Any alternatives to Risperidone?

Ttilcox - posted on 07/09/2013 ( 45 moms have responded )

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My son (10) has been on Risperidone for about a year and had significant weight gain. We stopped recenlty to see if aggression etc. would return, which it did. We are considering Abilify because apparently it doesn't cause weight gain. Any information/comments would be greatly appreciated?

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Tricia - posted on 07/09/2013

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My son who is 15 was on Abilify for about one year he also had significant weight gain. Abilify did not help with his aggression and anger. His doctor just switched him to risperdal last month and he has been a wreck, loss of interest, manic behavior , reports of hearing voices. I called the office today and they want to increase his dose. I am stressed and not sure what to do. I am afraid he will become more manic and possibly psychotic anyone have any input or experience with this? Sorry I got off track Abilify also can cause significant weight gain.

Cindy - posted on 08/04/2013

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we've tried them all for our son (now 17) and the best thing for his aggressive behavior has been zyprexa. the only side effect i've noticed is sleepiness, which we were able to manage by splitting the dose into morning and night

Tara - posted on 09/13/2013

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My daughter was on 1 mg 2x/day Risperidone for 1 and 1/2 years with large weight gain of 45 pounds during this time and she would sleep 20 hours a day if we let her. Then right after we walked her off of it she started having liver function problems and developed pancreatisis as well. Was in the hospital for 3 weeks and then for a week twice later that year for panc. flare ups. She is off of all meds now and we give her GABA and Valerian root/melatonin for a sleep aid. We decided to try the more natural approach because of her illness (the doctors could never quite figure out what caused the liver/panc. problems either) and that seems to be okay for the most part. She was 14 to 16 while on the risperidone and she is 20 now.

Ozzy - posted on 04/22/2014

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I was on ritalin for a while as a kid and all the control medications are not good..Try cutting his amount of sugar to zero and change his diet. Also take him/her to counseling to deal with the anger and teach him ways of dealing with it better. Meditation and relaxation exercises help in a big way and should be a daily part of their lives. All the drugs mentioned above are awful for young people and adults. This drug our children with the latest and greatest drug new stuff is ridiculous..These companies make billions of the fact that parents will do whatever it takes to help their child and the doctors get kickbacks for writing prescriptions and get you back in their office every month, Save you money or at least spend it on proven healthy methods that actually work and teach your children emotional challenges are a fact of life and the proper ways of handling stress and change..

Debra - posted on 07/28/2013

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My just turned 10 yr old son has been on Risperdol for over a year. He has no weight gain at all, or minimal gain since starting. He only gets .25 ml a day but that's his presciption he started with. Now I only give it to him on occasion (maybe once a week when I notice he's become more aggressive). I'd say its different for everyone. Medication affects everyone differently. I probably should give it to my son more but I want to be able to let him learn how to deal with his aggressive behaviors and cope with the managing of it. When I see that he's had enough or getting overwhelmed I give him his medicine. As he gets older things may change. That's why its a spectrum...everyone is different.

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Tabifloors - posted on 02/25/2017

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My son is autistic and has been on Risperdal for 11 yrs. We gradually took him off because of weight gain and as soon as the meds were completely out of his body he went psychotic. We immediately put him back on and he has never been the same. Now he is showing signs of tardive dyskinesia. Has anyone had any experience with tardive dyskinesia due to long term usage of Risperdal. And does anyone know of any alternatives

Ev - posted on 02/04/2017

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You should not take kids off prescription meds until talking to the doctor. Some of those meds have harsh side affects that could be just as bad as taking them off cold turkey.

Enchantedsummer84 - posted on 02/04/2017

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You can take him off Risperidone I did with my son and he was fine

Enchantedsummer84 - posted on 02/04/2017

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How about don't drug your child. It's extremely bad for them. My son was also on Risperidone and was in husky boys clothes. I took him off all his meds and let him ride out the mood swings due to the imbalance the meds caused. And after a few months he was more normal than he was on the meds.

