My ADHD Hyperactive/Impulsive (ADHD-HI) son has now been on Vyvanse for about six months. A reader asked me how he was doing and I thought I would write this post and update everyone on how it is going. I will start with a list of reflections after about 6 months on the Vyvanse.
1. The Vyvanse has been a God Sent; it has worked really well for us.
2. My eight year old ADHD-HI son talked non-stop for the first 3 days he was on it and I thought that he had gone berserk. That stopped and he was fine and then needed an adjustment to 40mg from 30mg after a month on the 30mg Vyvanse.
3. For my son the Vyvanse last exactly 13 hours. He takes it a seven am.
4. He is not all hungry during the day but I pack him power bars and he will eat one or two or those during the day and they have about 8gm of protein each (I buy at discount store called Big Lots for about 25-35 cents each.
5. I hold his dinner because he rarely eats more than a few bites a dinner time but he is hungry by book reading time at 8pm,
6. I feed him as big a breakfast as he will eat. I even give him grape or orange juice and we never used to drink juice unless it was in a whole fruit. He will eat French toast and cereal in the morning and juice and milk.
7. He crashed on the first day, and cried and cried for about 20 minutes but then not ever again.
8. I put Epson Salts in his bath if he has had a stressful day and this helps him relax (also helps with constipation which is sometimes a problem with the stimulants-the Epson salts has Magnesium which is somewhat absorbed when he bathes in it-I buy that at Big Lots for $2.79. Check the web site for the post on Epson Salts.
9. You can sprinkle the contents of the capsule on anything. We have put it in applesauce, yogurt, milk, juice, on toast, in cereal, etc. The powder is tasteless so it can be put in anything even water.
10. There are some days when 13 hours is too long to have stimulants on board. If he wakes up late on the weekend for instance. I have asked the Psychiatrist to give me something that is shorter acting for those days so he also has a prescription for Adderall LA that he takes on 'short' days.
I gave my son two days off the Vyvanse during Spring Break. He was out of control, (we almost got banned from the Hotel pool). His most grave infraction occurred when he threw a rock that was aimed for the bottom of the pool, so hard and far that it almost hit a senior citizen who was sunning themselves by the pool.
My relatives, who had suggested the medication vacation, begged me to start him back on his medicine right away after the pool incident and I had to explain to them that with Vyvanse if he does not get it in the am, he does not get it at all.
The psychiatrist has given me Adderall LA 10mg to give him on weekends when we do not need 13 hours of stimulant coverage but by the time the pool incident happened it was 3 pm. The Adderall lasts about 6-8 hours and I did not want him up until 11 pm so he completed his day off the stimulants. He felt so thoroughly terrible about his lack of control, and about the thought of an unconscious 80 year old poolside, that he asked me that night to never-ever-ever give him a medication vacation again. Ever!
We talked about the fact that as he ages and with the help of his psychologist and other training, he will hopefully one day be able to control his impulses off the medication and that the medication vacations give us an idea of how things are progressing when he is not taking it. After this explanation he stated, "I am pretty sure that for the next few months, I am going to need to stay on it." I agreed with him that I felt that he was right, he still needed it and that we probably did not need to 'test' him with another medication vacation any time soon. He was a perfect angel for the rest of our trip.