ADD / ADHD Community
Focalin
About This Community:

This patient support community is for discussions relating to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Anxiety, and Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

Focalin

I have a seven year old daughter and just started her on Focalin.  Has anyone heard if Focalin stunts your childs growth?  
8 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
   It is a common side effect for long term use of most stimulants.
         Long-Term Suppression of Growth

Careful follow- up of weight and height in children ages 7 to 10 years who were randomized to either methylphenidate or non-medication treatment groups over 14 months, as well as in naturalistic subgroups of newly methylphenidate-treated and non-medication treated children over 36 months (to the ages of 10 to 13 years), suggests that consistently medicated children (i.e., treatment for 7 days per week throughout the year) have a temporary slowing in growth rate (on average, a total of about 2 cm less growth in height and 2.7 kg less growth in weight over 3 years), without evidence of growth rebound during this period of development. Published data are inadequate to determine whether chronic use of amphetamines may cause a similar suppression of growth, however, it is anticipated that they likely have this effect as well. Therefore, growth should be monitored during treatment with stimulants, and patients who are not growing or gaining height or weight as expected may need to have their treatment interrupted.
      http://www.rxlist.com/focalin-drug/warnings-precautions.htm
  Although, I think that since it does not effect all kids it has a lot to do with weight loss and or insomnia.  If the child is not eating, then a slow down of growth would be expected.  
    In, "The ADD/ ADHD Answer book," by Susan Ashley on page 157, she says- "  Children who do have a delay in weight or height growth see only minor ones, which research has found is made up by the time their growth period is complete."  You might want to buy this book as in the same pages she also gives good ideas for helping with the weight and insomnia problems.   Actually, she gives a ton of good ideas to  help at home and school.  Its a book I recommend a lot!
   If you have any more questions, please feel free to post.  Hope this helps.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Thank you that was helpful and I can't believe how quickly I received a response.  I just joined on here last night and to get feedback from other parents is very comforting.  However, in reading that above information it almost makes me want to take her off the medication until she is bit older.  I can't understand why there isn't a school that in is designed to teach children with ADHD. An alternative to learning without medicating. There are so many teachers in the world and not one Public school that is strictly designed with a curriculum to help these children with these needs.  
Thank you again,
Shana...aka...notsooblond
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
   Glad we could be of help.  Do order the book I mentioned above.  Its only about $10 through Amazon.  It has a very good section on medication.  But more then that it lists ways that schools can help kids.  The section on the 504's alone is worth the money.  Best wishes.
Blank
757137_tn?1347200053
All of the medications for ADHD have associated dangers, some of them very serious. Many doctors prefer behavioral therapy which does not cause physical harm. This may be an area you wish to investigate. I refused medication for my daughter. She is just fine.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
That is such good news to hear about your daughter.  I stopped giving the medicine yesterday to her as a matter of a fact.  She has been on it for the past month and a completely different kid.  She was extremely emotional, had moments of rage and beyond irritable.  It was making me sick to see her like that.  We also researched child therapist's that deal with ADHD and we have our first appointment on Monday. I also contacted Huntington Learning Center and she will be starting with them next week as well.  I'm hoping with some tutoring and really good counseling we will have more successful school year with her.  

How old is your daughter and how well does she do in school?
Blank
757137_tn?1347200053
She was thought to have ADHD when she was about nine. It did not matter to her if she got A's or F' s in school. She had trouble sitting still and would think of all sorts of excuses not to go to school. I told the school to leave her alone, that I did not care about her grades. But I did let her see a school psychologist. Later I spoke to the psychologist who I thought was a complete fool. He understood nothing at all about my daughter.

My daughter is now a grown woman. Sometime around puberty she decided that, although she hated school, she needed it if she was ever to get anywhere. Ultimately she was accepted by a top-tier college. She then won a fellowship for an MA at  prestigious university. A few years later she headed up a major development project, the youngest person to have held that position, and the first woman to do so.

What was actually wrong with her when she was "diagnosed"? Two things. One, she hated school - it was boring. Two, she had undiagnosed sleep apnea.

The problem children who do poorly in school have is that they are only judged by their academic achievements. The whole being, no matter how delightful, is ignored. Be careful about this. My daughter was a great kid. I would not let some school-playing-doctor ruin her.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
   Good point by Allmymarbles.  Her daughter did not have AHHD and the meds would really have messed her up.  Its possible that your daughter may also not have ADHD.  The reaction to the medication is unusual.  Usually, if a child has ADHD, the medicine will calm them down.  
   I don't know what the schools complaints were so I can't comment on that.  
Did the prescribing doctor do surveys to both the school and home?  Also curious if the doctor was her pediatrician?
    Anyway,  you certainly are going through the right steps in getting more information.   Keep in mind that a 504 plan can be very helpful for kids in school who are having problems.  
   Let us know how things go and if you need any more info or resources, please post.
Blank
757137_tn?1347200053
Sandman2 touches on the fact that not all children diagnosed with ADHD in fact have it. Considering the huge percentage who have been designated with this ailment, my common sense tells me that most, not some, of the diagnoses are wrong.

Also we have to keep in mind that just because someone has a PhD or an MD after his or her name, does not mean they are infallible. Some people are great in school, but not in the real world (small dig at academia). The psychologist who tested my child told me, as gently as he could, that my daughter was not terrible bright and with great effort could possibly make B's. (Note again the reference to academics.)  How he could have missed the fact that she was very very bright is beyond me. Well, actually I do know how and will tell you how it came about.

After leaving the psychologist's my daughter mentioned that he was very strange, that he played with toys, and very silly toys. Apparently he had one of these wooden boxes with holes for triangles, circles and squares. And then there were the blocks to put into the holes. He asked her to do that. Well, she thought that was too easy, that there must be a trick to it. So she tried putting the wrong  pieces in the holes. He had her try again. On the third try she put the pieces in correctly and he made a great fuss congratulating her. She couldn't understand what was wrong with him.

If I were handing out degrees for any medical persons or therapists specializing in children, I would make it a requirement for the degree that he/she have at least two children of his/her own to qualify.
Blank
Post a Comment
To
MedHelp Health Answers
Recent Activity
1236893_tn?1408490528
Blank
The prevalence of obesity.
4 hrs ago by gymdandee
4487186_tn?1362148262
Blank
ambyj commented on ambyj's status
6 hrs ago
1712422_tn?1407308655
Blank
LovemyKids86 commented on cnj76's status
13 hrs ago
Top Children's Development Answerers
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
Sandman2
San Pedro, CA
ADD / ADHD Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
The 3 Essentials to Ending Emotiona...
Sep 18 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating Control: How to St...
Aug 28 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
Top Children's Development Answerers
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
Sandman2
San Pedro, CA