Do You Have an ADD/ADHD Medication Disaster Story?

As a Psychiatrist who specialized in ADD/ADHD, I hear lots of information about ADD and ADHD Medication.
I regularly hear great things – i.e. how the medicine has transformed someone’s life…
And I hear about problem situations… When a medicine had a side effect, or maybe wasn’t even needed.

That is one of the reasons that I have my newsletter, and post to this blog – to teach you the right information that you need, hopefully when you need it.

Because I have received so many questions about medicines for ADD/ADHD (like Ritalin, Ritalin LA, Concerta, Metadate CD, Biphentin, Daytrana, Adderall, Adderall XR, Dexedrine, Vyvanse, etc.), I have decided to teach you more about medicines for ADD and ADHD. I will be posting on this blog, or on my newsletter (just enter your name and address on the top right to be sure not to miss this) how you can take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about ADD/ADHD medication in the coming weeks.

Recently, I was amazed by how people were willing to share their experiences with whether Vyvanse works on this blog. Since Vyvanse is not available in Canada (where I work), I asked for your input as to whether this medicine works well. I was amazed at the response! I want to thank each of you who took the time to share your feedback. Discussions have even started between readers of this blog. I am thrilled that this blog has helped to create a community for you.

Now that I am putting together the materials for a course on ADD/ADHD Medication – I wanted to ask you about your experiences with ADD and ADHD medication.

On this post – I want to ask you about any ADD or ADHD medication disaster stories.

Why do I want to know about the disasters?

Well, I hope that I can learn from the ‘disasters’ that may have happened, and hopefully so can my readers. Also, as I go to prepare the material for the ADHD medication home study course – I want to make sure to address all of the situations, not just the successful ones.

So, if you have an ADD or ADHD medication disaster story, please type it into the comment box below.
(just know that it will take a little bit of time until it shows up on the blog – as all comments are ‘moderated’, meaning approved – to prevent spam posts). I would really appreciate you sharing your experiences with me – and also the thousands of other people who read this blog from all over the world.

Thank you for your help.

Dr. Kenny

p.s. If you have an ADD ADHD Medication Success Story, you can enter it here:ADD ADHD Medication Success Stories (or you can just read about other people’s in the comments)

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Comments

  1. Hi Dr. Kenny,
    My son, 9 year old, on medication more than two years. Most of the time medication( Adderol XR) works well. The only my concern that it requires increasing the dosage once in a year. Although I’ve learnt from you that there is no addiction for this medication for people who have ADHD, the increasing the dosage once in a while seems to me as an addiction to medication. I have some questions:
    -does the dosage depend on growth factor;
    -how much the dosage can be increased;
    -what to do if we’ll meet the problem that the dosage cann’t be increased any longer because dose/weight dependens?
    My son feels much better on medication. He sees the difference in his behavior and he knows exactly the day when he forget to take his peel.
    My best regards to you and your family,
    Nataliya, USA

  2. Hi
    My 8 year old son tried the 18 mg Concerta pill but got terrible side effects. Tics and uncontrollable body movements.
    Of course this happened on the weekend when all doctor’s offices were closed but we found one clinic (a children’s clinic) and the doctor there told me that this is a normal side effect and it could take up to 2 weeks for the tics to stop!
    I took him off the meds right away and switched to Ritalin which worked much better.

  3. HI. We had a disaster with Adderal. Actually, the Adderal worked well on my son’s ADD. It was just not good for his personality. His grades were finally good but he lost all joy. I never saw him smile or enjoying anything. He spent more time alone in his room. We had been having good results with Ritalin, but the Doctor recommended a change because the Adderall would last longer.

    When we approached my son about going back to Ritalin he became very upset and didn’t want to stop the Adderal (he had just turned 18). His response kind of made me think of addiction (?) We finally put “our” foot down and made him switch back to Ritalin. Gradually, he started to smile again.

    I know that ADderal works well for many, just not for us.

  4. My 6 year old daughter was on Concerta (extended release) for less than 2 weeks. Her doctor took her off the medication per my request because it made her increasingly aggressive. She began screaming at inappropriate times (no apparent cause) and hitting or kicking when she did not get her way. This was not her usual response before the medication. We started Focalin XR shortly afterward and loved it!

  5. My 10 yr old son, who was taking focalin until today, was notably different in his behavior. However, he has recently been diagnosed with a heart arrhythmia that is being caused by the medication. After having 2 EKG’s, an echocardiogram, 2 sets of x-rays, and wearing a heart monitor twice, the electrophysioligist determined that more than likely it was the focalin causing the arrhythmia. He did not say that my son would have to stop taking the meds right now, but would monitor him with the administration of metoprolol (a beta blocker). I have taken it upon myself to remove these medications from my son’s daily life in an effort to improve his longevity of life. As I am told, all of these types of stimulants have been removed, completely, from Canadian shelves. I will not administer this type of death certificate on my son. We will seek, alternative, holistic means and the faith in the Good Lord. I hope that everyone heads the warning and understands the undisclosed, sudden death, caused by use of these stimulants.

