Topomax question for my 9 year old bipolar dtr

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Californiablonde, Sep 30, 2007.

  1. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    <span style='font-size: 11pt'> </span> Two days ago my bipolar daughter was put on Topomax as an add-on MS with her Trileptal and Geodon. P-doctor is not trialing her on Topomax due to instability, rather to help curb her appetite, which has ballooned out of control in the last year.

    She's been on Topomax since Friday, and so far her appetite is still extremely huge, and she's trying to sneak food from the cupboards. I don't know if the side effect of appetite loss happens over time, or if it usually hits someone right away if it's going to happen at all.

    So far the only side effect has been fatigue, and that hit her a couple of hours after her first pill. I assumed the appetite loss would also be immediate, and now I'm worried that she could be one of the rare few that doesn't have that particular side effect from the medications. We already yanked Seroquel from her about six months ago, in hopes that it would stop her massive appetite and weight gain, but unfortunately it didn't do the trick. It's a shame too, because the Seroquel worked wonders on her manic episodes.

    difficult child is a binge eater, and will hoard food and attempt to hide her over eating. We've been battling this problem with the help of her pediatrician, a dietician, her p-doctor, t-doctor, and school psychologiist, and we are all at a lost what to do next.

    I've gotten to the point of hiding most of our food in a locked toolbox, and each night when the kids are asleep, I'll take out a few snacks and put them in individual baggies. I also keep fruit and veggies on hand when difficult child goes through one of her tirades, insisting that she's hungry, even after eating dinner and having a light snack an hour later. She can munch on lettuce, cucumbers, and baby carrots all she wants to, which she loves, but of course after a few bites, she goes into a rampage because she wants real food (sugary sweets and chips, in her eyes.)

    The main problem is when difficult child to her friends' houses in the neighborhood, and she is given popsicles, candy, cookies, etc. I have spoken to a couple of the worst offenders in the area, and both of the moms agreed to lay off the snack hand outs. One mom even offered to get sugar free candy just for difficult child, but she has not kept her word. What's worse, the neighbors have a habit of giving ALL the kids outside extra snacks, so when difficult child sees everybody else getting food, she flips.

    School and after school daycare is another battle. difficult child's Special Education (emotionally disturbed) class offers up little treats as rewards for good behavior. I have asked the teacher of the classroom to please lay off the candy, and suggested that he have stickers and little toys from the 99 cent store as rewards instead.

    He promised to get rid of the candy bars (full size, none the less)because he agrees with me that all the kids should avoid the sugar, not just difficult child. 5 out of the 8 kids in her class are currently battling weight problems, including difficult child's best friend in her class.

    This last Friday difficult child came home after having a HUGE rage in the classroom, because the other kids in her special day class were buying candy bars and cookies with their earned play money, but they would not let difficult child purchase any food. difficult child began to scream and break puzzles and books because she became so frustrated at seeing the other students buying treats while she was being told, "Your mom tells us you are not allowed to have candy, so we can't give you any. Sorry"

    I am FURIOUS!! Her teacher did NOT keep his promise to me... :grrr: Of course difficult child flipped out, seeing everybody else in the class having candy but her! Other than her food related blow ups, difficult child is stable otherwise. Food seems to be her only trigger at the moment, *sigh*

    I thought you couldn't even give out candy and cookies in schools anymore! My kids' daycare is just as bad. I've asked them to let difficult child have only one snack in the afternoon, but when she whines and cries and insists she's hungry, someone will eventually cave in. She also gets extra food from her friends at lunch and recess time.

    I give up! At 9 and a half years old, difficult child weighs only 17 pounds less than me! She is already 95 pounds and clinically obese. She wears an adult size small because even a child's size extra large shirts are too tight to fit over her stomach. Sadly, some of my own clothes don't even fit difficult child because they are too tight. I may be a bit on the petite side, but my clothes should NOT be too small for a nine year old!

    Forget about jeans. She cannot wear any of the cute little styles because they are waaaay too tight and waaaaay too long. difficult child is desperate to lose weight, but unable to control, or even explain, her binge eating.

    She's always been very self conscious about her looks. Until a year and a half ago, she's always been very thin. This weight problem of hers suddenly came out of nowhere when she was 8. Her doctor runs blood tests every six months on her, and her thyroid levels, although very slightly on the low side, are fine.

