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!!