  6. Hi Dr. Kenny
    In response to medication disasters…..
    Hope this is helpful for others !!
    Our son was diagnosed at 4yrs.old and was spiraling out of control because of his adhd, so we reluctantly tried Biphentin! Within the first week we were seeing absolute miracles! After a few months we were seeking to try a 12 hr. med as the biphentin seemed to wear off between 6-8 hours despite an adjustment in dosing etc. It felt like such a tease to us all as we were having these wonderful days with him and then these horrible evenings (usually beginning at supper time)…we tried aderall and very quickly were enjoying the 12 hrs of bliss…it was immediately obvious to us though that our happy little boy was now extremely quiet and withdrawn, very emotional and crying all the time over nothing….after giving it time we finally had his dose slightly adjusted only to experience weeks of insomnia where he was awake for hours in the middle of the night, until one night in the wee hours it occurred to me that my sweet little boy was having horrible hallucinations….he was on a trip that Im sure was equivalent to lsd…..he was screaming, people were chasing him, has saw bunny rabbits running all over our house, he was slapping me because there were spiders on me, he saw rainbows and beautiful lights….”look at the lights mommy, don’t you see them??” I was so scared, I wanted to just cry!!!……we felt so guilty for doing that to him, it was our idea, we wanted the 12 hrs.!!! a long story short, that was 6 months ago and our son still remembers that night, we refer to it as the really bad dream he was having….we have since been back on our wonderful BIPHENTIN and will sing its praises to any one who cares!
    We still only average about 8 hrs. out of him but we will never be greedy again…we’ve decided that the methylphenidate family seems to be the better choice for our child, what works for some won’t for others…..and maybe someday when he’s older we’ll try again, but I don’t see us touching adderall for years to come!

  7. My son was diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and also suffers mildly from Tourettes and OCD. We have tried a number of medications over the years for ADHD including Concerta, Adderall, then Straterra. Concerta and Staterra did not quite give the results that we were looking for. However, Adderall had an terrible effect on him. At first we didnt’ notice any chance but decided to wait it out. Eventually, he seemed a little depressed, lazy but the most frightening thing was his ability to speak. (Normally, my son is very articulate and expressive with his words.) He would try to say something, and forget what he was going to say just as the words were about to come out of his mouth. We didn’t let this last more than a few days when I called the doctor and asked if we could discontinue the medication without any withdrawl effect. He assured us we could stop the medication which we did that minute.

  8. I think this fits into the ‘disaster’ category.
    Doctor had been shuffling my dose of immediate-release Methylphenidate around for a few weeks as my ADHD (I’m 23 by the way and was diagnosed age 9) had begun causing some serious problems with work, first he cut it right back to 2x5Mg tablets a day, which did absolutely nothing for me apart from make me extremely frustrated, increased to 2x10Mg tabs a day, which had limited effect and still no real benefit. A few weeks ago upped to 4x10Mg tabs a day – at this point in time I had been suspended from my day-job, but still worked at nightclubs in the evenings as a bouncer, and was taking the majority of the daily dose in one go before work at night.
    Slow progress for a few weeks on the same 4x10Mg a day.
    Doc decided that I was ‘stabilised’ on this dose and switched me onto Concerta-XL 36Mg.
    After two days of taking concerta, i became aggressive, anti-social, and depressed. After a week of little to no sleep, constant anger/aggression, and withdrawal from social contact, i was awake all night, going for pointless journeys in my car, ending up getting pulled over by the police and landing in trouble (cops dont respond too well to aggressive behaviour).
    After i had been released from police custody (with a formal warning), i sunk into a deep depression and became suicidal.
    I acquired approx 1000 tablets of various types over the course of a few days and pooled them together with some old prescription analgesics (opiate painkillers) and decided that I would overdose.
    Having decided that there was enough to ‘do the job’ and little risk of regaining conciousness with a permanently damaged liver and maybe brain damage. After all, if i was going to live, i didnt want to be worse off.

    Luckily for me, a friend had noticed marked changes in my behaviours and intervened. Making me unpack every single pill/tablet and put down the garbage disposal. Also making me return to the Dr and ‘confess’ about everything.
    Doc promtly withdrew Concerta-XL and re-prescribed immediate-release Methylphenidate, but only at the same 4x10Mg dose as weeks ago.

    Still suspended from work. Still struggling on.

  9. I’m 42 years old. In 2005, I was put on 400mg of Lamictal for being easily angered. The Lamictal made me feel more calm and peaceful.

    My doctor then put me on Concerta for my A.D.D.

    I became more and more easily irritated despite being on the Lamictal.

    In June 2005, I assaulted my wife after an argument and was charged and convicted of 4th degree assault.

    I was put on anti-psychotic medication for several weeks after stopping the Concerta.

