My granddaughter who I have guardianship of was newly diagnosed with ADD and I am being told it is totally my decision to start her on any kind of meds, but I get the feeling the psych is hoping I go with it. Her biggest issues are focus and organization. She also gets moody. There is a family history of mental disorders with both her biological parents. Up until this point she showed no signs of any real problems so this is disappointing at best. I keep reading up on all of this and still don't have a lot of peace about it. We do not want to create any extra problems for her, but also want her to have a better time in school as she is very smart and motivated for the most part. I also don't want it to effect her growth and of course this is a serious side effect. Any feedback is most appreciated!
I started my son on Concerta when he was 7 and it made the WORLD of difference for him. I fought it for a long time but after I started it, I wished I would have started him sooner! If she truly has ADD, you will notice a difference right away, especially in her grades. My second son had the ADHD form which has the hyperactive component so I saw a huge improvement in his aggressive, impulsive behaviors too. My first son was ADD not ADHD and he started on Methylphenidate (Concerta is methylphenidate, a long acting form) and I saw the biggest difference in his grades. He went from struggling to get C's and D's to getting A's and B's. I knew he was an intelligent kid but his grades never showed it. My ADHD son, it was very apparent he had SOMETHING going on because of his behavior as well as lack of focus. You can always try her on it. If you dont think it makes a difference then take her off. It does decrease their appetite so you do need to watch their intake to be sure they get enough calories. I used to give my sons Boost ot high protein Ensure at night to be sure they were getting enough calories. My ADD son, we would hold his meds on the weekends and during the summer because his behavior wasnt a problem, it was mainly concentration so he didnt really need it when he wasnt in school. My second son, with the ADHD, he needed meds on a cntinuous basis until he was in his teens then we started holding them during the summer too, once he began to have the coping mechanisms inm place to control his behavior better. Keep doing what you have been doing and read all you can about the condition. The CHADD website is a great resource.
Concerta is a good medication. Let me try and put you at ease first about side effects. You need to realize that the drug companies have to list ALL possible side effects of medications, but that is what they are... POSSIBLE side effects. Not everyone experiences them. That said, if you do decide to give her the medication remember these two things: 1) Make sure to decrease her caffiene intake because it can cause her to become over-stimulated and/or become more irritable--- don't forget that caffiene hides not only in sodas, but also teas and chocolate! 2) Make sure she gets plenty of rest because Concerta is designed to make you feel more tired at the end of the day. I commend you for trying to make an informed decision! Although it is your decision, just keep in mind that if ADD or ADHD is left untreated in a child, it has a tendency to caryy over into adulthood. I wish you well and may your granddaughter get well!
- Concerta Information for Consumers
- Concerta Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Concerta (detailed)
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