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Re: info on sudden death with ritalin and clonidine

Posted by patricia O'kane on June 4, 1999, at 12:33:08

In reply to info on sudden death with ritalin and clonidine, posted by Lorie Todd on November 5, 1998, at 13:30:33

>I have an 8 year old son who has been on ritalin since he was 4. He was diagnosed at that age as having moderate to profound ADHD. At a later date the term moderate was withdrawn and hencefore he was treated as significantly ADHD. It was not so much malicious aggression as he just couldn't keep his hands to himself and others were pounding him. He also was extremely insomniac (with or without ritalin) He was put on clonidine as a bedtime medication and the results were a child that gradually got tired and then much like the other children in the house fell asleep at a reasonable time and slept mostly through the night. He still tended to wake earlier than the rest of the family but compared with only sleeping 1 and a half to 2 hours nightly and no nap I felt as though this was the right choice. As time progressed and he grew older I began giving him part of his bedtime dose around 5pm. I refused to give him any moreritalin than was absolutely necessary and the clonidine had some of the same calming affects that initially was seen with the ritalin. The ritalin controls my sons ability to concentrate however it does not control his impulses to reach over and grab someone's pencil or tug at thier shirt or any of the things that other kids would quit when told to. The clonidine and ritalin combination have worked exptremely successfully for the last 2 years. Other important facts were that as the school system like to call me everyday around 10:30 and say "Do you know what he did today" and my reply was always the same what did they want me to do on my end to help remedy the situation? Their reply was always the same "more medicine, or I should call our Dr. about seeing if he could get more medicine." Long story short, after doing consultations with other Drs. I began looking for alternative schools as our public school system refused and really didn't and shouldn't have had to deal with my son who took a little extra time. When my son last attended public school as a 54 pound kindergartener was taking nearly 70 mg. of ritalin in the half day of school he was attending. That lasted almost a month and I threw up the flag and said enough is enough. Now he takes less than 30 mg. of ritalin daily and takes a half tablet of clonidine with his morning and lunchtime dose of ritalin and then he takes a half tablet at 5 pm so that he can interact effectively with our family for the evening and then 1 and a half tablets at 8 pm for his bedtime dose. He falls asleep between 9 and 10 pm and wakes between 6 and 7 am. Ocassionally waking earlier, but still quite close to what the other children in our household do. My son is monitored by our family physician for blood pressure and weight gain and this is done regularly he has had absolutely no problems with this combination of drugs and between September of 1998 and April of 1999 he had a weight gain of 30 pounds. His father is 6'5' and large in build to boot and if my son isn't allowed to grow with what his heritage is then I would consider that a crime. He also grew 4 and half inches taller in the same time period. While he was on the ritalin alone his appetite was pathetic at best. I always fixed him a second supper at bedtime to insure he was getting enough nutrition. Now he eats withthe rest of us and as well or bettr than the rest of us He is proportionately at a healthy weight and I have felt very confident about the medication program that he is using now. I did not feel that good about it back 3 years ago when his weight gain was minimalat best and he looked like he was from a 3rd world country lacking food. I started to say earlier that I searched the area for that special school or teacher that would take him under their wing and make a diference in my sons education, and I found it but it was where I was looking. 3 years ago we decided that we would try homeeducation for him and have now ended up homeschooling 3 of our children. Our younger daughter was in 5th grade when she and we made the desicion to bring her home. It is truly the grreatest gift that I can give my children, but that's another topic completely. I'll close with not really knowing where this is being sent to and hope that this information gets to the right persons. Contact me if you would like further information.Patty




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