Yet more Strattera questions ...

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Yet more Strattera questions ...
5
Tue, 04-29-2003 - 5:28pm
Can you all deal with yet another question or two pertaining to Strattera (I think that this drug should have a dedicated folder here, LOL!) ...

My ds (6.75 YO) has been taking Strattera for a bit over one month, after taking Ritalin since this past fall. The Strattera seems to have curbed (somewhat) one of his "issues" a bit (impulsivity) but in terms of focus/concentration ... well, I think that he had better success in that vein with Ritalin. DS is in a gifted "pull-out" in school and most of the work in his regular 1st grade class is pretty easy for him, so he does complete it, but he frequently (especially with writing assignments) goes "right down to the buzzer" before he finishes. He is, according to his teacher, still more able to focus/concentrate in the morning than in the afternoon. She also told me that incidents of him calling out in class have dropped to virtually none since he started the Strattera (Ritalin was also pretty effective in this vein, but we had a spike in calling out after he stopped taking Ritalin and before the Strattera had built up in his system.) I've also noticed a marginal (negative) difference in how he completes his homework since he stopped taking Ritalin and started on the Strattera: Though he is a good student and doesn't give us any huge problems in terms of doing what he needs to do (homework-wise, LOL!), I have notices that it's more difficult for him to get down to work and, again, there are some issues with focus/concentration. Do those of you whose kids take Strattera notice that it is any more ... effective in one realm than another (e.g., impulsivity vs. focus)?? If so, what are you doing to compensate in the area that is still more troublesome?

DS has had MAJOR allergy problems over the past couple of days, and I gave him Triaminic at bedtime over the last couple of nights, Benadryl last night around midnight (he woke up MISERABLE), and we tried Claritin readitabs today. I am very cautious about mixing and matching meds, so I checked with the pharmacist about any possible contraindications/interactions with the Strattera, but I wanted to see if any of you 1) use allergy meds in your ADD/HD kids who are on other meds and 2) if the allergy meds seem to affect their behavior/how the behavioral meds work?

Finally ... When we first started to give ds Strattera and we were still weaning him off of the Ritalin (the first two days of Strattera therapy), I confess that I thought that the results of this combination were *wonderful*. However, we had to pull him off of Ritalin in the first place because he had developed a pretty pronounced facial tic, so this combination is pretty certainly; can I assume that this would be a pretty certain s/e with ALL stimulant meds? DS' PED has told us that he is not yet comfortable combining various meds in treating ADD/HD; not that he thinks that it isn't viable, but he just doesn't (I assume) have enough experience or comfort level to do it. So, if it comes to that, we would have to start seeing a p-doc. A couple of questions for those of you whose kids are on combo meds: Are their therapies being determined and managed by PEDs or p-docs, what are they taking, and how is it working out? I suspect that we may have some decisions to make, and I place a LOT of credence in the words of the wonderful, wise posters here!!

Many thanks!! ~ ruth

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-20-2003
Tue, 04-29-2003 - 11:54pm
Hi, I don't know about the allergy meds, but my sons best results with strattera were about two months after he had been on it, now we are going on our 3rd month and he seems to be getting better, He has even cleaned his room with out and argument. I think alot of it has to do with combining the strattera with some behavior modifications, even ones that didn't seem to work in the past. I used to hate sending my son to time out, it would turn into a big fight and i wound up with bruises but now it works wonderfully and he knows he has to do his work or it has consequenses. Before he didn't care plus he has also found the book and movie Holes which he is really interested in. Good luck!
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-27-2003
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 10:30pm
Hi, our 10 y/o ds also has allergies. He takes the Alavert every day with his Strattera and it works well. It's a little cheaper than the Claratin. We tried the Equate brand of the Claratin but it doesn't work well at all. Also, I noticed some posts about some of the other kids being very sleepy when taking the Strattera. When Eddie started it he had a three day weekend and he slept practically the whole three days! He would only wake up to use the bathroom and eat once or twice a day and fall right back to sleep. The pediatrician warned us that it could make him sleepy for the first week or so but we were really worried when Monday rolled around. He made it through school just fine though. I just guess that it is a combination of coming off the stimulent medication, general loss of sleep that he had been experiencing while on the Adderall, and the effects of getting used to the Strattera all rolled into one. Overall, we are still quite pleased with the Strattera. The only problem we have had is remembering to give it to him every day. We got into the habit of not giving it on weekends or holidays when he was on the Adderall so we have to really work at making sure he takes it every day. I just keep them with my pills and give him his when I take mine now. He is starting to show some initiative with his homework now. He never did that on the Adderall. Also, it is a lot easier to get him to do his chores and such. He doesn't argue any more like he used to. We're doing the Snoopy Happy Dance around here most days now! Sybul
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 05-07-2003 - 1:30pm
Hi! My son has been on allergy meds (Allegra) as well as Concerta for several years now. His PED has been prescribing both. Recently we had to increase his dosage of Concerta because he was having outbursts, and she said if the increase didn't help, we would try Strattera. Since she has been treating my son all his life, and knows him almost as well as I do, I would not think that she would say that if Strattera would interfere w/ his allergy med (or vice-versa). We just recently started seeing a p-doc because the family doctor wanted some assurance that she is treating him correctly, and so far, the p-doc is supporting her treatment.