Ivonnemdo1993 - posted on 01/03/2017

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Before allowing doctors to give any medicines know it's side affects most think abilify helps well I will tell you it doesn't for all. My daughter been taking it for 3 yrs and she is worst then ever even now hospitalized and a lockdown facility now wanting to gives Risperidone
Brand name: Risperdal-- to calm mood swings as per recently taken off all meds it's normal to have them and at the same time she getting into fights given Risperdal is not recommended as it's for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and irritability caused by autism patients yes your child might have schizo issues after using or the other one I read wondering why her child had Pancras serious all this and more is caused in the side affects to using this meds plus Constipation, diarrhea, nausea, or upset stomach plus Jerky muscle movements you cannot control (often in your face, tongue, or jaw)
Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
Numbness or weakness on one side of your body, sudden or severe headache, problems with vision, speech, or walking Painful, prolonged erection, Seizures or tremors. So before anyone gives any meds to your kids know what the long term issues should expect as in some boys it been said on TV how it causes breast to grow. So don't think doctors are all there to help as if all didn't need meds there would be out of work.

Christy - posted on 12/23/2016

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My son is in the same boat. Although, he started growing breasts. I'm going to ask his dr about abilify bc I noticed a difference too.

Traci - posted on 09/04/2016

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Hi
Its like u r talking about my son
Takes Ritalin which is great BUT Risperdal 1 mg late afternoon has done a 360. He is odd .curses and the anger. He even said mom I don't like this. His weight gain is due to side effect of increase app. I want him off but doc says u cant just stop. Decrease dose bit at time
Someone told me they switched to "rescue" which is herbal for anxiety etc.
I tried it and wow he had dinner and dessert and did not ask for everything edible in the house. I will do 2nite again and see. Will kep u posted

Beldan4 - posted on 05/30/2016

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*37 year old Asperger here* my suggestion, pull him off meds entirely and research this
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/spectrum-theory/201306/brainwave-neurofeedback-autism-can-it-help

My therapist was Myron Thurber at http://www.neurotherapynw.com/
Perhaps they can direct you to a practioner in your area.
I'm not a mother (or a father) honestly I was just googling "autism dies sad and alone" (feeling rather sorry for myself for being sad and alone atm) and found this forum and was a little interested. Its the last week of school for finals and I'm trying to complete a video on neurofeedback for one of my psych classes. Was going to post to youtube when I completed it. Ill try to remember and send you a link (or post on the forums, this post is a little old)

Adi - posted on 01/22/2016

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There are quite a few Risperidone alternatives, the issue is that other anti-psychotic drugs will have similar adverse effects, and many people actually switch over to Risperidone because other drugs were ineffecive.

Have you looked at all into the US department of health and NIH approved clinical trials?There are over 200 clinical trials currently recruiting globally, offering innovative treatments (medicinal or behavioral) for ASD-related sleep disturbances, aggressiona dn violence cntrol, anxiety/social anxiety, learning, sensory issues....
If you'd like to know more about applying to these trials,or to be matched to other ongoing/upcoming trials that fit your location and profile, please sign up for free on genefo.com (Please note that I am involved with this project, which is NOT engaged in any for-profit activities, not sponored by pharama, not seling anything... :) )

Mel - posted on 11/20/2015

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Hi! My daughter is 7 years old and been diagnosed with asd and gdd. We are still working on her verbal skills.I just want to share her risperidone experience. Her doctor prescribed risperidone due to her hyperactive behavior and lots of sensory needs. We were advised to take it gradually at first, starting at 0.25mg for 3 days then inceasing every 3 days until we reach her actual dosage.She was taking it for more than a year, the results were fine. She would sleep earlier than usual and her activeness lessen. My daughter is fixated with food so the downside is her fixation got worst. Until she had urinary tract infection and had to take antibiotics. We decided to stop risperidone for the time she's taking her antibiotics. We never knew the side effects and noticed her being afraid of the dark. We even suspect her hallucinating. Her therapist advised us to continue her dosage gradually. She's okay now but will never stop her taking risperidone unless the doctor says so. What we experienced is a nightmare! Please learn from ours. We are also interested with abilify.

