Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by tandcg, May 28, 2009.

  1. tandcg

    tandcg New Member

    I've seen a few posts where people mentioned that their kids were not able to tolerate Strattera.

    I'm having a hard time trying to figure out if my son is experiencing irritability side effects from Strattera, or this is just part of his defiant behavior.

    Can anyone describe their experiences that led them to conclude that Strattera was the cause (or at least a contributing factor)?
  2. Jena

    Jena New Member

    Hi when we tried strattera we didnt' have to question if it was her or the medication lol, it was that extreme. aggitated, irritable argumentative but big time. it was rough.

    what makes you think it's the medication, any extreme change in behavior? how long has he been on it?
  3. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    When my difficult child first took Strattera a few years ago, it did nothing. He's now taking it again with other medications, and it seems to be helping keep him from being so irritable. These medications react differently will each child.
  4. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    My difficult child tried straterra last summer and the 10 days or so he was on it sent him into a tailspin that lasted the duration of the summer. He was mean, easily aggitated, and it got progressively worse the longer he was on it. Was better when we took him off, but took a long time for it to completely go away.
  5. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It made my difficult child irritable and grouchy and he became more violent.
  6. tandcg

    tandcg New Member

    Thank you so much for your comments!

    We had a appointment. with the doctor and discussed it. My son really wanted to have some input in the discussion, which I thought was a really good sign. :)

    We decided to wean him off the Strattera over the next couple of weeks.
    Then we'll lower his dosage of Resperidol (currently 1 mg) while we begin ramping up with Abilify.
    Ultimately he end up on Depakote plus Abilify, for Bipolar and ADHD.

    Has anyone had any experience with this combo?
  7. miles2go

    miles2go Member

    We just had an appointment with his psychiatrist and, after hearing of difficult child's few meltdowns he mentioned depakote, but warned of serious side-effects, liver and pancreas, and a couple of his patients put in a hospital with that -- sounds like serious stuff! I know there are a few depakote threads here, but does any one want to sound off?
    Me: married dad
    difficult child: 8m, BiPolar (BP) , ablfy 7mg
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    difficult child 3 tried Strattera in December last year. We were to have him on it on a low dose (beginning level) and then after a week, increase it. During that time he was to stay on his other stimulant and then we would wean him off it.

    We observed an increase in "verbal diarrhoea" and aggression. He was also more emotional, would get rude, resentful and aggressive. To him, everything was bad and we were all out to get him. He became increasingly upset. On about the third night we were at daughter in law's parents' place for a family evening. difficult child 3 was finding it confronting being around other people even though it was informal and family. He started being very rude (uncharacteristically) and when I sent him from the room I felt it would be good if I went with him; I wasn't sure what he would do. He was agitated, pacing the floor, screaming abuse at me, swearing loudly and horribly, insisting I was being monstrously unfair. He was hysterical, totally out of control.

    Ok, initially I had been trying to handle him as normla and use logic, commonsense and finally mildshock tactics to get him b=to behave. None of it worked. I should have realised then that he was out of control, but I kept trying to make him control himself - and he just couldn't. ONce I realised that this was an out of control situation I backed right off. I finally got difficult child 3 to understand that the topic was dropped until next morning. husband & I left as soon as we could, daughter in law's family either didn't notice a lot or they were VERY polite about it (or both).

    All the way home difficult child 3 was arguing loudly with us, insisting we continue the verbal dispute then and there in the car. We refused and he accused us of copping out. So husband & I (by now acting like you would around 40 Kg of unstable sweaty gelignite) promised difficult child 3 that we would ourselves raise the topic of our "unfairness" the next morning. we also managed to get through to him that we were not wanting to argue because we were increasingly feeling that he was having an adverse reaction to his medications (the Strattera).

    Once we got home and finally got him into bed (he kept on arguing and frankly, much of what he was verbally spewing out was free association stuff, not making a lot of sense) I rang the hospital and asked what we should have done. Turned out they said we should have brought him in for an urgent psychiatric review. He's NEVER needed to see a psychiatrist! But the Strattera had done this to him, in three short days. (Actually, they felt like three very LONG days...)

