Medication for Autistic Children - Risperidone... Is it safe?

Tiffany - posted on 11/26/2009 ( 70 moms have responded )

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My son has become very aggressive in the last two weeks. Today we had to take him to the Psych Ward at a local Hosp. because he was not being "Safe" towards his counselor, myself, and himself... just to get him started on meds right away, we had to go there and have an evaluation done. He hasn't been fully diagnosed with AUTISM because no one is wanting to diagnose him with it....they're taking their good ole sweet time. He has been prescribed Risperidone. Are there any other Mom's out there who have children on Risperidone medication and what are their thoughts on it? Would like some feed back. I have researched Risperidone for children some, but I would like other mom's opinions!

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Debbie - posted on 01/11/2011

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Hw old is your son? What else have you tried to counteract the aggression?

My son has high functioning autism and adhd. He used to be very aggresive towards us, and thought it was extremely funny to hurt us. He's now 3 and a half. He was 2 and a half when the paediatrician wanted to put him on risperidone. He had only just been diagnosed, and I thought it best to look into other avenues before medicating him, as I don't believe in medicating a child as a first course of action. I took him to see a naturopath, and he discovered he is gluten intolerant. We promptly removed gluten from his diet, and within a couple of months he was a different child. He was suddenly able to focus on things for more than a few seconds at a time, he lost his aggressive and violent streak and became loving and affectionate, and he had a wider range of foods he was willling to eat. All this because we removed gluten, which was acting life an opiate for him.

I'm so pleased I stuck to my guns and didn't medicate him. Twelve months down the track I still have a lovely little boy. He still has his autistic traits, and I'm not saying we have "cured" him, just that we have got rid of the particularly bad symptoms, like aggression and violence.

However, in saying that, I have a friend that has agonised for a couple of years over medicating his 7yo daughter, and finally had to give in after trying everything else first. She is now on risperidone and it has helped her enormously. However, she is putting on a lot of weight.

Please, look into this further before you give him the drugs, especially as you haven't been given a diagnosis as yet. Make sure you know all the side effects, both short and long term, and know exactly what you are dealing with. Please exhaust all other avenues before medicating, as it is such a large step to take. I know that the drugs are appealing to many because they work much more quickly than other methods, but just make sure it's what is totally best for both you and your son.

This is a decision only you can make, because no one else knows what it's like to live in your shoes. Special needs children are hard work, but they can be so rewarding as well. Good luck in your decision, and I applaud you for asking questions first.

Teresa - posted on 01/05/2010

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It has worked wonders for my 7 yr old. My child started Risperidone when he was 6 1/2. He calmed down alot, sleeps better and his aggression has come down as well. Risperidone plus his special diet (no milk products, dairy, food coloring, etc) have helped tremendously. We had a 2nd son 8 months ago and for the most part Ira, my ASD child, does great with him. He now gets .5 2x a day as well as melatonin at night.

Valerie - posted on 01/01/2010

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Quoting Tiffany:

Medication for Autistic Children - Risperidone... Is it safe?

 He hasn't been fully diagnosed with AUTISM because no one is wanting to diagnose him with it....they're taking their good ole sweet time.



 





My son wasn't diagnosed until he was almost 8. No one beleived me that it was what was going on with him. I worked with children with disabilities for 7 years, most of them were on the spectrum. I can spot a child with autism a mile away regardless of the severity. If you really feel that this is your child's diagnosis than request  formal evaluation, IN WRITING, from your child's school ditrict. They are required by law to provide a full and accurate evaluation. I didn't know that in the begining, and when I found out its exactly whatI did! The school phycologist told me she was sure Noah wasn't autistic because he didn't SEEM autistic. The autism specialist that assists with all evals in our district said she pegged him as autistic the moment she saw him in the classroom. She said they didn't tell her which child she was observing just to observe he children. She said she picked out Noah as the child she thought should be evealuated! If you know in your heart your son has ASD be his advocate. No one else will.

Debbie - posted on 11/27/2009

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I am not an expert on this drug, but I chose not to try it for my Asperger son. It is often used for Bipolar treatment, and it is a psychotrophic drug. My fear was what is would do to my son's brain that was still forming. I have known 2 adults that were put on it as a child and both wished they never had been. I chose to try Tenex to help with my son's rages. It is a blood pressure drug that prevents the spike in blood pressure/addrenilin that fuels the rages. It doesn't affect the brain development in any way. It was a miracle for our son. It has been a great tool to help him learn to control his temper and aggression when stressed or angry. If this is new behavior for your son, there most likely has been a change in his home or school environment that he is having trouble adjusting to. I see you have many replies in favor of trying the Respiridone, but for me personally, it makes me nervous experimenting with the stronger drugs.

Bec - posted on 01/04/2010

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I have a 9 year old child with autisim, we tried alot of natural remidies, that showed no approvement, my child started taking risperidone, 12 months ago, due to his difficult behaviour, and aggression towards everyone, and lack of concentration, I believe it has done wonders for my child, and his teachers believe so also, he is a completely different child, hes not as aggressive any more, and concentrates more. only thing I dont like about it, is one of the side affects, wanting to eat more, and gaining the extra weight. I think it does wonders only if you use it the right way and are using it for the right reasons. good luck!

