BiPolar (BP) and Clonidine

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by miles2go, Sep 9, 2009.

  1. miles2go

    miles2go Member

    psychiatrist remarked on difficult child's attention problems and suggested clonidine. Says a new, time-release, version is coming out in a few months. Mentioned Strattera as an alternative but more unpleasant side effects.
    Now that major behavior issues are under control with Abilify I am reluctant to medication him further.

    Me -- married dad
    difficult child -- 8 y.o. boy, BiPolar (BP), abilify 10 mg
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    No experience with Clonidine, however, I would not be troubled by needing to add a second medication to the picture. It is VERY common for bipolar kids to need an additional support.

    In our case, that support is from Depakote, and since we recently bumped difficult child 2's dosage up to a therapeutic level, his attention problems have improved significantly, as have some of his memory issues.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The Clonidine really helps my difficult child with his attention difficulty especially since he can't tolerate any stimulant or AD with his Bipolar. It isn't perfect but once when he was hospitalized they tried taking him off the Clonidine. They had him back on it within 24 hours. That day when we visited (b4 he was put back on it) he was literally back to being intensely hyper-couldn't even sit down when we played a game.
  4. miles2go

    miles2go Member

    Thanks for responses. W.O. -- you say 'it isn't perfect' -- how? What is the downside?
  5. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    The downside is sleepiness. Course that is the upside to the night dose :)
  6. miles2go

    miles2go Member

    if difficult child is sleepy how does that help with attention? He's already spaced out (did a slide-down-the-couch at psychiatrist's) , not hyper. And has anyone heard of the new and improved soon-to-hit-the-shelves time-release clonidine?
  7. ML

    ML Guest

    I love how the clonidine helps manster sleep. I also believe it does help with concentration. Manster can't take stims due to tics; also, due to the sleepiness factor he only takes it at night. I would say that he is at his best in the morning and early afternoon.
  8. miles2go

    miles2go Member

    Hmmm. difficult child already has no problems falling asleep and sleeps for about 11 hours. We'll see when we come to it -- don't want to jinx the balance we found at this point.
  9. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Please provide MORE details...those who have tried this with- their difficult children.

    The clonidine is taken at night to help with- sleep, yet it helps with- ADD???

    Please elaborate....

    What other side effects have been noted?

    Many thanks.
  10. Christy

    Christy New Member

    My difficult child has been on clonidine and while it did control ADHD symptoms, we found that the sedating effect made him very irritable and depressed. He has had much more success on tenex which is also a BiPolar (BP) medication. Both with the tenex and when he took clonidine, he takes three very small doses space throughout the day to counteract the tiredness and to keep his blood pressure from dropping too low and making him dizzy. A time release version is a great idea and a psychiatrist did tell me that they are working on a version of tenex that is time released but it is not yet available.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I hadn't heard of a time release version of Clonidine. Very interesting. We only use it for our difficult child once in a great while. I guess it's our version of an epi-pen. :)
    It really calms him down and takes the edge off of his anger when he's over the top.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I don't know anything specifically about Clonadine, however I've taken blood pressure lowering medications myself (Inderol was one, I forgot the other). They were supposed to be for anxiety, but they didn't work for me. They sort of put me in a trance and made me so sleepy and spacy I just stopped taking them. They didn't help my inner anxiety either. I'm sure I looked very calm due to the sedation affect, but I was just as anxious as ever and I didn't like the way they made me feel. They DEFINITELY stopped my tendency to be hyper, but that was due to how spacy I felt, not increased attention. And they made me depressed. I don't know, however, if the Inderol is in any way like Clonadine other than they both lower blood pressure. I have a mood disorder and personally like being on as few medications as possible otherwise I feel drugged up. Two medications do it for me and I manage anything else with therapy. But everyone is different.

    Good luck, whatever you decide to do. :tongue: