Medications for Impulsivity

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jeppy, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. Jeppy

    Jeppy New Member

    Under the pressure of a court date on Tuesday and possible foster care placement or time in custody, difficult child is now willing to take some medication.

    Earlier this year he rejected the suggestion from a psychiatrist (who he only saw that one time) of something to control his impulsivity (especially a problem when he is angry).

    So I am going to call the psychiatrist tomorrow about setting up an appointment but I would like to hear from you all what are some medications for this, have you found them effective, and is there any way like blood tests to make sure someone really is taking the medicine, especially if problems persist? In the past difficult child has hidden medicine in his mouth then spit it out later, etc.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    It depends on the cause of his impulsivity. I'm personally not a fan of any stimulants as teenagers abuse t hem A LOT. And I mean crush them up and snort them alone or with cocaine. I don't know if your son ever abused drugs, but, if so, I'd take that off the table. I'm not even sold that it helps impulsivity. I think maybe in younger kids, but after all it's speed.They made my son hyper and mean. I took Ritalin once for alleged ADHD and it made me crazy and when I crashed I got severely depressed. This is my own opinion. Others will likely not agree.

    There is little for just impulsivity. When was his last evaluation? Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) rarely stands by itself and is part of mood/anxiety disorder. ODD is, most of us believe, a very unhelpful and benign diagnosis. I think you need to see a neuropsychologist. They really do great, intensive evaluations.

    Others will come along, some who will disagree with me. You kind of have to decide yourself. I'd have him re-evaluated before I started on medications.
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Is his only diagnosis Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?
    Has he ever been on any other medications?
    If so, what and how did he react?

    For certain medications, there are blood tests that will measure a blood level so you can tell if the patient is taking the medication. However, if problems persist, it could mean that the medication is not working.
  4. Jeppy

    Jeppy New Member

    The only "medication" he was supposed to take before was a caffeine pill each morning to help him focus in school but he balked at that although he loves caffeinated beverages. I think it was just more of his defiance in not taking something I and his teacher wanted him to take. And it did help him the first couple days when he tried it.

    His last evaluation was this past summer so fairly recent.
  5. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Not sure there really is a medication for impulsivity.
    The question comes up often.
    Perhaps, esp. with- young children with- ADHD, the stimulants help.
    For many others, esp. for those w other diagnosis's, that would not be the case.
    I suppose the cloesst I can come up that I have noticed some help in that area for my daughter is Abilify. But it is only a guess.
  6. Jeppy

    Jeppy New Member

    Googling it looks like there are a couple non-stimulant drugs - Clonidine and Guanfacine.
  7. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a form of anxiety. First-line treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is SSRI antidepressants. But I'm not sure impulsivity is the first symptom you think of when you think of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). So I do wonder if a new evaluation might be in order.

    Stimulants might help with impulsivity, but very often make pre-existing anxiety worse. Stimulants can also make teens more angry and irritable.

    I've heard that Tenex and Clonidine might help with impulsivity.

    Abilify is an interesting thought. One of our psychiatrists says that Abilify at low doses (1 mg) helps with brighter affect and attention.

    What kind of doctor evaluated him over the summer? Are you satisfied with the diagnosis?
  8. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Caffeine is not as helpful at all as compared to ADHD stimulant medications. My husband had ADHD and managed to get through his military career living on coffee and chocolate covered pure coffee-beans.

    They were popular candies in Europe and he ate them by the handful. Being officially diagnosed as ADHD would've ended his military career. He still had to work out additional ways to handle his disorder.

    He went on stims within a couple of months of being discharged from from service. They worked a lot better than all the caffeine.
  9. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    The one medication that helped my difficult child wm for impulsivity was Wellbutrin. Saying that, he crashed into such a depression that it was taken off the table.

    AND that was wm's reaction - all of our difficult children are different & react differently to medications.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If you didn't have a neuropsychologist evaluation or at least the opinion of a Child Psychiatrist, I wouldn't trust the diagnosis. Therapists do not really know the different disorders. And if there was no testing, it's really hard to know what's wrong. His problems sound worse than ADHD's impulsivity.I don't know WHAT your child has but early onset bipolar and high functioning autism/Aspergers also cause extreme impulsivity. Drug use is rampant in teens with both disorders. Cutting can happen too as well as breaking the law. This is especially true of bipolar.

    I would want another opinion on the diagnosis. in my opinion you aren't getting the big picture. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) rarely stands alone (my oldest son has a terrible case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), but also a mood disorder and horrible anxiety disorder) and ODD is just a generic term that means "he's defiant." It doesn't stand by itself either. Until you know what he has, medications can make him worse because certain disoders do very poorly on certain medications. Even if somebody with bipolar (like me) has anxiety, some bipolars can not take ssRI antidepressants or they get much worse. It's important to know exactly what's wrong.

    You can see which medications my oldest son is taking. They are helping, but he still struggles.

    Good luck trying to figure out what's going on.