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Janine - posted on 01/11/2011

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Hi Thank you so much for your response. My daughter is 9 years old and we tried tenex last year (which is a pressure medication and it did nothing for her). We have been prolonging from putting our daughter on medication but she's been struggling since 5 years old with extreme negative behaviors, opposite defiantness, sensory disorder, compulsiveness and could be aggressive where she wants to hit and bit. She's also has a twin sister and we were getting nervous for her. Also she wasn't functioning in school and after seeing numerous doctors the felt she would need medication to help her overcome what she's going through. She was also born at 26 weeks and being born so prematurely has affected her nervous system Most recently a doctor said she was border line PDD due to all the symptoms. I am definitely going to try naturopath doctor to see if my daughter is allergic to certain foods? not sure. Thanks for the tip I'll definitely follow up. All my best, to you and your son. Regards,

Janine - posted on 01/11/2011

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Hello Moms,

I'm new to Circle of Moms searching for answers regarding my daughter Jianna who's 9 years old and is currently on Risperidone. My daughter is a twin and my girls were born severly prematurely at 26 weeks. My daughter thank goodness leveled out her prematurity but Jianna faced much more obstacles being the smaller twin. She has a mild case of Cerebral Palsy, sensory disorder and the most recent diagnosis was border line PDD due to the negative behaviors, compulsiveness, opposite defiantness, and aggressive behaviors. Very sad we tried natural remedies and didn't want to come to meds but she was suffering and out of control. Yes, she's doing much better since taking Resperidone but the long term side effects is making us very nervous so we are looking for other medications that are not an anti-psychotic med. We tried tenex and took Jianna off as we didn't see any improvement but I also feel we didn't give the medication enough time to work. Again, we have such mix emotions but now that I'm home I'm determined to research a better medicine with less side and long term effects. Also her doctor just recommended invuti which is a pressure medication. If anyone is familiar with this medicine please share your knowledge. Any suggestions or help will be greatly appreciated. Thanking you in advance for your help.

Tiffany - posted on 01/05/2010

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well i also think alot has to do with if they have brothers/sisters too,my boy that has asd is the middle child,he has sleep problems also on melatonin,he is on seizure meds. too..he has had sleep studys u name it hes had it done!! But i see children that have the same asd and have no siblings act alot worse, he can controle himself a little more and we treat him the same as them except sometimes i go soft on him,hes my heart and i wouldnt wanna chage him at all!!!! But my kids r all within 3 years of each other...

Tiffany - posted on 01/05/2010

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im sorry but my son is autistic and i have made sure i take him to one of the top hospitals in America and they have never put him on meds for autism,im sorry but id get a second opioin!!

Amy - posted on 01/04/2010

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Quoting Kimberly:

My 16-year-old son has been on Risperidone for about two years. He and his 17-year-old brother are both autistic, but have very different signs and symptoms. My 16-year-old was different from birth, but the pregnancy was difficult for us both. Doctors wanted to put the ADD diagnosis on him first, but I would not let them put him on meds for that, not believing that is what he had. I kept avoiding those meds. As the mom, I had to do a lot of research and advocate for my son or he would be labeled incorrectly with ADD. I finally found a doctor I liked. He took things slow and I am grateful for that. He tried certain things, and we together made progress over the last seven years. Risperidone makes him very sleepy, but so do most of his other meds. He did stop acting violent when that was combined with Trileptal, which worked on his impulsive behavior. He still takes both. He has tried many anti-depressants--depression is a huge problem for him. He got a prescription for a new one yesterday. Side effects have been mostly sleepiness. Surprisingly, he is never hungry and I was concerned because he has lost weight since our last dr. visit. His new anti-depressant is supposed to stimulate his appetite. I have been happy with Risperidone (an anti-psychotic). My son has improved in ways, but still has many problems. He has a huge learning disability, bipolar disorder, chronic depression and autism--believed to be Asperger's. I have come to realize I will have to watch over him for the rest of my life. My other son with autism is very self-sufficient and does not have the anger problems. He takes no meds. But each child is different. I have two other sons who don't have autism at all. Just watch your son carefully. You will be his best advocate, the person with the most information on his behavior. Looks like we all walk that line here. Sometimes I just feel it is overwhelming caring for him, afraid he will harm himself or do something illegal. His diet is also very limited as one mom mentioned. Nobody can know how hard it is to care for a child with all these problems unless they have one or care for one often. Blessings to you all!



 



You sound so much like me!  I have a 13 year old I am still fighting for a dignosis for, and they still want to call him ADHD, or Oppositional Defiant.  He is currently in juvenile detention, and prior to that was in a crisis center.  He has been psych. hospitalized 5 times since he was 4.  IT is very overwhelming at times, but quite as overwhelming as caring for him knowing there is doctors out there somewhere that CAN help him, but I cannot find them.  I am losing him, slowly, but losing him none-the-less.  It hurts me so bad because he is hurting so bad.  He sees what he does, and it makes him so angry because he cannot control it.  I commend u in your efforts for never giving up!  Take care!