It is also a good idea to consult with a pharmacist if you have any questions, and always have all of your child's prescriptions filled at one pharmacy so they have the complete med history. My pharmacy also supplies information fliers with the meds, and I always read through them when we get a new med.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 05-07-2003 - 2:37pm
Hi, thanks for your feedback. I actually did check with our pharmacist with regard to any potential adverse reactions between Strattera and allergy meds, and there are none they know of. I also checked with our PED (who is WONDERFUL). No one could find any documentation that indicated that Strattera is contraindicated with antihistamines.

However, I wanted to double-check with the wise posters here, to see if there was any anecdotal info that might still be flying under the radar screen! I had been giving ds various OTC allergy meds to see if anything would help (poor kid is having a rough spring!) and I've noticed that on the days I gave him anything with an antihistamine he was a tad ... intense. He was having pretty bad anger flare-ups and meltdowns. It could be a total coincidence, but maybe not. For the past couple of days, I haven't given him anything with an antihistamine during the day (though I'm still giving him benadryl at night, with the Nasonex), and that has really seemed to reduce the incidence of meltdowns to almost nothing. As I said, could be coincidence, but maybe not! Could just be my unique kid, LOL!

Thanks again!! I appreciate your input! ~ ruth

Avatar for keke0116
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 05-07-2003 - 3:58pm
Kevin (my 11 y.o.) has been on Strattera since Feb, starting out at a low dose and increasing to 60 mg. I do not feel that he is as focused or doing as well on this med as he was when he was on Concerta. We changed because the Concerta was, after 16-17 months, losing its effectiveness. He isn't experiencing any negative side effects with the Strattera, but I don't think he's as happy as he should be, he is moody and easily annoyed, has little frustration tolerance. Now, these are some of the reasons we went to meds in the first place ... most of which improved on Concerta. Doc had added a small dose of Concerta to the Strattera, still not 'great.' As of last week, we changed that to Ritalin LA in the a.m. along with the Strattera ... although we're all expecting to have to add an afternoon dose. I've got very mixed feelings about all of this. Our doc is a child psychiatrist (director at a local hospital) with very good credentials, came highly recommended and I trust him implicitely. But, I'm not happy with the results ... although I know we're still 'tweaking' and trying to get the right balance. It's just that the Concerta worked so well, so quickly, for so long, that this new 'mood' crap I'm dealing with is just frustrating ... have to wonder if part of this is somewhat hormonal and has to do with the onset of puberty, or what? Who knows? So hard because I'd been against meds for so long, then finally relented ... and now it's like "OK, what do we try next?" (I have a great pediatrician who not only has been practicing for 25+ years, but who also has an ADHD son ... and even HE suggests that when it comes to meds for behavioral issues, we should go to the experts ... i.e. the psych-docs.)

Kevin has taken Claritin for allergies, as well as over the counter cold meds, which the doc said wouldn't have any problems interacting with the other meds.

Nancy

Nancy 

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