difficult child (13) extreme ODD, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)/add, has been taking Abilify & Tenex for a very long time. Before Abilify, it was Risperdal. They both work about the same for him. I'm thinking about going with the generic Risperidone soon. Does the generic work about the same?

New psychiatrist is talking about adding Lamictal, and if that works, weaning off the Tenex. She says that because he's been on Tenex so long that it's not working anymore. I beg to differ, as if I reduced the Tenex, there woud be much more agitation.

A long time ago difficult child trialed separately depakore, trileptal & lithium. None of them worked. I asked previous psychiatrist about Lamictal and she said that would not be a good idea. Is lamictal activating or energizing? difficult child doesn't have depression. Is this medication mostly for depression? I am leaning against trying this medication.

Has anyone have any experience with Nadolol? I've read some things online that sound like it would be good for agressiveness... difficult child has a lot of aggressiveness still. And he is on the maximum of abilify, 30mg, and also 3mg Tenex.


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We have used Risperdal for a number of years without any problems. Some board memebers, however, have had to cope with side effects.
Tenex was used by both boys for a lengthly time and then a Pediatrician
told GFGmom (the boys biomom) to stop the Tenex since it was being used in an undocumented way. Without my knowledge, GFGmom did that and difficult child ended up in the hospital with blood pressure issues.

There appears to be a great difference from child to child on the effects of different medications. I wish you well but do know that it is really important to wean a child off Tenex to avoid problems Good luck. DDD

Wiped Out

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Staff member
Lamictal has helped my difficult child a great deal. It isn't a miracle cure by any means but it has helped with his aggression. My difficult child did not have good luck with Teggratol (sp?), Depakote, or Lithium.
Lamictal has helped my dauhgter, 15. My understanding that it is a mood stabilizer. She takes it at night and Abilify during day. It is not enrgizing to her. Compassion


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Miss KT takes risperidone. It works well for her anger issues. She hasn't trialed any others, since this one works for her.


Here we go again!
Lamictal did wonders for my husband's depressive and irritable mood. He was also prone to explosive outbursts before going on it. After starting Lamictal, he was much more expressive in a calm and clear way. Very stabilizing for him.

difficult child 2 has been on Lamictal and it did help depressive symptoms.

He has also been on Risperdal (though not generic) for a number of years for control of aggressive impulses. It worked very well for a while. But now he cannot take it or Zyprexa or Abilify due to dystonic reaction.

He has gained weight on all the AP's, including the latest Seroquel XR. But this medication seems to be working best of all for him with regard to impulse control, agression, as well as manging his manic symptoms.

Good luck to you. It is very much a mysterious adventure of trial and error trying to find the right medication mix for our kids.


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My difficult child has been on lamical for several years now and she does not have depression either. It is a good mood stasbilizer for her. by the way you can now get it in generic, brand lamictal is very expensive.



My son was on Lamictal for three years beginning 4 years ago. At that time he was so angry, so many mood swings. Never knew what to expect from one second to the next. Lamictal - for us was a life saver. Did wonders as a mood stabalizer. I believe it is also for depression as well. He stopped taking it a little over a year ago. he was doing so much better. This year (High School) is tough. He doesn't and never has done well with change. He ASKED to go back on lamictal because he was feeling so angry.

I do not believe it is working, or working as well as it did in the past. Plus, Topamax was added (as it was before) to try to control his daily headaches. Last time it did nothing and he didn't want to take it. He still had headaches. This time they were trying again to control his headaches. But, for the past month he has been throwing up like every three days. then about two weeks ago started saying he was "out of it", didn't know where he was, couldn't comprehend...really scared. We took him off topamax, but still feeling that way. Now wondering if it is Lamictal. Or ear issues (estacian (sp?) tube dysfunction), or just anxiety or panic. He thinks he is dying.

Sorry, got off track. Lamictal did work for us before, but I believe it is similar to Depakote.


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Lamictal is a very good mood stabilizer, but if the child isn't bipolar, I would hold off. I had a child who was on medications and didn't need them, so I'm cautious. I personally dislike when doctors use medications as the first line of treatment. Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified isn't a psychiatric disorder anyway.
Is your child getting a lot of interventions at school/community for his Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified? That's probably causing the ODD behaviors AND the aggression. He is probably very frustrated as these kids are wired differently than "normal" kids. My son needed tons of interventions. Drugs didn't help him, interventions did. His diagnosis. is also Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified. I urge you to look at Occupational Therapist (OT), PT, social skills and help from an autism clinic. That was all GREAT for my son. The medications, not so much. The ODD went away with the interventions. Lots of kids NEED medications, and some kids with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified do too, BUT it shouldn't be the first treatment option and should hardly be the only one. It can be helped a lot more in other ways.


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I would agree with MWM, difficult children diagnosis are not in line with the medications you mentioned? Does he have a mood disorder as well?

In addition, you mentioned 3 different medications that are in 3 completely different categories.

Risperidone and Risperdal will do virtually the same thing for you. Risperdal, Seroquel, Zyprexa, Abilify are all Anti-Pyschotics. Many of our kids take them for mood stability and for thinking more clearly.

Tenex, Clonidine, and I believe Nadolol, are blood pressure medicines that can also help temper aggression and ADHD symptoms.

Lamictal, Depakote, Tegetrol, Trileptal (and many others) are anti convulsants that can help mood swings, as well as epilpsy.

Lithium is in it's own category, completely. It is an anti-depressant and mood stabilizer.

Non of these come without their risks, but they also can mean the difference in our kids functioning or not. However, I would not switch from class to class like your dr is suggesting without really having a more firm plan or diagnosis in place.

As you can see my child is on all of the above, and is thinking and acting better than he has ever been able too. However, it took a plan. And years and years of work, trials, and time. First we had to find a mood stab that worked, then when that worked, but not 100%, we had to find an AP that worked. Still not getting him at a 100% functional level we added another mood stabilizer, etc. However it took years of trialing and error to find the right combo.

He had violent/pyschotic reactions to 2 of the anti-seizure medications, and had to be hospitalized twice (which can happen rarely). Lamictal has the potential, but the possibility of a very rare but deadly rash as a side effect, Stephens Johnson syndrome. People taking the medication have to be watched closely for a rash. Almost all of the anti-conulsants were just labeled by the FDA with the warning that they can produce suicidal ideation as a side effect in some people. Many of the APs have side effects of high cholestrol, early onset diabetes, and producing excessive amount of prolactin, and weight gain.

So I say none of this to scare you, because obviously my son is on all of them. However, you HAVE to do your research. You have to become the expert, and then team up with a psychiatrist that is skilled in working with your child's diagnosis.

Best of luck. Keep coming here with questions. Collectively we all know a lot.


Hi, difficult child is not Bipolar, but he is very tempermental and oppositional defiant, and also Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)/not otherwise specified & add. He's had several assessments, and we can't get any more specific on the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)/not otherwise specified other than "possible aspergers", and not classic "autism" or even "High-functioning autistm". He's on the Abilify, but to save money, I'm thinking about switching to Risperidone (generic). I have read about the Lamictal rash possibility, and that it is mainly for bipolar difficult child is in Special Education and has always had speech, Occupational Therapist (OT), and adapted PE, we've had family counseling, and he is in a Special Education non-public school. I don't know if the Lamictal will help or not, or if I should even trial it. psychiatrist suggested Vyvance, but i said not, difficult child's tried concerta & other stims with no success.

Thanks, Michelle