    By next morning difficult child 3 was more in control and very contrite. He still felt (from the memories of the strength of his emotions) that he had been justified, but he was too hazy on why he had felt so angry, what had happened to make him angry. Because what he remembered, just didn't seem (in the cold light of day) to explain the depth of his rage at me. He actually didn't want to talk about it, he said he would no longer hold us to the promise we made to talk about it. However, we said that WE wanted to talk about it and because we had made a promise, we would honour it even if he said he didn't want it. By this time he was really squirming. But we persisted - and also told him of our discussion after he'd gone to bed, and our decision.

    We made the executive decision to immediately discontinue the Strattera. The hospital advised us that we could do this because he'd only been on it for three days. We didn't take him in - we felt it would cause more trouble than it would save us, a good night's sleep would be better for him and if there were still problems in the morning, THEN we would take him.

    It took another four or five days for it to boil out of his system but the improvement was still in a positive direction. We eased off the pressure on him to behave because we recognised that he just couldn't control himself, and pressure made him lose it faster.

    Mind you, now he's back on a more even keep, it's back to our usual expectatons for him. Still not the average, but it's what we recognise he can handle.

    When we finally got back to the pediatrician about it - he reminded us that WE had wanted to try Strattera (as suggested by a new specialist in difficult child 3's team). He also reminded us that he didn't expect much good from trying it.

    But now we know. As for difficult child 3 - he remembers the experience with a shudder, it was VERY negative for him. I think he was horrified at just how much control he could lose, due to a medication reaction. The thought of being so much at the mercy of pharmacology is still a bit horrifying for him, I tihnk.

    NOw, the medication is available because for some people, it helps. So I'm not saying, "Don't ever try it."

    What I'm saying - if you are observing issues like we did, please consider that a medication reaction can explain this, and if you continue with it and increase the dose as you're supposed to - it will not help.

    For some kids, some medications just don't work. But generally other medications do.

    I hope this info helps.

    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Each person reacts so differently to medications, often you need to try them to know if your child can take them and be helped.

    My son is 17 and has been on Strattera for 3 years. It helps immensely with his ADHD symptoms. BUT he is not bipolar. Strattera is related to medications like prozac and lexapro. It is not a stimulant like ritalin or adderall or concerta.

    My son is currently on strattera and luvox both. He actually NEEDS both as otherwise he is suicidal. But even if he was not suicidal with-o it, it truly helps his adhd.

    My older brother is also on strattera for adhd. Boy can we tell if he goes off it for a few days!!!
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    As I said - it's not bad news for everyone. I'm really glad for your son, Susie. Our description was of one case that went bad. It happens. difficult child 3 reacts to antidepressants also, even though his older brother is fine on Zoloft. We keep hearing horror stories about how disastrous Zoloft can be, but it's been wonderful for difficult child 1, as well as his wife.

    I really wish Strattera had worked for difficult child 3, it would have been good to switch him from a stimulant, because his anxiety is such an issue. Que sera sera...

  11. tandcg

    tandcg New Member

    Update... We have now weaned my son off the Strattera (he's still taking Depakote and Resperidol). We've had a great week with NO outbursts, and virtually NO disrespectful or defiant behavior!

    Next step is to wait a couple weeks and then start on Abilify while reducing Resperidol.

    I'm cautiously optimistic!!!
    I am so grateful for the comments - without them I may not have told the doctor that we should consider a change in medications!!!
  12. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Ya done right. Not only does Strattera have a bad side effect profile with BiPolar (BP), but in general it isn't a great SSRI and only has about a 40% success rate in kids with true ADD/ADHD.

    I sampled it years back when it was thought that my anxiety was ADHD, and it made me feel like every nerve ending I owned was sticking an inch out of my skin.

    I AM bi-polar but Strattera nearly landed me in an ER. It made me irritable and angry.