Namenda anyone? And an update of sorts.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by gcvmom, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    We had our psychiatrist appointment today and after some discussion, he wants add Namenda to difficult child 2's cocktail. He said he's had several patients who don't tolerate stimulants try it for improving their focus and attention with very positive results. It would be an off-label use as this drug is typically rx'd for Alzheimer's. It's an NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptor antagonist -- it targets glutamate, which evidently has an effect on learning and memory. We are hoping this helps difficult child 2 with school. His grades this quarter range from an A+ to an F, and all points in between. The problem seems to be in forgetting to write things down, forgetting to follow through, forgetting what comes next, yada, yada, yada. If this helps, then we'll try to lower his Seroquel XR dose in the evening which should further help with his attentiveness at school (he's already been sent home once for falling asleep in class).

    Has anyone here had experience with this medication?

    The psychiatrist did not think husband's experiment with the 5-hour energy drink for difficult child 2 was something worth continuing -- the jitteriness at the end of the day would likely backfire and result in a worsening of some of his bipolar symptoms.

    difficult child 1 was part of the meeting, too. He's getting an A-, D+, D and D- in his four academic classes. And the A- is in a repeat math class from last year. Not good. psychiatrist said he could see that difficult child 1 was just not all there by the end of the day (our appointment was at 4:30pm), so we're going to add 10mg Focalin after school to see if that gets him through homework without spacing out and forgetting to finish his assignments (which seems to be the biggest reason for his poor grades -- just not turning in or completing assignments).

    psychiatrist said he agrees with my assessment that Elavil was the reason for the severe skin picking (recently) and the aggression and oppositionality in difficult child 1 over the past few years. He said he was surprised, because fewer than 20% of people respond to that low of a dosage (10mg) in that way (funny how he's mentioned that about several medications my kids have tried (!)). So since it acts on norepinephrine, tricyclics would forever be O-U-T for this kiddo. Glad I asked.

    Lately, I find my own mood swinging all over the map, but mostly it bottoms out to a highly irritated, agitated state. And days I don't eat right only serve to compound the intensity of my emotions. Bad girl, I know. I realize I am frustrated and stressed over the boys' school performance, our uncertain financial picture with an unemployed spouse, the approaching holidays that I absolutely do NOT want to think about let alone deal with, and extended family I just do not care to see right now. It's so sad to feel this way. I feel bad that I don't even want to talk to my mom about any of this, and normally she'd be the first person I'd turn to. I feel like running away, cocooning, hibernating, whatever. I probably should have brought up my own emotional state at the appointment today, but there's only so much you can cover in 30 minutes with two kids on the agenda.

    The one positive I can say is that husband is amazingly stable right now, and he's been very supportive and understanding of my current mental state. Had we been thrust into this layoff situation 5 years ago BEFORE he got on his current medications, I doubt our marriage would have survived. So I thank the Good Lord for the medical problem that led to my husband's brain surgery and subsequent medications that have changed his life -- our life. It ain't all bad, now, is it?

    P.S. And I smashed another mouse today. :(
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2009
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Gvcmom-I think the last time difficult child was hospitalized they mentioned maybe trying some medication that was used in Altimeter's patients but then, for some reason, they decided not to but I don't know why.

    I'm sorry you are feeling so down. It seems normal with all that you are dealing with. I'm glad your husband is in such a good place right now. Sorry to hear about another mouse in the house.

    I'll share some of the chocolate you gave me in the other thread and bring along a bottle of wine:wine: Also sending some hugs your way.
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Namenda is not used all that often, but I do know of someone (from CABF) who uses it for her young daughter with good success.

    If Namenda doesn't work, Meridell Treatment Center in Texas frequently prescribes the antiviral Amantadine for ADHD-like symptoms. Just something to keep in mind.

    If you're not feeling like yourself, you should get yourself in to the psychiatrist to adjust your own medications. You're important, too!

    Hang in there.
  4. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I have a prescription for Namenda for difficult child 2 that I haven't filled yet. Her psychiatrist would be using it for cognitive function but I have seen it mentioned to help with headaches and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). We have been doing other medication changes with her so we haven't added it yet.

    I haven't been able to find out a lot about it, but what I have seen looks good. There is an adult Lyme patient that takes it for cognitive functioning and loves it.

    I am impressed by your psychiatrist using it.

    Let us know how it goes.
  5. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Hope, headache and dizziness are listed as "notable" side effects for Namenda in the prescribing book I have. Were you told it is used to treat headaches?
  6. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    No, the psychiatrist isn't saying it will help her headache. I read a mom's story on a headache board about it helping her daughter's nonstop headache so I googled it. Here's an article about it. By coincidence, the study is from the headache clinic I am considering for my daughter.

    For Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), it is being studied. Her psychiatrist says it usually helps as an add-on to an SSRI.

    Maybe I should have said there is a possiblity it would help with her headaches and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) based on some very limited information so far. LOL

    We haven't done it yet because cognitive functioning is pretty far down on our list right now and we are trying more conventional headache treatment first.
  7. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Thanks all for the feedback. It will take a few weeks before we know if Namenda helps at all. But we learn to be patient as parents of these kids, don't we?

    If things don't turn around for me soon, I will talk to the psychiatrist about my medications. Usually when I get cyclic irritability (aka PMS) he tells me to just bump it up by 1/2 a tablet, and that does help. But this feels different and it's hitting me at a different time. Perimenopause, anyone?

    Oh, and our hen Butterscotch found the mouse carcass this morning in the bushes and tried to swallow it whole. Failing that, she opted to vigorously tenderize it until it was in a more consumable state. Very bizarre to watch. :p
  8. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I'll have to ask my psychiatrist about the Namenda for cognitive function. Between my medications and peri-menopause, I swear my brains are turning to mush. It's bad enough that family members have noticed it.
  9. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I haven't heard about this but I'm out of the loop with medications recently. Funny enough I was thinking of aricept after seeing a commercial.
    difficult child sees his prescribing doctor in Jan. Maybe we can make that suggestion. Anything to help cognitive function. Let us know how it goes.