Risperidone for autism!

Karen - posted on 07/02/2009 ( 25 moms have responded )

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Is Risperidone good or bad for autism? He's 9yrs old!

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Debbie - posted on 07/07/2009

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I don't think Risperidone is the "magic bullet" for all kids with autism. But when it's the right drug it can have an incredible effect. My son is 23 and just graduated from university (100 miles away from home!) with honors. He was diagnosed at age 11 and was invited to leave public school shortly after. We placed him in a private college prep school for kids with learning differences and our school district paid for it. That was better, but amazing things began to happen after he began taking Risperidone . His social awareness improved and it seemed that the constant storm in his head calmed. He was able for the first time to participate in the therapy and counseling programs. We began to be able to teach him social conventions, etc. In 8th grade he raged constantly. Would run screaming out of class. Curled up in a fetal position in the Quad. Banged his head against the wall. Totally self isolated. By 12th grade he had been elected Student Council President by his peers! Before the Risperidone we didn't think he had much of a future. Now, he is focused and accomplished enough to become a gainfully employed, tax-paying citizen. His psychiatrist told us it would take several weeks to notice any change and that was our experience. And, that normally, a missed dose is not noticed. It is very long acting and cumulative, unlike Ritilan, which is short acting and leaves the system within hours. If our son is not taking the meds or not taking the effective dose, it can be weeks or months before it becomes obvious. He regresses in terms of perseverative behaviors, persistent thoughts that agitate him, outbursts, etc. It is most effective at the minimum effective dose. More is not better and can cause undesirable side effects. He did gain weight, but we all decided that's a fair trade for a promising future. I would add that his outcome was the ideal for this drug and not everyone will benefit like he did, but it may be worth a try.

Vanessa - posted on 07/10/2009

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My son has autism. He is on this medication. We used it for a few years and then weaned him off only finding about a year later that we put him back on a low dose. It has helped him with obsessive compulsive behaviors and aggression.

Donna - posted on 07/07/2009

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My son who is now 17 was initially prescribed Ritalin some 7 yrs ago but I found that once the Ritalin wore off he was more hyperactive. A lot of doctors wont prescribe it because it is a form of antisphychotic medication. By the way have you ever looked at the National Autistic Society Website it will be very helpful, and this applies all mums worried about autistism. Hope this has helped

[deleted account]

Hi Karen, My son will be 18 in a few weeks and has been on resperidone since he was about 8. It has helped with his un-natural fears and sleeping problems. He stayed on the same dose (1mg once a day at bedtime) for about 10 years. We just reacently increased it to 1.5 mg. It has not taken much to make a big difference in the life of our entire family. He has not had any negative side effects. I hope that helps.

Virginia - posted on 07/08/2009

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karen my son is five neatly six and is on it he is doing very well still has his moments but is better but i am still keeping an eye on him just in case thats all we can do hope this helps you

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Kate - posted on 09/28/2012

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i have 2 boys on resperidone

before they got help i recieved black eyes i was blamed for there behaviour by services and had threats by child services of my kids going to foster care.

now both boys are calm i dont get hurt .i highly recomend it sooner rather than later

Susan - posted on 05/04/2011

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IMO it's a mixed bag. If you're considering it because of meltdowns and/or violence, it may help. It's approved to treat those things in children, including children with autistic spectrum diagnoses. Sometimes it helps a lot. Sometimes not much at all. Often it takes a while to find an effective dosage. It does cause a lot of people to gain weight, so that might be a consideration, but that needs to be weighed against how much the difficult behavior is affecting your child and the family.

If there's a serious enough problem so that this medication is being considered, I, personally, would give it a try. If it doesn't work or side effects become a problem, you can always stop giving it. There are other meds that can also be tried, off label, by themselves or in combination that can be useful. One of my aspies takes Lamictal, Abilify, and Strattera. Lamictal and Abilify help him stay in control of his emotions better. Strattera helps him focus. We tried a lot of different things before we settled on this combo, and it hasn't made things perfect, but they are better than they might be. Right this minute he's trying to build a marionette. It's not working well. Pre-meds he probably would have given up and thrown it or broken it in frustration. With meds he can keep trying. (Although he's been trying for a pretty long time now, and I can tell he's pushing his frustration limit, so I better check in with him.)