User - posted on 01/30/2015

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risperdal caused a huge increase in our 5 year old daughter's progesterone. She started developing breasts. That drug had to go.

User - posted on 01/30/2015

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that is a very high dose of risperdal. Is the doctor checking his blood often, especially hormone levels?

Ttilcox - posted on 09/18/2014

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Hi Melissa, thank you for your comments and sharing your story. My son has been on Abilify for just over 1 year. We recenlty did some blood work because the doctor doesn't want him on it for very long. Our next appointment is in October so we will find out the results then. The doctor has been pushing Intuiv, which is used for ADHD. I haven't read anything about it's uses with kids on the spectrum, specifically high functioning Aspergers. The goal of the meds was to bring down the aggression so he could learn strategies for emotional regulation. He's a smart guy, he knows what to do, what he should do, but the aggressive behaviour and emotional outbursts have been increasing lately. Not sure what to do either. Ideally I don't want him on meds, but he needs to be able to cope in stressful situations. How did your son cope with back to school? Any new suggestions from your doctor? I'd be interested to hear from you.
Tanya

MELISSA - posted on 08/29/2014

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Hi Tanya.

My son is 9 years old and he has been on Risperdone for about 1.5 years. This medicine as I'm sure you know is so effective, but the side effects scare me. Over the years, this has been one of the only drugs that have truly worked on my son. He gained a little weight, but that was ok with everyone because he needed to anyway. He is on such a small dose that he has leveled out weight wise. The doctor did not want my son on this for longer then 6 months- here we are- one year past the recommended time limit. We've tried taken him off it beginning of the year, but we had to quickly put him back on it because he became incredibly aggressive at school. Here we are in the summer and we are just about done with the weaning process, but man his aggression is picking up. His doctor does not have another drug coming into his system while the risperdone is weaning off, which irritates me. We have already tried this- it didn't work in February - I don't know why he thinks he doesn't need a replacement now. School starts next week and I am so anxious. I have a horrible feeling that this will not be good. I want to have some ideas to present to my son's doctor. I read about Abilify and I have heard some really good things about it, but at the same time- I hear about the side effects. I'm still flip flopping on what I want to do. Have you made a decision about Abilify yet? If so, please share your experience.
*My son has ADHD Combine Type with undiagnosed mood disorder.

Ozzy - posted on 04/22/2014

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I was on ritalin for a while as a kid and all the control medications are not good..Try cutting his amount of sugar to zero and change his diet. Also take him/her to counseling to deal with the anger and teach him ways of dealing with it better. Meditation and relaxation exercises help in a big way and should be a daily part of their lives. All the drugs mentioned above are awful for young people and adults. This drug our children with the latest and greatest drug new stuff is ridiculous..These companies make billions of the fact that parents will do whatever it takes to help their child and the doctors get kickbacks for writing prescriptions and get you back in their office every month, Save you money or at least spend it on proven healthy methods that actually work and teach your children emotional challenges are a fact of life and the proper ways of handling stress and change..

Mikaela - posted on 03/18/2014

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My son has been on Risperdal for Tourettes since age 6. He is now 13 and we are looking to change his meds. Risperdal has been fantastic for him and has allowed him to manage tics and concentrate at school. He is currently on a higher dose due to puberty (1.25mg twice daily) which has given him raised blood sugar levels and he is developing swollen breasts. I am going to research alternative prescription meds at this point because of the increased risk of diabetes. As a drug to control tics, Risperdal has been amazing and allowed him to lead a totally normal school life.

Ttilcox - posted on 02/28/2014

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Thank you for your comments. We have been on Abilify for 7 months. He's doing ok, except the agressive behaviour is creeping in again. Don't know whether its better to increase the dose or try Intuitiv. Any comments?