    Her therapist is at a loss. She doesn't have much experience in treating eating disorders in children. The dietician can't give me any more suggestions than she already has. Topomax was my last hope. Is there still a chance it could work? Anybody have any advice, experience, or any tidbits of info? Please, I'm desperate! :crying:
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Topamax normally starts to work when it gets up to around 50 to 100 mgs and you have to start titrating up very slowly to get to that figure. I did loose quite a bit of weight on topamax. One other tidbit of info my psychiatrist gave me was to take the topamax about an hour or two before dinner time to make it more effective.
  3. steve19121

    steve19121 New Member

    My wife has been given Topomax for seizures, and so far it works. One of the side effects are weight loss. but it doesn't matter how much you eat, the pounds will come off gradually. In her case, she lost more than 50 lbs. in approx 3 months time. At this time, she is not having seizures. Hang on.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Until you are at a therapeutic level, which it will take a long time to get to, you won't see this effect.

    In this case, who is prescribing her medications? A psychiatrist (with the md) I hope and not a regular pediatrician. It may be time to find a doctor who deals with eating issues.

    I would also recommend a consult with a pediatric endocrinologist. This is a doctor who would look at the levels of all her blood chemistry, hormones, etc... She may very well have hormone issues contributing to this.

    I know firsthand how hard it is to have the hoarding and hiding and binging of food. My oldest did it and it was horrible. I also remember the screaming and violence.

    Do you have respite services, or any plan for when she is raging? It sounds asif she maybe heading toward violence toward you. Inpatient treatment is in order then, Do you have anyone who can help you get her to a hospital when she is raging? You cannot do it alone. If you do not, please call 911 for an ambulance. She is probably a very strong young lady and when out of control she may hurt you, herself, or others.

    It is time to have a chat with the head of Special Services for the school district. If that many children are havign weight issues, then it may need to be a rule that the entire class may not be allowed junk food treats. Otherwise, let a weekly treat at school pass if you think you can stand it. It may be the ONLY way the teachers can motivate the children.

    Sending hugs and hope that soon you will get it figuredc out.

    Can you provide a stash of inexpensive toys from garage sales, home, wherever to supply this teacher? The year my son was in the ED class I provided many toys to the treat box. I knew it kept my kid in line, and many of the others. I also knew that the school was not buying the treats, the teacher was.

    As for the neighbors, I don't think you can do much but keep asking. Of course there will be some idiot who thinks you are starving her.

    School and daycare need to see a prescription for a diet for her. Then they are required to follow it, IF you think this is the best time to address this. I am NOT in any way saying it isn't, just that you have to pick your battles sometimes.


  5. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    Unfortunately, I do not have advice to offer regarding the Topomax. I hope you get some relief from the binge eating soon.

    However, if difficult child is going to a California public school, what they are doing in her classroom is in violation of the law.

    I quote directly from the California Department of Education's website:

    Food standards effective July 1, 2007:Elementary Schools

    (California Education Code (Easy Child) sections 49431 and 49431.5)

    The only food that may be sold to a pupil during the school day are:

    (Sold also means any thing "given" to students)

    Full meals
    Individually sold portions of nuts, nut butters, seeds, eggs, cheese packaged for individual sale; fruit or vegetables that have not been deep fried; and legumes
    Individually sold dairy or whole grain items that meets all of the following standards:
    Not more than 35 percent of its total calories from fat
    Not more than 10 percent of its total calories from saturated fat
    Not more than 35 percent of its total weight may be composed of sugar (naturally occurring and added sugar)
    Not more than 175 calories per individual food item

    The teacher needs stop the candy. :thumbsdown:
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Great ammo Dazed! I think a amention of going to the press if it doesn't stop might also help!


  7. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    My difficult child is on topomax for a maintenance program to prevent headaches. I too had been on it for quite a while for the same reason. difficult child was never heavy or a big eater, but he thought he was/is and sometimes tries not to eat for several days at a time. My experience with topomax is that I did not notice an appetite loss. I was on it atleast a year. difficult child has lost weight, but don't know if it is the topomax of his obsession with thinking he is heavy and his eating issues. I do believe it is a gradual weight loss. Also must be at a theraputic level.