 

Amy - posted on 01/04/2010

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It is a greta medication, but has "evil" side effects that may or may not happen to your son. How old is your son? My son was put on it when he was about 7 I think, and it was like a prayer had been answered! Everything seemed to go away, all the behavior problems, he was affectionate once again, and was doing great in school. Until one day he had to be taken to the local E.R. because he was swelling and could not "pee". He was experiencing what they called urinary retention, which is one of the worse side effects of Risperidone and had to be taken off of it "immediately", which was scary also because you are supposed to be removed off of it slowly and gradually. But thankfully he came off of it great and had no complications after that. Unfortunately he could not take it any longer and his problems came back and are still here to this day (he is 13 now). And the problems are worse with him. I know if he could have stayed on it it would have been awesome, but unfortunately, he could not. Just watch your son really closely for at least the first 4-6 months and report anything out of the ordinary to your doc right away. If he can take it, it is a wonderful medication for parents going the medication route. P.S. I am alot likr u as my son has signs and symptoms of Asperger's and they refuse to dignose him for some odd reason and get him the help he could use. Instead they are letting him self destruct. Things are getting really bad for us these days too. Right now he is in juvenile detention, and right b4 that he was in a "crisis center", and has been psych. hospitalized 5 times in 9 years.

Brandie - posted on 01/04/2010

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Hello. My stepson has autism and he is 7. He is pretty small only weighs around 50 lbs. He takes 1 ML at night ans 0.75 ML in the morning. It has really helped calm him down and also helps him sleep better.I hope this helps!!

[deleted account]

My daughter is 13, PDD_NOS with self injury tendency ( she hits herself when upset). She has been on Risperidone since she was 5 with no problems. I wouldn't have a life without it. She still has mood swings and hits some. But everyone around her can see a difference between "on" and "off " med. She hasn't had a weight gain issue like so many others have-- but she has has feeding tube that is used for half of her calorie intake- and the food she does eat does not have a lot of sugar in it. She doesn't eat soda, cookies, ice cream, etc by choice.

Everyone is different. It takes time to find the right med and the right dose. Usually about a year or so according to the stats. So good luck.

June - posted on 01/02/2010

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My teen son was on this med for aggression and some other things.....small dose of .25mg 2x day worked wonders.......side effects were weight gain....after nearly two years he was sick with bladder retention and other illnesses.............there was no reason for this..........finally after numerous tests and a long time in the hospital a neurologist suggested taking him off the medication.....it was a horrible withdrawl with shakes, ticks with his face, mouth, hands.........really severe......they helped the withdrawl with Xanax which really helped him through this........after a period of time, they removed the foley cath that this poor kiddo had to use and he was fine...actually go up and ran to the bathroom. never had a problem again. still has some very minor ticks....and can get the shakes pretty easily with emotion or temp..............i tried it like others to see if it would help and it really did.........it's just that the majority will get the side effects! I wouldn't try it..........he had a terrible time.

Jaymi - posted on 01/02/2010

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My son who is 7 with autism was on risperdone for over a year. It seemed to help his aggression in the beginning, but we had to keep gradually increasing the dose due to his developing tolerance towards it. The problem we had with it was the weight gain. He went from a skinny little kid to now weighing 80 pounds. This may not happen with every child, but that's what happened to Elijah. Now, he is on Abilify. It helps, but his dose again has had to be increased significantly. I guess the weight gain is the price we had to pay to keep him and our other kids safe as well as his classmates and teachers.

Dawn - posted on 01/01/2010

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My daughter who was diagnosed with autism at 6yoa, yes the diagnosis took quite some time, she was verbal, then became somewhat non-verbal at about 2, as a teacher I am aware that a chiild can be IEP'ed at 2yrs 10 mon. I was able to get her into speech and worked hard with her, therefore speech was never totally lost, but very, very delayed. They misdiagnosed at 3 as ADHD, but we all knew this wasnt right. When she was diagnosed, we were relieved. Anyways one of the first medications she was on for aggression was Riseridol/Risperidone, she was put on this while in the psych. hospital. It worked well for awhile, but then began not working. She had weight gain while on it, did not become unaggressive and it made her sweat so much at night we thought she was wetting the bed. I hate to sound negative, but over the years we have found that nothing has worked consistently, a meltdown is a meltdown! She is now 14 and has had many years of therapy, OT, PT, and numerous other programs and is only on two medications, clonidine and lamictal, both mood stabilizers, we took her off of seroquel, another antipsychotic within the last 6 months and she is doing awesome, so this is the light at the end of the tunnel. As far as a recommendation, different medications work different for different people, this might be a solution for your son, but not for others. When working with an antipsychotic it is kind of a hit and miss situation, we did trial and error for years until she became manageable. I recommend trying it, but watch for the weight gain, on seroquel my daughter gained over 100 obs, and has lost over 50 already. Once again this is a hit and miss situation.

Kimberley - posted on 01/01/2010

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My 5 year old son who has Aspergers was taking Risperidone but we recently stopped giving it to him. My son within an hour of taking his medication would go from a relatively happy little boy to very depressed and emotional. The mood swings were just too great. We have found working with a psychologist and setting up coping startegies and routine has worked well for us. Every case is different though as no two are alike.

