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Old 01-13-2005, 07:56 PM   #1
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Bncinlove HB User
HELP!! My son is losing weight

My son was diagnosed ADD last May and has been on Concerta since. He is 10 years old and was wearing a size 12 huskey jeans and is now wearing a size 8 jean and they are still loose. I know that before he was diagnosed he ate all the time and was a little chunky. I also know that losing weight is a side effect, but I was told that it would only be for a few months until he got used to the meds. Here we are almost 9 months later and he is still losing weight. I worry about him. He has dark circles under his eyes and he could sleep the day away if we let him. I don't know if he is just reacting negatively or if this is a normal thing. Any help would be appreciated.

 
Old 01-13-2005, 08:27 PM   #2
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Re: HELP!! My son is losing weight

Unfortunatly i am not too familiar with guy jean sizes, so i don't know if he is currently at a healty weight. I also don't remember for how long i was losing weight. But i see it this way: If he is not at an unhealthy weight then i wouldn't worry about the losing weight part too much. (at this point). Because I would say that you lose weight until your weight reflects your appetite. I lost a total of 20 pounds and then leveled off. and didn't lose any more. But if he does keep losing weight to a point where you think he is at an unhealthy weight, then i would talk to a doctor about it. Also, if the other side effects he is experiencing are posing a problem, that is cause to see a doctor about it too. How much is he sleeping? and when does he go to bed and get up? Cause 10 year olds sleep a lot it seems! my sister is 10 and she sleeps for ever!
Hope this helps!

 
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Old 01-14-2005, 06:45 AM   #3
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Re: HELP!! My son is losing weight

He goes to bed at around 9pm and we have to fight him to wake up at 7am to get ready for school. On weekends when he can sleep in he usually sleeps around 11-12 hours a night and then he is very inactive all day. He usually plays video games or plays legos in his room quietly. He has no friends and doesn't like doing things with other people. I am wondering if it is because before he was diagnosed he had problems interacting with other kids. Maybe he would prefer to steer clear of them??? I feel like I have two choices, a kid out of control or a kid so subdued he is missing out on life. Is this his life sentence?

 
Old 01-14-2005, 12:02 PM   #4
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Re: HELP!! My son is losing weight

We have been trying for 5 years to find a drug that will help my 13 year old daughter with her ADHD. Unfortunately we had the same weight loss problems. Once she did adjust to them she stopped losing weight but she didn't gain as much as she should either. The only drug she didn't loose weight on was Strattera, in fact she gained on it, but it was like giving her a placebo, it did nothing for the ADHD. When she was on Concerta I would let her go off of it on the weekends and holidays and try to feed her as much as possible. But when she was on it she was almost in a zombie state most of the time. She has just started Ritalin LA, we're just praying it works. I think you have to keep trying until you find the one that's right for your son. Good Luck!

 
Old 01-15-2005, 08:58 PM   #5
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Re: HELP!! My son is losing weight

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bncinlove
My son was diagnosed ADD last May and has been on Concerta since. He is 10 years old and was wearing a size 12 huskey jeans and is now wearing a size 8 jean and they are still loose. I know that before he was diagnosed he ate all the time and was a little chunky. I also know that losing weight is a side effect, but I was told that it would only be for a few months until he got used to the meds. Here we are almost 9 months later and he is still losing weight. I worry about him. He has dark circles under his eyes and he could sleep the day away if we let him. I don't know if he is just reacting negatively or if this is a normal thing. Any help would be appreciated.
Amphetamines can cause poor sleep quality and they can cause fatigue due to overstimulation of the brain and nervous system. The dark circles are a dead givaway the sleep he is getting is not restoring what his body is going through with the meds. He might be having a dose too high for his particular brain chemistry to handle.

I got some info about amphetamines on the internet below.

The side effects are a bit alarming, but I guess it's good to know what to look out for as it's hard for doctors to know how much is too much for each individual since they really can't measure the amounts of dopamine in the ADD child's brain. The side effects are below:

Short-term physiological effects include decreased hunger, increased stamina and physical energy, involuntary bodily movements, increased sweat production, hyperactivity, nausea, itchy, blotchy or greasy skin, and headaches.

Long-term effects can include changed sleep patterns, poor skin condition, lowered immune system effectiveness, erectile dysfunction, heart problems, stroke, liver, kidney and lung damage.

Psychological effects
Short-term psychological effects can include euphoria, increased concentration, rapid talking, increased confidence, nystagmus (eye wiggles), hallucinations, and loss of REM sleep (dreaming) the night after use.

Long term psychological effects can include insomnia, mental states resembling schizophrenia, aggressiveness, addiction with accompanying withdrawal symptoms, and irritability. Chronic use can lead to amphetamine psychosis which causes delusions and paranoia.

Chronic amphetamine use can cause severe psychological dependence. Long-term use can result in extreme exhaustion and malnutrition.

Last edited by Jennita; 01-15-2005 at 08:59 PM.

 
Old 01-19-2005, 05:42 AM   #6
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Re: HELP!! My son is losing weight

Well, the doctor appt went fine. He was in the 95th percentile for his weight and age in June and he is now in the 65th percentile. He has lost 10 pounds. That's quite a bit when you consider he only weighed 90 pounds to begin with. He checked out okay as far as his heart, bood pressure and he is not dehydrated so we will wait until the psychologist gets back with his md on what changes need to be made to his meds. Thanks for the support and I'll keep you posted.

 
Old 01-19-2005, 11:39 AM   #7
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Re: HELP!! My son is losing weight

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bncinlove
Well, the doctor appt went fine. He was in the 95th percentile for his weight and age in June and he is now in the 65th percentile. He has lost 10 pounds. That's quite a bit when you consider he only weighed 90 pounds to begin with. He checked out okay as far as his heart, bood pressure and he is not dehydrated so we will wait until the psychologist gets back with his md on what changes need to be made to his meds. Thanks for the support and I'll keep you posted.
Good health wishes for your son!

 
Old 01-19-2005, 03:43 PM   #8
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Re: HELP!! My son is losing weight

What's most likely happening is that Concerta is wearing off just before 9 PM.

Amphetamines are actually a very devious type of drug. They give you loads of energy and an increased concentration while their effects last, yet when it wears off you will feel the effects of having used so much energy (a drug that turns you into Superman doesn't exist yet). This is primarily why your son is burning up calories.

Normally, when the drugs wear off the tiredness and appetite start to show themselves. However, your child goes to bed when that happens and as such isn't eating (and restoring the extra calories that were burned).

Concerta is a longer-lasting version of Ritalin, which creates problems such as this.
With Ritalin, you can control the administration of the drugs much better. You could take your morning dose and skip the noon dose, for example. You'd start feeling tired and hungry shortly afterwards. The tiredness is not that great, because you skipped the dose that would normally 'keep you going'.

Concerta starts to wear off at a specific time every day, however. Ussually 10 hours after taking the first dose.

I'd suggest trying Ritalin instead. It's the exact same substance, and can be controlled much better.
It is not true that Ritalin has more side-effects than Concerta, however. Concerta release itself slowly, which is why you don't get an immediate effect as with Ritalin. Both the drugs are identical for the remaining part.

Otherwise, tempt your son to eat just before he goes to bed. That's when the appetite should show itself in his case, and when you're sleaping you don't burn many calories, so they're their for the next day, so to speak.

 
Old 01-20-2005, 08:32 AM   #9
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Re: HELP!! My son is losing weight

Well, the doctor called yesterday and the psychiatrist suggested he try Adderal. They have a prescription for him called in I just have to pick it up. I need to do more research on it before I pick it up and give it to him. I want him to be healthy, but I also dont want to give him something I am unsure of. Thanks again for the help.

 
Old 01-20-2005, 10:15 AM   #10
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rids HB User
Re: HELP!! My son is losing weight

Maybe since he is lighter, he no longer needs so high of a dose.

I would put him to bed earlier during the week- you can use Melatonin if he has trouble falling asleep.

Have you had metabolic testing, including a carnitine panel done?

How is his diet? It may be what he is and is not eating.

Do you think he is depressed?

C-GA

 
Old 01-22-2005, 09:13 AM   #11
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Re: HELP!! My son is losing weight

Our son is on Adderall and also has lost some weight. We've added about 300 calories a day (give or take) to offset it -- the Dr. also said there were other supporting meds that he could take to increase appetite but we didn't want to go that route unless absolutely necessary.

A glass of milk before bed with a chocolate weight gain supplement product ALONE can add good nutrients AND at least 200 calories. Z also likes whole milk yogurt (good enzymes and calcium), Balance bars (lower sugar, high nutrients unlike candy) and the occassional Hershey's milkshake (TONS of calories but high in sugar). Extra cheese, eggs or custards made with eggs & whole milk also pack in extra calories without having to ingest a whole lot of food.

 
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