Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by whatamess, Oct 2, 2009.

  1. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    I put difficult child back on Strattera (7 weeks ago) for the 3rd time in 2 years. I need help deciding if the side effects are worth the benefit. His sleep and eating are undisturbed by this medication, this is a big deal to me as he is a great eater and decent sleeper, so I hate to mess with those things. (difficult child is on the autism spectrum, has anxiety, and shows signs of a mood disorder, as well as adhd and odd. I realize the odd/anxiety is sometimes part and parcel with spectrum diagnosis's, but it's likely more from abusive school situations in the past for him.) Anyhow, in the past we liked strattera because it seemed to calm the adhd aspect of difficult child and enabled him to focus a bit better to do some schoolwork. (think 20 min. max for a highly engaging subject while on the strattera, 5-10 off of it.) other than that, we are seeing tantrums/rages shorter in duration. The negatives of the medication are excessive irritibility. He is so crabby, all the time. I miss his humor, even if was manic during 1/2 the time. He just seems flat emotionally. Every little thing sets him off ~so while the duration of his outbursts are less, there are more outbursts. He is extremely whiny and demanding, not pretty in an almost 12 year old. He still seems to be cycling (even though he isn't diagnosis'd with-a mood disorder)-today at school he was completely non-functional. So, off medications he is hyper almost all the time, manic periodically, irritable occasionally. On medications he is irritable non-stop, and his ups and downs are still there, but not to the same extreme. I miss having him happy and funny. He seems miserable most of the time. I can up his dosage in the next week, but if I don't particularly like the effects now, is upping it going to help?
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Strattera is notorious for increasing irritability as a side effect. Furthermore, it only works for ADHD symptoms in 40 percent of children, according to our psychiatrists.

    As with any medication, you need to balance risks against benefits. If your difficult child is irritable all the time and you miss his happy and funny personality, it may not be worth continuing Strattera. But only you can be the judge because you are living with your difficult child.

    What specific symptoms are you trying to medicate? What other medications have been trialed and with what results?
  3. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    symptoms we want addressed:

    decrease his constant movement
    increase his focus
    level out his extreme 'high' moods
    is there anything to help with defiance?
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Have you ever tried an atypical antipsychotic like Risperdal or Seroquel?
  5. compassion

    compassion Member

    Strateera is really helping my difficult child with focus. The anti-psycotic and mood stabilizer help with the mania. I took her grocery shopping yesteday and it is quite a change. She can focus much better/focus not pace as much. She has asked to start schoolwork and did a bit this week. Compassion
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Spectrum kids often get a diagnosis of mood disorder too and often it's not the case since Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) itself causes moodswings and lack of focus.

    Is he getting special help in school? Interventions? Small classes? An aide to help him focus? This REALLY helped my son more than any medication. He's been off medications for seven years now and doing better without the medications. He needs less intervention too now. All Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids have short fuses and get frustrated easily, which doesn't make them have mood disorders. Interventions for them help that as well.

    Many spectrum kids are often highly sensitive to the side effects of medication. in my opinion you can't medicate away every symptom in ANY disorder.

    Good luck, whatever you decide to do.
  7. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    Strattera was a disaster for us...difficult child is doing pretty well on clonidine now.