Reply To: Fish oil capsules: Best brand? Alternative to medicine?

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Allison Russo

This reply was originally posted by user mjsmom73 in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

We have been giving my daughter prescription meds for 3 years and have finally given up on them. We tried to accept the rebound at night and side effects as well as we could but our daughter just does not seem happy on them. They make her irritable and much more sensitive to stimuli. (She has also been diagnosed with developmental coordination disorder and sensory issues). She was having to take medication to help her sleep and medication to make her eat. The ADHD medication was also increasing her anxiety. We finally decided the side effects were not worth the increase in focus for her. The medication also did not do much to help with impulse control.

We are now giving her fish oil (to help with her focus). We have been giving her Barlean’s liquid fish oil (lemon flavored) but she does not like the taste anymore. Since she is almost 12, we are starting to give her the capsules instead so she does not have to taste them.

We have also been giving her magnesium to help with anxiety and sleep issues and zinc to help with impulse control (we are giving her a low dose since we know too much zinc can lead to toxicity). She takes a daily vitamin (gummies that do not include iron) so we also give her an iron supplement to help improve behavior.

We are also trying essential oils. We get ours from Spark Naturals (Jeddy’s Blend for the ADHD/anxiety symptoms—not exactly cheap but cheaper and lasts longer per month than her prescription ADHD medication) and lavender to help with relaxation and sleep.

Here is an article I found at the ADDitude website regarding helpful supplements for ADHD. You might have already seen it:

Note: We are also implementing mindfulness exercises, employing the sensory diet recommended by her OT, and enjoying having our happy girl back. She still shows definite signs of ADHD/SPD but the supplements, mindfulness exercises, and essential oils seem to be helping while not making her as irritable, agitated, anxious, and best of all they aren’t starving her or interfering with her sleep.

We have a high deductible health plan also, so the supplements are much more cost effective than the outrageous price of the medication (over $260/per month for the generic for both the stimulant and appetite increasing medications until we reach our deductible). I did a cost-benefit analysis and the new regime we are trying to put into place is around $60/month for the vitamins/supplements/essential oils).

Good luck to you!