Reply To: Afraid of medication side effects

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Devon Frye

This reply was originally posted by user cmullen17 in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

Here’s the other side: my son was diagnosed with severe ADHD and ODD. Life is difficult with the meds, on weekends, if he forgets to take the medications, I cannot deal with my son at all. Meds are like night and day for my son. With them, he is more like a typical tween (he is 11), he is bratty but engaging and fun. Without them, he is obnoxiousness on steroids.

On medication, he can focus at school, his impulsiveness is mostly in check, he gets good grades. Without medication, he basically disrupts class to the point that he is sent to support services.

Obviously your son is not as severe as mine, but this can show you just how much medication helps. My son admits that everything is easier when he is on his meds. It doesn’t mean he won’t try to not take them. But he knows life is better on them.

Because of his age, we have been going through a year of change with what works. The doctor is chalking much of that up to puberty and hormones. He takes 36 mg Concerta and 2 mg Intuniv in the AM, he also wears a 15 mg Daytrana patch. He gets a 36 mg Concerta at 1:00 pm at school, and takes 1 mg Intuniv at 5:00 pm at home. (As I said, he has a very severe case of ADHD).

These meds do not take away his personality; actually, they let it shine. He is engaging and funny and smart. Without them, the lack of focus and impulsivity and ODD get in the way.

Good luck with your choices. Please know, meds are not an enemy.