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    Meds and Puberty
    mommyiam1 posted:
    My daughter is 11 yrs old. She has been on Straterra since she was about 6. I've noticed that it doesn't seem to work as well anymore. Can this be because of hormones, or is her system used to the straterra? I've been tryin to decide if I want to talk to my pediatrician about intuniv. My insurance won't cover it. IS it very expensive? What are the pros and cons.
    Gina Pera responded:
    Hi mommyiam1,

    Although I'm not a medical expert, I do keep up with the issues on medication for ADHD.

    Some points:

    1. Hormones (especially during adolescence) can definitely affect brain function.

    Dr. Patricia Quinn (my fellow expert in this community) has written about this. I suggest that you read one or more of her books for girls with ADHD. The latest is "Attention Girls!"

    2. Many children with ADHD experience added "cognitive load" once they get to middle school.

    Subjects become more complex, they must be more organized as classes shift from room to room, social issues get more complex (cliques, interest in the opposite sex, etc.).

    3. With any ADHD treatment, it's critically important to focus on DATA. By that I mean, be as specific as possible as to the challenges and use those as treatment targets.

    For example, is your daughter having trouble with organization? Socializing? Getting started in the morning? On and on. This helps you to establish a basis for monitoring medication's effectiveness. It also helps to clarify your thinking in black and white, distinguishing what might be ADHD-related challenges from other issues faced by many adolescents or issues particular to your family.

    If you talk with your physician about Intuniv, you should know WHY you are interested in that medication.

    All medications for ADHD are not created equally; there are different mechanisms of action.

    4. Most pharmaceutical manufacturers offer financial support for patients who qualify. You can check details at the medication's website. Usually, the communication happens between your physician and the company.

    5. The stimulants are still considered the first-line medications for ADHD. If your daughter has not tried a fair sampling of the stimulants (some work better for the individual than others), it would be best to try that before moving to other second-and-third-line medications.

    I hope this helps.
    Gina Pera

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