    I no longer have that calm and peaceful feeling despite being on 400mg of Lamictal.

    I would say, if someone has a temporal lobe disorder, taking Concerta is not worth the risk. It has adversely affected my life in numerous ways.

  10. My 6 year old daughter was recently dx with inattentive ADD. The pediatrician started her on 30 mg (smallest dosage) of Vyvanse. We gave it to her on a Thursday morning before school. I picked her up from school at 3:00. I was completely shocked by the changes in her. She had a very flat affect however she was talking non-stop. However, the most disturbing side effect was a very obvious facial tic. This involved a chewing like motion and a repetitive tongue thrust pattern. The poor child has horrible chapping under her bottom lip from the constant tongue thrust /licking. At 3:30, she “crashed” and became a zombie on the couch. At 5:00, she began to perk up and her personality returned. The facial tic disappeared by 9:00pm. At mid-night, she was still awake. At 2:30am, she was asleep however she was awake again (and up for the rest of the day) by 4:00am. I forgot to mention the pain in her stomache. She complained of her belly hurting awful. Well, we are going to give 10mg Focalin a try tomorrow despite many family members and friends poo-pooing on our decision to put her on meds.

  11. My 6 year old was on Ritalin, progressed to Concerta and when I didn’t see much improvement, the Dr put her on VyVanse. She recently started seeing spiders everywhere. On Sat she woke up screaming about spiders, I couldn’t calm her down completely and she spent a great deal of time complaining about spiders. When she came home school today, she had a letter from her teacher that she had beeen complaining about spiders on her desk all day.
    I’m taking her off the meds but at a loss as to what to do next. She definitely needs meds but not at the expense of her sanity.

  12. Hi Lisa,
    Although it’s very rare – the adhd medications can cause hallucinations (i.e. seeing things that aren’t there).
    Best to call your doctor and review the situation asap.
    Dr. Kenny

  13. My daughter was recenly diagnosed with ADHD a few weeks ago. We started her on Biphentin (new to Canada) 10 mg. The first week was hell where she has little to no patience with anyone including the teachers, daycare and herself. She gets angry and agreesive easily and yells at people which is so not like her. She is usally a loving little charmer who has problems paying attention and is very hyperactive. I called the Dr yesterday and he changed the dosage to 15 mg which we started this morning. He said that if the dosage is too low (as she can have between 20 and 40 mg for her weight range) that this could be a reason for the angry and agreesive behaviour which is not the norm.
    Her appitite has not changed nor has her sleeping patterns so far. I just want my happy little girl back.
    Does anyone have any experience with this new med?

    • My daughter exhibits the same behaviour so am considering changing or trying a higher dosage to see if this will subside…cannot believe the attitude and aggressivity in her ! Its only been 1 week at 10mg but don’t see much improvement ….wonder if Concerta is better ?

  14. My son is 6 years old and was diagnoses with ADHD last year. We have been putting off medication due to skepticism but felt that it was finally time to do something due to his school progress (good grades but unable to pay attention and complete tasks, etc.). We saw his pediatrician yesterday and he was started on Vyvanse 30 mg. He took the first and last pill this morning. I picked him up from school and immediately noticed that he could not get a sentence out of his mouth without repeating himself. He started crying and sobbing over something that would otherwise not even bother him (arguing with younger sister). He had noticeable tics and twitches and could not be still. He also kept thrusting his tongue out of his mouth. It was so scary. I called his pediatrician’s office and am currently awaiting a call back. Was searching on computer and found this site.

  15. My little brother who has just turned 13 has ADHD. But before he wnet to shawbrigde it didnt look like he had anything rong with him. when he wnet to shawbridge for doing something bad, they started putting him on ridalin, then a few weeks later they put him on something called “BIPHENTIN” and on the bottom it sais ” 40 mg “. thats when i noticed my little brother started to change. he wasnt eating, he wasnt joking around with me at all anymore, neither was he bugging me. but sumtimes when i got him mad we would beat eachother up. and before my brother used to be very weak, but he got stronger, i can still beat him up, but even when we do joke around and i stop he continues and he figdets alot. i miss the old him though. i feel like i dont know him anymore.

  16. I guess this is more of a question than anything.

    (if there is anyone else who is going through what I am, or has experienced anything similar, please e-mail me @ nas_ny@hotmail.com)

    My name is Josh, and I’m 26 years old. I’m pretty intelligent and socially outgoing but was always unable to focus on anything for more than a minute or two. My grades were severely low before I was prescribed Dexidrine around age 15.

    I was able to graduate (just barely) on time with my classmates, and this drug has been miraculous in helping me through my day to day life. The differences socially have been remarkable, and all my friends and family know this. It has saved many of my personal relationships. My dose at this point is one 15mg time-release spansule, twice daily.

