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My 8 year old is having VERY scary spells on her 15mg adderall xr.
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erinkc1022 posted:
My daughter went through a lot of testing about 2 1/2 years ago. She was diagnosed with ADHD, Dysgraphia, she came in at the 1 percentile in her memory and also has alopecia areata. She just turned 8 a few months ago and barely weighs 50 pounds so she is very thin and fragile. We started her on Adderall XR 15mg back in December because the 10mg didn't seem to work anymore. I only give it to her when she goes to school because she WILL NOT eat anything when taking it. Anyways, we has quite the scare a few weeks ago when she came out of her bedroom ash grey, blue lips, could barely stand up and said she felt sick and dizzy. I got her to drink some water and a little bit of V8 Splash to get her hydrated and some vitamins in her. Well she has been on Spring break all last week so she didn't take her meds at all besides on one day and she threw up after taking it. She ate everything I had in the house which I loved seeing her do! Today was her first day back to school and when she got off the bus she was really grey again with the blue lips and it looked like it was taking a lot out of her just to make it across the street. It upset me so bad to see her look that ill that I broke down and cried my eyes out because it was heartbreaking to see my child like that. We have a Doctors appointment on Wednesday to see what our other options are but I just wanted to know if anyone else has experienced this and if it's the dose or if it's malnutrition? I hate seeing her suffer and I don't fully agree with giving young children adderall, especially tiny ones like my daughter. I would like to try natural remedies so if anyone knows of any that work, please let me know. I just want her to be herself again.
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atti_editor responded:
Hi erinkc1022,

I can only imagine how upsetting and scary it is to see your child suffering, and I think that your daughter is incredibly lucky to have your support. You are doing the absolute right thing by scheduling an appointment to speak with her doctor about what options are available to you.

Loss of appetite, dizziness, low energy and feeling as though you are going to throw up are all listed as possible side effects of Adderall. This article has tips for reducing ADHD medication side effects in adults, but I think that most could also be applied to your daughter's case. The nausea could be a result of taking the medication on an empty stomach, and the article says that dizziness is sometimes linked to too high of a dose.

I also found these articles that have to do with natural remedies for ADHD that you mentioned and that you might want to review with your doctor:
I hope that you are able to find some answers at your appointment Wednesday, and that you keep us updated on how your daughter is doing!


Best wishes,

Atti
 
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booberryjuice replied to atti_editor's response:
I would have stopped the med right away, my son has started on adderal (now on 2 weeks and i mostly forget it at night cuz it makes him too hipper),I am sure i will take him OFF of it like - now! He too is small (like my family) -10 and looks like an 8y/o - 59 lbs! (always has dark eyes-from 3yrs up ?) - with no appetite from his concerta.- it wears off at suppertime and then he stays up late every night to eat. I will have to keep trying to find something that works cuz he has OCD from not finding help with his sensory issues. I wanted to look into holistic too but I can NOT do the whole diet change thing - that would just add more stress for me. which I unfortunately can not do.
 
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atti_editor replied to booberryjuice's response:
Hello booberryjuice,

As you mentioned, it is important to also take care of yourself when you are raising a child with ADHD. This article has some suggestions about taking care of yourself both physically and emotionally so that you are able to continue to provide your son with everything he needs to succeed.

Because you mention that it seems your son's medications are not working for him, and that they are having some adverse effects, it would be a good idea to discuss these things with your doctor if you haven't already done so. He/She may have some ideas of alternative treatment plans or medications that would work better for your son.

I also understand that it is sometimes not feasible to rework your child's entire diet, but you might try adding or limiting certain foods to see if they have an effect on his ADHD symptoms. As it says here , limiting the amount of simple sugars (candies, sugary foods, things made with white flour, etc) may help lessen your son's hyperactivity -- especially if you notice that he is easily affected by sugar. Adding high fiber foods like berries, whole grains and oatmeal may also help, while complex carbs like vegetables and fruits such as oranges, pears, and apples later in the day may help with sleep.

Please let us know how you all are doing

Best wishes,
Atti
 
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erinkc1022 replied to atti_editor's response:
I stopped my daughters medication that day and took her to the doctor. He seemed a little freaked out about what was going on and said he didn't want to prescribe her anymore meds (which I wasn't planning on putting her back on anything because of how freaked out I was) and to see a pediatrician psychologist. I told him that I wanted her to be reevaluated at Children's Mercy so I made her an appointment that day. They couldn't get her in until the 23rd of this month. She has been eating like a champ thank god and very hyper but I love to see her being herself again! We did have another little scare last weekend which wasn't as bad as the last 2 that she had while on the adderall . She had been off of it for about 2 weeks and she went back to not having an appetite that day and she got really pale again with the slightly blue lips and said she didn't feel good. I bought her some of the Cliff protein bars after the second scare and she HATES them so at dinner I told her that if she didn't eat some of her dinner then she would have to at least eat one of them. She refused so I got her to eat half of her dinner and the color started coming back into her face thank god! But it just made me wonder why she had another spell like that since I hadn't given her her medicine in a while? I am counting down the days until her next doctors appointment because I need answers as to what is going on. She is my baby and I hate to see her like a zombie but I also hate to see her not able to control herself and the outbursts that come along with Combined Type ADHD. Her teacher has sent home a few nasty reports about how she's been acting in class and has moved her to the front of the class and turned her desk around so that she can't fiddle with things in it I guess. It just upsets me because I let her teacher know we took her off her medication because we had no choice and it's like she's punishing my daughter. She's not a bad kid and Makenna doesn't understand what's going on so it breaks my heart. If you are a teacher then you need to be patient and understanding, not make a child feel like she's doing something wrong. When we take her to her appointment they are going to do a 90 minute assessment and testing and then I'm sure we will follow up every month like we did when they diagnosed her almost 2 years ago. They are fantastic there and I know I will get the answers I need! I just feel that there is more going on and I want the whole works done. Thank you all for your support and help. It makes me feel very grateful that i have people to talk to that are also going through similar situations with their babiesI will let you all know how it goes that day.
 
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Gina Pera responded:
Hello,

There is a lot of middle ground between 15 mg of Adderall and "natural remedies."

Please pay attention to the obvious signs that this medication is NOT working for your child, and stop it immediately.

You posted this message three weeks ago, so I assume you have seen the doctor since that time.

The stimulants typically do not need an increase in dosage; there is no "habituation." So, I question why the increase to 15 mg if 10 mg worked for a while.

It might be that it is simply the wrong choice of medication for her, that she has co-existing conditions such as anxiety that complicate treatment, or she is deficient in the vitamins and minerals required for brain function (including to help the medications work). This would include minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and zinc, and it would include B vitamins and others.

ADHD is highly genetic, so I will tell you quite frankly that if a parent with untreated ADHD runs the risk of being unable to study these issues well and follow through on the best strategies for his or her child.

If you have ADHD, it is imperative that you do something about it so you can better take care of your child.

The truth is that, with any medical condition, we must be informed consumers. We cannot follow blindly any physician, no matter how well-meaning.

Fortunately, with ADHD, there is a huge amount of information available to the public, so they can educate themselves about their own or a loved one's ADHD.

Moreover, if your child is that thin, there might be other issues in play, such as food sensitivities. The common culprits are wheat, corn, dairy, and peanuts. Try eliminating one of those for a week or two at a time, and see if she feels better.
 
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Gina Pera replied to booberryjuice's response:
booberry juice -- If your child has dark eyes, meaning in the pattern if not intensity of a "black eye," that is one indication of allergies. In fact, they used to be called "allergic shiners."

It might mean more "stress" for you to change his diet, but that might be what is required.

Also, giving a person who has ADHD and anxiety a stimulant alone can excerbate the anxiety.

Unfortunately, ADHD treatment is seldom simple. And it takes very focused attention to deal with a child's medical needs. It would be the same if the child had any other illness: It must take top priority.

Best of luck,
Gina
 
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atti_editor replied to erinkc1022's response:
I am so glad that you were able to get your daughter in to see your doctor, and that they are being so thorough in trying to get to the bottom of her symptoms. I am sorry that her teacher doesn't seem to understand her needs at this time. Here are some articles that discuss ADHD in school and how you can best help your daughter at this time:
I wish you the best of luck at your daughter's next appointment, and I hope you will continue to keep us up-to-date!


-Atti


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