New Member
we kicked the Geodon. Was stimulating (I'm laughing, because wouldn't that be typical of my son?).

Our choices are, very obviously, limited. The doctor, again (if you remember, he tried this once), suggested the Tegretol. There is an interaction warning with Lithium and Tegretol. After I reminded him of that (and he said, "oh, I don't remember that" ~ sigh), he suggested we try a different type of drug.

So, now he's thinking Klonopin, Ativan type drugs? Like Valium, is that right? Experience? I talked to another member, who said (I think) the Klonopin was addicting. But at this point, I'm not worried about addictive, I'm worried about making Dylan productive.

The Lithium is doing it's job, and pretty well. The atypical antipsychotics are not going to be the add on. Abilify did its job, and died out. None of the others are an option.

So, those of you on them, or with kids on them, I'm wondering your opinions?

He also mentioned that Equetro, which I'm 100% sure is an artsy fartsy name for Tegretol LOL, which I adamantly said no to. I don't know about the psychiatrist sometimes. Ugh.

Thanks again!
I don't know much about these medications at all, so I am of no help whatsoever.

I just wanted to tell you, that when you first had your post titled Geodon, I glanced at it and for a sec I thought it said Gideon. I was wondering if you were promoting their bibles...


trying to survive....
I don't know klonopin. Is he totally off the abilify? I'm so sorry it stopped working. Abilify has been really good for my difficult child. Any chance he can be off of it for awhile and then try it again. Did he ever try serequel? It's another atypical


Active Member
Isn't Gideon that careless bloke who leaves his Bibles behind in just about every motel & hotel around? Very forgetful... I don't want what HE'S taking!

On the subject of Tegretol, a lot of doctors tend to get slack about doing regular LFT (Liver Function Tests). It's vital. You need to do a blood test BEFORE taking any Tegretol (same goes for a lot of other medications, including just about all anti-epileptics) and then on a regular basis, either monthly or a bit less if levels aren't increasing.

I was on Tegretol (prescribed by neurologist) and had been for some months before I found out about the need for blood tests. Plus I'd been feeling sick... so I asked my GP why I wasn't being tested. He was very laid-back about it but agreed to do the test. Then he rang me up to get me off the Tegretol, fast. My GGT result was around 800, instead of about 30. Other LFTs were up as well.

The liver will regenerate - mine is now doing fine. But it is something to definitely watch. And too many doctors are VERY slack about doing these tests, especially if it involves testing a difficult kid.


Sara PA

New Member
Equetro is time released carbamazepine. Tegretol is carbamazepine.

The benzos (Klonopin) can be addictive. And they can stop working pretty quick if taken regularly. My son once took 3 times his normal dose (still within the normal dosage range) and didn't sleep for 36 hours.


Well-Known Member
Janna, I've taken benzos for years and years because, frankly, I had such bad panic disorder that I couldn't leave the house. Klonopin still works for me. In fact, if I don't stick to only one a day, I get so sleepy I will take a LONG nap. I never did get "used" to it. It IS habitforming, but I don't care--I'll need it forever anyways, and I don't take a higher dose now than I took years ago. It REALLY works for me. Having said that, I wouldn't want to give it to a child unless everything else was exhausted. For me, any benzo defintely slows and calms me so my thinking is clearer. I am less apt to get upset because I'm not as quick to snap into my impulsivity. I don't have panic attacks. But everyone is different.


Well-Known Member
I do not know much about these medications. But, I wanted to applaud you for being so informed about them. It is a good thing you know what medications difficult child has not done well on! doctor better get up to par and review the file! :shocked:



New Member
No kidding, Wend LOL! It's funny, when I go in, he'll ask me if I've heard any news on the drugs :rofl: I dunno if that's a good thing ~ something tells me no :rolleyes:

Thanks for the input. Yes, Jannie, he's tried all the atypicals. The thing is, the Abilify is not for long term use. None of them are. So, we had good results for 16 months, and well, he went as high as he could, and it's done. I mean, some kids I guess stay on it forever with results, but Dylan didn't. So, we have tried them all. There isn't another one to try.

Appreciate the info on the Klonopin Sara, MWM. He said Ativan too, duno what that is either, I'll print out the prescribing information on both from online somewhere, and read through it. We just need to find an add on, and our options are so limited now, I don't know where to turn. He's giving me suggestions, I just don't know that I like them.

Maybe when Dylan gets into the Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) that psychiatrist can give us some insight. He'll have a good 8 months to watch him. Since we took out the Geodon he's definately calmer. That stuff made him wound. So now he's just on the Lithium. It's doing ok. Just wish I could figure out the last piece. Ugh.

Anyway, thanks again you guys. I'll do some more research.


Active Member
My son has taken Klonipin in the past and though it does help calm him down in the short term, it can increase moodiness in the long term. It can exacerbate depression, and mood instability for the kiddos like ours that already have mood stabilization issues. Recently my son's anxiety topped out to the point that he would not even leave the house, and we temporarily used the klonipin as a PRN - but the Dr looked at a more long term medication for the anxiety. Ativan, is similar to Klonipin, which both are similar to Xanax.

What about another calming agent like Clonidine or Tenex? These are blood pressure medications that can alleviate aggressive behavior, and ADHD symptoms. Not sure what behavior piece is causing you trouble - but this is the class of medications we are now using since all of the antipsychotics have been ineffective for my son. Just a thought to throw at the psychiatrist.

I am with you - I have to basically go into a psychiatrist appointment with my list of ideas for medications - because without it, the psychiatrist just either looks like she can't think of a thing, or wants to repeat medications that have not worked. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Good luck

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
Klonipin is usually only a short term drug. I don't think it's just because of the addictive quality, but because the body grows accustomed to it much more readily and then it stops working.

I was on it for a while and honestly.... I thought it was a wonder drug. lol Did fabulous for my anxiety which was severe at the time. I was actually furious with the psychiatrist for taking me off it. Not because I was hooked on it, but because it was the first time in my life when the muscles in my body actually RELAXED. Never have found another that does that for me.

Sequoia made the suggestions I was going to make. Clonidine or Tenex are two that my friend has and does use.


Stella Johnson

Active Member
I have heard Klonopin is addictive. My difficult child has done wonderfully on Abilify. Hasn't stopped working once. (knock on wood)

Have you considered taking him to a neurologist? My difficult child stopped seeing a psychiatrist a couple of years ago. The Neurologist has been great with medications.



New Member
Yep, already done the neurologist.

Already tried Tenex and Clonodine. Lisa, interesting point about the Klonopin. I had talked to MidwestMom earlier in the week about this medication, and she pretty much said the same thing you did. I don't know that I'm particularly worried about that part. Again, I'm more interested in something that Dylan will be able to use as an add on LONG TERM. We cannot go back to the Abilify, at 20 mg. we saw too many side effects, and going down to 10 we just saw nothing, it was doing nothing. He's the same today, on the Lithium alone, as he was with the Abilify. All the rest are out/done/used/tried.

Thanks lol.

Loth, I had sent you a message regarding the Lamictal. Yes, I did talk to him. No, he does NOT want to use it. He said Lamictal is good on kids that are manic/depressive, however, we are still continuing to treat Dylan as hypomanic. He does not appear to have depression at this time. He also stated that several of his patients that have severe problems with outbursts had increasing problems with outbursts with the Lamictal. His words were "Lamictal can ultimately make the outbursts worse". So, well, no thanks. Additionally, there's no sense in changing mood stabilizers. The Lithium is doing it's job, it's actually working very well. What I'm looking for is something to help with the impulsivity/hyperactivity/mild anxiety, etc. He doesn't really need another mood stabilizer. The Lithium keeps the mania at bay (not removing it lol, but keeping it calmer).

The last discussion with the psychiatrist was regarding Dylan's chemistry. It's obviously not "normal". What I mean by this is, things that should be mellowing him out, i.e. Geodon/Risperdal/Seroquel hype him up. The Tenex and Clonodine, nothing. Zippo/zero/nil ~ not a darn thing. So, maybe I need to take into consideration something like Klonopin, that for the average or normal person taking this it may not work, or only work short term, because for my wonderful son, I'm pretty sure it would do the opposite LOL! Lucky me, eh?

Thanks again you guys.


trying to survive....
What about straterra? I know Dylan tried concerta a few months ago, but I don't remember what happened. Any chance nonstimulant straterra would be helpful now? It does help with adhd symtoms and anxiety. I'm dealing with these issues right now with my easy child/difficult child. Strattera didn't work because he was having stomach/food issues with it. We're actually trying zoloft which I am being very cautious with because it can have bad side effect. I just need something to take the edge off and slow him down...

It's just so crazy...no real answers...very frustrating...I hear ya regarding giving p-doctor feedback and medication suggestions.

Sara PA

New Member
FWIW, when my son was taking Lamictal we tried adding lithium. He developed some distortions in his vision. Turns out both Lamictal and lithium can do that. So either the combination was too much for my son or the distortions were a manifestation of partial seizure activity which was made worse by the lithium. We never did sort it out but the distortions cleared up shortly after he stopped taking both medications.