Is medication working?

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    • #86761

      My 8 yr old daughter has been on meds for ADHD for about 9 months. However i’m Not sure they are working. Given how kids’ behavior changes over they grow I’m confused if the meds are making her better (if she’d be ever worse without them) or if they’re just ineffective.

      What does well-controlled ADHD look like? How do I know if we need to change meds?

    • #86769

      It may help to spend a little time writing down all of the individual symptoms you can think of, especially the ones that lead to the diagnosis in the first place. That will help you assess which ones have improved, stayed the same, or worsened. As you do this, keep in mind that every child has behavior issues (that’s the reason they don’t live on their own yet), so make sure you’re keeping your expectations of the treatment in check.

      To take it another step, take that itemized list, and build a chart where you track those symptoms (using some sort of scoring system of severity) on a regular basis. This will allow you to see trends of frequency and severity of symptoms. Change is hard to observe without collected data. It’s like the lobster that doesn’t notice the water getting hotter. But if they could read a thermometer . . .

    • #86805
      Penny Williams

      Here’s a free resource that helps you determine if your child’s ADHD medication is working:

      Free Resource: How Do We Know the Medication Is Working?

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #87028

      I have experience with many moms whose kids are on meds.
      First, do the list from above. Really look at your kid on a non-medicated day and then
      a medicated day that is roughly the same.

      If the days look exactly the same in your child, you might need to up the dose. On the other hand, your dose could be perfect. The brand of your medication may not be effective.
      Many of my mom friends and I have gone through this. Pharmacies order different brands based on the deals they can get. Look at your insurance. Figure out the brand you have and call around and see what pharmacies are selling other brands, pharmacies on your insurance list. Some meds don’t seem to do anything for some kids. In fact, I’m pretty sure this magazine has published articles about this.

      If you want to make sure the dose is correct and that you have a brand that is not effective, ask your doctor to write a prescription for 5 to 10 pills of the original name brand, that you will pay cash for. Do not get the insurance company involved. If you do this and see no change, then you will likely know you need to look at the dose. If you see a change, you will know you need a different brand. The name brands tend to work, but many insurance companies will not cover them at all.

      When people ask me what the meds do that I can see, I say, “you know how people go home from work or out to dinner after work and have that first few sips of wine? And they proceed to sigh, like Ahhhhh, that’s what I see the meds do in many kids that I know.”
      You can practically watch it happen.

      Good luck, there are options out there and medications are very effective.
      Your child will feel better. (They feel the difference.)

    • #87035

      you also need to talk to her school teachers. The meds may be working at school, but wearing off by the time she gets home. If so, then …. probably just increasing the dose or changing to a longer acting med will help.
      You also need to realize that the meds are not magic. They cannot control years of built up habits. You also have to be actively involved in changing those years of habit. This site has lots of specific ways to work with kids with adhd. take the time to check them out. If you are not actively involved, she will be getting only half of the possible benefits.

    • #87119

      yea…I have gone through countless…and so far, no luck ;(

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