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Strattera and puberty

On Health & Drugs & Medications » Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

18,354 words with 16 Comments; publish: Thu, 13 Dec 2007 02:43:00 GMT; (90062.50, « »)

After reading the posts by men taking Strattera, I wonder how worried I should be about the possibility of long term effects on my son's sexual development. Is using a medication with unknown long term effects worth the risk? The sexual side effects many of the men posted were pretty awful. Are any of the rest of you worried about whether or not growing boys may have long term or permanent effects from this drug?

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    • jboon

      Glad you asked this again...I asked about a week ago and didn't get any takers. My son is in puberty and this week has been really tired all day and now says his joints hurt...have a call into my pediatrician. Might mean getting off Strattera. I am also going to look into biofeedback...supposed to help kids who have tried all of the meds...which we have


      #1; Fri, 14 Dec 2007 14:41:00 GMT
    • dear jboon

      My son is now in the 4th week of Strattera...can't see where it is having any positive effects...he is still tired, his temper is trigger ready and his attention isn't any better. He is sleeping but I am not sure he feels rested?? Also I think he is recovering from being tired for a long time which was masked by the concerta which hopped him up. We are not doing any concerta right now. My doc wants to give it two more weeks to see if his body adjusts. Not sure which way to go. We will start a total re-eval process in August and I am trying to have him classified so he qualifies for the resource room at the Jr. School...will take an act of congress as he has all A's and B's but so much of it was due to my husband and myself riding him for the past several years. That puts us in the bad guy role and doesn't allow us to be parents...they work on organizational skills and self esteeme issues and get him ready for high school.

      Interested in how your son is doing this summer...also we haven't had much feedback from others taking strattera in either of our posts...

      #2; Fri, 14 Dec 2007 14:42:00 GMT
    • Hi jboon and lasthope,

      I am B_Grl_Online's mom...just to identify myself! I hope she has been able to give you a little feedback from the mind of a teen with ADD. She is a very smart girl...just like your son, lasthope...all A's and B's at school, but she has a horrible time focusing on her school work if she's not on meds. Her grades drop dramatically when off of them. She has taken methylphenidate (Ritalin) in most of it's forms since she was 6. The methylphenidate always helped with her attention so I was rather surprised when the doctor wanted to switch her to Strattera about a month ago. I was not too excited about the switch, but since it is summer and finals are over (she just finished 9th grade), we are giving it a try.

      As far as puberty goes...I haven't noticed a whole lot of strange symptoms with the Strattera. I think it does make my daughter more mellow and less impulsive. She is not hyperactive in the usual sense of the word, she just talks a lot and can't seem to ignore conversations that don't involve her. She also seems to enjoy provoking her younger sisters into an argument when she's not on meds! She is an active girl and even though the Strattera mellows her out, it hasn't turned her into a zombie either. She is tall, about 5'7", and slender...so all those years on Ritalin didn't seem to affect her growth (unless, of course, she was SUPPOSED to be 6 feet tall!). http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/smile.gif

      Like any kid, she has her "up days" and her "down days" too. She is very interested in the health field and also in computers. Thankfully, her interests keep her busy most of the time...she spends a lot of spare time at the library in the computer room. I would venture to guess that most "people on the street" would never know that she has ADD, but she really does and it does affect her life. It is quite possible that she has some learning disabilities, too, but since she is very intelligent she has always been able to escape LD identification at the school. Because our school is very small, she has been able to take advantage of some of the special ed help without actually having an IEP. She takes some of her tests in the resource room so she can have more time to complete them and so she won't be so distracted. The meds help a lot with the ADD symptoms, but I also think adjusting the learning environment is a big plus.

      I am curious to see how the Strattera works during the school year because it is hard to really tell if it helps her focus during the summer months. She does say that it helps her to concentrate enough to get lost in a book...that is very unusual w/o any meds.

      If you have any questions about B_Grl_Online's ADD, any teen symptoms or anything else that comes to mind, just ask, I'm happy to talk about what has or has not worked for us. She is happy to help, too. I also have a 7 year old daughter who is diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and so far none of the meds we have tried on her have worked at all! I am curious to find out if she truely has AS or possibly a really extreme case of ADHD w/ LD's. She is rather sociable for AS. She does have an IEP and is in Sp Ed 1/2 the day, every day, at school. I can surely sympathize with you both on how difficult it can be when you are trapped in the ADHD/meds/LD maze!!!

      Best wishes...