    However, when I am not able to take my pills are precisely the correct time each day, (6 am, 2pm) I become extremely depressed, and this drug feels to be more of an addiction than anything. Without it, I am lost, my focus dwindles, and I lose sight of the ‘big picture’ in life. I fritter away valuable days and become lazy. But with it, I feel as though I am addicted to something that, unless taken absolutely correctly, every dingle day for the rest of my life, makes me sad and anti-social.

    Also, when mixed with alcohol, and a bit of an anger problem, it has been disasterous on several occasions. Although I do not want to abstain from alcohol for the rest of my life, this may be the only viable option. I am in couselling now for anger management.

    However my actions in these 26 years have taken their toll, and when not ‘motivated’ by my God-send Dexidrine, my problems loom and my depression seems to always be around the corner..

    Also, I am forced to go to my doctor every 2 months for a new prescription, as this is a ‘controlled substance. It’s very time-consuming and stressful when I have little time to spare as it is.

    I know that I am always responsible for my actions, not the drugs I take ‘to be normal’. But giving this drug up is not an option.

    Are there any long-term drugs that offer less of a roller-coaster ride, while still giving me the benefits of a fully-functional, motivated mind? Will alcohol always be my Achilles Heel?

    Please help.

    J

  17. I was put on Concerta XL, (I’m 25) and after two weeks I had been arrested for overly aggressive behaviour and locked in the cells for nine hours until I finally calmed down. I was a nightmare in custody and after I was released, my doc took me right off the concerta and put me back on generic methylphenidate and I was fine and back to my usual self after a couple of days.

  18. My story is not quite the same kind of disaster. I was on methlphenidate for at least 5 years and a friend of mine who works for Lilly was selling Straterra. I went to my doctor and gave it a try. It was horrible. I had a stack of papers to grade so high that I ended up throwing them out and just giving everyone A’s. I forgot to do everything. It was like I was not on any medication at all. It was disasterous for me and my husband, for the first time, saw what I was really like with out taking any medication. He makes sure I take my methylphenidate everyday. I drove him crazy.

  19. Hello!

    My 6 year old daughter has been diagnozed with ADHD when she was 5 years old. One week ago, she started taking Biphentin (10mg) and I have not seen any improvements. However, she has a hard time falling asleep (45 minutes later than her usual bedtime 8:00 pm).

    Her teacher called me and told me that her behavior this week was more oppositionnal than it has been for the last 2 months (hitting, refusing to comply, angry). Anybody has had the same experience (child becoming more aggressive after taking Biphentin).

  20. My daughter has ADHD. She was diagnosed in 4th grade. She is now in high school (9th grade). She was on Strattera until high school and it seemed that it wasn’t really helping her enough, so I asked that she try something else. She tried Ritalin, but it made her speedy, and now she has been on Concerta for several months. We had a long talk last night about her behavior. I have seen her become more and more aggressive. Today it occurred to me that it could be the Concerta. She was not an aggressive child and it doesn’t really seem to be in her nature, but it has been harder and harder to talk to her without getting hateful glares and extreme oppositional behavior. She is a good girl, but when she gets so aggressive I feel like I am living with someone else. Not sure what to do next. I guess I will consult with her doctor.

  21. I teach a special education class and have several students with severe ADHD. Some of them have been prescribed medication that has significantly improved their behaviour and focus. However, two of them have showm much more aggressive behaviour when on biphentin. On this drug they both threw things at teachers and classmates and became very oppositional almost every day. We noticed this pattern so I started to wonder about this drug. That’s why I’m looking for more information on biphentin.

  22. Besides my tics getting worse, I notice that on Vyvanse I am extremely talkative and nearly manic. Getting sleep isn’t a problem, but my personality has changed in a way I don’t enjoy. I become more like how I was when my OCD was really bad about 10 years ago (I’m 19 now); it takes me 10 times longer to complete an activity, because I get so damn obsessed with the details–e-mails have taken me hours!! I don’t quite understand it, because my doctor says Vyvanse shouldn’t make the OCD worse.

    Also, after chatting with a couple friends who have ADHD, it seems like I’m displaying even MORE characteristic symptoms of ADHD AFTER starting Vyvanse–I’ll somehow completely forget what I’m doing in the middle of an activity, just sort-of “zombie-out,” like people complain about on SSRIs. I feel actually LESS focused, though more intrigued and interested in everything–my motivation has gone through the roof, and I actually feel more relaxed and less worried, but gosh, I get so easily distracted!! (Odd, isn’t it?).

    What does it mean if my ADHD meds are making ADHD worse?

  23. I am a mother who has just had my son diagnosed as a AHAD Child. He is 4 years. He has been put on 10mg of Biphentin. It has been a horrible experience?? I thought this was suppose to help, he is worse then before and more angry and violent then ever. My little baby boy scares me, when he rages out of control. I want to take him off, but not sure as I told the Doctor and she said stop and restart for a few days. My heart aches for my son. I don’t know how to parent him , I am afraid of my own son.. someone please give my some helpful advise.

  24. I was prescribed Dexamphetamine at age 34 for adhd.
    Shorterm benefit= Waste of Time.
    Medium term Benefit= Tiredness, Depression, Fatigue, Dehydration, Zombie brain effect, Loss of personality, anger, sleep deficit.
    Longterm Benefits= Unable to hold a job as im too tired and are a slave to stimulant meds to keep me awake, motivated. During the day at different hours of the day i go up and down in Alertness like a withdrawl. I sit and do nothing and stare. Take a drug i go do things for 10 minutes then it wears off and i sit back on this damn chair with stuff all over the house unfinished due to Fatigue.

    All these happy smilling doctors havnt a clue. Up the dose may help u. lol
    Do you want to know the truth people???????
    DONT “UP” ANY DOES OF THIS CRAP. THROW THE MEDS DOWN THE TOILET & FLUSH. WHAT YOU ARE EXPERIENCING IS SLEEP DEPRIVION FROM THESE DAMN DRUGS. Anger, blunt personality, zombie face, loss of pleasure, fatigue, loss of jobs, bankruptcy, restraining orders, suicidal thoughts, no friends, no money, on welfare, cancer. ALL THESE GREAT THINGS FROM A DIAGNOSIS OF ADHD :-)
    Stop taking those damn pills. Go to bed each night at the same time and wake at the same time. 9 hours sleep a night!!!!!

  25. AGAIN:

    It is sleep deprivation is reason for all the disasters. HELL ive even began seeing things, Hallucinations. As ive started reducing these crap drugs. Tiredness and sleep debt is approaching as well hunger pains. AND Irratibilty and supreme anger. In fact i may even hand in my drivers license coz im a danger on the roads with road rage!

    So ADHD Drug benefits longterm are these:
    3 years of taxes not handed in. A restraining order from the most adored woman i wished to live with till the end of life. OVER. Bankrupptcy from late night sleep deprived decison making on foreign exchhange markets using credit card. No job as too tired. Hallucinations, loss of friendships, no money, living back home with mum, anger issues, health problems, cancer, fatigue, Days spent with head drooped down from sleep deprived drug addict. May have no drivers license soon, dentnal bills due to not brushing teeth as am too tired, see 5 to6 hours sleep in 3 yrs is a lot os sleep need getting back. Etc, etc.

    All these things due to oh how surprising: Look up sleep deprivation and tell me what the symptoms are? Welcome u are now a slave to a drug.

    Go to sleep people!!!
    SLEEP!!!

  26. LAst comment.

    Your Adhd meds arnt working as they cant stop your body wanting more sleep. Your body is making the feeling of sleep stronger each day as you draw all its rescourse from ya body. So u need to UP the drug.

    Just go to sleep lady. ADHD meds making your ADHD worse is coz your zombieing out man from sleep DEBT. ZOMBIE”S All stimulant Zombies we are. Caffiene drinks, ADHD meds, Coffee. ZOMBIE Land.

  27. When I take my son off Bipentin to give his body a break when there is no school he staarts sleep walking and having night terrors. This happened in the summer and now again over the holidays. I am so frustrated I can only imagine what else this med is doing to him. Is it worth it? I don’t know yes he can sit at school now, but what about all the side effect?

  28. No horror stories for me only great sucess! My 7 yaar old started on Vyvanse 20 mlgs last year and we saw great improvement this year it seemed to not be as effective and he was reaised to 30 mlg in September and has been doing terrific. He has gone in one year to a child who argued everyone one and everything, in peooles faces, rude, no friends and struggling with school to a kind, agreeable, great A student with many friends – I am happy and so is he!

    Negatives: lack of appetite during the day and sometimes a rebound at night but nothing aweful!

  29. Concerta ruined my teen years.

    I’ve always been a talkative person, you could say. At least until I was diagnosed with ADHD. As a child I was known for my rapid comments and sens of humor. I was the clown of the class, I loved to have fun and just waste time doing stuff most people take for granted, enjoying life. Al tough I was slightly hyperactive and easily irritated at my parents (personally I blame slack conditions and rules, in short I had no real respect for them). I would also be interested in stealing and drugs at an early age. Excitement.

    So after a couple fights with my parents my mother asked me if I didn’t want to go and see a doctor if I could get help. I agreed, I hated the way me and my parents would fight (otherwise I would be as happy as one could be, singing, beatboxing and rapping when I had nothing to do).

    So at the age of 13 I was diagnosed with adhd, I couldn’t believe it, I even cried in denial of it. I was a perfectly healthy teenager, I had plenty of friends and I was actually about to get my first girlfriend.

    So the psychiatrist that diagnosed me put me on Concerta. I was assured this was just a test to see if it worked on me and I was clearly explained that if it didn’t they would stop right away.

    I tought I’d give it a shot. I wouldn’t do it for myself I would do it for my parents and my mother in particular, I tough they deserved as much as an better son.

    I can to this day remember the first school day I took concerta. I would feel slowed down, like I had weights strapped on my legs and on my chest, it was an awful feeling. But that was not all, the medication worked. Atleast in my teachers eyes, I became quiet and more concentrated at first. And they gave this lovley information to my parents and my doctor, who praised the magnificent work the concerta had done for me. And for me that was all I ever wanted out of this, to make my parents happy for once.

    But after a while things went in quite the opposite direction. I became anti-social, depressed and I would feel like a zombie. When people talked to me it felt like they were talking in a different language, I couldn’t really comprehend what they were saying, and I could no longer make a connection.

    A common day for me would get up just enough time to eat breakfast, get dressed and go to school. At school I would sit and stare out in thin air, completely disconnected from the world around me, with nothing but an empty mind. Then I would go home and sit on the computer till I went to bed. This went on for about the entire four years I was on concerta.

    This was how I managed to lose all the friends I had, and I’ve yet to have had a real girlfriend. At the age of 17 I was so depressed I considered suicide many times, I would often lie for hours on my bed starring out into thin air just feeling sad for no reason. My grades dropped in Vocabulary activity to half of what it was and my average went down one and a half points (from 4.6/6 to 3.0/6). Around this period was when I first discovered a sport called parkour (look it up on google) witch was a sport that was about running and jumping in all environments, that was shunned upon by my parents (I did jump and run a lot) when I was younger. And these people made it into a sport. This was where I realized my ADHD was not a curse, but a gift.

    I had wasted a genious I didn’t even start to appreciate before it was taken away from me. I decided to go off the concerta (witch was really hard, I started and quit several times. When you are under the influence of a drug for so long, it can be scary to be without it) and it changed my life completley. I now have lots of friends and I’m on a full recovery to what I consider my true self.

    I’m still quite damaged from it, I can still be very shy and I have severe anxieties. But it’s getting better as the days go a long. This can be the first day in a very long time I can actually say life isn’t so bad after all.

    • I am so glad I found this post. I just had the same reaction in school on Ritalin, except I am a graduate student. I missed an entire day of classes before the effects subsided with what I called immediate ‘withdrawal’. Headache, feeling hot, clammy hands, and the sweats. It’s still not out of my system yet, but I hated it. I couldn’t comprehend what my professor in the first class was saying AT ALL! I could listen, but make no connections to the subject. It was like a nightmare, I can’t believe you lived that for 4 years. I am glad you didn’t kill yourself, I may have if I was forced to take this crap. Wellbutrin on the other hand, has been great. No side effects at all and I bounce back faster from my depression states allowing me to function better. Never again will I take a stimulate.

  30. My son age 7, has been on Biphentin 15mg for almost 7 weeks now. The first 2 weeks were great, he was finishing all his work in school and we didnt notice and side effects.

    Well that first 2 weeks was such a tease. Since then we have notice and increase in aggression from my usually sweet loving son. He has had numerous incidents at school were he is also lashing out at teachers and other students. He has been assigned a TA to walk with him at all outdoor times, to insure the saftey of other students.

    Lately he has not been doing much work at school at all, bringing home large amounts of un finished school work. So much that I actually havea stack sitting on my kitchen table, as I can only get him to do a little every night. At this rate he will never catch up.

    He has had moments, were I am actually scared of his behaviour. Just a few days ago he became upset with our small dog, and actually started after the dog screaming he was going to kill him. I had to hold him back from the dog and get one of his brothers to take the dog to another room.

    Sleeping has become a nightmare. Takes him anywhere from one to 3 hrs to fall asleep. His regular bedtime is 8:30pm on school nights. There have been nights when I will go up to bed at 11:30pm and he is still awake. He is also waking in the middle of the night, more often then he did before. Some nights he will be awake for hours, I hear him in his room playing.

    I spoke to his teacher this morning and she too says she has notice no good changes in him. She is concerned about the increase in the aggression. Today is our appointment with Dr. Will no later today if my son is too continue on this medication or if changes will take place.

  31. Hello
    38 age I just beed diagnosed with ADHD. And I was given Ritalin Adderall Strattera. I have stoped the med because it made me fell like crap. 1. Never take med where you have sign waver that you might die or have hart attack pretty scary. 2. I read on lot of blogs that kids have full access to there med and they abuse them open your eye parents get off your lazy butt and give your child 1 pill and tell them take it front of you. I here some kids sell them, snort them, save them take like 4-8 pills at one time

  32. I was diagnosed with ADHD about a year ago. I’m 38. I’ve been behind my entire life and remained that way on meds. But on Ritalin I could focus better some days w/less effort. However, after taking the meds for ~2 weeks the side effects got worse. That was with each of the meds I tried. With Focalin, which I tried last, it was the worst. I couldn’t remember what ‘normal’ felt like.

    I would crash in the evenings and had a hard time doing anything if I didn’t have meds in me. With Focalin I was more anxious and depressed with every crash.

    I’ve decided to live without the meds. Although, my ADHD is pretty severe. It’s discouraging to feel like I’ve seen a little what it might be like to be a person without ADHD (which is how I felt sometimes on meds), but then to realize the side-effects aren’t worth the benefits.

    The meds. made me more aware of my weaknesses without them.

  33. My daughter just lost custody of her two children to her ex-husband and mother-in-law who are wealthy. They used the excuse she was refusing to medicate her 7 year old for adhd. The only justification used for taking both children her little 3 -year old as well,was that and “Although this mother appears to be cooperative she shows an underlying mistrust of the two counselors, hired by the mother-in-law, the school, paid by the mother in law, and the mother in law. This mistrust was called subtle, only detectable in body language. Social services was not involved. Because the father was saying yes to medication he was cooperative.

  34. My Previous posts were overemotional. Stimulants can help but you got too keep routing and NOT too much. If you cant sleep 8 hours a day on them then its not working. Youl go down hil from sleep debt. Anyway. Where all diff. cheers

  35. this is a response to Ange feb 16/10
    can u tell me how it is going now with your son as my son 8 yrs old is also on Biphentin 15mg and is having very similar side effects. More verbal aggression, rages. He has been on meds since Jan 11 2011.

  36. My 9 yr old daughter was previously diagnosed with early onset bipolar disorder, ADHD, and GAD. Had to change physicians because other physician was not available no real care or follow-up. New physician said that ADHD and Bipolar have similar symptomology and that instead of treating bipolar we should just treat the ADHD. My daughter was previously on 2 mg Abilify which we had requested to change because the meds are too expensive and we don’t have insurance coverage for psychotropic medication. New doc took her off of abilify and put her on methylphenidate for ADHD. We had been having a lot of problems with daughters behavior prior to new meds especially when we went off of Abilify. She was passing school and is now failing within 2 months time (the time it took to stop Abilify use). She has been on Methylphenidate now for 7 days. She is able to concentrate all right but only on throwing major fits about anything and everything. The first night she wanted to ride her new roller blades so bad she didnt sleep until 3 am. Thought that was a side effect of the meds but sleeping hasnt seemed to be a problem since. Teacher said Friday she did seem to be a little more focused. As soon as she walks in the door the tantrums begin and never end. She said she cant control it and started pinching herself trying to stop herself from freaking out. Everything I have read about treating bipolar kids with adhd is that you MUST treat bipolor first because giving a bipolar child a stimulant can cause them to have mania or even psychosis. I am worried this new Dr is one who doesnt believe in diagnosing bipolar in children. Has anyone else had the same issue with ADHD meds and bipolar disorder or am I crazy?

    • JD – when a child is bipolar, it is imperative to stabilize the mood first and then treat ADHD. So having a medication like Abilify to stabilize the mood is very important. When one is on a stimulant without mood stabilization, then there are often outbursts. What you are saying makes a lot of sense!

  37. No you are not crazy. I had the same experience until we found the right med and dosage. Very frustrating and frightening. Seems to me the doctors don’t tell the parents or aren’t aware of the side effects. Ive heard this from
    Several parents of kids with ADHD. You’re not alone.

  38. I waited a year to see a child specialist and at my first appointment, my 5 yr old son was diagnosed with adhd. Not what I was hoping to hear, but I was determined to do what I could to help him. After a brief conversation with the Doctor on treatment options, I was reluctant but agreed to start my 5 yr old son on 20mg of vyvanse right away. She insisted that he would not be a “zombie” and because this was the lowest dose, side effects would be minimal. She gave me some literature from the drug company and I was ushered out the door. I waited a year to get the appointment so I figured she must be extremely busy and in demand.

    My son began taking the pills this past Monday and I will be taking him off it tomorrow. Day 1 was rough for me. I picked him up at 5pm and I could tell he was stoned. He has always been chatty but he was talking non stop and going into way too much detail about simple things. Definitely not himself. I thought I’d give it some time.

    The next day I picked him up at 5pm noticed the talking had subsided a bit so I was relieved. He did mention a bit of a stomach discomfort but said he was okay. By Wed he had some watery stool but again I was not overly alarmed. I read that it was a possible side effect and chalked it up to his body adjusting. That night I noticed he started to show signs of hypersensitivity to small bumps or scratches, hot water, etc.

    Today happened to be an observation day at his school. I went and was shocked at what I saw in the classroom. He was staring into space, withdrawn, no energy in the school yard for tag. I was heartbroken. I felt like I let him down. I was furious with myself that I niavely trusted the doctor over my own instincts and that similar zombie like behavior had probably gone on since Monday. I also felt angry that no one from the school had reached out to let me know but maybe my expectations are too high. Anyway, this feels like a big setback in my goal to help him.