Lisa - posted on 01/01/2010

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My son who is 9 now has also been on risperdol for many years. He would deliberately hurt himself by biting, stabbing himself with pencils, bang his head etc. This medication has worked wonders on him. He still takes it every AM and every PM along with focalin and clonidine.

Cathy - posted on 01/01/2010

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My 9yr old has been on it from the time he was 5, the biggest side effect has been weight gain and you have to be very careful of dehyration. Befor he was on it he tried to pull his own eye out with his finger nails because of a weather report. I had to hold him down and pry his hands away from his face for 30 mins until his meltdown stoped it was the worse day we ever had with him. With the risperidone he has improved vastly he still has fits but nothing as bad as before. He's still himself just in a litttle better control of himself. It's not a offbutton for Autism and some other changes might need to be made to help him better cope with his life but it does help. Feel free to pm anytime if you need more information or have any questions you think I might beable to help with

Valerie - posted on 01/01/2010

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Quoting Beth:

Has anyone had luck sprinkling Strattera? A tiny amount of an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety? This would be in addition to Risperdal, though if he was doing better I wouldn't mind trying to cut back on the Risperdal to see how he does. I'm not too enthused about stimulants at this point; we've tried many, took him off Adderal over the summer after he started blinking his eyes like crazy.





My son has taken the exact same dose of Concerta since he was 6 years old and had to be admitted to the behavioral health center for a week because he was becoming dangerous. He takes it in combination with Depakote. It has worked for him all this time at relatively the same dose. I know you don't like stimulants but they really are the best at helping with the hyperactivity and impulsivity component. No amount of therapy in the world will be beneficial if your child can't focus or control himself enough to participate.



Two drugs I would never allow my son to take because I've seen what they can do to children are respirdol and adderall. I'm glad others here have found good luck with the respirdol, I have personally never seen it work on any child. It was part of my job for 7 years.



 

Lisa - posted on 01/01/2010

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Our son takes it and while there can be side effects as with any drug, he has been on it for over a year now with no problem. We did have to play around with the dose a bit but finally settled on 1 mg/day. We also discovered that giving all to him at one time didn't seem to help keep him level throughout the day so we talked to the doctor and now give him .25 mg 4x/day. It doesn't stop the aggressiveness in our son but it does make it more manageable. It's been a life saver...literally.

Amanda - posted on 01/01/2010

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In regards to your comments about Risperdal vs. Risperidone...I have had quite the opposite. When we started this drug about 3 1/2 years ago, my son took half a tablet of Risperdal. It worked okay. After about a year of trying to force a pill down him, we were able to switch to liquid, and at first our pharmacy only stocked Risperdal. After about another year, they switched to the generic, and I noticed a change right away. For my son, the generic actually worked better. Now that we have switched his meds to mail order, we are back to the Risperdal...and the obsessive behaviors have resurfaced. I wish I could control which they used, but our insurance does not allow us to choose, and the mail order does not stock the generic yet. I will be asking the doctor to change meds at our next visit, as the obsessive behavior has become so over-taking since the switch back to the Risperdal. But, also after so long, a change may not be so bad!

Amanda - posted on 01/01/2010

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My son has been on Risperdal/Risperidone for almost 3 years. And although, it tends to mellow him out, and at times make him sleepy, after a while he has built up a tolerance to it. The dose he is on now is souble the dose he started out on. We still have anxiety issues, and obsession issues, so while it is good for some things, it is not for others. As the doctors told me when we started, sometimes it takes a lot of trial and error to find the right drug to fit the situation. When we go back to the doctor in a couple months, we will be changing up since now the obsession is a bigger problem than any agression. I guess, for us, the good thing about the risperdal was that it just took the edge off the behaviors and problems he was having. It made him a whole lot more tolerable, especially while we learned how to deal with him!

Susan - posted on 12/31/2009

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My daughter is 12 yrs old with ASD, she has always been a head banger and very aggressive with punching, kicking, biting, occasionally she would cut herself or have knives at the ready to hurt herself or others. We now lock our knives and scissors in a digital safe for everyone's protection. Katherine was put on Risperidone three months ago and it made her worse - the number of outbursts increased and the intensity was dramatically worse. We had to stop it. I know of many families who have tried it - siome successfully and some not - every child and their symptoms are different. Everything is worth a try, if it doesn't work, try something else

Gayle - posted on 12/31/2009

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My son is eight years old and autistic. He is also non-verbal, making communication very difficult. Three years ago, after he broke a window with his head, we sought the help of a neurologist for his aggresive behaviors as well as having him tested for a seizure disorder. He was given risperidone at that time, and is still on it now. We noticed immediate results, his meltdowns became much easier to handle, and he seemed to be better able to calm himself. The downside- he put on weight immediately, about ten pounds in two months, but leveled off after that. After about a year, we had to change doctors, and were considering asking for an increase in his dose, but the doctor suggested that we try clonidine instead. It's a blood pressure medication that tends to make him a little sleepy, but it also seemed to do the trick. We are now in the process of slowly reducing his dosage of the risperidone with hopes of eventually just taking the clonidine.
The important thing to remember is that YOU know your child best. It might be helpful to try and figure out why he is hitting- in our case, my son has trouble communicating, and many times he lashes out because he is frustrated. We do take him to a psychologist twice a month and that has helped as well.
I have read and heard that risperidone is not the best medication for long term use, but I've also talked to parents who say that it's the only thing that keeps their child from seriously hurting himself or others. I personally would feel better if we could get my son off the risperidone, but I have noticed that since we've reduced the dose, the incidents of hitting, kicking, throwing, etc.. have increased. At this point, we are going to try to work things out at this level of medication before making the decision to increase or decrease. It's a work in progress, everything changes, just love your child, and do your best, which is very obvious that you do.:)
The best of luck to you.

