I had some very strange experiences regarding medication. I'll pass them along and you can take everyone's experiences/advice and decide how you feel in your gut. I trust "mom gut."
My son was adopted. We got him at two. He had two huge wrong diagnoses before the right one. His first diagnoses was ADHD/ODD and he was put on every stimulant except Dexedrine because, by then, we were no longer open to stimulants. He did not do well on any of them. In fact, in his case, he got aggressive and mean, which wasn't like him. This doesn't mean all kids get that way, but he did. So we moved on to a Child Psychiatrist who said he had early onset bipolar. He was put on heavy duty bipolar medications--in all, he took Lithium, Depakote, Trileptal, Risperdal, Zyprexa, Seroquel, and Topomax. He had hideous side effects to Risperdal, Zyprexa, Depakote and Trileptal. I kept questioning this diagnosis because he didn't rage, but was told "not all bipolar kids rage." Um, right. Anyways, finally we went to a conference for parents with bipolar kids, and I got so many "Are you sure he has bipolar? He seems autistic to me..." that we sought out a neuropsychologist for a fresh evaluation. THis man spent twelve hours diagnosing, observing, and testing my son and he finally said that, as close as he can come (nobody can guarantee the right diagnosis) our son had Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified (a high functioning form of autism, which is hard to catch if the child isn't tested the right way. It is also often misdiagnosed as ADHD/ODD and bipolar because the kids are "quirky.") We took him off medications and put him into school and community interventions. He has NEVER been better and it's been now almost four years. Not one rage. Very compliant, now that we understand how to talk to him--he perceives things in a different way, but is doing great. For us, we feel we rushed into medications and were too quick to believe professionals who diagnosed our son on the basis of our information plus an hour of observation and no testing. I wouldn't do it again. I'd get second and third opinions before using medications. The right medications, if needed, can be a Godsend. I have bipolar and my medications saved my life. The wrong medications (say, if I had been given Adderrall) can make mood disorders, which mimic ADHD/ODD, even worse. Kids on the high end of autism dont' always need medications.Only 50% of autistic spectrum kids need medications. Interventions help the most. Having gone through all this, I'd personally, if I had to do it agin, be much slower to medicate AND to accept a diagnosis as "it." There are so many mistakes in diagnosing and my son was just pumped with medications. It would have been one thing if he'd needed them, but he didn't. He is still quite overweight because of some of the medications. He hasn't lost all the weight he gained from some. If a child is a rager, in my humble opinion, I would refrain from even trying stimulants. None of this is a medical opinion. It's what we went through and my own two cents. I hope you come to a peaceful decision in your heart. Take care :smile: