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    Old 11-06-2003, 06:43 AM   #1
    Coopersmom
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    Question Anyone with a child on meds all through school?

    My son is 7 and has been on "meds" for eight months, first Adderall, then Concerta and now back to Adderall. My question is has anyone had a child stay on meds all through school? 1st through 12th?

    I am so worried about the long term effect of these medicines. I have read stories from other parents that are glad they put their kids on meds, but, most of those kids were diagnosed when they were teenagers.

    I am working on alternatives to give him, but am wondering if anyone has a story they can share about this journey we are all on with ourselves and our children.

    Many thanks,
    Vanessa

     
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    Old 11-06-2003, 08:08 AM   #2
    cymomtx
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    My son started on ritalin in Kinder and is now in 7th grade. He has been very successful with the dr's guidance. I know how he is off meds and know that he is so much more successful with meds.

     
    Old 11-06-2003, 10:16 AM   #3
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    Well I have talked to many doctors and addiction medicine specialist who agree that ritalin and other stimulant meds do cause damage to the brain (as does cocaine) when used long term. This of course does not happen to everybody, but if it does happen and the person tries to get off of meds when they're older they will be worse off than before they ever started meds.

    Then theres the addiction factor. Stimulant medications can "activate" the "addiction gene" in those who have it. Of course this will not happen to everyone.

    Then there are the physical side effects. Ritalin can cause heart problems including an enlarged heart. (Some specialist try to tell you ritalin is good because it increases the size of the brain) Sure, it also enlarges the heart. It does not make a person smarter!!! Of course these side effects are rare and do not happen to everyone.

    From a personal perspective:
    I was forced to take meds when I was younger and will never ever take them again. Some people say "I wouldnt go a day without my meds" This is heard even from people who went the first 40yrs of life doing just fine without meds. Suddenly they cant even remember how they ever functioned without them. It's kinda like addiction but not. I went through it.... months and months after getting off meds feeling stupid and incapable of doing anything. I wasnt actually addicted to the medication yet it had obviously changed my brain in a negative way... It made it so that my brain could only work properly with the medication. Thinking that you cannot function without your medication can be a dangerous thought!! Children who cannot function without their medication are not being helped by taking it!! Of course there is a small group of people who need medication to function. But most people who are taking stimulants should not be taking them.
    My little brother was forced to take meds for a short time when he was younger. Now at age 11 he does not take meds, he does just fine in school and great at home. He does not believe that children should be made to take "kiddie coke" as medication.

    These medications are related to cocaine and meth amphetamines. Some people get mad when others mention this fact but its true so deal with it. It is also true that for some it is one of the only treatments that will help. I just want to say that all of you in this small group should not be ashamed or feel guilty. Thats not what this post is about so dont be offended.

    I think that before trying medications one should try all other treatment options. If you have not tried natural treatments and other alternatives please do so before considering giving these meds to your child, expecially long term.

     
    Old 11-08-2003, 03:41 PM   #4
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    I totally agree with Free Spirit. I have read something very interesting yesterday. People always say that Ritalin is pretty safe, because it has been around for 50 years. But did you know that there has not been any long-term study done? I didn't know and always thought since it's been around for that long, that long-term studies have been done.

     
    Old 11-09-2003, 02:20 AM   #5
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    Coopersmom ,

    Ritalin, concerta, etc. don't cause any damage, but Adderall and Dexedrine have been debatable over certain doses, usually higher doses than recommended, but everyones biology is unique.

    Drugs in general especially coaciane, methamphetamine, etc. cause brain damage and have neurotoxic effects by what is called "excitotoxicity". In a general sense, overstimulatng to the point where someone gets "high", does damage by causing a chain reaction which ultimately produces free radicals. Free radicals aren't bad for the body, in fact we need them in order to live, however like everything in life, it's about moderation. If free radicals become excessive (which is what happens to the cells after excitotoxicity) brain damage sets in.

    Antioxidants are "neuroprotective" and they 'neutralize' (by *sharingan electron) free radicals which can help prevent any potential harm. Some anti oxidents out there are vitamin e, vitamin c (don't take with stims, it decreases the absorption), ginseng, ALA, and the best, and most potent, grape seed extract. GSE is probably the best AO to take since it can easily cross the blood-brain barrier and fight any potentially caused free radicals.

    In the future you will *probably see more doctors recommending and prescribing NMDA antagonists because even though supplements work good for conditions, most pharmaceutical meds engineered for each specific condition, work better...