He just decided that he would drop his marionette idea and "make it into a contraption" instead. I don't think he would be able to do that without help from the meds.

DAWN - posted on 05/03/2011

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resperidone and side effects. my child is suffering from headaches. the medication has been used for 2 weeks. there is a massive difference in behaviour. has any1 else experienced this difficulty?

Mary K - posted on 07/13/2009

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Quoting Becky:

My son began Risperidone at 6 during his Kindergarten year. His doctor recommended it for his problem behavior at school. However, his behavior was due to the interactions and relationships of those around him at school. Basically, they didn't know either him or autism very well. As well, he no longer had these issues with me for a year and a half prior. But I tried it anyways and it kind of helped at school. I did notice his hyperactivity and impulsiveness diminish...very nice. It is easier to communicate with him and he has excelled in this area since starting. As well, he did not eat well or sleep well. Now he goes to sleep quickly and stays asleep all night. He also is willing to try some new foods and explores a bit more. I do not notice any side effects during the day either. He may be a little more tired...not much though. He has gained 20 pounds in the first few months, going from size 6 to almost an 8. But he was kind of underweight and now just a bit over. If this sounds like it would not fit your son, there are I think two other meds that can be taken as well and it does not cause weight gain.

I hope this helps you. And good luck! It is not easy, I know.

His doctor said he will need to be on it for at least a couple of years. Basically, he explained that this med will teach him how to be and then soon he can be weened off. I don't like him on medications and if I had to do it over again I would have went straight to a chiropractor and given that six months before deciding. I have learned many things since and would choose medicine after I have exhausted what I am able to do for him.


 

Rebecca - posted on 07/12/2009

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My son is also 9yrs old & on risperidone. He is also on clonidine, zoloft & concerta. I can tell a big difference when he misses a dose. He has more break downs & out bursts than he does when he has his meds. I know it helps him. It does have it's side effects like all meds, but i think that the benefits greatly out weigh them.

Deb - posted on 07/11/2009

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My son is 13 and due to insurance issues he is taking a smaller dose than before. I am not certain if it is the decrease in this medication or hormonal changes, or all or none of the above. Go with your gut and the recommendations of your doc and watch and listen to your children. What a journey.....hang in there.

Mary - posted on 07/10/2009

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Hi. My son's psychiatrist wanted to put him on resperadal. I checked with a pharmacist that I trust.

She gave me lots of info. and I did not like the side effects, so I didn't allow him to put on it.

Alexandra AkaSandra - posted on 07/08/2009

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My son has been on Risperdone for years now.
I prefer to give it to him right after school, as it does help relax your child to sleep better over night. I highly recommend it...I hope it works just as good as it does for my son!

Angie - posted on 07/07/2009

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Hi,

My son is on the Autistic Spectrum as well, and we have had to go the medication route. My son was very violent at times, and quite hyperactive as well. First he went on Clonidine, then we added Melatonin. After that, he was finally put on Strattera, which seems to be making a big difference.

We were offered Risperidone first, but I declined as the drug is one I would save as a last ditch effort. I know it does a lot of good for other children, but it's not one I would use as a first choice, especially on a young child with other options available. The potential side effects are too great. If my son ever did have to go on it, with no other options, then would revisit it.

Good luck, with whatever choice you make,

Angie

[deleted account]

Hi Karen. My son has taken this for a year since he was 17. We were told it had been found useful to reduce aggressive and impulsive behaviour in teenagers with autistic spectrum disorders (he has Aspergers and ADHD).

It has helped but if he misses a dose the behaviour is still very evident and we are still waiting for him to access psychology to work on impuse control. He has put on a large amount of weight and is very conscious of this. I think it has a place but should be used in conjunction with therapies rather than as an alternative.

Lyn - posted on 07/07/2009

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I have found stratera has worked for my son. We tried Risperidone but he had bad side effects, So far Stratera has no side effects. It has helped him stay carm and noticed he is talking more and sleeping much better. Talk to your doctor might work for your child too,

Renay - posted on 07/06/2009

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my son has been on this drug for 3 years. It helped settle his hyperactivity although apparently it can numb the brain so learning is fuzzier. since Sept last year he was put on stratera which has helped his learning and coupled with the risperdone has shown a great all round improvement. he put on weight with the risperdone but has since thinned out again since taking the straterra.

Michele - posted on 07/06/2009

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My son has been on Abilify for the tics, ADHD and behavior issues for two years. It was working great and helped alot with the sleeping trouble too. Then it keeps petering off. We kept upping it from 2.5 to 15mg. When he was still having fits on 15mg the psych has added clonidine in the PM. While the fits are better his eyes are now rolling funny to the sides. The thing about meds like these anti psych are the side effects can be permanent. Now I am worried about tardative dyskenesia. His eyes rolling are probably a tic but it still concens me that the meds could be causing this. He also has bowel constipation issues and even soils himself without knowing it. This may also be a side effect from the meds. His psych did write a script for the risperdone but I have not begun it yet. It is very hard to switch meds and the side effects can be really extreme. Our ASp kids don't do well with some meds. We tried all the stimulants and none of them seemed to help and all of them made him anxious. Right now he is also on celexa for his OCD and it kind of helps but it is still there. Meds can make life easier but they still cause alot of concerns and frustrations.

Mary K - posted on 07/05/2009

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They wanted to put my 9 year old on it for anger management issues and I said no way. I looked everywhere for an answer other than more medication (he has been on Zoloft since he was 3 and a half for anxiety issues. Why do they want to put you son on this? Look at the side effect and see if they are worth the risk.

Lee - posted on 07/05/2009

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I use it for my 7 year old son, as well as dexedrine and clonidine, it works very well. He is much more sociable, eats, and sleeps better. It has worked for us.

Holly - posted on 07/04/2009

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As a teacher I have seen this medication used frequently with students with autism. It seems to work very well to help with aggressive behaviors and attention. I would suggest looking very closely at the possible side effects and keep your child on it for as limited time as possible. I have unfortunately seen some awful side effects with a student who had taken it for several years. I hope it is helpful for you!! Good luck

Nancy - posted on 07/04/2009

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Hi my name is nancy my son is 11 he has autism and Risperidone has helped him alot but it also makes him gain weight good luck whatever you decide

Beverly - posted on 07/04/2009

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This is the medication that most of the children and teens I know with autism take. It works well. I can tell a huge difference if they miss a dose. Can increase with age and weight. Gaining weight is a major factor. Dr.s will watch that closely. Depending on your child's eating habits this may be a good thing. Becky White is right it really seems to help with hyperactivity, impulsivness, language focus, aggressiveness in children with autism. I've seen great success with this drug in children with autism. You can always try and if it doesn't work for your child, move on to the next one.

Becky - posted on 07/03/2009

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My son began Risperidone at 6 during his Kindergarten year. His doctor recommended it for his problem behavior at school. However, his behavior was due to the interactions and relationships of those around him at school. Basically, they didn't know either him or autism very well. As well, he no longer had these issues with me for a year and a half prior. But I tried it anyways and it kind of helped at school. I did notice his hyperactivity and impulsiveness diminish...very nice. It is easier to communicate with him and he has excelled in this area since starting. As well, he did not eat well or sleep well. Now he goes to sleep quickly and stays asleep all night. He also is willing to try some new foods and explores a bit more. I do not notice any side effects during the day either. He may be a little more tired...not much though. He has gained 20 pounds in the first few months, going from size 6 to almost an 8. But he was kind of underweight and now just a bit over. If this sounds like it would not fit your son, there are I think two other meds that can be taken as well and it does not cause weight gain.



I hope this helps you. And good luck! It is not easy, I know.



His doctor said he will need to be on it for at least a couple of years. Basically, he explained that this med will teach him how to be and then soon he can be weened off. I don't like him on medications and if I had to do it over again I would have went straight to a chiropractor and given that six months before deciding. I have learned many things since and would choose medicine after I have exhausted what I am able to do for him.

[deleted account]

I am not a doctor, but I suggest you do some heavy research and get a second opinion. That is a heavy medication.

Nancy - posted on 07/04/2009

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Hi my name is nancy my son is 11 he has autism and Risperidone has helped him alot but it also makes him gain weight good luck whatever you decide

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