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ADD / ADHD Message Board

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Hi everyone, thanks for the board. I'm sure no one else can understand our unique challenges quite like WE can understand each other's. My girl is 10 years old and started Strattera 3 months ago. She was diagnosed with ADHD in 2nd grade and used Concerta for about 6 months, had to discontinue due to stomach pains and sleeplessness, then was on Adderall for about a year. The Adderall worked well but she didn't eat much and it made her too edgy and the crashing afternoon period (right on top of homework, of course!) was terrible. Some sleeplessness too. So when I heard about Straterra I wanted to try it. I really like that it is not a stimulant or a controlled substance, makes getting scrip fills so much easier (and cheaper!) with 90 day mail order. As far as how she is doing - well, it took about a month adjustment period. She is focusing MUCH better. The doctor said Strattera has a cumulative effect; but I can definitely see an immediate effect within an hour of taking the meds. She has somewhat of a 'flat affect' when medicated; but oddly, even though she might seem disinterested in a given activity, after it is over she will comment "I enjoyed that (activity) more than anything ever!". That in itself is unusual for her. I would describe her demeanor when medicated as "full contact" as opposed to very surface, limited contact when not medicated. So I have to conclude that she is feeling and experiencing more while medicated than she is letting on at the time. Also, the 'rebound effect' is bad when the meds wear off. She has a more marked 'hyper' period when the meds wear off. She gets very cranky and has the 'pit viper' disposition for a few hours. I have considered adding a second dose in the afternoon. She is currently taking 25 mg. which seems adequate dose but I would like to see an extended release for longer duration. Her grades were average this semester and slightly up from last semester on Adderall (even though she has a gifted IQ of 131). It was a rocky period of adjustment, however so I am hopeful for better grades next year. For the record, I was totally opposed to meds when she first got the ADHD diagnosis. Then, our psychologist commented to me one day that if we did not medicate, my girl's grades would probably continue to decline, her self esteem would snowball downhill and such cases often ultimately drop out of school. That persuaded me to use the meds, although I constantly second guess that decision. I'm not sure why things are the way they are - but that IS the reality we have to deal with and we are dealing with it daily via lots of structure, consistency, boundaries, love and meds. I never pictured myself as a 24-hour a day drill sergeant but that is me. In the years where she should start to be doing things on her own I find that I must still monitor her constantly. In a nutshell, for example - the other day we were riding in the car, I was driving along and we were chatting and laughing. Having a normal conversation. She was relating to me coherently and with full contact. Normal. I hate to use that word, but that is what Strattera is doing for us. For now, anyway. Stay tuned. Good luck to you all and please keep posting so I will know I am not alone.

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