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Someone suggested this and I thought it was a good idea. We have to remember that everyone is different and that this isn't a "yes" or "no" on anything, just our own children's experineces. I'll start.

Ritalin was my son's first medication and it didn't do anything much for him. He was then put on Buspar: No biggie.
Concerta: mild aggression and meanness.
Adderrall made him nuts. He was both aggressive and violent on it. We discontinued, didn't need that.

Prozac was the absolute worst. He got almost psychotic on it and at school wouldnt' stop talking (this is a child with autism who rarely said anything) and he kept getting on his desk and jumping off and saying "I can fly."

Prozac was also very bad for my teen daughter. She pulled a knife of herself and told me afterward that Prozac made her feel "Shaky, unihibited, crazy, out-of-control." Celexa did the same thing to her.

Back to son: Risperdal and Zyprexa gave him flu-like symptoms, headaches, depression, extreme sleepiness and he started the beginnings of a movement disorder. Made him extremely hungry. Seroquel was better, but sedated him a lot and he was still hungry.

Depakote: Made son more hyper and hungry. He gained a lot of weight and bounced around and cried a lot. Daughter took it for a few months and said said "It makes me feel stupid. I can't think. I can't work." She hated it and quit taking it. She got ovarian cysts from it.

Lithibod made son pee on himself every single night. Once he stopped taking it, the peeing stopped. He was starving on it.

Topomax made son extremely hyper yet cognitively dulled.

Me: amitriptylene (hallucinations), imiprimine (hallucinations), nortriptylene (it didn't give me bad side effects, but was only maybe 50% effective for serious depression), fluxotine (very hyper, manic, nightmares, sleepiness/then it pooped out completely and I felt severely depressed even when dose was raised so I quit taking it)

Zoloft: within two weeks of taking it I was in the hospital for akathesia, one of the ickiest feelings in the world. I had a great initial reaction to this medication--the first day rocked :tongue:

Ritalin: Made me very high, then I crashed and was depressed. The depression lasted several months. :faint:

Lithium: I felt very out of it, depressed, horrible. I quit taking it.

Paxil: At first didn't work, by six weeks I was better than ever in my life.:redface:
Klonopin has been great for me. No panic attacks or agoraphobia for fifteen years. So that's my mix.


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MWM, I'm in full agreement that our experiences with medications vary tremendously. Here are mine.

difficult child:
- Concerta--helped him focus his thoughts slightly, but made him very "amped" and aggressive. Same with other stims
- Paxil--caused severe akathisia, and disinhibition, caused a great deal of erratic and inappropriate behaviour
- Seroquel--a godsend. Gave difficult child calm for the first time in his life
- Lamictal--makes him less of a cranky-bear. He's still working toward a therapeutic dose, so we'll see
- Strattera--seems to help difficult child focus, without the agitation of stims

- Stims are bad, bad, bad! Ritalin literally had me doing backflips down the hallway at school. Cylert (a stimulant variant used in the 70's and 80's) had me trying to throw myself out the window. I felt like I wanted to crawl out of my skin, or turn myself inside out. It was AWFUL.
- Tea works wonders. Helps me to focus my mind, and seems to slow down the scramble of thoughts enough to let me pick out one at a time.

Haven't tried any medications with Little easy child. His big issues are Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) and anxiety, and we've been able to cope with both without medications so far.



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I love this thread. Can we add the diagnosis that the specific medication was for (especially if difficult child has more than one diagnosis)? I think it does make a difference in how/why it was diagnosis.

My difficult child was diagnosis with deep anxiety Fall of 2007. He was prescribed Flouxetine (prozac) and Clonazepam.

Flouxetine (prozac)- was our wonder medication for difficult child. We have not had any problems with this medication. Even the withdrawing process was very smooth. One of the doctor's success stories of prozac which I understand isn't very often for the difficult child's on this board? One of those strange medications that cause the symptoms it is suppose to help. My son has self harm thoughts and you want to give him a medication that can cause suicidal thoughts? YIKES!!! Maybe some of his symptoms were from the prozac but the tools he learned kept them in control? I don't know but I have been very happy with the success we have had with this medication. It is good for my difficult child.

Clonazepam - given as a short term to "take the edge" off the anxiety. We tried to take him off last December but his anxiety rose too fast so kept him on throughout the school year. This was the medication we ended up with problems - while it helped control the anxiety level, it became a disinhibitive. difficult child became very mean and disrespectful. It was described that the clonazepam took away the natural fear of authority or consequences so he was not afraid to be in trouble. I had to make the decision of allowing his mean behavior to continue or taking him off and having him not be able to navigate the school year. I kept him on and when Summer started and his stress of school issues were gone, then we took him off. His behavior turned around completely. His classmates say his is back to his old self again. He has his friends back.

Wiped Out

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Staff member
Each child is so different, I don't even know if I can remember all of the medications difficult child has tried.

Ritalin-worked for a bit but started seeing more aggression.

Adderall, Concerta, Straterra, Medatate (and any other stimulant or AD I'm forgetting) worked just like the Ritalin. There is no way my son can take stimulants even when he seems stable. This summer he was given some Ritalin by accident at his camp-he put a hole in our bedroom door that day.

Tenex-No help

Depakote-Helped for awhile-no side affects.

Tegratol-No help-made him sick at times.

Lithium-No help, sick at times, and made him have to drink water constantly. Also started bedwetting again.

Topomax-Helps with his mood and his stomach migraines. I do worry about the cognitive dulling at times.

Lamictal-Has been very helpful.

Risperdal (sp?)-Only trialed in the hospital-made him way too tired.

Seroquel-One of difficult child's worst months ever-Major rages.

Abilify-Tardive Dyskensia with-in a couple of days-cannot have ever again.

Loxapine-Has been very helpfuil for our son. It is an anti-psychotic but not one that is used much anymore. It has really helped him calm down.

Trazadone-worked well for sleep but since it is an AD we got rid of it.

Clonidine-Helps with sleep-a lot! Also helps a bit with his ADHD.

Hydroxene (sp)-Helps him with ADHD symptoms and sleep.

I'm sure I'm fogetting some but that is the most of it.


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Midwest Mom yea you!! I said it and you did it. It was in my mind and out of it. oh man my memory!! Thank you!!!!!!!!!

i have to go find my list.


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Andy, as requested, here are the DXs to go along with the medications. Good idea.

difficult child:
- Concerta--for ADHD. Helped him focus his thoughts slightly, but made him very "amped" and aggressive. Same with other stims diagnosis: ADHD
- Paxil--caused severe akathisia, and disinhibition, caused a great deal of erratic and inappropriate behaviour diagnosis: Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
- Seroquel--a godsend. Gave difficult child calm for the first time in his life diagnosis: Bipolar, to counteract hypomania/mania
- Lamictal--makes him less of a cranky-bear. He's still working toward a therapeutic dose, so we'll see diagnosis: bipolar, to address depression
- Strattera--seems to help difficult child focus, without the agitation of stims diagnosis: ADHD

- Stims are bad, bad, bad! Ritalin literally had me doing backflips down the hallway at school. Cylert (a stimulant variant used in the 70's and 80's) had me trying to throw myself out the window. I felt like I wanted to crawl out of my skin, or turn myself inside out. It was AWFUL. diagnosis: ADHD
- Tea works wonders. Helps me to focus my mind, and seems to slow down the scramble of thoughts enough to let me pick out one at a time. diagnosis: ADHD

Haven't tried any medications with Little easy child. His big issues are Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) and anxiety, and we've been able to cope with both without medications so far. no formal diagnosis, but Little easy child has Aspie written all over him.



Well-Known Member
Good idea adding the diagnosis, because then maybe we can see a pattern when the diagnosis was WRONG.
My son was first diagnosed with ADHD so he was put on stimulants. As you can see in my thread above, they made him mean and aggressive, except for the Ritalin which didn't do much of anything at all. Then they added the ODD diagnosis. and put him on Buspar (no difference) and Prozac (TERRIBLE reaction). It was then assumed that because he got manicky on Prozac that he had bipolar. And that was also decided because his birthmother was a drug abuser so the psychiatrist assumed she was bipolar. That started the rest of the medications.

He actually has high functioning autism and doesn't need medications. About 50% of all Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids are on medications though, Risperdal being a big one. My son has stated many times that, although he tends to obsess, and he knows this, he does NOT want to take medication. Since he is 15 and knows how medications feel and how HE feels, we respect that. He is functioning well without medications.
However, I'll need my medications the rest of my life. My diagnoses have all been in the mood disorder/anxiety order category.


Here we go again!
Okay, here goes:

difficult child 1: diagnosis ADHD
Adderall, Adderall XR -- both worked, but tended to make him more angry when it wore off.

Focalin -- works GREAT for short-term needs (four hours). He takes this in the morning an hour before putting on the Daytrana patch.

Concerta -- worked GREAT. We had to discontinue it when he developed Crohn's disease and intestinal scarring, since the capsule does not dissolve completely and could potentially get stuck.

Daytrana patch -- works GREAT. We trim it to fit his needs and have had no problem with this at all.

ALL of the stimulants ruin his appetite, so we allow him to eat in the evenings, even if he wakes in the middle of the night. He's underweight as it is, so he needs all the calories he can get.

diagnosis #2 Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), needle phobia, panic disorder:

Ativan -- worked great and allowed him to get through blood draws which before caused him to completely shut down. He doesn't like how it makes him feel loopy, though.

Lexapro -- this was to address his overall anxiety (fearful of bees, large dogs, new situations, needles). Once this reached therapeutic level, he no longer needed the Ativan to get through blood draws.

Inderal -- this was added recently when psychiatrist suspected him of panicking in some of his larger classes and not getting any work done. Seems to be helping.

diagnosis Eneuresis (has resolved)

DDAVP -- this is a popular drug used to treat bedwetting. It caused difficult child 1 to become VERY agitated and aggressive. pediatrician dismissed it but pharma said it's not an impossible side effect because of the affect it has on the nervous system.
difficult child 2: intial diagnosis ADHD
Adderall, Adderall XR -- both worked initially, but tended to make him more angry when it wore off.

Focalin -- worked GREAT for a while for short-term needs (four hours).

Focalin XR -- worked GREAT for a while.

Concerta -- worked GREAT for a while, but started needing higher and higher doses for same effect.

Risperdal -- rx'd to address aggressive impulses and emotional outbursts. Slowly petered out once we got up to 4mg. Didn't really cause much weight gain since he was also on a stimulant at the time and they seemed to balance out the appetite.

Abilify -- replaced Risperdal and worked okay for a while.

Daytrana patch -- worked great for a while but started to make him jittery. He can now only tolerate about 5mg. Any more and his head starts to "buzz" a.k.a. racing thoughts.

Tenex -- can't even remember why we tried this, but made difficult child 2 hyper-hyperactive with racing thoughts when he was also on Daytrana and Abilify.

Depakote, Depakote ER -- great control for mania. difficult child was MANIC, MANIC, MANIC during a medication wash prior to starting this. Pressured speech, hyper-hyperactive, hyper-impulsive, sexually inappropriate, racing thoughts, obsessive, compusive, raging nuclear meltdowns over being told "no". Depakote stopped all this, but caused cognitive dulling and contributed to shakiness.

Lamictal -- added to address depressive issues that arose while on Depakote ER. Had a hard time sleeping with this medication.

diagnosis #2: Sydenham's Chorea

Zyprexa -- for helping address tremor from the chorea and to also help with mood issues. Caused severe dystonic reaction. Went back to Abilify which is also rx'd for the tremor, experienced dystonic reaction AGAIN. Tried Risperdal again, another dystonic reaction.

Klonopin -- for helping tremor. Made difficult child sleep for HOURS so we stopped.

Since dropping all the other AP's, dramatically lowering the stimulant, and adding Seroquel XR, difficult child's tremor has essentially resolved. We'll be going back to the neuro to assess.

diagnosis #3: Mood Disorder-not otherwise specified

Seroquel, Seroquel XR -- for stabilizing mood and controlling both manic and depressive symptoms. So far, so good with this medication. Sedation is an issue and affects his learning, as is weight gain. But best control of his symptoms overall.
Whew! I think that's all for the difficult child's. I won't bother with myself or husband, as that would be another chapter!
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Wow- I don't know how some of you keep up with it all. I'm not sure difficult child would ever get the right dose of the right medications if I had to sort through all that. And I wouldn't like psychiatrist very much either. But, I know- it's a nightmare trying to find the right combo...

Me- the only thing I've taken beside allergy medications is Welbutrin (sp). It was rx'd because my GP wanted me to quit smoking, instead of being rx'd for depression. Although, I do suffer from situational depression at times. Anyway, it turned me into a time bomb and I had to stop taking it after about 5-6 days.

difficult child- first diagnosis at 11yo (major depression and disruptive behavior not otherwise specified)- rx'd 10mg of prozac (that is a really low dose)

Effect is debatable-

One possibility: It didn't do anything for him- after about 6 weeks, he changed quickly (like overnight) into his old self, then one year later, he changed back to having erratic behavior.

Second possibility: The prozac did help him change back into his old self when first given, but a year later when difficult child started showing signs of depression and minor disruption again and the prozac dose was doubled, it made him manic.

Either way, after difficult child got "kicked out" of school for being disruptive and then went on a 1 1/2 hr crime spree and racked up seven charges (including setting a brush fire by dropping lit matches around his feet), the prozac was stopped and he was not on any medications for about 6 weeks.

Then the trial of MS's started.

Lamictol: If anything, it made him worse. Trouble at time of trial included staying awake for all hours, being agressive and irritable, basicly similar to the way his is right now, but worse.

Lithium: Worked fine until therapuetic dose was reached, then stomach problems daily- that was switched to Lithobid and he's been on it since- over 1 year. He started sleeping regularly and agression stopped (except for occassional incidences and then a lot recently)

Depakote: Added a few months after lithium started due to being jittery, excessively talking, inability to sit still. (Questionable in my mind if that was hypomania or a result of lithobid) Anyway, it stopped it but when titrated up to a mid-level therapuetic dose, difficult child looked and sounded like a different person- not raging- perfectly calm but saying very frightneing stuff. Depakote got lowered back immediately and switched to depakote er.

Tegratol and something else were tried briefly as a possible MS to use in place of lithobid or depakote. They didn't work. Raging and inability to sleep came back as soon as lithium dosage was lowered the least bit.

PRN- for sleep, anger, anxiety issues- these were tried but never seemed to help more than they hurt: risperdal, zyprexa, seroquel (not tried for long)., then ativan.

More recently- last Oct., difficult child was showing serious signs of depression so the generic form of celexa was tried- but only for a few days, then stopped. He had to start taking some medications for physical illness and the risk of mania was too great. Plus, it looks like it could have flipped him over the line anyway and that might be why we are where we are today with it.

Oh- difficult child's diagnosis switched from depression to BiPolar (BP) after the "crime spree" and 6 week period of no medications. At least, that is the diagnosis by the prescribing psychiatrist. Another psychiatrist, who led difficult child's MDE feels like difficult child should not be given BiPolar (BP) diagnosis just yet, but should go back to square one and have diagnosis of depression and adjustment disorder but that difficult child needs to be on mood stabilizers to prevent mania from AD's and that he should be given an AD. She said with proper therapy/counseling and maturity/coping skills and future stabilization of hormones, that he might possibly be able to come off all medications someday because he does not meet the true criteria for a BiPolar (BP) diagnosis.

Side effects: None from prozac (unless mania was one), MS's- more drinking water, stomach upsets, and urinating while body adjusted (lithium), weight gain and acne (all of them), cognitive dulling (depakote primarily- I think). AP's- too much sleep, no improvement in motivation, temperment, etc.- possibly made difficult child more irritable. Sometimes difficult child says he has sudden, intermittent jerks that he calls "mini-seizures" (I don;t think he would know a seizure). It didn't happen before MS's but I don't know what's causing it- I don't really see it- he has no obvious tics.
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Miss KT: diagnosis ADHD, ODD; started with Ritalin, worked for about a year, then started wearing off in about an hour. Switched to Concerta, maxed that out in about a year. She wasn't eating, so when Strattera came out, we tried that. She took Strattera for two years, during middle school, and her focus at school improved but the hyperactivity did not, which I expected. She did not work and play well with others due to the hyperactivity. When she started high school, I was concerned about the negative social aspects of being hyper, so we tried Adderall XR. She did fine for two years, then became increasingly more aggressive and hostile...this is where wall punching time started. doctor suggested trying Risperdal, and it took about six months or so to find the right balance. So far, so good.

Hubby: diagnosis ADD, in his 40's; Tried Strattera, he was a mess. Major mood swings, sadness, anger, tears, etc. After 30 very long days, switched to Ritalin. No problems.

Me: anxiety/depression; Started with Wellbutrin, did nothing. Switched to Paxil, worked for about two years, but I kept taking it for about two more because we didn't have insurance and I couldn't afford to go in and try something new. Been on Effexor XR for about six months. I feel much better.


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difficult child, original diagnosis ADHD

Adderrall regular and xr--severe mood lability. Very grumpy, violent. Yelled and cried at the drop of a hat.

Focalin regular and xr-- Some Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) like symptoms, but other than that ok.

Strattera--zippo zilch.

