tenex or clonidine for my 6 yr old - your experiences?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Loralyn, Feb 26, 2010.

  1. Loralyn

    Loralyn New Member

    We will soon have a decision to make and begin our journey to the place so many of you have been...filled with hope that our almost-6-yr-old son will have one tool to improve his early kindergarten "bully" label.

    For my aggressive, defiant, grouchy, mean, physical, friendless and fit-throwing son, Tenex and Clonidine are on the table as options from the psychiatrist. Would you mind sharing your kids' experiences (and are these pills I am going to need to convince my defiant kid to swallow every day? He can barley put on his socks without a fit.) What does it mean to be an "antihypertensive"medication?

    Thanks so much for any insight, it is so helpful.
  2. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    Hi, You pretty much described how my son was at the beginning of Kindergarten. I would add that there were parents of other students who wanted to call the police on my difficult child. :sad-very: Not good. That said...

    My son has done well with clonidine. He has Tourette Syndrome, so this class of medications has added benefits for us (helps with the tics). We never tried Tenex, so I can't really comment on that. Our neuropsychologist and pediatrician both preferred clonidine for my son because it supposedly is better with impusivity and hyperactivity, while Tenex is better with inattention (supposedly--run that by your own professionals to see what they think).

    My son now takes a very high dose of clonidine (.4 mg) and we have also added a mood stabilizer (Trileptal), but we generally have been happy with clonidine. difficult child takes it in patch form (he wears two .2 mg patches simultaneously). difficult child was very sedated when he started clonidine and then sedated again with each increase in dose. But, that wears off quickly. Also, your dr probably would start your son on the tablet form of clonidine and there can be a significant rebound effect as the dose wears off. If you are seeing good things from the clonidine otherwise, I say to stick with it until you can get him to a stable dose and he can start using the patch. That eliminates the rebound problem.

    The patch can cause some itching and scratching at it can make it come off. Our pediatrician prescribed a FloVent inhaler to spray directly on difficult child's back where we put the patch. We let the spot dry and then put the patch on. This eliminated the itching. We also apply hydrocortisone to the spot when we remove a patch (and then place the next patch in a different location on his back).

    When difficult child started using the patch, it was only available in the name-brand form (Catapres). It has since become available in generic form (clonidine). We tried the generic for less than two weeks. The generic patches are literally about 3 times the size of the Catapres patches and they don't stick as well.

    Good luck.
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    The reason these medications are called "antihypertensive" medications is because they are literally prescribed to lower blood pressure. They are prescribed off-label for the treatment of ADHD. Both help with hyperactivity and impulsivity; neither help with attention. Clonidine apparently helps more with aggression; Tenex apparently helps more with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) symptoms.

    There is a new long-acting version of Tenex called Intuniv that just came out. It should reduce the likelihood of rebound.
  4. Loralyn

    Loralyn New Member

    Thank you so much for the very helpful responses, it is so helpful to hear from others who have been down this road! Very helpful info about the patches, does anyone know how Tenex is taken...I keep hearing of chewables but perhaps that is another medication category.
  5. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

  6. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    Wow Loralyn, I wish you we were neighbors because then our sons could be friends because u just described my 9yr old(almost 10) to a T .... i though i was alone in this ... we started intuniv 1mg last nite after using strattera for almost 6 mos. hoping and praying for some relief for my son and our entire family. would love to hear from u shellyd
  7. jcox

    jcox New Member

    My son Elijah has been on both Clonidine and Tenex at varying doses. The Clonidine made him sleepy during the day, but Tenex does not and is a better fit for him. He still has one dose of Clonidine at night to help him sleep. They are both antihypertensive medications otherwise known as blood pressure medications. Clonidine is used off label to help children sleep and to calm them down. Tenex has recently begun being used to help children with ADHD symptoms and anxiety. They are both pretty small pills so it makes them easier to swallow. I have had success putting Elijah's pills in a spoonfull of appleasauce. Tenex has worked wonders on Elijah's anxiety which was so bad in the past he had panic/anxiety attacks. I would prefer Tenex out of the two.
  8. MReckward

    MReckward New Member

    My 5 yo is starting Tenex tomorrow - to help with her 'meltdowns' and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) type behavior. She is also on Ritalin. My oldest (7yo) is on Concerta and I consider him to be high functiong autistic/Aspbergers.....but does not have the 'meltdowns' like my daughter does. He was more aggressive and with the Ritalin/Concerta has mellowed.

    It's been SO hard dealing with all of this - had so much strength with all we went through with my oldest.....and now to have another going through all of this with more 'mental illness' of sorts, makes me super duper sad and I feel like I've expended all my emotional reserve in how to deal with this. How do you all deal with this???
  9. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Hi MReckward, welcome to the board. Why don't you start a thread and introduce yourself? As to how we deal, one day at a time; one minute at a time if needed.
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have not had experience with either of these with my own kids but I did use the catapress patch at one time to help stop smoking years ago. Actually worked.

    I also had a friend when I worked who had a 5 year old little terror who was on the clonodine patch for these symptoms. She could have never convinced this kid to swallow a pill. He was defiant to the max. Much worse than even my kid. It seemed to help him some.
  11. Amandawv

    Amandawv New Member

    My 8 yr old son is on 1mg of tenex to help with sleep. He has ADHD and is on 15mg go XR focolin in the AM and reg release after school. He has been ding HORRIBLE with sleep. He was wide awake at 2am this morning and now he us wide awake again. I gave him 5 mg of melatonin and nothing. It used to work in the beginning but now it is worthless