Overlap Strattera w/ Ritalin when starti

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-01-2003
Overlap Strattera w/ Ritalin when starti
Mon, 09-01-2003 - 5:19pm
My son's phychologist said that you can stay on Ritalin while waiting for Strattera to kick in. We have an appointment with the psychiatrist this Saturday and wanted some feedback from the real world. Has anyone done this when they were switching? I know a family member will kill him if we have to live with him for 3 weeks unmedicated.:) I'm sure you all know what I mean!!!

Thanks for your help!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2000
Tue, 09-02-2003 - 7:34am
I know others who have done this, though I haven't personally done it myself. The psychiatrist that my SIL uses for her kids says it can take 3-4 MONTHS for the Straterra to build up. I think her kids are taking Metadate with the Straterra.

Good luck!



PJPIIadoration.jpg picture by Kimberly_sahm

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Tue, 09-02-2003 - 10:09am
I tried this with my son at the end of the school year last year. It was not a good thing for him. First, my son is a very thin 6 year old. He is very sensitive to the effects of any medication. Second, these two medications work on different parts of the brain.

When we gave him both the strattera and the concerta, he became a zombie. He was observed by a school psychologist in this state for the first time, and she very gently but firmly explained to me that I was in denial and that my son was completely autistic! That kind of zombie state! I had told my doctor that the drugs were zoning him out, and I wanted to keep him home from school, but the Dr said to send him, as he thought the extra stimulation might get the drug combo out of his system faster. With my being overwhelmed with my son's state, I'd completely forgotten about the psychologist coming that day! of course, the next time she saw him, he was nothing like that, so she just wrote down that he was sick on the first day of observation in his report.

It went from bad to worse. My doctor got us to try just the strattera, but it takes a while for it to kick into some kids systems. So he kept getting in trouble. (He was my unmedicated child). For the sake of his teachers sanity (not a good reason), we decided to try the strattera with adderall regular release in a smaller dose then his Concerta. Supposedly it lasts a lot longer then regular Ritalin. One of the very real, yet rare documented side effects of adderall is hallucinations. My son hallucinated for TWELVE hours! Poor guy! He thought there were ants coming out of his ears! It was the most awful 12 hours of my life! I felt like I had completely failed my child. Well, I had. It was my decision, and I made it. Someone else had told me about the adderal thing. I just thought it couldn't possibly happen to my child.

After that we completely stopped all meds until school got out. The funny thing was, after a few days, he was very happy. He also got his self confidence back and started laughing all the time. I asked my doctor what was up, and we decided it was either the strattera or the lack of a stimulant.

Now we are doing just strattera. No combo. He doesn't concentrate nearly as well as he did on the stimulant. But he is happy. Truly happy. Every day we notice he concentrates better. The strattera does zip, zilch, nothing for the impulse control. But DH and I have decided, for us, the benefits of his happiness and self-esteem are greater then the focus benefits of a stimulant for our child.

If I'd had it to do all over again, I'd of waited until the summer, started him on just strattera, and just told my family and self to give it a chance to work.

One more thing, it has taken like 9 weeks for the concentration benefits to kick in. They are still improving. That three week thing is an average. Be prepared for it to take a lot longer.


who actually loves strattera!



Avatar for kathy_in_ga
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 09-02-2003 - 11:12am
Yes we did. Altho we did not stay on Strattera & switched back to adderall XR wich did a better job for my son. It takes soem time for the strattera to get into the system. Good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 09-02-2003 - 12:22pm
We are currently doing this, but not with classic ritalin. My ds is on Metadate and has been since March of 2002 with great results. We are trying to switch over to Straterra, so he is taking both for the time being. I have had no problems with him that I can tell. I have noticed his appetite smaller than it was with just the metadate, which was nothing until about 6 or 7 pm, but have been told that that side affect will go away in about 6 week after starting it. I also am going to try and take away the clonodine. He was taking 1 mg of that at night to help with sleeping issues. The other night I noticed he was very tired even before I gave him the clonodine, and fell asleep before the clonodine should have been in effect. So last night I cut it in half and will do the same tonight. Then take it away on Wed night and see what happens. He went to sleep fine last night with a half dose. I also have seen a much calmer boy at night, which is nice. I am cautiously hopeful that the straterra might be good for him. He will be taking both the straterra and the metadate, which is ritalin in a different type of release pill, until we go back the 15th of Sept.


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-27-2003
Tue, 09-02-2003 - 1:11pm
You have made up my mind. Just reading about your sons happiness has made me decide to definitly push for the stattera. It will be a hard transition, but one well worth it. I know not all kids react the same to all meds, but this is the most positive things I have ever heard about a med. I hope your son continues to do well on it!!