GABA supplements?

Discussion in 'Healthful Living / Natural Treatments' started by KateM, Feb 21, 2007.

  1. KateM

    KateM Member

    Does anyone use (for themselves or difficult child) GABA supplements? If so, please share your experience with this.

    My difficult child was on Depakote that worked beautifully for his irritability and lability, but had to go off when it elevated his blood ammonia level. Since Depakote raises GABA levels, I'm wondering if this would be a good option for him.

    Of course, I will discuss this with his psychiatrist, but wanted to get personal experiences here. Thanks!
  2. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    I have read that GAba supplements do not cross the brain blood barrier (or whatever it is called) and so that taking them is a waste of money. I'd be interested if someone has some alternative info.

    Supposedly the medication Neurotin acts on GABA levels.
  3. KateM

    KateM Member

    Yes, I've read that, too. But I've also read ancedotal info about it being helpful for anxiety and irritability.

    I had an appointment with son's psychiatrist today. We talked (again) about neurontin and Gabitril, as they both effect GABA levels. He reiterated what he has told me before-- he has a few pts on Neurontin, none on Gabitril. From his research and experience, he's not a proponent of either medication, but did say that the few pts on Neurontin have been helped. He didn't feel the supplements would be helpful, but gave me the go- ahead if we wanted to try them, as he felt they wouldn't hurt,either.

    difficult child is on Lamictal and Lithium. I know Lamictal has helped alot of people, but it has't done much for difficult child and we will be weaning it in the future. Lithium has helped, but not as much as the Depakote.We've tried Trleptal, with negative results. We've also tried , at various times, Geodon, Serquel, and Respirdal with either mixed results or-- with Resperdal -- good results but the weight gain was just not worth it.
  4. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    What was your experience with Depakote and weight gain? Still thinking about what might help my youngest son's extremely low frustration tolerance and tendency to get bummed out about anything, also his mission mode behavior. He didn't see much effect on Lamictal either.
  5. KateM

    KateM Member

    While my son was on depakote, he did have a slight to mod wt gain,which he immediately dropped after he had to go off. The wt gain with Respirdal has been significant -- worse, he is obssessed with carbs morning, noon, and night!The benefits with the Depakote far outweighed the amt of wt he gained( but you know every body responds differently to medications).
  6. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Pepperidge, FWIW, difficult child 2's weight gain on Depakote was gradual and seemed to stop after a few months (8 pounds total with some growth in height). It was nothing like what difficult child 1 experienced on Risperdal (12 pounds in a month) or easy child experienced on Zyprexa (17 pounds in 3 months). And when difficult child 2 stopped Depakote, her weight came off.

    Kate, just curious -- has your difficult child ever been on an SSRI antidepressant? They can be very helpful for anxiety and irritability. As you said, every kid reacts differently to medications, but I have a friend whose son with Aspergers is doing beautifully on a combo of Prozac and Adderall. Just a thought . . .
  7. KateM

    KateM Member

    Smallworld, yes he has been on Zoloft for several years and it definitely helps with the anxiety. We know this because when his psychiatrist lowered his dose last year from 100mg to 50 mg, his anxiety increased big time! ( The reason the psychiatrist lowered it was because he had started the respirdal, which also acts on some of the same neurotransmitteres and also because, although son is not bipolar, both of my brothers are bipolar). He's back on 100mg.

    The zoloft hasn't helped his irritability, though. He has a short fuse these days, as well as a slightly lowered frustation tolerance.
  8. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Kate, I'm on a listserv of parents whose children have BiPolar (BP). Many of the kids have to take antipsychotics because of hallucinations and/or out-of-control aggression. Needless to say, weight gain is an issue. Many of these parents report that their children take Metformin (a diabetes medication) to help with weight control. It's not something I'm personally familiar with, but I thought I'd mention it in the event you want to check it out. As you probably know, the mood stabilizer Topamax is also used to curb weight gain.

    I don't think it's unusual to use an SSRI with an AP. That's the combo my easy child is on, and she doesn't have BiPolar (BP), just severe anxiety and fall-out depression. We're in the process of weaning her from Zyprexa, but I do wonder if we'll be able to get her off. She, too, has a short fuse and low frustration tolerance.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.