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Vanessa,

Yes, I give my son both the Strattera and Concerta in the morning (usually around 7:00). On the weekends (if he gets up after 8:00), I give him Strattera and Ritalin after he eats breakfast. I try not to ever give him Concerta after 8:00 am cause then it affects his sleeping. As long as he takes the Concerta with Strattera (before 8:00 am), he has no trouble falling asleep at night--and that was a HUGE problem when he was on only Concerta.

About the side effects: Having him on the medicine was a positive life-altering change for our entire family--he could finally function effectively and appropriately without irritating everyone around him. So, for him, and us, the lack of appetite and insomnia were the price we paid for him to be a happy, successful person. Luckily for us, the Strattera also came out and when taken in combination with the Concerta, he didn't have the side effects the stimulant alone caused. And as an added bonus, the Strattera also treats his anxiety. So for us, for now, we have a good combination for him.

How long will he have to remain on medication? Until he has problems from it or it no longer works or he no longer needs it or he turns 18 and decides he doesn't want to take it anymore. But, I can tell you that right now, without it, he cannot function effectively or appropriately in society (for an 11 year old). As he gets older, I hope he will learn effective-enough coping strategies so that he will not need medication to control his impulsivity, his activity level, and his ability to focus. Also, I assume he will choose a profession that does not include sitting behind a desk and will lend itself to constant change and quick thinking--my guess is he'll become a cop, a salesman, a teacher, or a coach of some kind.

For the record, he is 11 1/2 and weighs 71 pounds. Last year at this time, he weighed 65. The first two weeks he was on Strattera he gained 5 pounds. He's only gained a couple pounds since then. He does eat though, and he sleeps well.





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