of other people that it took some tinkering to figure out the right dose.

Good luck and hang in there.

Avatar for littleroses
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Sat, 07-26-2003 - 1:30pm
Hello! When my daughter first started adderall, it was a frightening ride for me. I wasn't even sure about giving it to her in the first place. Yet, she improved so much! On the other hand, there were side effects. She stayed up past midnight every night. I would put her to bed and realize she was still awake hours later. This kid has always been a good sleeper so I knew it was the meds. I just let her stay up very late every night. After about 2 weeks or so, that went away and she went to bed as normal and slept a normal amount of hours. She also began to exhibit tic type behavior, which frightened me the most and almost made me pull her off the adderall. She was picking tiny little holes in her faces. It looked like fresh sores where she had been picking at a scab, only there was never a sore there in the first place, she would just start picking. Then, after two weeks, that went away. So, there is a time for the med levels to adjust. Everyone may have different side effects. When the meds leveled in her system, every single side effect quietly went away. (She was also slightly jittery and extremely talkative the first couple of days).

Now, there were highs and lows, like you have mentioned. I recently switched her to adderall XR and that was amazing. She gets a constant feed of meds from morning to the end of her day. I had also been reluctant to start her on that as well. I am chicken about everything.

Anyway, hang in there. I kept a behavior journal for the first couple of weeks just in case I needed to note patterns...this isn't a bad idea for you either. I just wrote down times meds were given. Short notes on things I noticed were different, good or bad, etc. 2 years later, it also gives me something concrete to review. Good luck!

Avatar for keke0116
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 07-28-2003 - 6:23am
With Kevin (11) it always seemed to take a good 3 weeks to really 'see' the results of meds. It wasn't instantaneous. There were some that weren't 'right' for him, and we knew that right away (made him too tired or too wired) but when we found the 'right' one, there were little side effects, and it worked 'ok' at first. But at about 3 weeks we realized 'hey, this is working.' So, my feeling is that as long as the med isn't negatively changing his basic personality, he's tolerating it o.k., then give it 2-3 weeks to SEE if it's effective before going any further. As far as cutting the pill, it's not an exact science here, and the doc just wants to start out with a smaller dose until his system gets used to it (thus only 3 days.) Once you're on the full pill (which you probably are doing now) then it's easier to give the right dose, same time daily, and monitor the results.



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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 07-28-2003 - 11:39am
Everyone reacts differently to medications. You may have a different experience than I would. I would monitor your DS on the meds for a week or two and make notes in a journal of how he reacts to the meds when you give them to him (give 20 minutes to allow to penetrate his system) and how long it lasts and what happens when he comes down from that dosage. Keeping a journal will help the doctors adjust the dosage if it is indeed necessary. From the way it sounds it may need to be adjusted. You should see some change if he's hyper and there should be no problems sleeping. Sometimes these medications can cause a lack of eating. Maybe giving them to your DS after breakfast will help.

Also, there is a new drug out there called Strattera, Maybe you could ask your dr about that one.