My son was diagnosed with ADHD in July of 2003. At that time his pediatrician put him on Straterra. He started out at a very low dose and gradually increased it until we found what worked. He did have side effects with this medication however. He felt nauseous no matter what food he ate before taking it. He also had an incredibly decreased appetite. However, the positives seemed to out weigh the negatives. Then, after about a year, it was if the medication just stopped working.
By this time we had relocated to another state and of course found a new pediatrician. She then put my son on Adderall. This was a nightmare. He took it for two days and vomited for two days. Needless to say, that medication was not for him. She then referred him to a specialist (psychiatrist) who then prescribed Focalin XR. He's been on this new medication for about 2 1/2 months now and we are extremely pleased with it. He has NO side effects at all. His appetite is back in full force. He's eating us out of house and home and we couldn't be happier. He sleeps great and never feels sick. He initially took 10 mg/day but now is taking 20 mg/day. His teacher can see a huge improvement at school as well. However, by the time he comes home at 2:30pm, the medication is all but out of his system. For this, his doctor prescribed a 10 mg dose of regular Focalin, not the XR (extended release). This provides an immediate response and helps him settle down and concentrate on his homework. Since I give it to him around 3:00pm it doesn't interfere with his bed time at 9:00pm. He only takes this afternoon dose on the days it's necessary, i.e. the days he has homework or other activity where concentration is necessary. He seems like a much happier child now and says he "feels good again."
I just wanted to share our own personal experience with you. You must keep in mind that while certain medications did not work effectively for my son, each child reacts differently to each medication. Unfortunately it's more or less trial and error until your doctor (and you) can find the right combination for your child. I'm just so thankful that we've finally found the medication and dosage that works best for my son. Best wishes!