infrequent migraine headaches in the past. She has also been treated for depression and anxiety in the past. She was taken off abililify and cytalipram 2 wks ago because she was getting more depressed and sleeping all the time. NOw--my question. Her first day on Concerta -FRiday--she had a crying episode at school in the morning and a migraine head-ache when she came home from school. Saturday -took pill at 8 and by 9 had a very bad migraine againe-had to take her to immediate care because excedrin for migraines was not helping. Could these have been caused by the Concerta? Should we try keeping her on the low dose over the weekend and see if any of these symptoms reoccur? I was also wondering if I should ask Dr about Wellbutrin in addition to help her with depression? Psych will only put her on one new med at a time. She is very depressed and has social problems at school. We are getting depressed trying to help this girl and seeing her so miserable all the time.
Concerta is just a form of Ritalin extended release (a far superior release method, but it still contains methylphenidate). Many people report that after methylphenidate wears off, they experience mood swings and headaches, and depression.
Perhaps she would do better on Adderall or Dexedrine? I'd recommend asking the doc about this first. Wellbutrin is another option, but it mainly works on Norepinephrine, and weakly on Dopamine, whereas Adderall and Dexedrine work on Dopamine and Norepinephrine. I take Adderall and do not experience headaches or mood swings when the med wears off. Stimulants are also second-line options for depression, so Adderall would be a good starting point for her to try. But seek the advice of a doctor first.
If you aren't seeing any improvement with her doctor, I'd seek a second opinion. Only trying one med at a time is a very conservative approach, and putting her on Abilify just for Depression and Anxiety is (in my opinion) a bad decision because of the possible negative side-effects of Antipsychotic medications (I believe they should only be used for psychosis, or when all other options have been tried and fail).
Those are my recommendations based on my experience. As always, seek professional advice before doing anything drastic.
The Concerta might just not be the right drug. There's always Adderall, which many patients do very well on. I also took Dexedrine, which was helpful, but the Dexedrine Spansules don't really work well in my experience (they certainly don't last 8 hours for me!).
Another option is Vyvanse, but this drug seems to be a hit or miss thing. Some patients say it only really lasts 5 hours for them, even though the half-life is 12-13 hours on average.
In any case, there are many options. I hope one of these will be more helpful for your daughter - I remember having ADD was quite frustrating and that medication was a God send for me - otherwise I'd have probably failed out of school.
- Concerta Information for Consumers
- Concerta Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Concerta (detailed)
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