    Last edited by brainfog; 11-09-2003 at 02:25 AM.

     
    Old 11-09-2003, 07:47 AM   #6
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    hmmm--there is so many facts out there that a child on meds will become drug addicts, but has it been proven that a child with ADD/ADHD not a meds doesn't?? How much can a child take mentally failing in school, not making friends because they can not at times control their behavior? Other children are mean - they see another is constanly being sent to the principals office or your child has to sit in the corner or has to be spoken to often - it is society (esp in our small town) you are instantly different, you are labeled! you don't fit in? I have made the choice to med my child under very close guidance by my childs doctor and I do just pray we have made the correct choice, but as cymomtx said - I know how my child is off meds, as my child has cried and cried "mom why do I act like this?" after he has been asked why??? why?? why?? I see instant aggrevation (depression?) off meds and can not imagine that would be the best way to go??

     
    Old 11-09-2003, 09:21 AM   #7
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    Thank you to everyone for your wonderful comments. I was worried about the long term effect.

    I have read that when kids are not medicated and have a lot of problems in school that they are more likely to drink or turn to drugs just to make themselves feel better. I was an ADD kid (no such thing as diagnosis or medication back in the 60's) and I started drinking and experimenting with drugs at an early age just to fit in with the crowd.

    Being on Adderall (a low dose) seems to keep my son in good spirits and having fun with his friends. Before he was on meds his friends had a hard time hanging out with him because he was always right in their faces giving them directions. He was the constant troublemaker in class and always in trouble. Now he just gets in trouble at a normal kids rate.

    Hopefully as the medical world develops, things will get better and better about understanding ADD/ADHD. I am happy to have found a Board with such wonderful input.

    Vanessa

     
    Old 11-09-2003, 01:23 PM   #8
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    Quote:
    hmmm--there is so many facts out there that a child on meds will become drug addicts, but has it been proven that a child with ADD/ADHD not a meds doesn't??
    badkat,

    I have never seen one article/scientific publication from any respectible source concluding that treatment of AD/HD by western methods (medication) leads to drug abuse later in life, however there have been numerous studies showing that people with AD/HD who are treated with medication are less likely to have drug problems in the future.

    Reading an article from a vitamin/supplement company or something linear isn't credible. I have yet to see a credible study (or any study for that matter) following any of those articles...


    AD/HD is a genetic disorder nothing more nothing less. If your child has it there is a very strong chance one (or both) of his/her biological parents has the disorder. If not parent then grandparent will almost definitely have it.


    Anybody and everybody should be taking anti-oxidants, whether they are on psychotropic medication or not.

    Last edited by brainfog; 11-09-2003 at 01:25 PM.

     
    Old 11-09-2003, 09:49 PM   #9
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    medicate?

    I too have read studies that show that medication seems to decrease the likelyhood of antisocial, drug, and alcohol problems. I know that without med. my oldest is extremely over-emotional and prone to controling behavior. My son is 14 and has been on meds since age 5. There has been nothing but good that's come out of it and he has often told me that he "hates" the way he feels when he doesn't take the meds. (Not an addiction thing, but we had him completely off meds for about 6 months and he described how it was so hard to focus and said it was "too much going on in my head".) The only problem we have ever had was that he developed a tic while on Ritalin, but when he was put on Adderall it completely went away.

     
    Old 11-10-2003, 07:41 AM   #10
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    Brainfog, look at "Free Spirit" thread (last post was October 14, it's on p.4 or 5)
    "New Harvard Study shows that natural works as well as Ritalin."
    Very impressive to me.

    Last edited by Palms1; 11-10-2003 at 07:47 AM.

     
    Old 11-10-2003, 08:17 AM   #11
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Palms1
    Brainfog, look at "Free Spirit" thread (last post was October 14, it's on p.4 or 5)
    "New Harvard Study shows that natural works as well as Ritalin."
    Very impressive to me.
    I agree that natural remedies can improve ADD-related problems (especially supplements that provide basic building blocks of neurotransmitters), however if someone has a neurological disorder then no amount of supplements is going to "cure" that or "make it go away", nor can supplements provide the same kind of relief since they just provide building blocks (which we may or may not lack in - lack of these building blocks will make any symptoms worse) as opposed to actively influencing the brain's chemistry.

    Also the fact that natural supplements can provide some relief for ADD symptoms has nothing to do with whether or not someone taking them is more or less prone to addictive behaviour (which is what brainfog was referring to).
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    Last edited by Redhead23; 11-10-2003 at 08:22 AM.