      #3; Fri, 14 Dec 2007 14:43:00 GMT
    • Lasthope,

      Luckily for my son, he goes to an excellent public school. He was recently identified with a "communication disorder." His performance on the tests for learning disabilities was not low enough to officially label him with a language disability, but because his IQ was high, the point discrepancy between his potential and his performance was significant, thereby qualifying him for an IEP and special ed services when he starts middle school. His grades (except for C's in math) have always been A's and B's, like your son. In Maryland, they call it GTLD (LD kids with high IQ's). They are the ones who most often fall between the cracks because they're smart enough to compensate to the point that they don't fail. Insofar as the Strattera is concerned, he has been taking it with one 10 mg dose of Ritalin since school let out last week. The Strattera does seem to help his hyperactivity and impulsivity levels, but not the focusing. He's not talking incessently and when I watch him, long after the morning dose of Ritalin has worn off, compared to other boys his age, he certainly doesn't stand out. He does seem moodier--he's usually the happy one in our family--more easily agitated than before, but he eats and sleeps. He's not tired all the time, unlike your son. I still think I may try him on Concerta again when school starts--hopefully, the break from it will make it work better. Also, we've never tried him on Aderrall (sp?), so I guess we still have that option if the concerta still isn't effective. As I told you before, the male side effects really worry me.

      #4; Fri, 14 Dec 2007 14:44:00 GMT
    • Oma61,

      Thank you for your reply. Please read the one I just wrote to Lasthope--much sounds similar to your daughter.

      #5; Fri, 14 Dec 2007 14:45:00 GMT
    • Dear jboon and oma61,

      Thanks for all the sharing. It always helps to get other thoughts and experiences. The tiredness seems to be going away but like your son jboon he is more moody than in the past and very easily agitated. He doesn't qualify for resource room even though our school has good spec ed services. He has pulled excellent grades in the past and tests in the 98-99th pecentile on standardized tests--so he doesn't qualify. Without my help and my husband's his grades would have been a lot worse. He doesn't like to study at all but is very competitive. He took the SAT's in the 7th grade for fun with some other kids and did very well. BUT...that was then and now that puberty is here the meds seem to stop working. I don't see increase in focus at all with strattera but he says he feels like a normal kid. Sometimes he does seem more "normal", but then the impulsivity pops up and he does or says things that his peers view as odd. That ends up causing social issues which are tough to begin with for these kids.

      I am going to try and have him classified and get an IEP so that I can go back to being a parent and not a teacher/policeman. He really needs the resource room to help him gain study and orginizational skills. I think some of his problems with me in particular are because I stayed on top of him so much last year and he finally burned out. Hopefully the summer will ease some of the tension and we can start anew in the fall...better run. Going away for a few days. Will check this post when I return...thanks again

      #6; Fri, 14 Dec 2007 14:46:00 GMT
    • === Original Words ===


      He doesn't like to study at all but is very competitive. He took the SAT's in the 7th grade for fun with some other kids and did very well.

      I can relate to that. My daughter qualified for advanced math out of 6th grade scoring at the upper 8th grade level on the SAT, but when she was actually IN the advanced math class during 7th grade, she just couldn't handle the pace of the class. We had to move her to regular math...even though she had the math intelligence to understand advanced math. That school year was when she was going through the beginning of puberty and did not want to take any ADD meds. Once she realized what was happening to her grades, and how she lost her advanced math status...she changed her mind about the meds and has been on them ever since. She is very smart, but has to use all her smarts just to compensate for her ADD difficulties. Must be a frustrating situation for all of these highly intelligent ADD kids.

      #7; Fri, 14 Dec 2007 14:47:00 GMT
    • Does your state have the point spread differential that can qualify "gifted" kids for special ed services if the difference between their potential and performance is great enough? Even if scores on tests for learning disabilities are in the average range, if the child's potential (IQ type test) is high enough, a learning disability is present. It's called GTLD and can qualify a child for special ed services--especially if ADHD is also diagnosed. Where I live, my son is identified as "Other Health Impaired" because of the ADHD. The rest sort of fell into place over the past year. For middle school, he will be in all grade level inclusion classes but will receive assistance while in the regular classroom. He also has an organizational list of goals to help him keep track of assignments, materials, etc. Lasthope, as I've told you before, the impulsivity definitely impedes peer relations the most. It's hard to watch, I know. Hopefully, you went away for some fun, relaxing time. Talk to you soon.
      #8; Fri, 14 Dec 2007 14:48:00 GMT
    • Hi jboon,

      Were you asking me about our state and GTLD or was your question directed to lasthope? I will gladly reply if you were asking me!

      #9; Fri, 14 Dec 2007 14:49:00 GMT
    • I am so glad someone has brought up this subject, Both my sons were on straterra for about a month , The youngest one was very very nausias from the med, I was told by dr to keep giving it to him that it might subside but it never did so we quit, I dont know what i am going to do , They have both been on pretty much all the meds out there . It seemed like all of them would work for a while then after a while would quit or they would just not eat and would lose so much weight the dr would take them off, Straterra was pretty much my last hope, I hoped so much it would work , I dont know what to do now, I know one postive thing about this summer is both my sons have gained weight and have there old personalities back. So what are we to do, Give them the meds and take that away from them , Which i know the meds did help with the attention, Or not give it to them, and have them struggle in school , I know from past experience that when they do go back and I dont put them back on meds the phone calls are going to begin again, And there going to get in trouble, Then they will be embarressed cause they will feel different from the other kids, I just dont know what to do, I have told my kids that proably when school starts we will have to go back on meds and they both have begged me not to put them back on them, They tell me mom i will try harder i will pay attention, And i know they will truelly try, But i also know it wont be enough, Both have adhd pretty bad, It is very hard for them to concentrate and even stay in there chair, So if anyone has any advise i would love to hear your feedback, I will thankyou in advance, Or if you have been through this tell me what happened, It will be greatly appreciated. Hope you all have a great day, Take care and god bless, sassy
      #10; Fri, 14 Dec 2007 14:50:00 GMT
    • Oma61,

