Some Strattera questions ...

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Some Strattera questions ...
4
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 10:27am
I would really appreciate some input/feedback from anyone who has experience with Strattera.

My son is a 6.5 YO first grader. He was diagnosed earlier in the year (September or so) as ADD/borderline ADHD. Any issues (mostly impulsivity- and behavior-related, some related to focus/concentration) are mostly manifest at home (fortunately, I guess); at school, he is a *very* well-behaved, happy, and attentive kid in the gifted program. It is only an issue at school sometimes when there are a lot of distractions ... occasionally, it takes him *forever* to complete an assignment there if he has a tough time focusing. We try allow for at least SOME physical activity daily, and we try to keep him fairly active and his schedule fairly structured - this "plan" seems to work well for us, but the snowy winter, and the recent spate of rainy days (we live on the East coast) have wreaked havoc with recess at school and our ability getr outside to blow off steam, so we have had a *very* tough few months.

Anyway ... ds just started taking a 25 mg/day dose of Strattera. Prior to this, he was on a *very* low dose of Ritalin (5 mg/3 times per day); we were pretty satisfied with the "performance" of the Ritalin, and the three times a day dose seemed to provide pretty constant "coverage", but ds developed a facial tic that concerned us and our PED, and we also had concerns about appetite suppression (ds is really small anyhow, and can't afford to lose ANY weight!) and he sometimes had a tough time sleeping. We had briefly tried Concerta as well, but the once-a-day dosage wasn't working sufficiently long in the day to enable him to focus on his homework.

DS started weaning down from the Ritalin last Thursday, along with starting a lower dose (18 mg) of the Strattera at the same time; has been on the "full" dose of Strattera since Monday, and has not taken any Ritalin since last Friday. I am going to get feedback from his regular and gifted teachers at the end of the week WRT how things are going at school. At home ... dh and I are not exactly impressed thus far. We haven't experienced the weepiness or sleepiness that I have read about, and his appetite seems to have bounced back and the tics have stopped since he stopped taking the Ritalin, but the Strattera just doesn't seem to be ... doing a great job. From what our PED indicated, I thought that -- if this thing is going to work -- we should know by now. DS has told me that he feels like it is working better for him at school than the Ritalin was (he used to have a tougher time focusing in the afternoons, but that may be because the rest of the kids get "rammy" and are more distracting then), so I am very interested in getting feedback from his teachers.

Have any of you had any experience with Strattera? Any "tricks" you've found in terms of when you dose it that seem to improve its effectiveness (e.g., any better luck giving it with/without food?)? Does the onset of action seem REALLY long (He took it at about 7:30 this morning, and at 8:30 AM was still acting out)?? Does it actually EVER last for at least 12 hours? Do you experience a bunch of "peaks and valleys" through the day? I would LOVE for this drug to be the "magic bullet" but I am getting more and more discouraged. Any input/words of wisdom that you BTDT folks can offer will be GREATLY appreciated!!

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 6:37pm
Hi Meshuggenamom! I don't normally even pop in over here cuz my Ds is 13 so I stay over at ADD/ADHD Teens and Adults. HOWEVER, I did tonight to see if anyone was talking about Strattera and there was your post! My kiddo was dx in mid-November last year and started out on Adderall. We've been through the generic, name-brand and time-release - all made him feel like poo poo. So, we switched to Concerta and that made him too moody and agitated. NOW, we're on Strattera- It's been one week and 2 days now. From what I understand, it's still too early to see an improvement. Since Strattera is not a stimulant drug that is immediately released into the blood stream, you're not going to see a 'marked' change right after taking it. It has to build up in the system which can take anywhere from 1 to 6 weeks, depending on the person. My Ds does FEEL much better, has an appetite and is sleeping without any problems. He's slowly starting to notice that he is focusing better at school. Strattera is supposed to pretty much give 24 hour coverage so you can take it ANY time of the day. My DS takes it in the morning with breakfast, but I'm thinking about giving it to him at night so he can sleep through any lethargy or whatever he might feel. It does make him more tired. He experiences no peaks and valleys and is overall much nicer and calmer. I'm also hoping it's the magic bullet but I'm cautiously optimistic! We'll know in the next few weeks. Hope this helps some, I'm new at this too! Take care!!

(((HUGS)))

Ann

Avatar for ashdenson
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 6:48pm
Pop over to the ADD Teen board. Myself and a few others are in FULL DISCUSSION over this med. This med takes 4-6 weeks to be at its optimum. My ds was also weaning off Adderall XL too. The dose was increased too much for him and he was MUCHO HYPER. Lowered the dose 2 days ago and he's calm, focused. Last night about llpm we were talking and I couldn't believe he was still great. For us, the med is working 24hrs.

I don't have an answer to your question as to how long it takes to work - but an hour seems awfully long. Give it a couple of days more before you think its not working and have talks with teacher(s).

Denise

Denise

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 8:05pm
Hi Ann and Denise -- Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!! I was so happy to see your responses, and I feel SOOOOO much better about ds' experience with Strattera thus far. I also feel much less alone in this journey. The knowledge that it might take as long as six weeks to work optimally (something our usually-wonderful PED should have mentioned, yes?) was a welcome piece of info ... it means that this chapter ain't over yet! We had a *wonderful* evening/bedtime tonight (and last night, as well), a timeframe that has been a hot spot in the past -- so that is another glimmer of hope that I am hanging on to for now.

I am on my way over to check out the ADD Teen/Adult board, but I wanted to make sure that both of you know how much I appreciate the fact that you took the time to respond to my post! Best of luck on your respective journeys ... heck of a ride, isn't it? ;o) ~ ruth

Avatar for keke0116
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 12:23pm
Kevin (11) has been on Strattera for about 6-7 weeks now, with dose increased to 60 mg. We recently added back 18 mg of Concerta because even at 60 mg, we weren't getting the results we'd hoped for. (He'd been on Concerta, 36 mg, for about 18 months ... worked really well for about 16 of the 18, then sort of lost it's effectiveness.) The added boost of the stimulant seems to have helped him, and things are improving (finally!) We've not had any negative side effects of the Strattera ... it just didn't seem to work all that well on it's own. With Concerta-alone, we used to give Kevin 18 mg before he even woke up (I'd wake him at like 6:30 to give him a pill) so that when he awoke at 7:15, the med was already starting to work, making our mornings much more pleasant. Hadn't done that (yet) with the Strattera because of the longer effect ... but I think I'm going to. We're on Spring Break now, and I've been giving him the Concerta as soon as he gets up ... and the Strattera after breakfast. The doc indicated with Concerta that we'd know in a week if it was working ... but it really took a good 3 weeks to see the effect.

Nancy

Nancy 

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