Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Hi everyone! I know I haven't posted in a while but will be posting some today. psychiatrist rx'd ativan for difficult child yesterday to use PRN and he said not to use it often. Has anyone had any experience with this that I should be aware of (adverse reactions, side effects, interactions, etc)? What about when it is used with mood stabilizers? difficult child is on depakote er and lithobid, both daily.

    Thanks!! I've been lurking occasionally to keep up with everyone.
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Hi klmno, I've missed you.

    My son has been rxed Ativan for anxiety around medical procedures. Small doses don't affect him at all. Larger doses make him sleepy. Our psychiatrist said Ativan kicks in sooner but lasts a shorter time than Klonopin (both benzodiazepines). There is no problem with taking Ativan with mood stabilizers. Very rarely can Ativan make a child disinhibited. There may be a hung-over feeling when the medication wears off.
  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    We have used Ativan for the same reasons SW cited. When I gave it to difficult child 1 WITHOUT his stimulant, he was in fact somewhat disinhibited and not always cooperative. After a few episodes like that, I made sure he had his Daytrana patch on, too!

    It can be addictive, which is probably why your doctor said to use it sparingly. Hope it helps!

    He did not like the way it made him feel, and eventually found other ways to cope for these procedures on his own (thanks to Lexapro and guided imagery).
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thank you both! I'm going to have the script filled today!
  5. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    For some reason K did not do well on Ativan. She does OK on Diazapam. We used both PRN for Manic attacks when she is cycling rapidly.
    At one point the Ativan was making her Hallucinations worse. We actually could see it take affect about 1/2 after we gave it to her she got much worse. This never happened with Diazapam, We even tried the Ativan 2 more times... finally threw it away. psychiatrist then kept saying it couldn't happen... hmmm. Then after the 4th time he finally agreed.
    You think?
    She was on Lamictal and Abilify at the time. We have used neither in awhile. Just Risperdal.
    I personally have never used Ativan or Diazapam but I do use Klonipin. I do not have a problem with the Klonipin. I take the smallest dose possible. I use it when I am really Manic and otherwise i use Ambien for sleep... Ambien does not work if I am Manic.
  6. Kimno,

    Another little warning here. Our difficult child did not do well with Ativan. It was prescribed only for medical procedures, and we rarely used it. The first outburst he had while on Ativan we chalked up to the difficult medical procedure he was undergoing. But, by the third time he had a huge outburst we knew it was the Ativan talking. It makes sense that the medication was disinhibiting him. It took us hours and hours to calm him down after the last time we gave it to him. The PT that he told off at the Children's Hospital that day still edges away from us when we walk in the door.

    husband and I have to laugh about that, because meltdowns are really not difficult child's thing. Still, I doubt that PT is ever going to trust difficult child again, and I really can't blame him. It was brutal, and we'll never use it again.

    However, I have friends who take the medication and have absolutely no problems whatsoever with it...
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    It sounds like maybe I should try the lowest dose on a weekend during I time that I can watch and see how he does on it, HUH?
  8. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I would. Just to be safe, not to scare you but it took K a few hours to get even a little calm, and it did not knock her out like you would think! Or hope. She was scared which made it worse.
    We were only using the smallest dose, we were using liquid, I can't remember what our dosing was?
    I am really hoping he does well!!! Are you using it PRN for sleep, anxiety, or something else?
    Good luck. We did the weekend trial and still do for almost all of our medications just because K seems to react, a lot!!!
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Well, I thought anxiety. But, it would be really nice if it would help with sleep. Does it? I'm not sure if I should give it to him the night before a big test so he can sleep better, or if I'm supposed to wait until the next morning and give it to him. It appears to me that he needs the good night sleep more.

    I recieved an email from his math teacher. She says he's missing a lot when they have a quiz or test in her class. This makes me think it is anxiety because he missed her class when he had a virus a couple of times and never learned the material that he should have so now he's stressing over tests. I just emailed her and the CM at school to remind them that there are accommodations written in his iep that are supposed to be implemented to take care of this. Don't they ever read the iep?
  10. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I took Ativan for a while to help with some significant anxiety during difficult child-meltdown season. I found it had the following effect.

    It removed all of the physical symptoms of the anxiety. Whatever was bothering me was still bothering me, but I wouldn't be all jazzed about it and could deal with life more rationally. It essentially mellowed me out.

    I found that if I took it during the day it woudn't make me sleepy, just sort of cool and mellow and very very calm. If I took it at bed time, I would fall asleep within seconds of lying down.

    It helped too well with sleep in my case. I became dependent on it and couldn't get to sleep without it for quite a long time.

    The big issue with Ativan is that it is HIGHLY addictive, which is why the doctor is warning you not to use it too often. It's very easy to get dependent on it with regular use, and it's a real bear to wean off.

    I would suggest giving it to difficult child on the test day itself, rather than as a sleep aid before or after. That way you're less likely to end up with disrupted sleep patterns or a dependence on the ativan to get to sleep at all (both of these happened to me, and apparently are very common with regular use)

    If you stick to PRN for severe anxiety, it should be okay.

    Feel free to PM me if you'd like more details. Hope it works for your difficult child.

  11. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    FWIW, my difficult child 1 (who took Ativan for medical procedures) has just been rx'd Inderal/propranolol for this type of panic anxiety at school. He would stress out over what he was supposed to be doing and then his mind would just go blank. It's only been a few weeks, but I think it's helping so far. He just takes 10mg in the morning each day. You might ask your psychiatrist about something like that as well, though I'm not sure how it would work with his other medications and his particular diagnosis. My difficult child 1 is just a straightforward ADHD kid with anxiety.
  12. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    10 mg of Ativan is enough to fell a draft horse Are you sure he isn't taking 1mg?

    In fact; a standard starter dose is .5 mg.

    I took Ativan for quite a while and so long as dosing instructions are followed, you should be okay.

    I did not have problems beyond sleeplessness for a few nights when I quit taking the medication.

    Again, follow a doctor's instructions for weaning off of any medication