Julie - posted on 12/31/2009

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Debbie,
My son is now 7 and also has had good results with the resperidone. Unfortunately, the effectiveness seems to plateau from time to time,maybe due to growth spurts. With his recent spike in behavior, his doctor and I have decided to try Abilify...If you want to leave your contact info I'll keep you posted if you want. Julie

[deleted account]

My son is on risperidone right now and has been on it for a while and he has had favorable results from it. May I ask how old your son is? My son is going through puberty and things have changed with him, but still he is not going through the "safe" issue, but he has in the past. Debbie Drehmel

Julie - posted on 12/31/2009

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My son has been on resperidone for almost 3 years..he is diagnosed autistic and is very self injurious and aggressive. Resperidone has been very effective, however he is now on the maximum dose for his age (7)and weight, and has had another spike in behavior....can't raise the dose anymore, so we're changing meds again. He's also hungry constantly.

Carolyn - posted on 12/30/2009

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I have a 4 and a half year old. It took use a year and a half to get the autisim diagnoses. They put him on the risperdol and so far we have had an ok feed back but they started him very low and have just up it. He was very agresive and has now become alittle better about not snaping (as we call it) right away. They say it could take a while to get the right dose.

Theresa - posted on 12/29/2009

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My son James, who is now almost 13, was put on Risperdal/Risperdone when he was 3yrs old. It was a new "off label" use for this anti-psychotic drug that was used to treat schizophrenia. I didn't really know much back then. He did stay on it until about 12-18 mos ago. I had concerns about its long term use and was no longer really seeing any benefit to him being on it. In the beginning it seemed to help a little with his eye contact and he was starting to "communicate a bit more with us..... rather than just talking "at " us. It was supposed to help with some of his aggressive behaviors as well. I think it may have at some time, but at the time I took him off of it, I don't really think it was. I had anti-depressants suggested to me several times, but was concerned about puting him on them. Ultimately, I did. At the time, the doctor said he thought the risks of side effects were greater on Risperdal vs. the anti-depressants. He needed the Risperdal in order to get to sleep because he was also on Concerta for ADHD, but it didn't seem to help him any other ways at that time. Since he has been off the Risperdal, I haven't noticed any more or less changes in aggressive behaviors. He is and has been going through some emotional and anxiety type things that I think are also hormone/adolesent related. Sorry if my comments leave you more confused than before, but I just wanted to relay my experiences with the medication to you.

Coleen - posted on 12/29/2009

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my 18 year old son has been on risperidone for about 4 years now due to his vilolance, he has fragile X syndrome, autism,adhd, epilepsy and it has only been the last 6 months that i cant stop him eating, risperidone is a life saver i got so scared of the beatings he inflicted on me and his older sister we used to cower in the corner most of the time. SO to me me brilliant drug but any help on how to stop him feeling hungry would be of help, he now ways 4 stone more then me and getting worried what he will do to me if he ever loses his temper with me again,my 22 year old daugher also has fragile X with an eating disorder so i have to have some snacks in doors in case she will actually eat, if i hide it she will not ask, but glad not to have had any broken bones for a while

Julie - posted on 12/29/2009

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I wish I'd known about locking everything up before Risperidone. It did help with my then 7 year old aggression (no more bruises on mama). One big benefit was he started sleeping through the night for the first time in the 7 years. He did gain a lot of weight, but he is happy for the most part.....

Benita - posted on 12/29/2009

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My son was prescribed respiderol about six months ago as he was not adjusting to changes at school so wonderfully, I'm not sure it helped so much as the melatonin prescription my son requires to keep his sleep patterns regular( his brain does not produce enough sometimes) helped him to sleep again and sort of balanced out his tension. I believe the sleep was more beneficial and even when he is not on the respiderol his moodiness improved , i just wanted to say that if there is any other way to reduce his stress or improve his temper- do that first. try every other way, then the pharmaceutical- as for children on zoloft- that makes me shudder. Research that stuff, the link between that and teenage depression\ suicide has been researched. the study was american. asd people have enough of a depression risk already...

Pam - posted on 12/28/2009

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Post a reply!My son has been on that medicine for years. So far it hasn't effected him but like any medicines there is risk. I fought for the longest time about putting my son medicine .It's never easy making that decision.

Mallory - posted on 12/26/2009

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My eight year old son has been on Risperdal for two + years, He is on it every school year. Then in the summer he is weened down and then off of it. For my son the stress of school seems to trigger more of his AS symptoms. It was a life saver when he first started taking it though. My family could not believe the changes in him nor could his teachers, he got suspended from kindergarten prior to meds. Give it a chance, make sure blood work is done and listen to the doc if he/she suggests a med holiday.