Holly - posted on 02/27/2014

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My son was on Abilify for several years. It helped at first, but he had significant weight gain and was eating us out of house and home. I almost wanted to put a padlock on the fridge. It got to the point where the dosage he was taking (10mg) was not working and when they upped the dosage, he was becoming aggressive. He has been on Risperdal now (1mg in the morning) for over a year and he is doing GREAT on it! Although he does have man boobs, he doesn't want to switch to anything else. He has gone through so many medications and he is tired of trying out new medications. And you can tell if he hasn't had his medication that day. When he is on the medication, he is happy, respectful, non-aggressive, just an all-around good kid, the nice side of Bipolar, if you will. And when he misses that medication by even just a few hours, it is like someone hit an off switch. He is aggressive, angry, the bad of side of Bipolar. So we are happy for now with Risperdal unless his Psychiatrist can find something else that will work as well that doesn't cause weight gain or man boobs.

Jeanette - posted on 09/13/2013

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My daughter (now 18) was on Risperidone for years and it caused a terrible weight gain which only increased her feelings of self loathing. She has been on Abilify for a while now and it has helped a lot. Because she got a job busing tables in a restaurant it keeps her moving and she has been able to start to lose that weight. Like some others, the Vyvanse has been a life safer in a lot of ways. I can tell if she has forgotten to take it in the morning because she is soooooooooo hyper. I know that most parents can't get their 10 year old children to go to work, although getting them out to exercise is probably the best way to fight the weight gain. I took my daughter kayaking (I bought a tandem kayak) and she really excels at that. It does not involve running, so she does not have to worry about the clumsiness that she has, and the upper body exercise is good for those stomach muscles.

Tina - posted on 09/10/2013

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My son gained weight on ability because it makes him hungry. After stopping the med, he lost the weight.

Kristi - posted on 09/08/2013

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Both of my boys was on Abilify and both gained about 20-25 lbs or so over time. My son that is Autisic can even take Risperidone cause it jacks his heart rate even higher than it already runs. But he also has tourettes which the abilify helped but I took both my boys off cause of the weigh gain made them very unhealthy even though they did exercise a lot. My son is now on Vyvanse prozac clonidine elavil. This combo seems to do pretty good along with structure.

Jacqueline - posted on 08/23/2013

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All these medications can cause weight gain, I have a child that takes abilify and feel it is a very good medication for him. Is your son physically active, I feel exercise and sports are a positive release and a chance to run off some aggression. My son has Tourette Syndrome..

Carolyn - posted on 08/16/2013

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My 8 yo takes Risperdal - a lot of it :-( (5mg a day) - he does fairly well on it (he also takes several other medications) but he is hungry on it when he doesn't have his Adderall. So I figure the stimulant properties of the Adderall must offset the hungry properties of the Risperdal. They have been talking about taking him off of the Risperdal and going to Abilify but I'm not willing to change his meds at home and they don't want to put him in the hospital, so we will see what happens.

Heather - posted on 08/02/2013

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We've been on Vyvanse for over a year - probably closer to two. That's working for us.

Ttilcox - posted on 08/02/2013

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Sometimes you have to play with the doseage. We started at 0.5mg, which did nothing. 1mg worked great. It did help him sleep as well. We found if we gave it to him around 6:30-7 pm, he was in bed by 8:30. Most of the mood stabilizers have a sedative affect. What has your doctor said?

Heather - posted on 08/02/2013

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I can't remember exactly, but I think that's the one that put him to sleep. We tried so many!!

Heather - posted on 08/02/2013

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Risperidone caused my kiddo significant weight gain - it was horrible! We did Abilify, but didn't like it. We are on Vyvanse now, and we love it.

Ttilcox - posted on 07/30/2013

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Thanks for the responses. We started with 5mg of Abilify and now up to 7.5. Seems to be helping and hasn't had an affect on appetite, thankfully.