      Either you or Lasthope...any information or knowledge about what goes on in other states would be helpful. Sounds like your daughter is really strong in math. My son's receptive language problem most affects his learning of math concepts since math is mostly taught orally. He's fine if he reads information--he actually does really well in reading and writing classes. It's orally presented material that throws him for a loop.

      #11; Fri, 14 Dec 2007 14:51:00 GMT
    • Sassy,

      Unfortunately, in order to succeed in school--both academically and socially, kids have to use a certain amount of self-control. So, if they can't do it on their own, I guess as parents it's our job to help them be able to do it--in whatever way we decide. If we don't, our kids are the ones who ultimately suffer. It doesn't seem to leave us with much of a choice. But, most kids prefer to be in control of themselves, and most ADHD kids know they can't do it alone. I guess we should be lucky there are medicines that can help them. When I was in school, ADHD was not a diagnosed condition, but I can still remember the kids I'd put money on would be diagnosed if they grew up today. They were the ones who always got into trouble, would never do what the teacher said, constantly called out, got on everyone's nerves, and spent half the day sitting in the hallway because they always got kicked out of class--day after day after day--never learning from their mistakes. They were also the kids I remember my mother saying I should stay away from because "they're trouble."

      #12; Fri, 14 Dec 2007 14:52:00 GMT
    • Hi jboon,

      I am from IL. I haven't heard about GTLD? It sounds like something that my daughter would qualify for. I have never actually had the school test her for anything. She has always gotten along without formal help from the school...mainly because they (the school) were so hesitant to test her for anything because her grades are good, and I was unsure of how hard to push the issue.

      Yes, I believe she is strong mathematically, but I also think that she has a disability (or maybe it is a gift?) in that area, too! The advanced math teacher said that my daughter would come up with the correct answer all the time, but in the most original way...never as it was in the book. This was frustrating to the teacher because she felt my daughter wasn't learning the steps it would take to solve the more complex math problems in the higher grades. I also notice that my daughter seems to come up with the answers to math questions in an almost intuitive kind of way...she would just blurt out correct answers and then not know how she got them! She's been like that since she was very small...3yrs. old and up.

      She is never a behavior problem at school...medicated or unmedicated, but, without meds. she just can't seem to focus or read the text in her more "boring" textbooks! When she is in a computer class, though, she is very connected...even off meds...teachers are impressed with her computer skills to the point where she was even asked to, and did, create a personal webpage for one of the teachers last year.

      We are quitting Strattera as of today. I am going to start a new topic about the reasons...I want to alert readers to what has been going on with my daughter on her meds.

      Best wishes...

      #13; Fri, 14 Dec 2007 14:53:00 GMT
    • Dear Oma61 and Jboon,

      I am in NJ and I was just told by the superintendent of curriculum about the point spread for GTLD...I am in the process this summer of having my son totally re-evaluated.

      I feel like he is going to have real problems in the fall in the 8th grade...like Sassy the calls will start. he is not "bad" but soooo impulsive..more so lately. The Strattera seems to be doing nothing positive and making him edgy and more argumentative and moody. He too doesn't want to take meds and "will try harder". he can't get anything done in a reasonable time without meds but we have tried almost all of them and the stimulants make it worse...can't sleep at all.

      My husband and I sat on him so much last year and he did very well but it really hurt our relationship as parents...we became more like wardens. Once he hits high school in another 14 mos he will have to be able to do more on his own. Oma61 I would strongly suggested getting your daughter tested...insurance can pay for some parts...if you wait for the child study team it could take forever...I will write to you all about his test results once the end of August rolls around


      #14; Fri, 14 Dec 2007 14:54:00 GMT
    • Thanks for the advice about testing, lasthope. I will look into it for next year if the problems persist.

      Also, as you probably noticed from other posts of mine...as far as the Strattera goes, we totally stopped it. The hives were terrible for my daughter and they are still present 5 days later...although they are going down now. Swelling of the extremities was bad, too. No more Strattera for my kids! Too new.

      #15; Fri, 14 Dec 2007 14:55:00 GMT
    • Hi Everyone!

      Im Oma61's daughter! I see that all of you were talking about how you have or wanted to get your children tested! For the time being I don't want to get tested because if I do then kids will know that I have ADD and I don't need that! I think I get along fine with out the formal help of a special ed teacher. Last year in Algebra I got straight B+'s all through the year! I just wanted to add my reasoning for not having my mom test me!



      ~*~ (: B :) ~*~

      #16; Fri, 14 Dec 2007 14:56:00 GMT