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  • Info needed on Strattera

    After being diagnosed with OCD last year at 6, and having varying tics on and off for about a year and a half, my son -now at 7 in grade 1 was just diagnosed with ADHD combined type. The doctors suggest Strattera to help him achieve his potential- as he tested much higher than avearage (in the 90 and above percentile) in numerous areas, but is being limited by the attention deficit problems when tested on achievement and using knowledge.- can't finish school work,sometimes just won't do it all etc. It is sad for me to see the frustration and anxiety that my bright, enthusiastic boy experiences, but I am so wary of the medications. I was told that Strattera seems to work best when there have been no prior medications- which is our case, and is best for anxiety, addressing the attention issues, and should not exacerbate the tics. Any updates or advice on Strattera?
    Thanks for listening.
    Cindy

  • #2
    Re: Info needed on Strattera

    Hi Cindy!

    First of all, let me start by saying that as I'm sure you know, each med works differently with each child. What works for one may not work for another...
    My son 11 has been on Strattera now since the first of this year. We have tried a couple of other "stimulant" type of meds over the past few years as well. I find that Matt's ability to focus has improved with the Strattera. He seems to be doing better at school for the most part. What we have found however, is that his anxiety has increased as well as some aggression. Since he takes Seroquel as well we aren't sure at this point. Our MD has decided that eventually she would like to stop the Strattera and try Concerta in the near future.
    Keep in mind that this has been only our experience, and we are not 100% sure yet.
    I can tell you that it did not increase his tics whereas when he was taking Adderal his tics did increase.
    If you do decide to use the Strattera keep a diary of any improvements or concerns that you see. If you feel comfortable sharing the info with the school they can let you know of anything they see as well. I have found our school to be very supportive.
    I wish you and your son all the best! You are your son's best advocate! Never stop asking questions!!
    Cheers!
    MJ

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    • #3
      Re: Info needed on Strattera

      I am in the same boat as you for the MEDS. I am so wary of them myself and I really don't know where to begin. I posted a message in the treatment thread. Here it is

      I know I am going to get a lot of criticism from other family members but that's not an issue for me. My husband and I are prepared to put Chase on MEDS but we would like to be able to see Dr Carroll first. There is a waiting list right now but if worse comes to worse then we will do something earlier.

      What a tough decision to make!!!!!!
      Last edited by Steve; May 8, 2007, 07:02 PM. Reason: URL link
      CRYSTAL

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      • #4
        Re: Info needed on Strattera

        My son was on Strattera and although we found it helped with his anxiety, it did absolutely nothing for his ADHD but he is pretty severe so it could be different. As for the tics, the Strattera didn't seem to cause them until we upped his dose and then ever the Strattera exhasterbated his tics. He now is on Concerta for the ADHD and unfortunately having to take Clonidine strictly to control the tics that the Concerta causes. He still has simple tics but are more controlled than if he wasn't on the Clonidine.

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        • #5
          Re: Info needed on Strattera

          Thanks for your post. Chase has a Mental Health appointment tomorrow. I think I am going to ask about a Med that can work for anxiety and attention. Strattera may be it. I know he's going to need something but I am hoping to limit the amount of different kinds of meds he needs to take. I am no DR though but I am willing to do what I have to in order to help Chase. Thanks for all your help TSFC Forum!!!
          CRYSTAL

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          • #6
            Re: Info needed on Strattera

            Cindy

            As mentioned before, medications do not react the same to any individual.

            We recently stopped the Concerta in place of the Strattera. My son is not on a maint. dose yet as we are gradually increasing to avoid "flipping".
            We saw more anxiety the first week and more aggression but as the dose is being increased he appears to be leveling out.
            Strattera is not a stimulant as Concerta would be and for us is to help my son's impulsive behaviors and help him process a little clearer. We have not seen increase of tics but he also takes other meds to lower his anxiety.
            In our case Seroquel increased aggression with increased doses and as he appeared to be out growing the benefits was replaced with a low dose of Zyprexa.

            It is so hard to find the balance you need and keeping a mood chart and journal makes a big difference on directions your physician takes in changing medications.

            The balance can always be found eventually but you have to be prepared for adjustments as your child becomes older and goes through puberty.

            My son has TS+ so we face the same struggles as most parents to find that balance.

            Take care and keep us posted on your progress.
            PJK

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            • #7
              Re: Info needed on Strattera

              Please be careful with Strattera. As previously said it reacts differently to everyone. My son reacted with violent outbursts and extreme anxiety to this med. The moment it was stopped he returned to his old self.
              Gidget

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              • #8
                Re: Info needed on Strattera

                Hi, thanks for your reply. I am curious if your son was on any other medications prior to trying the Straterra. A couple of the doctors that recommended it to us said it is particularly effective if it is the first tried medication, which it would be in our case. Just checking for some more real cases that might support that theory. Also, our son is prone to anger outbursts(at home mostly) now, so it would be difficult to tell if this was a cause of the medication should we choose to try it. Thanks again.
                Cindy

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                • #9
                  Re: Info needed on Strattera

                  Hi
                  My son has been on dexadrine and risperadil for the last 3 years. It has been effective for the most part but the dosage has to be well monitored for weight changes and my son is at the growth spurt point of his life.
                  If strattera is the first med you are trying even with the anger outburst you will notice a difference. If it works there will be a decrease in those home outbursts and if it goes the same way as my son you will notice an increase.
                  Is your son in school? That is where I notice the most difference in his preformance. At home it is not as much of a challenge as we have developed a good routine with some free time.
                  Good luck
                  Gidget