     
    Old 11-10-2003, 08:22 AM   #12
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    clarification: My point was that supplements can increase Dopamine production just as stimulants do. I did not make this statement in reference to the drug addiction issue, but just wanted to bring awareness to the fact, that vitamins and supplements can be helpful in treating the symptoms and that there is a study out there. I never said supplements would be a cure and neither are stimulants. I have read about a study though on the internet where chinese herbal medicine was used very successfully and even provided a cure for ADHD school children.

    Last edited by Palms1; 11-10-2003 at 09:04 AM.

     
    Old 11-10-2003, 10:36 AM   #13
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    A research ariticle below from 2001:

    New research shows that Ritalin, used to treat children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, may cause long-term changes in the brain, Reuters reported Nov. 11.

    "Clinicians consider Ritalin to be short-acting," said Joan Baizer, a professor of physiology and biophysics who led the study at the University of Buffalo. "When the active dose has worked its way through the system, they consider it 'all gone.' Our research with gene expression in an animal model suggests that it has the potential for causing long-lasting changes in brain-cell structure and function."

    Baizer said the changes are similar to those seen in previous studies with rats involving other stimulants, such as amphetamine and cocaine. High doses of amphetamine and cocaine switch on "immediate early genes" in brain cells. One of the genes, C-fos, has been linked with addiction.

    In Baizer's study, researchers gave rat babies milk laced with methylphenidate, the generic name for Ritalin, in doses similar to what a child would receive. The researchers found that C-fos genes were activated in the rats' brains in a pattern similar to that seen in cocaine and amphetamine use.

    "These data do suggest that there are effects of Ritalin on cell function that outlast the short term and we should sort that out," Baizer said.

    She added, "Children have been given Ritalin daily for many years, and it is extremely effective and beneficial, but it's not quite as simple as a short-acting drug. We need to look at it more closely."

    The research was unveiled at a recent meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in San Diego, Calif.

     
    Old 11-10-2003, 10:45 AM   #14
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    Given the latest research that suggests serotonin stimulating drugs like antidepressants can kill off serotonin receptors after long term use, one must also wonder about dopamine stimulating drugs having the same effect. Less dopamine receptors would probably worsen any existing ADD problems according to the theories, and would make functioning without stimulants near impossible because of drug dependance due to damage. Maybe that's why after many months/years of use, a child or person would not be able to function without their stimulants, which would be mistaken as original ADD but most likely would really be drug-induced damage, much worse than original ADD which may have been outgrown or helped by other means.

     
    Old 11-11-2003, 12:50 AM   #15
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Palms1
    clarification: My point was that supplements can increase Dopamine production just as stimulants do. I did not make this statement in reference to the drug addiction issue, but just wanted to bring awareness to the fact, that vitamins and supplements can be helpful in treating the symptoms and that there is a study out there
    OK, I just got confused because you seemed to addres brainfog, who as far as I saw only responded wth regards to the addiction issue. My bad

    Anyway you are of course right, although as I said before any supplements can only help the body produce dopamine by supplying building blocks to make more dopamine, as many people lack these to some degree (However in "true" AD/HD the underactivity is there no matter HOW MANY raw materials you provide, without stimulating the production artificially, you can only optimise the productivity up to that underfunctioning capacity)

    There are of course "natural" stimulants as well but anyone who thinks it's better to use natural stimulants than say ritalin is a fool because it doesn't matter where it comes from, if it does the same to your brain then it does the same, in fact so-called "natural" drugs often contain a lot of other substances that can either be toxic for your liver, or produce other unwanted side effects.

    Cod liver oil for example is quite high in not only Omega-3 but also Vitamins A and D, the latter being quite toxic in high doses (which is why humans can die from eating the liver of polar bears and other animals that eat a lot of fish, since that contains a highly concentrated amount of Vitamin D from eating a lot of fish), leading to slow and painful poisoning if consumed in large doses over a prolonged amount of time. Someone on here once said their son takes about 4-6 times the recommended dose of cod liver oil to help with concentration, saying "Well who has ever died from eating a lot of fish?" - Well as a matter of fact, taking too much concnetrated fish oils CAN kill you

    At least when taking synthesised medication you only get the ingredient that has been tested and proven to be effective, rather than the cocktail of active ingredients you get with a lot of "natural" remedies.

    Don't get me wrong I am all for natural remedies but in many cases they simply can't provide the same effective rsults as long-proven synthesised drugs.
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