My 13 year old son has been suffering from a motor tic where he stretches his arm behind his head and pulls on his neck, constantly. He is on Intuniv but I do not see any real results. He was on ADHD medication (Concerta, Ritalin, Adderall) since he was about 5 but we took him off about 6 months ago. Any suggestions on how to alleviate his tic?
I haven't been to this board in quite a while, and was just about to post something about tics and meds. I had the same issue when I put my 13 y.o. on Metadate. We switched him to Concerta, but the tics persisted. After months of struggles with this issue, I had decided that I couldn't possibly do this to him anymore. I was scared to death that I might cause permanent damage to him, and I just couldn't do it.
However, after doing yet another google search on adhd medication and tics, I came across something that I had somehow missed before. The article stated that concerta, and other stimulants, actually can drain the adrenal glands of magnesium, causing tics. I looked up magnesium and tics, magnesium and concerta, etc. I decided, what the heck - I will try it. I ordered a bottle of Magnesium Glycinate online and started giving it to him.
This was two weeks weeks ago. His tics are GONE. Not diminished, not occassional, but totally and completely gone. I cannot tell you how stunned I was. It took three days, but it worked. I give him 200 mg every day, 100 mg in the morning before his Concerta, and 100 mg in the evening.
It's too soon to tell if this is a permanent soluation. When he is not on meds (weekends), he still has no tics. I will continue to see if this pattern holds true. It's early yet, but it certainly looks promising!
ADHD and tics frequently run together. There is some debate as to whether stimulants cause tics. I suspect they cause tics in some patients but not all. And there is some good evidence that a stimulant can help control tics. That really doesn't surprise me. ADHD, tics, and Parkinsons, are all associated with a dopamine deficiency of one sort or another. Stimulants work on dopamine in a much different way than Parkinson medications such as Requip. Stimulants do not help Parkinson symptoms and Requip type meds to do little to help control ADHD. The close relationship in cause of the disorders is overridden by their differences. Makes medication management a very tricky business.
It is wonderful that you found a safe way to control your son's tics that enables him to use a medication that effectively helps his ADHD. I am interested to know the percentage of those with tics that magnesium helps. Hopefully other members will try it and post their results.