Starting our first night of Abilify--fingers crossed!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Okay, here we go, 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet every night for 3 wks, then we see the psychiatrist again. We had a GREAT appointment!

    I dropped off a hand-written a note a few wks ago, describing how difficult child is always tense, agitated and soooo negative, and in general, unhappy, deliberately isolating himself and, well, you know the spiel. The dr called in the middle of my date night with-husband and changed the appointment from the 19th to tonight, and promised to work on it.

    He spent double the normal amt of time with-us, asking difficult child pointed questions about friends, homework, attitudes, girlfriend, bff (ha, like that would ever happen with-his b&w thinking), when his agitation started and began--home, a.m., p.m., being with-people, being alone, stressing out about old things he's done that he still hasn't forgiven himself for, you get the idea. Then he led up to taking a new medication for that, and tapering off on the clonidine.
    difficult child was pretty good with-it (although he started texting in the last 5 min, grrr) but we'll find out for sure tonight when we give him his medications at bedtime. He hates change, but the psychiatrist is an authority figure, and he's young and hip. Wears a ponytail. :)

    Fingers crossed for the next few wks!

    This is in an entirely diff class of drugs from Prozac and Zoloft as most of you know, so I hope-hope-hope he doesn't have heart palpitations and dizziness like he did a few yrs ago. He is worried about it, but I let him go straight on the XBox and straight to the ph with-his girlfriend so he's happy now.

    Oh, we talked about his appetite, or lack thereof, and how he tends to eat a bit of dinner, then snack all night long (2 a.m., 5:30 a.m.) and can't figure out why he's so tired in the a.m.
    Also, the psychiatrist told me to quit making pancakes and bacon and a huge breakfast for him, even when he asks for it--freeze them and let him make his own breakfast. Or let him pour himself a bowl of cereal.
    So much for June Cleaver! lol!:abouttime::nails:

    Also, we have an $80 credit on our acct. :)

    Our trip to Calif went VERY well. difficult child dug his heels in, saying "I don't want to go. I am NOT going," for an entire month. I ignored him. Occasionally, I said, "I don't like to fly, either." But I have learned over the yrs to ignore him. Do not argue. Just keep on swimming. :)

    I packed for him (actually, he even threw a few of his own things in the suitcase, and I mean "threw") and did not raise a bit of a fuss when we got in the car. No battle. Woo hoo!

    Once in the airport, I let him buy a book. I was shocked. It was a kids' middle school book. (Can't remember the title but it was sooooo cute and I was shocked, considering he's so into blowing off people's heads on XBox, and I just smiled and said, "Okay." And he read most of it on the plane.) I also let him eat whatever he ordered on the plane, even if it contained wheat. WTH. As long as the side effects don't ramp up and combine with-homework and chores, he can usually handle the excema and temper irritation, since it's vacation. I know he appreciated my hands-off attitude. Also, one of my nephews has serious colon issues and has to eat gluten-free products so it really, really helps when there's a peer who's doing the same thing.

    We only had difficult child do three outside activities in Calif. The day after we landed, he went on a whole-day ocean fishing trip with-husband and everyone caught fish and we had them for dinner. One night, we went out to dinner. Another time, we saw War Horse with-the family, and he drove with-s-i-l and her son, and his friend, so there were 2 other kids his age in that car.

    Other than that, he was required to sit with-us for dinner with-the entire family (20 people at 2 tables) for at least 15 min.

    Nothing like yrs past when we ran, ran, ran, like my s-i-l does with-her kids. Yeah, they're all Baby Geniuses, one's at Stanford, another is applying at Princeton, Wm & Mary, Duke, the youngest has been moved up a grade ... but you can run around like that and sign up for every team sport and extra class when you've got the stamina, IQ and nerves of a presidential candidate. We've learned to ignore all of that and just take it easy. "Thank you, but we'd love to just sit in the sun and read a book today." :)
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    P.S. The XBox is connected to the TV, which has a split cord and a different plug, which we hide at night. Just in case you wondered. :)
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Oh boy- watch that abilify, Terry. Some people do great on it apparently, but my difficult child had just started it a few days before pulling a knife on me to rob me. I wouldn't even consider a connection to the medication given that he'd already trialed so many - but- when I was waiting to visit him in detention a couple of weeks later, another mother was there saying her son (who couldn't have possibly known my son) had pulled a knife on her almost 1 week after starting abilify. Her son was also 14yo at the time and had issues similar to most of us here but had never gone nearly that far before.

    I'm not trying to discourage you- just suggesting you keep an eye wide open for a few weeks and IF something gets to crisis mode, it very well could be the medication, not your son.
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Yes, I'm prepared. He hasn't changed anything for months, so I know that any changes will probably be attributable to that.
    He argued for 10-15 min about it, just now ... sigh. husband finally showed him the printout of what it was for, and the side-effects, and we told him he wouldn't notice anything right away.
    I was upset, because he blew off the dr toward the end of the session, and he could have been asking questions. But one of the things the dr pointed out to him was that you can't just clam up when you're upset about something. Here is a perfect example. You clam up, then you blow.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Yep- same issues with my son in that respect. I'm starting to see a few good signs out of my difficult child after he's calmed a little- I don't really hold it against him for venting- how can I given he's my bio? LOL! But, the 'regrouping' and dealing with it or asking for help or someone to talk to (as in a therapist) instead of holding it in and then snapping is a big key, as you know. I don't know if that can bring you any hope or not but I do believe maturity helps them to be more receptive to help and constructive, appropriate outlets- as long as they can get access to them and I know your son can.

