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Parents of ADHD Children

getting him to take his meds/med change and attitude change

My 5 yr old son was recently diagnosed with pretty sever adhd. They started him out on Focalin 5mg. Within 2 days we could already see it wearing off early and not doing its job. After 2 weeks they upped the mgs to 10. He has been on the 10mgs for about a week now. He is calmer and his teacher says he is doing much better in school aside from still being defiant. At home all he does since they upped the dosage is cry and whine. Hes never been a whiny kid. He cries over small things that aren’t that big a deal. Also getting him to take the new dosage in the morning is crazy. I have tried pudding, honey, and apple sauce in a spoon. I have tried all 3 of these both with the capsule whole and with opening it and sprinkling the little beads in the food. He says it tastes nasty, swishes it around his mouth and chews it and he wont swallow the pill whole. I am desperate for the morning routine to get better. I will try any ideas a dr would approve of. Please help!


Of the many different meds we’ve tried for our daughter, Vyvanse has been the easiest for her to take.  We open a 30mg capsule and mix the powder with 4oz of juice. She drinks 2oz of the Vyvanse/juice mixture per dose (= 15mg ). She says she can only taste the juice and gives us no fight at all now!  (Vyvanse is in a different stimulant group than Focalin)

Posted by CBak on Dec 05, 2013 at 6:32am

We open the capsule and put it on a spoonful of applesauce and then out more applesauce on top. One bite and he’s done.

Posted by sleroux on Dec 05, 2013 at 7:40am

Been there!  We had the best luck stirring it on chocolate sauce on a spoon with a glass of water chaser.

Last February, my son started taking a liquid, Quillivant XR.  It tastes good and has been a godsend for us.  They have a website, not all doctors know about it.

Also, my son has put on weight.  It doesn’t suppress his appetite as much.  Good luck!

Posted by Pdxlaura on Dec 05, 2013 at 10:16am

I had the same issue with my son when he was 5. I suggest practicing how to swallow the pill by using a M&M or tic tac. It was a daily struggle to put his meds in a drink/food for the fact that he didn’t like the flavor or just simply did not want to eat/drink what I had put it in, wasting the medicine.. I know exactly how you’re feeling. I hope it gets easier for you!!!

Posted by BridgeD87 on Dec 05, 2013 at 10:44am

Thanks for all the ideas and support! I have tried the apple sauce thing. He knows the meds are in it so he just swishes it around his mouth, adds water, more swishing until eventually he is spitting it all over himself and the floor. Im deff going to try the practicing with a tic tac. After this morning which was particularly hard im also calling his doc today again. I tried changing the routine and getting him fully ready for school before giving him his pill and he ended up letting the pill mostly dissolve in his mouth, then literally spewed it all over my face and himself all for me to find a sticky flat half empty pill on the floor and the little beads all over his clothes and the chair. I ended up keeping him home from school today. Really bad mornings spill into bad days at school. I also don’t want him missing a lot of school. so frustrating!!! On the up side his father was up earlier for work today and finally saw exactly what I go through every morning and finally realizes it IS really that bad.

Posted by crystalF on Dec 05, 2013 at 5:44pm

Oh My God :( I feel so upset for you.  I have no advice at all.  I just wanted to tell you, your a great parent and this child is very lucky to have you with your patience… Wow

Posted by BexIssues on Dec 05, 2013 at 9:04pm

Thank you for that. Brought a tear to my eye but for the first time in days it wasn’t a sad tear smile I wish I had thought to connect on this site sooner!

Posted by crystalF on Dec 05, 2013 at 9:21pm

I too struggle in the morning with my son doctor said same things for me apple sauce and what not i would try the juice thing pudding jello apparently things to try my son takes the capsule the just lowered his dose and put him on biphentin 10mg because he is 9 and is like 40lbs very tiny guy doctor said games in the morning like race against the clock stopwatch can make things easier lets see how long it takes you to get dressed then nexr day try to beat the time but has to have some sort of reward sticker or something 10minutes of videogames you need to find what works for your child my son used to spit it at me as well he is 5 so still lots to learn from each other hope this helps

Posted by mommyboyngirl on Dec 05, 2013 at 11:29pm

Well I contacted his doc today and explained everything in hopes we could try that patch the nurse told me about (then I researched it on here). They call me back a few mins ago and tell me they don’t think that’s a good idea and they want to switch him to 5mg of Adderall rx which is still a capsule I will have to open and sprinkle in food but they said it tastes better. Im not very hopeful about it working out better because I don’t think its just the taste. I think he has it stuck in his head that he doesn’t want meds at all. I guess not much to do but wait and see how it goes and continue to try the ideas you have all given me. Thanks!

Posted by crystalF on Dec 06, 2013 at 3:01am

I just heard of the patch too, I was on Adderall and didn’t like the way it tasted (like acid) and it made my stomach queezy.  But the patch goes right into the blood stream or something lol by passing the stomach altogether now that’s why id try if I went back on meds.  Sounds much cleaner.

Posted by BexIssues on Dec 06, 2013 at 3:30am


I have two thoughts—

1. Try some counseling for your son. A therapist can help with the medication issue but also with strategies to cope with many more facets of ADHD. It would be good to explore the possibility of anxiety as well—he may have fear of what the medicine will do to him that is really controlling your current struggle.

2. If the doctor won’t listen to your concerns, truly listen, I would find another doctor for your son’s ADHD care.

We were originally at a large behavioral health pediatric practice that worked much the same as your experience. I would call in concerns, the nurse would email them to doctor, doc would email nurse back and nurse would call me back. I felt like I was never truly heard.

We switched to a therapy-based behavioral health practice (instead of MD-based) and it has made all the difference. My son sees a play therapist who has changed our family so much and he see’s a pediatrician in that office who only practices behavioral health for medication. If I have a concern, I call the doc directly and he returns my call himself. It is amazing and has made all the difference.

The original doc told me we had to accept mediocre when my son grew a tolerance to two doses of one med but couldn’t take the other type of stimulants. The new doc has worked with us to find medication and in the right combination to work well for my son—it took over 3 years but he didn’t stop until we reached success. That’s the kind of care we all deserve—especially our behaviorally-challenged kids.

ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Dec 06, 2013 at 7:03pm

our reward is if he eats and takes his meds he can watch some tv before school.  tv cannot come on before that is done.

we have him on 30mg adderall and then added 2mg intuniv to stop the rebound effect at dinner time.  the adderall worked for school but later we got the backlash.  the intuniv evens it all out. 

good luck.

Posted by dubajm on Dec 07, 2013 at 8:46am

last night we practiced with tic-tacs. It was hard and aggravating. Before he went to sleep I promised him if he took his meds with no issues in the morning he could have a tic tack right after and one to take on the bus with him. This morning he took his pill with no issue!!!! But he deff did not let me forget about the tic…I told him this morning and tonight as he went to sleep how proud I was of him and he is proud of himself. Hope tomorrow morning goes the same way! Cross fingers for me and Thank you so much for the tic tac idea!!!!!!! You just might have saved my families’ sanity!!!! smile smile

Posted by crystalF on Dec 07, 2013 at 11:03am

And to the other posts thank you so much for your input. I have had my son in counseling (he is going through so much…bio gave him up and he is being adopted by my fiancé who has been there since he can remember but he knows whats going on).It deff adds to the stress…but things are going better and he is getting into a good program in school finally to support all this. Between you ppl on this site and the school and this morning I am feeling much more hopefull!! Thank you all so very much!!

Posted by crystalF on Dec 07, 2013 at 11:09am

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