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  • How many of your kids developed tics after taking stimulants?

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    Old 09-04-2003, 10:27 AM   #1
    city mom
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    Question How many of your kids developed tics after taking stimulants?

    My son developed tics within a short time after taking Adderall. We took him off the Adderall immediately but he has had various motor and vocal tics ever since. It has been 4 years already.

    I know stimulants often cause tics because I've spoken to many parents who have had similar expereinces. So, yes, I DO WANT TO WARN PARENTS THAT OFTEN STIMULANTS CAN AND DO CAUSE TICS AND THEY CAN SOMETIMES BE PERMANENT.

    Some say the tics MIGHT have occured anyway. I do not believe that is true in the majority of cases. I don't care what some pharmeceutical supported study shows. I only wish I had read this or heard about this before I agreed to put my son on a stimulant.

    How many of your kids have developed tics after using stimulants? Would you have put your child on a stimulant if you had know this?

    Thank you!!

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    [This message has been edited by city mom (edited 09-04-2003).]

     
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    Old 09-04-2003, 10:53 AM   #2
    Susi
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    Tic developed: Clearing of the throat. Also started nailbiting.
    You also asked if I had put my child on drugs had I known he could develop tics? Answer: I would not have put my child on drugs, if I had known, that they were not even approved for kids under age 6!

    [This message has been edited by Susi (edited 09-04-2003).]

    [This message has been edited by Susi (edited 09-06-2003).]

     
    Old 09-04-2003, 11:02 AM   #3
    LiLMissADDitude
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    Sad..some people dont know the true effects until they happen to their child. Tics are just one of the side effects of stimulants. It is much more common than some would like you to believe.

    However, long term use of stimulant medications can have even worse after effects.

    “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”

    --Pablo Picasso


     
    Old 09-04-2003, 04:59 PM   #4
    Charmed
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    Our son developed tics also. Luckily, our family physician took him off the Adderall. I wish the Psych. Dr. who had first prescribed the medication had been more truthful about the side effects. I will never take my son to another Psychiatrist or Psychologist.

     
    Old 09-05-2003, 04:52 AM   #5
    kellbrntt61
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    I have had 3 sons on Ritalin and the last switched to Concerta. My eldest developed the blinking if the eyes. As the dosage was adjusted to best fit him, this tic backed off. He has been off of the medication for a few years (he is an addult) and there is no sign of the eye blinking. The second child never did develope any tics. He was OCD before that and that did not alter either...the OCD is associated with Aspergers. My youngest developed the eye blinking tic with the Concerta. He was off the Concerta for the summer and the tic went away. He is now back on it (at his request...36 mg per day) and the tic reappeared. I would have to say yes to the connection, but no to the tic being permanent. It may be with some, but not all.

     
    Old 09-05-2003, 06:27 AM   #6
    city mom
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    Yes, it does seem that many of those who get tics from stimulants have the good fortune to have the tics stop and not return when the stimulant is stopped.

    However, there is also the subset of people who have long term or permanent tics after stimulant use regardless of length of time on stimulant. Unfortunately, my son falls in this category.

    He only took a very low dose of Adderall for 2 months. He is still ticcing 4 years later although the tics have varied over the years and there have been tic-free periods. They come and go and change over time. His doctor says that the stimulant triggered the part of his brain that regulates this type of impulse control and that it may or may not be permanent.

    Of course, no doctor warned me that this was a possible side effect of stimulants. For whatever? reasons, most doctors do not tell parents that this could happen. THAT IS WHY I WANT EVERY PARENT TO KNOW THAT THIS CAN HAPPEN BEFORE THEY MAKE THE DECISION TO PUT THEIR CHILD ON A STIMULANT DRUG.

    AFTER this happened to my child, the doctor who originally prescibed the stimulant told me that about 10-15% of the kids he put on a stimulant developed tics. HOW COULD THIS NOT BE SOMETHING THAT PARENTS SHOULD NOT BE TOLD ABOUT? I didn't even know what tics were. In fact, I spent hundredds of dollars having him allergy tested because I mistook his sniffing, eye blinking, and throut clearing as allergy symptoms at first.



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    Old 09-05-2003, 11:02 AM   #7
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    I too have a child who developed tics after a brief 4-month period on Ritalin/Dexedrine. He was 6 years old. Someone told me that if he developed tics that it really meant he had tourettes syndrome. Well, I took my son of the drugs because I found the side effects were worse than the actual "perceived" problem - which was mostly experienced by teachers and caregivers. I have done well with behavior modification, loving him more, constructive ways of discipline (not saying NO constantly but finding other ways to have him learn), and activities to keep him busy - not just physically busy, also mentally.

    The first tic I noticed was a "rolling" up of the end of his shirt - he did this constantly. He really didn't make too much noise or move his eyes, it was mostly hand movement. And yes, whenever I pointed it out to him and tried to make him stop, it got worse. It took a few months for the tics to go away after stopping medication. Now whenever he is stressed (11 years old), he crosses his fingers over the other on the same hand. When he does this in my presence, I just put my hand over his and rub it and smile - letting him know he can relax.

    I agree that doctors should tell every potential user of these drugs that they can cause tics that may or may not go away.

    My neighbor's child rolls his eyes to the back of his head so severely that once in my house he walked into the wall. I'm not sure what meds he is on.

    [This message has been edited by sawbuck44 (edited 09-05-2003).]

    [This message has been edited by sawbuck44 (edited 09-05-2003).]
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    Old 09-05-2003, 11:18 AM   #8
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    The funny thing is that some of the stimulant drugs NOW list tics as a potential side effect and/or they state not to give to persons with a history of Tourette's. Other stimulants actually list Tourette's Syndrome as a potential side effect. Unfortunately, none of these warnings were listed on the package when my son took Adderall 4 years ago even though it was happening frequently.

    Tourette's normally occurs in something like 1 out of every 2000 people. My son's doctor told me that appro. 10-15% of the kids he prescibed stimulants get tics. Of course, he told me this AFTER my son had them. ???? Obviously, the stimulants cause many cases of tics that would not have occured otherwise.

    Go to any support group for ADHD and listen to all the moms talk about all the tics their children have gotten after taking stimulants. IT'S SAD!!

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    [This message has been edited by city mom (edited 09-05-2003).]

     
    Old 09-05-2003, 12:05 PM   #9
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    The plain fact is, speed is speed. It's not a "medicine". Sure, in prescription it is controlled in dosage and use compared to the street version, so far less dangerous, of course. But, I like to tell people is that a little poison isn't as harmful as alot; but it's still poison.

    I'm so sorry to hear about your son's tics, city mom, especially since they seem to be permanent. I hope somehow he will outgrow them or perhaps they may at least diminish over time. I feel it is absolutely criminal that they do not warn parents enough of this or the other physical/mental/neurological problems that can come from stimulant use.

    If you hear enough about most psych meds, you find many problems emerge that were not present before, or previous symptoms worsen over time. Most psych docs will say it' the original condition, or a hidden disorder unmasked by medication or a pre-dipostion, etc. They'll blame literally anything except their drugs while they continue to play around with neurotransmitters in the brain that they are not able to acurately measure or know how much is a normal amount...unlike their favorite diabetes/insulin comparison, which as we know can be measured in blood tests.

    So it's one big brain experiment, originally based in theory of how since street drugs have certain "desirable" side effects, people must somehow be deficient and actually need these drugs. They shouldn't claim a toxic drug isn't a toxic drug, just because they say so. Poison is poison. But these drugs are their bread and butter, or better put their Jaguars and European vacations so they will continue to deceive the public as long as the public will let them.

    Sorry for the long post, but it makes me angry that there is a child of a poster here suffering from a possible permenant neurological problem now because of this. He deserved better from the ones who are supposed to be more "educated" then the rest of us; the professionals who act like we are fools for even questioning anything they say. Well, why don't those doctors show that poor little boy those framed papers hanging on their office walls and see if that makes his tics go away.

     
    Old 09-05-2003, 01:05 PM   #10
    city mom
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    Thanks, Jennita and others. I have to say I'm very relieved that no-one has jumped in to defend the doctors or argue that he would have gotten tics anyway. I have brought this topic up in other ADHD forums and been attacked.

    I'm not against parents medicating their children necessarily. I just think parents should be informed of all the risks before they make the decision to medicate their child with a stimulant.

    I want to get the word out to parents who do not know about the side effect of tics. Keep your comments coming. If even one parent is dissuaded from putting their child on a stimulant med after reading this thread, I believe that would be a victory.



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    Old 09-06-2003, 01:38 AM   #11
    Sapphire926
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    Hello everyone,

    I started a thread awhile ago about this very subject. Check it out...its called "Concerta...Horrifying Tics" on page two of this message board. You will see that I also had the frustrating experience of watching my son develop several tics during his medication of Concerta. He has since been switched to a non-stimulant, Strattera and the tics have completely disappeared. You will also see that someone has tried and succeeded with an herbal alternative to ADD/ADHD medications with her son.

    So nice to know that Im not alone!!

    Saph

     
    Old 09-06-2003, 07:15 AM   #12
    thehomefolks
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    Just wondered how strattera has worked for kids with tics. my 12 year old has had tics since he was 5.......never been on any meds but now is very self conscience about them. taking him to pediatric neurologist and want to see what non-stimulant drugs are out there.....any suggestions?

     
    Old 09-07-2003, 11:50 AM   #13
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    Tics can be a result of neurological damage from amphetamines, although there are other causes, just like there are various causes of cancer, blood pressure problems, etc. But amphetamines can cause or worsen existing tics, so those are out. I have heard Strattera does not aggravate tics. Cal/Mag supplements and fish oil have been reported as good for ADD if you try natural routes, plus something called Be-Calmed although I'm not familiar with that last one.

     
    Old 09-07-2003, 04:59 PM   #14
    codys mom
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    Hi there I have a 10 year old boy with adhd.I ran across a magazine with product called calmtabs I have taken valerian root myself which is in this product it calmed me down like a nerve pill would.If you are interested they are on sale at 2.73 per 100 tablets we plan on trying them.Call 1800puritan to order them. Kathy

     
    Old 09-13-2003, 07:25 AM   #15
    thehomefolks
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    Thanks for your replies. I will check into that. We have an appointment with a pediatric neurologist in October. (tourettes specialist) and I'll let you know what happens....

     
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