Risperdal Question

Heather - posted on 01/28/2011 ( 29 moms have responded )

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I was wondering if any of you mother's out there have used Risperdal for sleep or aggitation issues in your children ? My son's neurologist has suggested this for these issues that are going on with my child right now.

My son has a rare chromosome disorder called Kleefstra Syndrome or 9q34.3 Deletion Syndrome. He is non verbal & has alot of autistic characteristics. He is now 12 years old & up to this point he has been a very easy going , loving child. In the last couple of years we were having problems with sleeplessness ( he could go many days with little to no sleep.) We have had that controlled without resorting to medications with Melatonin & Magnesium up until now. The sleeplessness is returning along with aggressive behaviors ( biting himself, pinching , grabbing you very, very hard leaving bruises, etc.)He also sometimes will moan & whine for hours on end & be "crabby" with no particular reason that we can find. We have tried ALL of the behavioral solutions that we have in place for him & none seem to be working.He is also going thru puberty which his doctors & I believe are not helping these issues, along with he is quite a big boy for his age . I don't want it to come to a point where he is physically hurting someone & it seems to be heading in this direction. Thankfully it is only directed at adults ( us the parents, teachers & his therapists who all have in place ways to deal with this), but he does have a younger sister & if he should direct these towards her he would hurt her!!

All of the research I have seen about this medication has it pros & cons just as any other medication has & I know that every person reacts to medications differently. I am just so... reluctant to give him medication with him being non verbal & not being able to tell me if he is having any adverse reactions/ feelings from taking it. Just trying to get some input from other parents who have been down this road before making my decision. Thank you !!

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Diane - posted on 02/09/2011

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we just started my daughter (age 7) on this med about 8 days ago. The first day we noticed an improvement in her behavior! for the first week (literally exctly 7 days) she kind of had the "zombie effect" for the first 4-5 hours but by evening the zombie effect was gone and she is a happy little girl again. SHe is actually ven playing with her sister and brother instead of tormenting them. I did notice today (day 8) that we had some behaviors again, but i think (i hope!) that its due to her getting woken up at 5 AM. she takes melatonin at night to help her sleep, and usually wakes up around 4 and i give her something to drink and a benedryl to help her go back to sleep, but this morning she refsed her drink and the benedryl. I did feel that the first day on the med she had a headache (she is mostly non verbal, she talks, but doesnt communicate!) and a stomach ache, but she was also just getting over the flu... her willingness to cooperate with me, and to TRY to communicate with me is at levels i have never seen in the past! so far i think the meds are great, but we will see as time progresses!

Jane - posted on 02/01/2011

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My son was on Risperdal for a while but it caused immense weight gain. We tried Clonidine but that made him angrier, and also Seroquel, which he still takes but which doesn't make him sleepy any longer. It does, however, keep away the "invisible people" and reduces agitation. We tried Ambien but that made him wander around the house shouting that we had drugged him.

Now he takes Trazodone, which makes him go to sleep within about half an hour. In addition, he takes Depakote and Tenex (Guanfacine) to help with his anger. He is also ADHD and so takes Metadate at school so he can sit still.

Even though my son is verbal, he has a hard time describing the effects of medications on him. Thus I have to keep an eye on him and sometimes even a daily journal to see if there are any undesirable behavior patterns developing. He has always been large for his age and he did attack people in the past, including his sister, me, his father, and certain teachers. However, with the meds plus behavioral modification solutions he has not had a violent outburst in several months.

Good luck with your son. Medication can be misused, but it also can be a major blessing and a wonderful tool to help people be more socially acceptable and less violent.

Kristina - posted on 02/01/2011

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My 14 year old has been on Risperidal for years. The main reason he is on it is for behavior and to increase his appetite (one of the side effects). It has made big improvements with him. We took him off of it because the insurance wanted to only pay for generic which my son can't take because it make him sleep all of the time. We use Clonodine (our saving med) for his sleep issue plus melatonin. Sad to say no meds have helped with his verbal skills but I think that it is something else causing him to be non verbal. I would start your son on it very slowly and if the start him off using generic and if it doesn't seem to work ask to try the name brand because there is a difference. Good Luck

Damita - posted on 02/01/2011

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My son who will be 6 in March has been on it for about six months and it is wonderful! He also has very little language and has an autism and ADHD diagnosis. We use it for focus because he CANNOT in any way shape or form take stimulants.. they have such an adverse reaction. Risperidal has really helped calm him down. We give only .25 ml in the a.m. along with an intuiv (sp.) and then .25 ml at bedtime along with half a clonondine. That combination of medicine has really helped with sleep, focus, stims and aggressive behavior. Good luck!

