Risperdal side effects

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by whatamess, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    difficult child has been given a few 'emergency' doses of risperdal in the last few weeks. Can you tell me how this medication affected your child the first time(s) they tried it? Today will have been the 5th time difficult child has had it and his pupils became different sizes and now he's asleep. The medication has put him to sleep each time (3-4 hours after taking it) once from 3pm one afternoon to 7am the next morning.
  2. lordhelphim

    lordhelphim New Member

    i am curious as my difficult child was just put on this at psychiatric hospital and i don't get to observe his reaction to the medications yet.
  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    It did cause sedation for my difficult child when he took it. Not quite to the degree you are describing, although we have experienced that with Seroquel. And he also gets dilated pupils from his medications.

    We typically have dosed atypical antipsychotic medications at bedtime for my difficult child because of the sedation factor. It's only been this past year that he's taken a dose during the day as well, but he's doing okay so far at his current dosage levels.
  4. emotionallybankrupt

    emotionallybankrupt New Member

    We didn't get the dilated pupils from risperdal, but we have with other medications. Can be dramatic and scared me a little the first time I saw it. Eye doctor says it's absolutely harmless though. Also said happens most often with blue-eyed people. I thought that was interesting.

    Lactation was the deal-breaker side-effect of risperdal for my difficult child. Was enough to require nursing pads. Hopefully that wouldn't be a concern with a boy, though. I think it's rare for a girl.
  5. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Believe it or not, Risperdal can cause prolactin levels to become too high in boys, too.

    Sedation is a very common side effect of Risperdal. Perhaps the dose is too high for your difficult child. In addition, I'd be concerned about the pupil dilation and be inclined to run that by the prescribing doctor.
  6. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    The fact that his pupils are dilated wouldn't be all that concerning if the pupils were dilated evenly.

    Uneven pupil dilation can be a sign of effects on the brain stem and other centers of the brain.

    I would call a pharmacist as soon as you can and call psychiatrist as well.
  7. emotionallybankrupt

    emotionallybankrupt New Member

    Wow. I didn't know that about the prolactin. I thought lactation was a cruel enough side effect for a middle school girl. I can't imagine what it would be like for a boy.

    On the pupil dilation, that effect was actually in my younger child, and it involved cold medications. Obviously a totally different deal. On that, I was concerned enough to consult two opthalmologists and the pediatrician. All told me the same thing--not to worry, even though the dilation was enough to cause blurred vision for her.

    Yes, I'd probably go through a similar consulting process with a different class of drug though, even if it were the same child.
  8. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    EB, we're not doctors here, just parents. Any strange side effect should always be checked out by a qualified medical professional.
  9. emotionallybankrupt

    emotionallybankrupt New Member

    Of course. Obviously, something here didn't come across as I intended. When I observed this side effect, I did check it out--with three M.D.'s. If I were to observe the same side effect again with the same drug, I would rely on what they already told me, because all three opinions matched, and two were from specialists. With a different drug, I would check everything out again. I did not mean to imply that my experience should be reason for anyone to ignore a strange side effect. I simply find the whole thing interesting, probably because I'd never seen this effect with any drug. I am especially intriqued by the opthalmologist's comment about blue-eyed patients.
  10. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Originally we used this medication regularly for difficult child...this was a mistake as it caused her to lactate. Yes, you read that right. (Prolactin...toooooo high!!!) However, it always worked VERY well.

    Then, we switched to emergergency use only and it worked very very well...with no side effects.

    It helped calm her down....perhaps a little sleepiness if the dose was too high.

    Was and is a positive medication for difficult child, but she can not take a high dose and can not take it often.

    Each person/child is different...double check with- your child's doctor and always read the insert.
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    The dose could be too high in this case. You really can't know before the medication course is begun, what is the best dose for tat person. We found with difficult child 3, he was able to take a lot more (about three times as much) as difficult child 1, who was ten years older. difficult child 1 was sedated so fast, he would be asleep half an hour after taing his risperdal so he was only able to take it at night. difficult child 3, on the other hand, was taking it morning and night and did not seem to be sedated at all.

    Also the weight gain - both boys ate more but you couldn't see much difference with difficult child 3. But difficult child 1 - doubled his weight in six months. He went from having a six-pack, to a beer keg.

    However, when we stopped their medications (especially difficult child 1's) the extra weight came off (not too fast) and both boys are now back to their skinny selves.

  12. emotionallybankrupt

    emotionallybankrupt New Member

    While emphasizing once again that all patients are different, I want to offer some hope and encouragement in sharing that risperdal was the ONLY medication my difficult child ever took that brought any observable positive result. difficult child and I both recognized that this one was helping, and she, as much as anybody, was disappointed to have to give it up due to the lactation. I'm honestly not sure she didn't consider putting up with the lactation in order to stay on the drug. All doctors involved, however, agreed that this was an unacceptable situation to put her in.

    So...I hope your difficult child is one of the ones that can take the drug without significant side effects and get great results!
  13. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    How quickly did you see positive results from Risp? What specifically did the medication help with? Did any of you see it help with anxiety? My son's aggressive behavior is always born out of anxiety.
  14. emotionallybankrupt

    emotionallybankrupt New Member

    I'm sorry I don't remember more of the specifics. It was several years ago, and so much has happened since.... What I do remember is overall, gradual improvement, though not a time frame. The lactation did not begin immediately, and I don't remember how long she was on it, what dose, or whether we had to go through the gradual increase in dosage. I remember an improvement in the oppositional behavior, which in turn decreased the rages. She was overall a happier person and therefore more successful at home and at school. Not that all problems were magically solved, but it sure was an improvement.

    I remember the psychiatrist talking with me about it being a shame she couldn't stay on it because overall the older class antipsychotics were more effective with the types of symptoms she was having. I think I'm remembering that he suspected any other drug of that class would be likely to cause the same side effect, but I am not sure. I know we moved on immediately to trials of the new generation antipsychotics, with no positive result. difficult child adamantly refused to try ANY drug that had a reputation for causing weight gain, and so that limited our choices too.

    I definitely remember having the impression that a prolactin elevation significant enough to cause lactation is not common. The gynecologist has never seen the situation before.

    From my observation, her anxiety issues were a result of the consequences of behaving badly, rather than being a cause of bad behavior.
  15. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    We saw an improvement after about a week or so at a therapeutic level. Our psychiatrist started him out at a low dose and slowly increased it over a period of several weeks. This slow titration is very helpful in finding an optimal dosage level. Once we saw an improvement, we held at that level for a while until we were sure the medication had adequate time to acheive full effect. If after a few more weeks we still saw breakthrough symptoms, only then would we attempt a bump upwards.

    I hope this medication works for your difficult child, but also realize there are other medications in this class that may work better for him so all is not lost if this one doesn't work out.
  16. serenityprayer

    serenityprayer New Member

    My difficult child takes risperdal at night right before bed..and has been on it for about 2 months. It has really helped him and Ive not seen many side effects. It makes him very sleepy and so far helps lessen the frequency of his night terrors. We stopped titrating up once we hit 2 1/2 pills (1.5mg)...that seems to be the right dosage for him. We went up to 3 pills (2 mg) for a few weeks and it seemed to bring him too low and depressed. So we went back to 2 1/2 pills and he seemed more even on it and less aggressive with less "rages". His rages & aggressiveness stem from stress and anxiety. Sometimes overstimulation or low blood sugar too.

    So far I am pleased with the results but we still have major anxiety and we have started a new anti-anxiety medication and we are watching him closely. Tonight we had an episode of stress & almost a full blown rage but it seems the risperdal helps it not to escalate into a full blown meltdown. difficult child called me a jerk and refused to eat dinner unless it was cereal..LOL. It was not funny at the time but I have to laugh or I will cry! Also, my husband who is bipolar had an aggressive response to a simple joke that usually he would just laugh at this evening. Not a good night. Tomorrow we are going to the psychiatric doctor to get husband his medications and he is on edge. Having 2 bipolar men in the house is enough to make me want to run screaming some nights.

    I will say difficult child's teacher showed me his handwriting before risperdal and then after starting the risperdal and the results are amazing! He has perfect writing on it compared to all crazy scribbly and messy. I think it really helps to slow his mind down so he can concentrate. His ADD symptoms have nearly disappeared on it! We are not perfect...difficult child still has extreme anxiety and paranoia but hoping the new medication on top of the risperdal helps! time will tell.

    Prayers for you all........may you all have a peaceful week & holidays ahead.