Heidi - posted on 12/26/2009

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We chose not to use Risperidone for our son as I didnt like the sedating effect it has. We actually went with Tenex and Abilify and have seen incredible improvements with aggression, attention span, mood and overall ability to function. He was incredibly aggressive and behavior therapy wasnt working well. It was to the point that I was literally black and blue and usually had few pretty good bite or scratch marks at all times.I couldnt trust him around his sister who is 11 months younger than he is. We started on a very very low dose of each and he we only recently had to increase his doses (he was on the same dose on .5mg of tenex and 1mg of abilify for almost 2 years)

One thing to watch, no matter which medication you choose, is that most of them do do cause weight gain as a side effect. Be prepared to lock everything down (if you dont already have to), from the pantry to the fridge etc.

Jan - posted on 12/26/2009

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hi. my son 15 ASD/ID has been on this med. he has now swapped over to another simular drug but both are for the same reason you son may be subscribed this med. We had no problems with this drug only a little wieght gain in the beginning. Jan

Sharyn - posted on 12/24/2009

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I am bringing up my 9 yo grandson with Aspergers and 8 yo granddaughter who is on the Spectrum somewhere. Dylan is on Resperdal and has been for almost 2 years now. His words about how it helps him "it stops my brain from being upside down". He has much greater ability now to cope with every day issues. Crystal is on Neulactyl and has been for around 4 years. Neulactyl didn't work for Dylan but is perfect for Crystal. She changed from an out of control monster to an almost normal child with medication. I didn't really want to go the medication road, but to see the difference in the kids is worth it. Life is still very interesting as you can imagine but more bearable than without medication. Good luck.

[deleted account]

It had taken me 10 years and MANY different doctors to finally get a diagnosis for Asperger's for Wade. Well, if you feel that he is autistic, you trust your gut! Wade also has bipolar disorder, ADHD, ODD and schizo-affective disorder. He takes risperidone for children and has been on it for 1 1/2 years. Of course, he takes a lot of different medications too. But this seems to help with the mood swings more than aggression for us. I did my own research and his psych doc and I began giving him Namenda 5 mg about 6 months ago after Wade had to be hospitalized for trying to choke me and beating me with a boat paddle. It has helped him control his aggression almost completely. Now, Namenda isn't indicated for kids and a lot of doctors don't agree that it is safe without further research, but after being kicked, bitten, chocked andalmost having my arm broken by my own child, I was desperate. Glad I followed my instinct here because Wade is a like a different child.

. I also think that maybe your could do some research on your own about fish oil caps to help? It helped Wade a lot when he was younger. My kid won;t take Valerian root because it smells funny. But maybe yours isn't as sensitive to smells and tastes like Wade. Good luck! Hope this helps! Also, feel free to text me anytime! 803-720-4133

Kimberly - posted on 12/23/2009

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My 16-year-old son has been on Risperidone for about two years. He and his 17-year-old brother are both autistic, but have very different signs and symptoms. My 16-year-old was different from birth, but the pregnancy was difficult for us both. Doctors wanted to put the ADD diagnosis on him first, but I would not let them put him on meds for that, not believing that is what he had. I kept avoiding those meds. As the mom, I had to do a lot of research and advocate for my son or he would be labeled incorrectly with ADD. I finally found a doctor I liked. He took things slow and I am grateful for that. He tried certain things, and we together made progress over the last seven years. Risperidone makes him very sleepy, but so do most of his other meds. He did stop acting violent when that was combined with Trileptal, which worked on his impulsive behavior. He still takes both. He has tried many anti-depressants--depression is a huge problem for him. He got a prescription for a new one yesterday. Side effects have been mostly sleepiness. Surprisingly, he is never hungry and I was concerned because he has lost weight since our last dr. visit. His new anti-depressant is supposed to stimulate his appetite. I have been happy with Risperidone (an anti-psychotic). My son has improved in ways, but still has many problems. He has a huge learning disability, bipolar disorder, chronic depression and autism--believed to be Asperger's. I have come to realize I will have to watch over him for the rest of my life. My other son with autism is very self-sufficient and does not have the anger problems. He takes no meds. But each child is different. I have two other sons who don't have autism at all. Just watch your son carefully. You will be his best advocate, the person with the most information on his behavior. Looks like we all walk that line here. Sometimes I just feel it is overwhelming caring for him, afraid he will harm himself or do something illegal. His diet is also very limited as one mom mentioned. Nobody can know how hard it is to care for a child with all these problems unless they have one or care for one often. Blessings to you all!

[deleted account]

My son has ADHD and asberger's. He started taking risperidol about a year ago in very small doses. It was prescribed for mood disorder. It did help even out his moods with no negative side effects. There are some positive side effects though: increased appetite and helps him sleep. I am in the process of increasing his dosage and am looking forward to better control of moodiness. He simply outgrew his current dosage. It was no longer effective. We see his pediatrician often to make sure his medication is working properly.