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Mary - posted on 07/31/2011

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Hello,
We use Risperdal with my Autistic son who is now 8. We have used it for almost 2 years, it doesn't help him with sleep, but it does with the pacing, biting type things. One thing we are doing now is a new medication call INTUNIVE. It has been a wounder drug for us. We use it along with the resperdal, he still has sleep issues now and then, but not like before. He is more in our world and comunicative with others, less Autistic type behaviors. You may want to talk to your doctor about that. We also use INTUNIVE for my other son who has TS, ADHD, mood disorder and depression, and its great. he does take welbutron for the depression and haloperidol for the tics but the intunitive helps so much with energy and works with the wellbutron for depression and anger. we don't see as much out burst or tantrums as we did. They have a web site and it lets you gage how your child has changed or not from week one on, that way you can see if it really is helping. They also will give you discount cards to start with that take care of your co pay and then you can answer how your child is doing on it each month for more discounts. I know every pennu counts here. Let me know if I can help out in any other way. So far I have not noticed any side effects and they have been on it a little over a year. One of the things we have trouble with the Risperdal is Alex is over weight, he's taller than most his age and has always been big, but its easier for him to pack on the pounds, so thats a concern, it also has the possability of causing Diabeties, so if it runs in the family make sure you get regular blood work, and chance of higher colesterol of course.

Joyce - posted on 07/26/2011

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Nicole, I so identify with you. You could be me writing about my 11 year old son. He takes 5mg of risperdal morn/night. He also has sever adhd, dd,odd,mr,speech, ocd, aspergers. He also takes adderall xr 15 mg /morn. My son has alot of problems with anxiety, depression,paces alot.

Sarah - posted on 03/23/2011

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I should add that I was not worried about weight gain in my son. At 11 years old he weighed a whopping 54 pounds and stood a whole 48 inches tall. In 2.5 years on risperdal, guanfacine AND growth hormones he gained 28 pounds and grew 8 inches.

Michelle - posted on 03/22/2011

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i am a 27 year old mom, i dont' really come here to discuss my own personal issues but, i am bipolar with severe ptsd and for a long time i did risperidal. It is a good drug if it works for you and it did really well for me, it does have some bad side effects which is the reason i stopped it i started gaining alot of weight (but any of the other meds im on could do that) the main reason that i stopped it was because i started lactating and oozing milk all over the place and that can be a side effect... Other then that its a good drug. And im not sure how high the incidence report of men with lactation i know i was one of the very few females to have that problem....

Sarah - posted on 03/22/2011

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my son was on Risperdal for several years for aggresive behaviors ( including biting ME hard too many times to count). We never saw any major changes, and it was very sedating for him. When the doctor wanted to add more in the morning ( he was taking like 2mg a day, I think) I asked her for something else. He would literally take his evening dose at 6pm and be nodding off by 7pm!

He has been on Intuniv since before it was Intuniv, when it was just Tenex or Guanfacine. He takes 1mg in the morning and evening...he also takes abilify AND prozac, and that has made all the difference. His doses are as follows am meds: intuniv 1mg, abilify 7.5mg, and prozac 20mg....then after dinner he takes intuniv 1mg and abilify 5mg. he went from an average of 1 major meltdown a week ( complete with assault) to just 3(?) in the last 10 months!!

Lisa - posted on 03/22/2011

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My son has been on Risperdal for many years. It does help with the sleeping issues (most of the time). Although we have has some nights were Jimmy gets up several times for no apparent reason. They say one of the side effects are weight gain, we have had the opposite effect, Jimmy has never gained a pound on this medication, he at times has even taken weight off...he does eat and eat very well but still no weight gain. He was on it for 5 years before we needed to increase his meds...he is now on 1mg at bedtime. When Jimmy takes the medicine, he immediately gets sleepy, if he takes it before he is ready to lay down, I notice that he purposely does things to keep himself awake! Take your time and look into all your options.

Lainya - posted on 03/22/2011

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My son is adhd with learning delays and diagnosed with M.R so they haved him on risperdal and adderal .025 mg risperdal but that is to help him stay focused and adderal is for the adhd my son has issues sleeping due to nightmeres but most of the time he does sleep through the night he is 6 years old hope i helped you lainya

Mary - posted on 02/12/2011

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I did not have the zombi effect but each child is differant. I know VyVance made Alex zombed out so I quit it with in two days, but risperdal had been pretty good, we did try Abilify nad it worked pretty good for the Autism things but he was supper chunky, and did a lot of the self soothing things (flapping, paceing, spinning, In his own world) I really have to say that this new medication Intinitive is like a wounder drug for Alex. I didnt want to do anymore after the clonidine and vyvance but the Dr .asked us to think about this one and I gave in and now I'm glad I did. He's a whole new child. He's doing soo much better in school and at home. School is where I worried the most.

