Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Dillon's Medication Vacation

Dillon taking his medicine
My last post was about medication "vacations", what they are and how/why parents do and like them. So, after doing my research on these, I talked to my husband about what his thoughts were on doing something like this for my son Dillon....

Before I get ahead of myself here, I want to give you a little background on Dillon, his ADHD and his medicine. Dillon has been on this medication for his ADHD since 2nd grade (now going into 8th). His medication dosages have pretty much stayed the same until last year. Since he has been having such growth spurts, puberty and being on the same medication/dosage for such a long time, we had to up his dosage twice last year.
My husband and I didn't like that, especially since at this point the dosages are jumping much higher to the next dose. Dillon started on 18mg of Concerta once daily, he is now up to 36mg 1x daily!! The next dosage would take him up to 54mg. Yes, in case you were wondering, he went from 18mg to 36mg in just two increases (Concerta is 18, 27, 36, 54). 

Well, since Dill is only 14, we know that he will grow more over the next few years and, as any parent would, want him on the lowest possible dosage that will work with his ADHD symptoms. Due to this and after researching the "medication vacations" I have been talking about, we started discussing doing this for Dillon over the summer. Our reason for the break is to lower Dill's tolerence to the Concerta that he has built up over the past few years so that the dosage would, hopefully, work better for him and his ADHD without having to increase again.
Dill and Dad Dogg :)

So, after discussing it with my husband we, of course, spoke to my sons doctor. He was able to confirm that this type if "break" was able to be done with the medication and dosage for Dillon. And so, we decided to take him off if his Concerta for the summer and up until 2 weeks before school, which would give his body time to adjust to the medication again. Dill agreed that he too wanted to try this, I think partially because the medicine wasn't helping as much and partially because the pills kept getting bigger! 

Throughout the summer, Dillon did very well given the fact that there is much less demand in the summer. He has been impulsive for his age, but not to a dramatic extent. My husband and I could notice the difference even though is wasn't a huge one. We did notice he was more unable to listen to and follow instructions, almost like he was just plain out ignoring us at times. He would also have bursts of energy where he would act extra "silly" at times and was often staying up all night in his room saying he was "unable to sleep". However, with it being during the summer these symptoms weren't very disruptive as they would be had he been in school at the time. All in all I feel that Dillon did a really good job controlling himself and his ADHD without his meds this summer, but, it was also obvious that he would definitely need his medication again for the school year to come in order to do well with the demands of the 8th grade.
Camping fun this summer!

I took this time off of his medication to not only to hopefully help his dosage work better without yet another increase, but to also assess the need for medication at this time in my sons life. As I have mentioned before, puberty has a ton of affects on our children as well as their ADHD and I wanted to at least see how Dillon would do while not on medicine and am really glad I did. This experience has not only helped me to better understand where Dillon is at this point with his ADHD but I think it also got him in more tune with his ADHD as well.

At this point, Dillon has been taking his Concerta again for about 2 weeks now. This really and honestly is not enough to really give you all a true review of how things are going to be, but I will be definitely posting updates for you all to read. 

So far, by day 3 of being on his medicine again, Dillon didn't really seem to show any difference in his actions or behaviors. By day 6 though, his sleep habits were improving from the summer habits he had been on of "not being able" to sleep, according to him. I was of course making him go to bed earlier (9-9:30) to try to get him to sleep at a decent hour but he would still stay up in his room, even in the dark with nothing to do. Now, since being medicated, he has been falling asleep earlier and more easily. By day 10 he had started school again and it was becoming easier to get him to pay attention and listen and follow directions. 

That's about all I can tell you right now, I hope this article helps some and I will for surely be posting an update article to further explain how he is doing in school and if the "medication vacation" has made a difference in him in school since last years struggles. 

Thanks for reading!!!

*To learn more about ADHD check out this Ebook, click here

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