Strattera?

Apps+8278986302 - posted on 01/31/2009 ( 5 moms have responded )

72

0

6

I just responded to Cathy's question about Vyvance and ended up including my own about Strattera. I realize people may not see it in her conversation, so I'm starting this one.



Our son doesn't have the official diagnosis yet, but we're clearly moving toward the Aspergers/high-functioning PDD-NOS/ADHD/ODD diagnosis. (At first, they kept saying ADHD/ODD, but I kept saying, NO, can't you see the traits??? It's so exhausting to be fighting even your own husband plus docs and preschool therapist--not to mention deal with your kid--but I digress.)



He is very smart and verbal but has the usual social skills delays plus impulsivity, some of it can get violent or he can talk about being violent (not fun), plus he picks up language at the drop of a hat, both wonderful things like foreign words right down to the accent but also curse words he will use in just the right way with just the right awful town of voice. He really feels no distinction between himself and an adult. Yet there's also anxiety there, maddening perseveration, he gets a lot of power from pushing our buttons and LOVES it. We've done parent training, right down to every if/then, ignoring, positive reinforcement, now behavior plans coordinated with the school, even holds, though I hate them. (But when he runs around throwing and breaking, what choice do we have?)



We tried Vyvance after the Ritalin trial was a complete disaster--our son, then 4, was a zombie when on it, which broke our hearts, and then during rebound he would grow even more hyper. The tantrums grew even more violent and out of control, downright scary, (Note: If things hadn't been so extreme, we never would have gone with meds, but we couldn't go on the way things were.) But how upsetting to try the meds see him even worse. Yes, we were told this could happen, but I had no idea seeing him come off Ritalin would be like watching a heroin addict come down from a high in "Midnight Express."



We were told the Vyvance might be "smoother" with less rebound since it's digested through the gut. But again, we got a very hyper result--not as bad as the Ritalin, but sitll worse than off meds. Plus he grew even more oppositional, the last thing we need, pushing my husband to the breaking point one night even earlier than normal--not a good thing, since it just makes the chaos worse and heightens both of them, We quickly took our son off that medication.



The best result we have gotten so far is what he's on now; extended release of Adderall; he seems to be doing much better on it at school (he's in kindergarten). Keep in mind, he is in a very small school specializing in helping kids with behaviors. He's in a class of 5 boys with three adults in the room; man, did I have to fight for that! (I proved there was no appropriate school setting; this is a private school funded by the state.) Of course, I hope to get him into a less restrictive setting by second grade.



They'd only seen him on the Adderal, and it was clear they didn't all believe he needed it. He was doing so "great," esp. in relation to some of the other kids there. So to show them just how impossible he could be without them we did a little "experiment" and sent him off them for a couple of days, and they're sure convinced now!



I guess seeing is believing, but man did it make me angry to hear the psychiatrist who made us feel like all we had to do was calm down and then he'd be so much better--which is true, but it's awfully hard to stay calm with these kids sometimes--say, "Now that was an eye-opener." (!!!) "Yes," I said, staying in control, "he's a real firecracker." It was all I could do not to scream into the phone!



Meanwhile, there are times during the weekend when I--and even my husband, who is less likely to observe as closely (does anyone else encounter that? maybe that's another conversation!)--see a rebound both about an hour after we give him the Adderall and again around the time he's coming off it. Then again, it can happen throughout the day, so maybe it just isn't really working that well at all!



Now the psychiatrist and psychologist at the school--yes, they have both there--think we should do a shorter-acting, lower dose of Adderall in the afternoon to help us with him at home, but I worry about side effects on appetite, sleep. He's already a little guy and gives us trouble with eating at 5.



I keep asking them about Strattera. I've heard it works well for some kids on spectrum, also helps with the perseveration, which drives us crazy. They keep saying "it only works for some kids." Well, what if he's one of them? Also, they have to be able to swallow a pill, which he can't yet, but we could work on it. I just don't know about any of these stimulants. Another thing I've heard about Strattera that would be a huge plus, besides it being a nonstimulant, is that it would be in his system 24 hours a day. I have an AWFUL time getting him ready, out the door and on the school bus in the morning. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.



Signed, Desperate (and wondering what we're going to do--he's only 5!)

This conversation has been closed to further comments

5 Comments

View replies by

Michelle - posted on 02/01/2009

21

7

3



Quoting Beth:

Strattera?

I just responded to Cathy's question about Vyvance and ended up including my own about Strattera. I realize people may not see it in her conversation, so I'm starting this one.

Our son doesn't have the official diagnosis yet, but we're clearly moving toward the Aspergers/high-functioning PDD-NOS/ADHD/ODD diagnosis. (At first, they kept saying ADHD/ODD, but I kept saying, NO, can't you see the traits??? It's so exhausting to be fighting even your own husband plus docs and preschool therapist--not to mention deal with your kid--but I digress.)

He is very smart and verbal but has the usual social skills delays plus impulsivity, some of it can get violent or he can talk about being violent (not fun), plus he picks up language at the drop of a hat, both wonderful things like foreign words right down to the accent but also curse words he will use in just the right way with just the right awful town of voice. He really feels no distinction between himself and an adult. Yet there's also anxiety there, maddening perseveration, he gets a lot of power from pushing our buttons and LOVES it. We've done parent training, right down to every if/then, ignoring, positive reinforcement, now behavior plans coordinated with the school, even holds, though I hate them. (But when he runs around throwing and breaking, what choice do we have?) 




Beth,



the only 2 cents I have to offer is that the stimulant medications also had a worsening affect on my son. We were told that stimulants and Autism Spectrum disorders don't always go together. The stimulants do well if some of the ADD characteristics of the ASD are more prominent. If the ASD is more prominent, then you have a tendency to see a more violent reaction from the kids. (mine was strangling me on the soccer field at 5) We needed meds as well, the situation was not pretty enough for anyones survival :-) We went to antipsychotic meds. Asperger's has many of the same symptoms as Schizophrenia (not obviously-the hallucinations) The anti-psychotic meds can treat a lot of the underlying issues that the stims don't. Strattera was the newest of the stims the last time we tried to introduce this, we saw some success as well but also noted a heightened anxiety and agitation. My son who is now 17-18 next month took Risperadall for a long time then told me when he was about 12 that he no longer wanted to take it because it made him feel like he was in a fog. So, we switch to Abilify which is the newest in anti-psychotics (at least 6 years ago) and it helped so much more.



As a teenager/young adult, we have lowered the Abilify to a very minute dose and have introduced antidepressants (Wellbutrin) for him. Eventually, I hope we can completely ween him off the heavy drugs.



A key point to remember, is not all the medications some of the kids take are right for everyones kids.



Christy - posted on 01/31/2009

29

10

1

yes. Rob has Asperger's it is mild. He acts out games that he is playing in his head. He is so good I can almost see the game. I will definitely post back. The dr. says he'll have to go up to the 40mg. We have also started using the Melotonin at night to help him sleep. this is great. We went to the regular dr. and Rob had a sinus infection, which was probably the biggest cause of the nausea. He has just finished his antibiotic. He isn't complaining as much about being sick but still some. We had this though way before he ever started his meds. Whenver he pukes he flips out about it for about a month or so. This time it was worse to where he was fixated on the sounds and feeling of his stomach.  Rob will not eat the pudding, applesauce, mashed potatoes either. We do live on peanut butter though. He goes through phases where he will eat or not eat things like yogurt. Nothing with lumps though. I wish you all the best and if you have more questions please ask.

Apps+8278986302 - posted on 01/31/2009

72

0

6

Hi, Christy: Thanks much for getting back to me. I'm sorry to hear your son is having problems with it. Added anxiety wouldn't be great for our son, who already has a lot at least some of the time.



I do know it takes time for Strattera to get in their system, so I might want to wait till the school break, when I don't have the pressure of getting him on the bus every day. I do know about the games, practicing with a tic-tac, etc., and the school says most kids his age still do need to take meds sprinkled in something. (The worst lately has been Matthew's opposition to eat even a spoon of applesauce or yogurt or even pudding with me! Finally got him to cooperate with peanut butter today. Whew.) But those side effects sound pretty bad.



But it also sounds like you may only be halfway there in terms of having the medication fully in Rob's system. I'd be interested in hearing back when you're into the full 6-8 weeks, if you think of it.



If you don't mind my asking, what are Rob's issues? Have you tried other meds? You also say you're trying it. Does that mean you're on the spectrum as well?

Christy - posted on 01/31/2009

29

10

1

My son Rob, 7, is on Strattera. One thing you should know is that it takes 6-8 weeks to get in their system.  Some of the side effects are nausea, anxieties, etc. It is a pill but it is a capsule, easier to take. Rob didn't take a pill either until Strattera. We talked about taking a pill for a about a week.  His dr. gave me some tips on teaching to take pills like playing games. Can you eat a mini m&m without chewing, tic tac, skittles, etc.  We luckily didn't have to use these, he just decided to try it. We still have some problems every once in a while. You also have to work up to the required dosage your body can't handle going straight on it, I've started to take it too and I also had to work up to it.  We are on something like week 41/2.  We are working up to a 40 mg. dose but had to stop for a while at 25 to let his body get used to it. We had a lot of nausea and anxiety problems, not sure if it was the meds or just him. I think maybe they enhanced the sickness and anxiety of getting sick.  I hope that this helps.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms