tell me about propranolol and amantadine

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by pepperidge, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member


    Please tell me if you have any experiences with these drugs for your GDG. psychiatrist is considering for my youngest, who continues to have lots of problems with emotional dysregulation and a lot of impulsive behavior. We may need to take him off of Abilify because of weight gain. Amantadine is apparently being used way off label for some of these issues. psychiatrist is leaning towards propranolol.

    He's been on almost every other common medication (all 15 or so), can't do stims, anti-depressants seem to lead to disinhibition, some luck with low dose of Abilify but can't go higher because of TICs, violent reaction literally to Tenex, Wellbutrin didn't work, no impact from Topamax, Lamictal or Trileptal. He has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) which supposedly makes it more difficult to treat. Likely does not have BiPolar (BP) but definitely has some executive function issues and alot of emotional dysregulation issues..

    Thanks in advance

  2. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I know that Propranolol (Indreral) I think is like Topral (SP) which is a beta-blocker and used for stage fright, sometimes used for anxiety. I took Topral for my migraines but I did not like the way it slowed my heart down and me down.
    I think they are very similar? I mat be wrong, I may have also gotten used to the side affects? But it also made me gain weight, so with the combo of all 3, I just did not like it. It really slowed down my heart and I could feel it.

    I don't know about the other.

    It is nice to see you!
    Sorry the medications are not working.
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Hi there, my son has been on Propranolol since age 10 for migraines. He takes 60 mg Propranolol LA nightly. We consider it his miracle medication because he no longer gets migraines. As Toto indicated, Propranolol is a blood-pressure medication that is also used off-label for stage fright and sometimes anxiety. However, Propranolol did not dent my son's severe anxiety.

    I have no experience with Amantadine, but I understand it reduces the symptoms of Parkinson's disease and is used off-label in low doses to treat ADHD. I know some kids in the bpkids support groups have used Amantadine with good success.

    Is Abilify working? If so, I wouldn't discontinue it because of weight gain, especially since your difficult child is so hard to medicate. Instead, I'd consider adding either Topamax, Zonegran or Metformin to suppress appetite.
  4. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    My difficult child was on Inderal and it really did nothing for him. At least it did not cause any problems either. We were trying it to help with impulsivity. Never heard of the other. I hope it helps your difficult child.
  5. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    My difficult child was on propranolol for about 4 years. At the time he was put on it, his impulsiveness and agression were really quite bad (we're talking they were having to chemically restrain him at least 2-3 times a week at Residential Treatment Center (RTC)). We'd run thru every atypical antipsychotic, tried just about every combo and dosage out there. Risperdal was the only medication that ever touched the impulsive/agressive symptoms, but it ended up getting titrated to a ridiculously high dose.

    The addition of propranolol to his usual Depakote, a lower dose of risperdal... hmmm, I think there was something else in there, but I cannot for the life of me remember what it was... anyway, it resulted in difficult child being the most stable he's ever been. Not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but definitely much less agressive. They eventually went up a bit on Risperdal again but still to a lower dose than his max (which was 8 mg a day) and added Cogentin, but really, it was the best combo he's ever been on.
  6. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    Thanks for the responses.

    I am a bit wary of propranolol. If physcial aggression gets to be a problem, it sounds like it would be a good choice. I worry that it might 'slow" difficult child down--he needs to be more physically active, not slowed down.

    I've done some reading about amantadine. It seems to stimulate dopamine, though with less side effects than stimulants. it also has some appetite reducing properties and was given along with olanzapine to good effect. It has been used with Parkinson's patients. I'd really like to find some people who have taken it.

    I don't know what to do. Part of me says that this is a child who needs continual help with regulation of emotions, and while medications might help, maybe it isn't a medication problem. On the other hand, he clearly has ADHD type symptoms, but so far can't tolerate any ADHD type drugs.

    Emotional regulation is so tough. difficult child isn't very reflective and we have had little success with therapy. I have to figure out how to help more at home, but so far I don't think I have had much luck.

    Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences.
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I've been on amantadine, the doctor was trying it for pain management but it was supposed to work like other antidepressants are supposed to work, for analgesia. It made me MORE depressed, about half an hour after I took it. However, so did a lot of other antidepressants so don't let my experience put you off. The fatc that it did that to m is an indication that it works like a lot of antidepressants do.

    The other thing - I noticed the effect half an hour after I took it, then it would wear off (the sudden mood drop, I mean) over the next hour. The effect didn't last. I think I was taking it twice a day, with the second dose being smaller. I only noticed the depressed mood after the morning dose, which was twice the evening dose. And as I said - I just happen to be a person who cannot tolerate any antidepressants, I have weird reactions to all of them. Actually, amantadine was one of the easier ones on me, I could tolerate the depression (especially once I realised what was causing it) but it wasn't doing anything for my pain because I was unable to increase the dose to a point where it would have had enough of an effect for me.

    I was also wary of taking it because it's supposed to work by increasing free dopamine and I was breastfeeding at the time. An increase in dopamine while you're breastfeeding can slow down or shut off your milk supply, that was the only likely problem. However, from the point of view of a person trying to deal with mood disorders, anything that increases free dopamine is likely to be a good thing.

    I would give it a go, if the doctor thinks it's worth a try.

  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I took propranolol for many years to prevent migraines and help with anxiety. It was awesome for me. I had never taken a migraine preventative before and this really helped.

    It is designed to lower blood pressure. When I started it I felt less "on edge" and nervous about things. I was a bit tired, but that passed in about a week. I was still much less upset by things, much less likely to overreact or yell. It let me calm down enough to see where I could make changes in my parenting.

    It didn't make me sleepy as much as more relaxed and less likely to fly off the handle. I could concentrate on the entire issue at hand, rather than getting so upset by the first part that I missed all the later parts.

    Hope this helps.