Tiffany - posted on 12/03/2009

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Since starting this conversation...my son is on it, but is still having aggression problems, but I know that it will take some time for his body to adjust. We see someone next week about his medication and she may increase it a little. He has a little bit increased anxiety at night and in the morning, but his body is still adjusting. He seems to be doing a bit better...we do know that there's no magic pill out there...Sometimes we wish there was...LOL. I've researched the medication and I am a little worried about some of the side effects, but I do know that this is only a temporary medication (we're going to see about other medications...talk to the individual that will be doing his meds next week)

I want to say thank you all for all the feedback and opinions and look forward to many more conversations from all of you great moms who work so hard for our special children. We have been blessed.

Lynda - posted on 12/02/2009

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My son is now 14, and was on Resperdone a while ago, before he was diagnosed with Asd/Autism, they under diagnosed and said he had Bi-polar because of the high behaviors.. this medication made my son worse, and gain weight... He landed in the hosptial, cleaning him off of that med, and is now on the same meds for the last 5 years.. I would never recommend that med, but, its a matter of opinion. I believe this med is given to most patients who suffer from seizures with behaviors.

Dawn - posted on 12/02/2009

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Quoting Tiffany:

Risperidone Medication for Autistic children....Is it safe?

My son has become very aggressive in the last two weeks. Today we had to take him to the Psych Ward at a local Hosp. because he was not being "Safe" towards his counselor, myself, and himself... just to get him started on meds right away, we had to go there and have an evaluation done. He hasn't been fully diagnosed with AUTISM because no one is wanting to diagnose him with it....they're taking their good ole sweet time. He has been prescribed Risperidone. Are there any other Mom's out there who have children on Risperidone and what are their thoughts on it? Would like some feed back. I have researched it some, but I would like other mom's opinions!



My son has been on this Risperidone for years--it has helped him significantly in keeping his event horizon elongated so he doesn't react so harshly and quickly. It can have some side effects like hunger, sleepiness, and weight gain--but with exercise and meal monitoring, you can keep those things in check....Feel free to call me regarding children and Risperidone anytime...801-503-7400.

Jodie - posted on 12/02/2009

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we have recently put our 4 year old on risperidone and in my opinion for us it has worked wonders. he was very aggressive and had frequent meltdowns and bein on this medicine he has less aggression and meltdowns. even his preschool has seen a difference. I havent noticed any side effects so far

Brianna - posted on 12/02/2009

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I have two of my 4 children on it for different reasons the youngest with autism and adhd it has seemed to have helped with his anger outbursts it seems to ease his anxietties, it dosnt make him sleepy and havnt had a weight problem with it he's on .5mg at night and .25mg morning.My eldest i have been watching weight with though it hasnt become a problem as he's seemed to have grown tall as much as out though quickly. Benifits has out weighted any negitives with my boys by far. I would recomend it to try though watch for side effects as everyones different. Good Luck

Tina - posted on 12/01/2009

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I can tell u m son is on it but he is on it for sleeping cause he does not sleep like he should at night but ive seen a great change now that he is on it. My son has been diagnosed with severe autism at the age of 2. Luckly we didnt have to fight with doctors but he was seen by a specialist that handles with autism. The specialist he seen was from weap. Wisconsin educate autism program they do have a website to if that helps u at all.Wish u luck

Krista - posted on 12/01/2009

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My son was on this years ago he is now 13. For him it caused major weight gain and his blood tests to be extremely abnormal. We took him off by weining him off as instructed and after two days he looked like he had a stroke. I rushed him to the hospital and they said it was a side effect of the medication. He has been on meds to counter act the side effects after six weeks in the hospital to stabilize him. He has taken the other meds now for five years and has had no other complications since. Just take caution cause all meds have side effects. You need to use what ever works best for your child since every case is so different.

Beth - posted on 12/01/2009

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We finally tried it last spring--in fact I had been begging the school psychiatrist for it--when I could no longer take the hard bites our son, who has Asperger's (or high-functioning PDD-NOS, if you ask the school psychiatrist vs. NYU's), was inflicting on my inner forearms whenever I tried to do a hold. He may have been 5 going on 6, with low muscle tone, but he's STRONG. (I was also tired of the throwing, screaming, cursing, spitting, etc.) I was resistant but it's made a huge difference for the better. We started out as low as possible, 0.5 mg, and have inched up to 1.5 mg. You can get the dissolvable M-tabs so there isn't the issue of sprinkling or them swallowing a pill. (Mine still can't.)

Caveat: Our son did great on Risperdal, DAW, but when it was filled as a generic it DID NOT WORK. It took me awhile to solve the mystery--it had been filled as Risperidone rather than Risperdal. Has anyone else had that issue? Some docs will say generics work the same, and of course the companies do, but I found many others therapists and at least one doc who agreed that children, especially, should never be given anything but the brand.

Our main side effect is also the increased hunger and weight gain, so we're holding off on upping the dosage to 2.0, which might help with the residual aggression he still shows when really tired or stressed. Instead, we're hoping to make up the difference with behavioral therapies (i.e. rewards, consquences). Risperdal has made him much more reachable so he actually responds to these systems. Before, he'd rip up the House Rules I had posted! Lucky for us, he's "petite" so even with the weight gain he's still under the 50th percentile. But we definitely need to keep watch on it. Now we still have to tackle the hyperactivity and lack of focus, along with social skills, other developmental delays...