Concerta--zippo zilch

inderal--zippo zilch

Wellbutrin--zippo zilch

diagnosis cyclothymia and ADHD

Depakote--aggression and violence. mood instability

Lithium--same as depakote

Lamictal--Good, turned down the anger and irritability

Daytrana--Good, calms him so he can funtion in society

husband, original diagnosis BiPolar (BP) II and ADHD

Depakote--said he wanted to hit everyone or rip their heads off

Trileptal--caused him to pass out

Ritalin--just bad, can't remember why

Geodon--caused Tardive dyskinesia--was good untill then.

Abilify--good, helps with racing thoughts and sleep

Clonazepam--helps with sleep and racing thoughts

Lamictal--Good, helps with stability

Gabapentin--Rx'd for nerve pain, but can be used as a mood stabilizer also. I wonder if this helps with mood also???


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I won't include myself on the list here - I still can't point to a diagnosis that doctors all agree on, and I suspect I get some odd reactions tat would skew the results. However, I will mention that I have been tried on most antidepressants (as potential pain management) and had reactions to just about all of them. Some had me bombed out and sedated (tryptanol, especially) while others had my mind racing and thinking weird thoughts (tofranil). Amantadine had me feeling very depressed half an hour after taking it. Antiepileptics (again, for pain) caused liver damage. The only pain medications I can tolerate are opiates.

The kids:
easy child - no diagnosis, has had anxiety issues, not currently taking medications, has had no reactions.

difficult child 1 - diagnosis ADHD at age 6. Prescribed ritalin, varied dosage. As he got older and needed more, we noticed rebound. This was aggravated by fluctuating dosage trough the school day due to combination of frequent doses needed plus poor follow-up with medication administration by school. We had no Cencerta in those days.
At 14 he was diagnosed as Asperger's as well, ritalin was changed to dexamphetamine and voila! No more rebound. However, at 16 he became very depressed (broke up with first girlfriend) and was suicidal, so was put on Zoloft. No problems on Zoloft, except he can't come off it because he gets very Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) without it.
Took risperdal for a couple of years with minimal benefit and great weight gain. It also sedated him. When he stopped taking it, he slowly lost the fat he gained.

easy child 2/difficult child 2 - diagnosed at age 10 with ADD (inattentive type) plus some Asperger's traits. Takes dexamphetamine in privately compounded long-acting form. Is very "blonde" without it, despite having IQ of about 145. No other medications except currently takes tryptanol for stomach problem, it seems to be helping.

difficult child 3 - diagnosed at 3 as ADHD plus high-functioning autistic. Takes long-acting dexamphetamine with considerable benefit. Has also tried Zoloft (initial improvement, then the accumulating lack of sleep undermined any benefit as he became increasingly manic). Luvox (allergic reaction). Risperdal taken for about 2 years, no sedation/weight gain problems like his brother, although when we stopped the risperdal (expensive with not enough benefit) we noticed difficult child 3 lost weight, which worried the doctor.
Recent experimentation with Concerta - disastrous, he didn't get the benefit he needed (dose probably too low) and also got bad rebound. And just before Christmas, Strattera. It was awful, he became more emotional, very short fuse, easily upset, raging, totally lost it at a Christmas party and threatened to kill us. Attacked me physically, then dissolved into tears and suicidal depression. I don't recommend it. He'd been on Strattera for three days.

I do wonder if difficult child 3's problems with antidepressants are related to mine. I also know that I'm highly sensitive to pot, it hits me hard. I was unwittingly given some 'hash brownies' at work once, I then had to drive my kids home through peak hour traffic. Luckily it was a Friday afternoon. I spent that night and most of the next day feeling like I had to hold on to the furniture to stop my feet from lifting off the floor and walking me through the air to the ceiling. By Sunday I no longer had to hold on to the underside of the kitchen benches. I was very angry with the idiot who doped me, by the time I got in to work but when I shouted at her the others told me off for being a bad sport; besides, they hadn't been so badly affected (they had also eaten them, but had known what they were) so I must be making it up. Needless to say, what she did is these days considered assault. So I surmise - maybe I am unusually sensitive to that group of chemicals. And maybe difficult child 3 is too.

easy child 2/difficult child 2 got her drink spiked just before Christmas, we're fairly sure it was GHB. Her reaction was severe, she was hallucinating, vomiting, totally out of it for about 10 hours, barely conscious/unconscious. Either a heavy dose or a bad reaction. She's made a point of avoiding drugs because I have warned her, kids who need ADHD medications generally do badly if they take drugs. She feels this bad reaction was proof of my advice and has been badly scared by it.

So that's us, in a nutshell.