I also have a son who is almost 8 years old. Diagnosed with Inattentive Type ADHD (ADD) 9 months ago in March 2018. We stressed at the beginning trying to figure out what was the best strategy to help him. He struggles in school and could not keep up with his peers. He’s now in grade 2 and is well below grade level for reading and writing. Although he is super smart and has the best sense of humour. He even makes his teacher laugh. He has always been a picky eater. We tried Concerta 28 mg starting in June and we noticed some improvements right away – although subtle.
Then the pharmacy switched the next prescription to generic. We were alarmed at first but the paediatrician said to try it and see if it works (he was on it for about 3 weeks). It was a disaster. His energy level plummeted mid day. It was as though he might pass out. So we switched him back to the regular Concerta and things got back to normal. (our new normal which is having a son who doesn’t eat during the day, and has to be pressured to eat in the morning and at night or he wouldn’t eat at all). By October we realized that the meds were not really improving his ability to stay focused at school so we increased the dosage to Concerta 36 mg in the morning + Intuniv 1 mg at night. Things improved with his focus at school but just a little bit and he ate even less.
In the past 7 months he lost 10 lbs and he hasn’t grown since August. Maybe that’s not a concern. It might be normal for kids his age not to grow for 4 months but it was the first time ever so I panicked. He was ghost white and was cranky and lacked energy and overall happiness. We took him off the meds immediately. The next day he ate! He ate every meal. Then the day after that he had rosy cheeks. By day three he was a happy kid. It had been so long that we forgot that he had a better outlook on life before the meds. It was such a gradual decline for him that we started to just focus on the little improvements and lost site of the negative side affects.
I don’t know what we will do next. Some of the people who responded on this thread have very interesting natural solutions which I think we will try before starting a new drug. I have tried giving him Omega 3’s – I was told for ADHD 2000mg is best per day. And he won’t swallow the big tablets. And doesn’t like the taste when I break them in to a smoothie. We try to eat fish once a week to help with that.
Really I’m at a loss of what to do now. But I know sometimes you have to try several kinds of meds before finding the right one. I feel like we made a mistake not recognizing Concerta was not the right fit sooner. He was on it for 7 months! Hopefully if we try a new one it won’t take us that long to know whether it’s right or not.