Julia - posted on 07/22/2013

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Hi, yes, I would not expect abilify to have the same side effects, that's why they put us on it in the first place. We went as high as 15 mg. That's high. They switched us from the neuro we saw since he was 1 to one in the same group whose specialty is ASD. He wanted to try adding zoloft then reducing abilify, b/c it was a lot of medication. However, that was the best I have EVER seen him. He was almost like a "typical" kid. But even the doc wanted to cut down the med (were also on 2 mg intuniv). Went down to 6 mg and behaviors creeped in. That's when he suggested switch to risp. Said it was stronger and better. Could take less for same effect. Seems that this child is bullet-proof when it comes to medicine - takes a lot to get effect. I want to give it more time. Because if this doesn't work I have no idea what is next to try. Or if I'd go back to abilify in that 6 mg dose. Just think we should be able to do better.

Ttilcox - posted on 07/22/2013

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2mg! Wow that's alot! My son only took 1mg of Risperidone and it worked right away. But weight gain is a huge side effect of Risperidone. My son gained 30 lbs in a matter of a few months. Now he's dealing with self esteem issues for being "fat". Plus there are the other possible health issues to gaining too much weight. We reduced Risperidone to 0.5 mg about 6 months ago and he was still doing ok. But we started to see some regression in behaviour. The dr suggested we stop Risperidone to see how he's coping without meds, but it was a disaster. Any coping strategies he learned disappeared. The dr recommended Abilify because it was unlikely to cause weight gain and there were good studies on its helpfullness for kids on the spectrum. Its been a week, and so far so good. What dosage was your son taking of Abilify?
Do you think you'll switch back to Abilify?

Julia - posted on 07/22/2013

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Hello there. My 10 y.o. son just started Risperidone. We were on Abilify for about 4 years. I really liked the abilify a lot - it definitely helped with the emotional meltdowns and most importantly the aggression. I even thought it helped the stimming. No noticeable side effects whatsoever. Weight gain normal. However, I thought we still had room for improvement bc although he was "better" he was not "great." (We also take Intuniv and Zoloft). We weaned him off it (terrible) and started Risperidone b/c doc said it's stronger and better. We are up to 2 mg daily of Risperidone and so far I am not impressed. No side effects at all - makes me wonder if it's even getting through to him. Maybe it's not been long enough or maybe he's a kid that needs a high dose. I would love to hear others' responses to Risperidone vs Abilify as well. How much Risperidone did your son take?

Ttilcox - posted on 07/19/2013

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Thanks Carrie. What were the symptoms of tardive dyskinesia that you experienced?

Carrie - posted on 07/19/2013

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My son has taken both. With Risperidone, we had the same side effects you had; weight gain and he was also wetting himself throughout the day. The doctors changed him to Abilify. The wetting stopped, but he started having symptoms of tardive dyskinesia. We had an EEG and sleep study done. Eventually the doctor changed him over to Geodon with Trileptal. The Geodon made him wet the bed so we tapered off of that one, and he's now only on Trileptal and it's working great. Many years of trial and error since he was 6 or 7. He's now 15.

Joyce - posted on 07/12/2013

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@Tanya Tilcox: Hi,Tanya! I'm so sorry your son is going through the medication roller coaster; it is so hard to watch your child go through this.
I want to give you a heads up about Abilify, something you should research online. My oldest took this and it caused her to develop a permanent head turn to one side and her chin also dropped to her chest and tilted sideways called myoclonus and a series of involuntary muscle tics in her neck and mouth, also a permanent condition called tardive dyskinesia, all of which can occur with a single dose.
There are many, many tried and true alternatives than Abilify, such as Adderall. Ask his Dr about going the route of those first.
Wellbutrin is great for mood and anger supression; it's been around a long time.
Your son needs the right dosages and the right times of the day to take these, or others that work in his favor.
God bless your son!

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