    I'll keep my fingers crossed this works for him and just wanted to make sure you're aware that this medication really can cause horrible reactions in some kids.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Terry - can you remind us of which symptoms this drug is supposed to counter-act?
  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    FYI Abilify keeps Kiddo up, she has to take it in the morning instead of night.
  8. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Sending many positive vibes your sounds like difficult child is doing a bit better? :). How is husband, is his work load calming down a bit?
    Like Haz, abilify made Matt activated and manic---but I have heard many good things about this medication from others. Keeping my fingers crossed.
  9. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Hoping hoping hoping! Keep us posted!
  10. debann

    debann New Member

    Hi terry, i am brand new to this site. I have temporary guardianship of my ten year old grandson. And he was recently prescribed risperdal twice daily . Can you please share your knowledge of this medication. I am very concerned to start him on this since it is a very strong me. Whatever you can share is greatly appreciated.

    Thank you debann
  11. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    its kind of weird the dr is making you split the pills--it does come in lower strengths (i think 1mg and 2mg).

    mine did ok on it, but mainly for possible auditory hallucinations (we'll never actually know for sure if she HAD them or not--personally i think it was a coping mechanism for stress overload)

    be prepared for him to be ravenous. mine gained a ton of weight.

    it also seemed to me that mine constantly honeymooned on it...we were forever increasing her dose. she also had some cognitive dulling. she used at as a complete stand alone for almost 2 years. fortunately we got a new psychiatrist who had better ideas...we are currently in the process of weaning down/off it.

    but its a medication that definitely can be very useful-i hope it is for yours!
  12. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hope all goes well with his medications!
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you all.
    I am splitting the pills because they were FREE SAMPLES. That, and the $80 credit made my day!

    Debann, I am new to this. Each child is different. All I know is that difficult child is in general, one of the most unhappy kids I have ever met. He is grouchy, touchy, and can be explosive. He keeps things to himself and then explodes.
    He has been waking up all night long and eating, eating, eating, probably due to the Concerta. Unfortunately, the good parts of the Concerta wear off around 2-3 p.m., and he gets edgy, but he's still not hungry.
    In addition, he's gone through several growth spurts and we hate to keep adding dosages; we are trying replacements. Eventually, if this works, we can wean him off of the clonidine. (Although, frankly, I will keep some handy, just in case. It works quickly.)
  14. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    How is it going today Terr
  15. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Welcome Debann,

    What dose is your grandson starting? What are the behaviors that are causing the Dr to prescribe this to him?

    Risperdal is a class of medications called Anti-Psychotics although they are also used for calming people's racing thoughts, impulsiveness, and angry outbursts. The side effects are varied, however, for many of our kids they are really the only thing that help make their behavior manageable. Other APs are Abilify, Seroquel, Zyprexa, etc as you will see in many signatures here.

    Preferably doctors like to try medicines like mood stabilizers before moving to an AP -- has your grandson been on any of those?
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Steely! He took the medications tonight with-o a fuss. He is in bed, sound asleep. OMG, it's 12:30 a.m.! What am I doing up!!!!??
  17. tessaturtle

    tessaturtle New Member

    Abilify has been excellent for our difficult child...this time around. The first time he was put on it, he was 8 years old and they combined it with Lithium. This turned out to be a horrendous combination for him and he wound up in the psychiatric hospital for the second time in his life due to visual hallucinations, suicidal ideation, constant encopresis and enuresis. We were told by the psychiatric hospital at the time (2006) that the prescriber should have never combined those two drugs. Whether that's true in general, I don't know, but it was clear in his case.

    Fast forward to his 3rd psychiatric hospital stay in 2008 they restarted him on Abilify but paired it with carbamazepine and guanfacine. Up until the recent discontinuing of the guanfacine (in Dec 2011) this has proven to be the BEST mix of medicine he has ever been on. Now, he does have significant other issues - but those appear to be more conduct related than medication related. He is now at the highest dosage of Abilify, I believe, and we are told that the abilify helps tone down his angry and aggressive bx (yes, he used to be even more aggressive than he currently is). The number one (GREAT) thing about it is that it knocks him out at night so that he sleeps through the night. Prior to the Abilify, we would wake up in the middle of the night to find difficult child standing next to our bed just staring at us....

    As far as the appetite goes, I have heard that it gives the kids a "false" sense of hunger so they will eat massive amounts of food at dinner, for example, thinking that they are still hungry - so weight gain is a problem.
    Hope the abilify is a good fit for you and your difficult child - keep us posted!
  18. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you! You've sure been through a lot!
  19. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Hmmm........maybe that was our problem with Abilify. Matt was on Lithium when he tried it....I love how psychiatrists pick and choose what to tell you. Grrrr.
    Terry I am so glad that so far it is working. As far as weight gain, Abilify is the least on the list to cause this (I think) -- although it can still happen.
  20. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, that's good to know. Everyone on the bmom's side is obese. Of course, they never exercise, and eat horribly. difficult child has a very nice bod and is good at sports and I'd like to keep it that way.
    Again, fingers crossed!