  39. My six year old has been on Ritalin 2 weeks and started having severe anxiety also will not go outside because he developed a fear of flying bugs..if he does go out he screams in fear of bugs. We stopped the ritalin and it went away..ritalin just made him worse. He has ADHD/ODD/OCD/CHILDHOOD AUTISM..Mild.

  40. My son Sean also experienced increased agitation and aggression being started on Biphenton 10 mg. We stopped the first week he tried and went back to the pediatrician who (I wish I had got his exact wording) said sometimes it needs a month for side-effects to (I took the nuance to mean go away). Well we couldn’t make it to 4 weeks, I think it was just shy of three weeks that I won’t tolerate a personality change to treat a boy who is pleasant or joking or happy ADD when he is not on Biphenton, into an aggressive unkind ADD when he is on it. There was no significant change for us in his focus and cooperation. I’ve had strong referrals by other parents to naturopaths, and I have to ask, has anyone tracked any real success stories over time about those using medications (longitudinal observations) of absolute problem resolution and success for many ADD/ADHD individuals. Because, to be honest, all I ever hear about are horror stories. I’ve never heard about a kid who was diagnosed, put on meds and it was resolved and they grew into a well adjusted adult. I’ve only heard of perhaps well adjusted ADD adults who hadn’t been put on the meds or diagnosed, as children. (And therefore they must have very mild cases).

  41. My son is now 6 1/2 and started taking Biphentin 10mg last December after being diagnosed with ADHD. We increased his meds to 15 mg a couple of weeks ago and his focus improved in school but his aggression in school ( verbal and physical) is still evident. It did not help with his impulsivity. Meeting with his doc on Monday. Hopefully, there’s a better medication for him.

  42. I’m 16 and I’m on 108 mg of concerta and my grandmother worries bc I don’t eat and I never talk or do anything.. All I ever do is just sit there.. And I’m loosing weight like crazy.. Should we be concerned

  43. When I was in 7th grade, I went on 18 mg of Concerta for my ADHD. I was in charge of taking my own medication, and it made me miserable. The side effects were awful. All that I ate for three days was half a school lunch because my stomach hurt, and I just wasn’t hungry. It felt like I had swallowed too much of my own saliva.

    In addition, I was tossing and turning in bed, and I felt (mentally) the same as I always had, it had no positive effects. After 4 days, I just stopped taking it.

    They tried Focalin after that (4 mg), and it didn’t have any side effects, but didn’t do anything either.

  44. Hi Dr. Kenny,
    My ADHD disaster is my own personal story. I was diagnosed late with ADHD since my grades were high enough that no one thought about it. At the end of 8th grade, I started on the drug vyvanse, and for the first two weeks, it worked great. My motivation for work was vastly improved and I was actually paying attention and learning in class. However, after two weeks, it stopped working all together. So the doctor upped the dose, but every two weeks, same result. It wouldn’t last longer than that. So we switched to concerta, where the same thing happened, however, after we upped the dosage the second time, I had an extreme breakdown. Hallucinators, extreme paranoia and something the doctors told me resembled schizophrenia. I was in a state of extreme fear and aggression, and attacked several classmates. So they switched to adderall, where the same thing that vyvanse was doing happened again: results that would fade after two weeks. And another reaction similar to concerta happened around the 4th dose. So we lowered the dose, and when it stopped working, we switched back to vyvanse. By this time, I was getting extremely tired of this roller coaster effect. So instead of switching, I went up to the highest dose of vyvanse available, where I proceeded to have the absolute worst psychotic episode of the 3. Extreme paranoia, fear, hallucinations, aggression, suicidal tendencies, but this time it all felt like rational decisions I was making. I was rushed to the hospital where they gave me a shot to subdue me and I was immediately pulled off the drugs. Over the period of the next six months, I experienced moderate to severe depression and mild withdrawal symptoms. The doctors still don’t know why I would adapt to the meds so fast, or why I had such severe reactions. since then, I have noticed a severe increase of the symptoms of the ADHD and am out of options of what to do.

  45. Hi my child is 8.5 year old and was diagnosed with ADHD 1.5 years ago. Since then we have tried concerta, vyvanse,straterra and the last one bipheten. The straterra seems to work a little but dod not give him a enough focus for school. We have had extreme side effects from the concerta, biphten and vyvanse such as aggressivness, tics, mood swings, anger, crying, confusion, anxiety anorexia and weigh loss.
    In the last week our doctor told us to try porzac because now he is anxious. I would be anxious too if I have tried all these things REALLY …. any way we did and that was a dissaster. e have never had trouble at school. he got agressive with other kids, started throwong things and rude to the teacher. This has never happened before. We have just stopped all meds 2 days ago AGAIN. NOW the withdrawl is crazy.
    We are at a loss what the next step for my son. We live in Canada and intuniv is not availabe yet.The postive things is that his school work and focus improved with vyvanse but the side effects changed my child. When we stop these meds my child comes back. Do you have any suggestions?

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