Has anyone had luck sprinkling Strattera? A tiny amount of an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety? This would be in addition to Risperdal, though if he was doing better I wouldn't mind trying to cut back on the Risperdal to see how he does. I'm not too enthused about stimulants at this point; we've tried many, took him off Adderal over the summer after he started blinking his eyes like crazy.

Best, Beth

Aimee - posted on 11/30/2009

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my 3 y.o son has been on it for nearly 3 months and it has been fantastic. 3 months ago he wasn't talking and would never interact with other kids at daycare as most of them were afraid of him but since starting the meds he has gone from having the vocab of a 10 month old to the vocab of a 18 month old and now has a small group of friends at daycare. However in saying that we have experienced several side effects of the meds including weight gain and night terrors, extremely thirsty of a night and always hungry. Due to the side effect experienced we are strongly considering other options but if it was for them he would defiantly be kept on the meds as they have helped so much.

Wanda - posted on 11/30/2009

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My son was on risperidone for many year, the doctor said it cause liver and can cause Dietetics in children so faster several years and therapy at home it is under control without the medication. Autism I am not sure if they really no what they are talking about but with all the other disabilities they can diagnosis threw a wonderful therapist that care enough for the child well being. So stand up and fight for your child. If u don't know body else will.

Julie - posted on 11/29/2009

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Hi, my son is 8 years old. he has been on Risperidone for about 3 months now. He has to take it 3 times a day along with a low dose of fluxotine. For the most part he is eaiser to talk to and calm down when he is having an over dose in stimuli. He is doing better in school with the other kids. I have also noticed him playing with others more now than before. He also is sleeping much better. However I have noticed he is always hungry and he is gaining weight. His peid. is watching his liver, kidneys and other blood levels to ensure the Risperidone does not cause any damage. He is having his blood work done this week. I will post what the outcome is if you would like. as far as any other information since I am kinda new to this drug as well this is all I know at this point. Good luck.

Leticia - posted on 11/29/2009

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My daughter has Mental retardation, PDD, ADHD, speech impairmant and a mood disorder. The Risperdal has made a huge difference with the aggression. She is a lot calmer in general and more focused.

we recently encountered another problem...she started her mentrual cycle!! Her Dr said the risperdal would probably not be as effective once the hormones started to fluctuate, and she was right. After a year of great behavior, the aggression has started up again. Since she is already on 4mg/ day the dr. recommended adding abilify. She has only been taking abilify and risperdal for 2 weeks so I am waiting to see how it affects her.

Holly - posted on 11/29/2009

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my son is on risperidal also and has had a good experience for awhile and then we had to add zoloft to it. He has done a completely 100% turnaround from a year ago. The only bad side effect I have seen with my son is he has gained alot of weight as this medicine has increased his appetite, extremely increased his appetite, and now have to deal with that. Other than that, I think it is a great medicine to help with behavior issues. My son has Asperger's.

[deleted account]

It had taken me 10 years and MANY different doctors to finally get a diagnosis for Asperger's for Wade. Well, if you feel that he is autistic, you trust your gut! Wade also has bipolar disorder, ADHD, ODD and schizo-affective disorder. He takes risperidone for children and has been on it for 1 1/2 years. Of course, he takes a lot of different medications too. But this seems to help with the mood swings more than aggression for us. I did my own research and his psych doc and I began giving him Namenda 5 mg about 6 months ago after Wade had to be hospitalized for trying to choke me and beating me with a boat paddle. It has helped him control his aggression almost completely. Now, Namenda isn't indicated for kids and a lot of doctors don't agree that it is safe without further research, but after being kicked, bitten, chocked andalmost having my arm broken by my own child, I was desperate. Glad I followed my instinct here because Wade is a like a different child.

. I also think that maybe your could do some research on your own about fish oil caps to help? It helped Wade a lot when he was younger. My kid won;t take Valerian root because it smells funny. But maybe yours isn't as sensitive to smells and tastes like Wade. Good luck! Hope this helps! Also, feel free to text me anytime! 803-720-4133

Dawn - posted on 12/02/2009

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Quoting Tiffany:

Risperidone Medication for Autistic children....Is it safe?

My son has become very aggressive in the last two weeks. Today we had to take him to the Psych Ward at a local Hosp. because he was not being "Safe" towards his counselor, myself, and himself... just to get him started on meds right away, we had to go there and have an evaluation done. He hasn't been fully diagnosed with AUTISM because no one is wanting to diagnose him with it....they're taking their good ole sweet time. He has been prescribed Risperidone. Are there any other Mom's out there who have children on Risperidone and what are their thoughts on it? Would like some feed back. I have researched it some, but I would like other mom's opinions!



My son has been on this Risperidone for years--it has helped him significantly in keeping his event horizon elongated so he doesn't react so harshly and quickly. It can have some side effects like hunger, sleepiness, and weight gain--but with exercise and meal monitoring, you can keep those things in check....Feel free to call me regarding children and Risperidone anytime...801-503-7400.

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