5757880 tn?1395578022

Experiences with Plain Methylphenidate (3 Times Daily)

Hello Everyone!

My 8 year old son is going to be switched from Concerta 54mg (extended release) to Plain Methylphenidate 15mg (3 times daily) by the middle of next month. Unfortunately, my insurance now has a high deductible and the Concerta, even generic, is no longer affordable. He is currently diagnosed with ADHD and there is a possible diagnosis of PDD in the future (further evaluation is required).

I was wondering if anyone can tell me their experiences with the Plain Methylphenidate and also the whole "taking multiple doses" a day rather than one pill a day. This is all new to us, so I want to make sure I have all the information or even helpful tips on how to help my son.
10 Responses
Avatar universal
Concerta and Ritalin are both Methylphenidate.  Concerta is just the time released version.  

I took Ritalin when I was a kid and it worked well.  I don't think Concerta was around back then.  It was kind of inconvenient because I had to take my second dose in the middle of the school day.  

All the ADD/ADHD kids would go to the office at lunch time where the secretary kept our medicine under lock and key.  It was a good thing because I didn't like taking my medication and would have just thrown it away.  I'm not sure if schools still do that.  So many kids are on ADD drugs now that it seems kind of impractical.  

If his problems are more school than home related you might find that he doesn't need the third dose at all.  I only took 2.

I've never taken Concerta but I have taken Adderall and Adderall XR (extended release) as an adult.  I really don't think there is any difference between an ADD drug and the extended release version as long as you take the medicine exactly when you are supposed to.  

The only thing that's going to be different, and potentially difficult, about your child's switch from Concerta to Ritalin is that you are going to have to make sure that he is actually taking the 3 doses of medicine a day.
5757880 tn?1395578022
Thank you so much for your reply kirk!

We are looking into getting him a watch to remind him when to take his meds. (He is pretty decent about it) And he is excited about the watch :)

Avatar universal
That's good.  If he likes or at least doesn't dislike taking his medication than the switch should be pretty easy.

You mentioned that the main reason for the switch is the high cost of the meds.  So, I'll try to give you some tips, that you might already know, to get them cheaper.  I am assuming that you don't have any kind of persecution drug coverage.  I haven't had coverage for years so this is what I do.

There are websites that will show you the cost of prescription drugs at your local area.  The one I use is www.goodrx.com.  You can type in the name of the drug you are looking for and it will tell you the cost at your local pharmacies.  It will also give you a little coupon that you can cut out and take to the pharmacy.  Sometimes the pharmacy won't take the coupon but 90% of the time they do.  I've done this over 20 times and the price has always been the same, or within a dolor or two, of the price that the website says.  

You can also see what the price of the different dosages are.  I have my doctor write my proscriptions for Adderall 30mg instead of 15mg and cut them in half because it saves me big bucks.  I just had to explain to him that I was planning to cut them in half to save money.  So now he writes for half the quantity but twice the dose.  Pharmacists aren't allowed to substitute when it comes to dosage.  So, you have to ask the doctor.  

By doing these 2 things, I now pay about $25 a month instead of $100.
Avatar universal
My bad.  Just reread your original post and you have insurance.  You're probably better off using that.

Good Luck to you both!
Avatar universal
Schools still keep the meds in the rn office under lock. My sons doc did not want to label him as "the add lunch kid",that s why my son is on Adderall xtended instead of immediate release. My gut tells me that he would be better off with a smaller dose, divided in half. The problem Is that since he already is picked on, stopping by the nurse office after lunch would make him feel even worse about him self.
189897 tn?1441126518
   If your gut tells you that a smaller dose would work better then you should try it.  Do you feel that he is overdosed?  
    A smaller dose of adderall XR should still work for the 6 to 10 hours if it is working during the first couple of hours.  Here is a chart listing doses and times for all the meds.   http://www.leeheymd.com/charts/adhd_1.html
    Usually the extended release meds such as Adderall or Vyvansse are a bit smoother since they don't have the huge release at the start.
    Hopefully, you have informed the administration about him being picked on.  This should not be happening.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the response. Yes I am considering putting him on short acting despite the hassle of having to see the nurse every day. If such works  better for him is all that matters. Also, I had an extensive talk with his teacher. She was unaware of that this type of silent bullying had been going on in her class.
I strongly believe that the Adderall gave him the power to organize his thoughts and feelings, to the point that he was able to tell both me and his teacher that there was more than just symptoms of Add making his school days miserable.
On a positive note, when I asked my son if he felt uneasy about going back to school the morning after he revealed all the bullying facts to myself and the teacher he answered "I am my own person with or without supplements", he also said, "I cant help that they are mean to me, it just irritates me that people wants to be that way". These are comments and feelings he has previously never been able to address. Best of all he said "I am allowed to be who I am!!
All to the point, perhaps the Adderall  helped organize thoughts and emotions to the point that he was able to remove physical obstacles, such as stinking bullies. Since he has now done such, I will give it some more time to see if the Adderall xr also will help him with actual schoolwork. I have gathered that this type of medication needs constant tweaking in the beginning. It may be worth it?!
Thank you again.
Ps. Sometimes I wonder if crying is a common hobby for moms?! :)
189897 tn?1441126518
   I hear you.  Hopefully, we can find something a bit more productive in the long run then crying :)
   One thing that I noticed when I was at the elementary school level was that many times kids with ADHD (undiagnosed and unmedicated) tended to attract attention with their hyperactivity.  Kids just thought them to be kind of weird and reacted to them inappropriately.   This really did change once the child started medication and the hyperactivity and impulsiveness slowed down.  
   I remember Specialmom's son who has sensory processing disorder had a horrible time in 2nd grade and a miserable time making friends because he did many unappropriated things.  Once he was diagnosed with SPD and began to get help from the OT, Specialmom began to work on the friends thing.  If I remember correctly she would set up playdates and closely monitor them to help her son learn how to interact.  Since he tended to get up close to people she would work with him on spacing etc.  You might want to post on her forum-  http://www.medhelp.org/forums/Sensory-Integration-Disorder-SID/show/1396    and ask her for some suggestions on setting up playdates etc.
    Point being that your son probably has some behaviors that he has learned that might need to be (and can be)  changed.  His school teacher might be helpful here in suggesting things that can be worked on at home.
   And yes, I do think the adderall xr is worth trying.  It really is the same (does the same) thing as a regular adderall- it just lasts longer.  What is it that makes you want to go to the regular adderall?  Do you think he was being over medicated?
   If you would like to start a new post and maybe tell me something about your son (age, grade, etc).   I also might be able to suggest ways to help him.  I have some very good "link" resources.
Avatar universal
Nobody knew that I was going to the office to take my pill.  Nobody ever noticed or teased me about it.  It honestly never came up.
5757880 tn?1395578022
Agreed; my son isn't teased about his medication - he is more picked on because he is very socially awkard and can't relate to his own peers.
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