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                  • #10
                    Re: Info needed on Strattera

                    Hi,
                    I had posted a question about strattera a few weeks ago also. After a few weeks of questioning myself and speaking to others, I had decided to go ahead and try Strattera. My son started on Saturday at 10mg. It may be too early to tell right now, but since Monday, My son has been on an emotional roller coaster. I spent the last 2 days home with him trying to observe him and calm him when the outbursts took place. My son is normally a very docile, calm, boy. In the last 2-3 days, I have seen an angry, resentful, sad little boy. I was 1/2 way out the door to the hospital yesterday with one of his outbursts, but was stopped with a miracle call from the social worker at school. I don't know if it's the meds or just a bad week, but the son this week is not my son I've had for 9 years. I'm supposed to up the dose to 20mg at the end of this week. I'm nervous now to do so. With that said, Meds work differently with everyone, so I advise you to talk to as many ppl as you can. I found my pharmasist to be a wealth of info. As for stattera for us, it may be too early to tell, but so far, It makes me really really nervous. My son has been told that he only meets 1 out of 18 symptoms of ADD, yet my doc put him on this after I expressed concern for the anxiety. (???) Good luck with your decision, I know it is not easy! I'm just so frustrated with the system and how long of a road this has been for us....

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                    • #11
                      Re: Info needed on Strattera

                      You may want to consider asking your doctor about Tenex (Guanfacine). It is not available in Canada yet however special permission can be obtained.

                      Our son's doctor (who is a TS specialist) told us that Tenex is the first line of defense used in the Mayo CLinic. He also stated that usually Tenex has fewer side effects than Straterra for TS patients. Tenex also has the added bonus that is can help with tics in some cases in addition to ADHD symptoms.

                      Our son started Tenex yesterday so I will keep you updated. He himself says he feels more relaxed (Tenex lowers blood pressure).

                      The reason we have started to use Tenex is that after stopping Anafranil for OCD symptoms (he is now only on Luvox before bed for OCD) we saw an immediate change in our son's personality. He was happy, smiling, joking, easy and fun to be around. AWESOME! It was almost like he was high on something though.

                      After a few weeks as the Anafranil was finally entirely out of his system he started to go way over the top. He could not sit still at all for any length of time. He stopped sleeping. He was unable to filter out stimuli which resulted in him literally running from person to person at school in the classroom trying to get in on everything that was going on simultaneously.

                      We had never seen any of these symptoms before as he has been medicated thoughout the day since grade 2. (Various cocktails have been tried.) This was the first time in 5 years that he was without meds of any kind during the day and wow were we ever shocked!

                      Obviously I love the happy, smiling guy and want that to continue. We did not realize how much his personality had changed over the years with the meds he was on. I am slightly concerned about his OCD though. The entire reason we stopped the Anafranil was his OCD was getting out of control and the med was no longer helping. Our plan was to try another OCD med however the ADHD symptoms really threw us and we felt we had no choice but to medicate for that. He was begging the nurse at school for some meds that would help him to be able to sit still and stop talking. He felt completely out of control and didn't like it at all.

                      Our son is now at the age (13) where we need to listen to him and how he feels about the meds he does or does not take. For example last year we removed Risperadal at his request because of weight gain.

                      I have gotten off topic but I will let you know how the Tenex works out over the next few weeks.
                      Last edited by mom2TSguy; October 1, 2007, 04:14 PM. Reason: names

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                      • #12
                        Re: Info needed on Strattera

                        Hi my daughter has TS plus. She has inattentive type ADHD. Last year she couldn't function at all at school and at home she couldn't remember any of our daily routines. She was argumentative and refused to help out. Finally the doctor put her on Strattera 10 mg. I love this drug, she has been able to focus in school and they feel she will do well in grade three. Most kids need 18 mg to do well or even higher her doctor said but she has responded so well. It made her really sleepy though so now she takes it after supper, because it also bothered her stomach. She is no longer argumentative, she does all of her chores, she actually offers to help out around the house. The difference has been night and day. One reason the doctor jumped right to this drug is because she has had troubles sleeping since she was two and he didn't want to put her on a stimmulant. So far this drug has not affected her tics at all. I have had nothing but a good experience.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Info needed on Strattera

                          WOW!!! That's such a great success story!!! I am convinced that Strattera will be the first drug we will try for Chase's inattentive ADHD. He will also be on something for his anxiety which is REALLY bad!!! We are waiting to see Dr Carroll in August before we do this.
                          CRYSTAL

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                          • #14
                            Re: Info needed on Strattera

                            Hi again! Just an update with Isaiah's strattera use. It has been over 2 weeks now and he seems to be levelling out. The 1st wk, we had outbursts, but we have not seen any since. He seems to be happier but not completely healed. I am now hopeful where, 2 wks ago, I was not. will keep you updated, things may be looking up. At least, he wants to take it....

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                            • #15
                              Re: Info needed on Strattera

                              Cindy, I am so sorry that I only read your post now. I have not been on for a while and after going to the conference in Niagra Falls I decided to check things out again. My son is now 8 and is still on Strattera, and it has worked very well for him. I think it even takes tics away, helps with anxiety and activity level. He is currently on 40mg. My son only has minor tics and does not have major behavioural issues. He does have OCD and LD and those seem to be our biggest issues at the moment, but who knows...things seem to change quickly. I hope I have been some help, please let me know how it is going and if the strattera worked or not.

                              Sara

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