Christine - posted on 02/11/2011

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Hi, My daughter was prescribed Risperdal at the age of around 7-8. We tried it because we exhausted all the other "behavioral" meds at the time. We used it for about a year, and had to discontinue due to ataxia (wobbly) and for a "tic" in her facial nerve. She is now 13 and she is taking Geodon. It has been a life saver! She is now taking 6 capsules a day increased over the last couple of years. It only lasts about 2 hours per capsule, but she can focus better, not have as many episodes and has some restraint. I have noticed no ill effects and she is nonverbal as well. My daughter has cerebral palsy (mild), autism, ID. Hope this helps.

Mary - posted on 02/09/2011

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My 7 year old Alex is on it and it has made him gain weight, so we watch what he eats. it helps wit hthe flapping jesters and mood, or out bersts. It does not help us with the much needed sleep. But with Alex, things that should make him sleep will keep him awake, and vice versa. Over all I do like the medication. we use it along with intunitive. I was reluctant to use the intun but for my son it is like gold. No bad side effects he's sleeping better and he doesn't flap often or do other soothing things. Most of the time he seems like your adverage little boy.

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My daughter has been on it for years and it helps with the moods as long as she gets it on a regular basis she is 14 now and she's been getting it since she was 11 I don't think it really helps with the sleep she also takes conserta and a ridlin. Kicker but her moods are more even

Leslie - posted on 02/09/2011

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That's awesome that so many people have found this drug helpful. Unfortunately, we did not. We had MAJOR weight gain issues that two years later, he still struggles with. And it seemed as though the medication would help for a couple of weeks, and then we were right back where we started from, so we kept having to increase the doseage. Our son is nonverbal, and now 9 years old. I think he may have been about 6 years old when he was on it. We started him on it because of head banging & aggression. I had always felt as though he was having headaches, but his pediatrician blew me off & wouldn't test him. He made me feel as though I had Munchausen Syndrome whenever I voiced a concern. Finally, I couldn't take it anymore, and I went elsewhere. It was then that we found out that he had something called Arnold Chiari Malformation, and he needed brain surgery to alleviate the EXTREME headaches he was suffering from due to the lack of spinal fluid getting to his brain. The surgery helped- A LOT!! But, all that time, when he was banging his head, he also learned that he could scare people into getting whatever he wanted. So although we still see the headbanging, it's different now. Pain is not the driving force behind it. Our pediatrician kept telling us his head banging was because "he's autistic", but he forgot that those with autism are human too!! Good luck to all of you, and if I had one piece of advice, it would be to trust your gut!

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my son has been on this medication for several years started him on it around 10 and now he is 14, I usually only give it to him when he goes to school. It will help with the sleep issue for sure and my son is aggressive and it calms him alot, my son had severe adhd and mood issues along w/ bipolar this medication has mellowed my son out alot and hes not as aggressive which is something weve had to deal with alot, will just need to make sure to give it to him so he can have a good 8 to 10 hours to sleep it off. start w a very small dosage........i hope this helps

Tanya - posted on 02/01/2011

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My son was on this drug for a while i do not like it yes it seemed to help with his aggressiveness but one of the side effects is weight gain and not just alittle, i was going out and buying clothes every week to week and a half, he gained something like 40 pounds in a month, i found out later that this medicine basically shut off the mechanism that tells you when you are full so the person feels hungry all the time, point, my son ate to the point of throwing up because he didnot feel full. I would use caution with this medicine, my son is now on geodone for the rage/aggresiveness and it works well as for the sleeplessness we put him through a sleep study and found out he moves almost once a minute so just additional option to get information. Hope this helps.

Sharon - posted on 02/01/2011

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Risperdal does help kids deal with anger dyscontrol but there are many behavioral issues that he needs to understand, i.e., that he is not going to get his way by throwing a fit and being disrespectful. That is something that is learned early, it is easier to stop at a younger age not when he is bigger and weighs more. Talk about weight, they will eat more and most boys do run the possiblitity of growing "man boobs"-monitor his diet, work on behavior management via a counselor. There are so many ways a parent inadvertedly adds to the temper tantrum; learning ways to de-escalate the anger and move the child to resolve the problem without violence is essential to recovery. I work as a mental health counselor with children and families with mental illness.

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Mikey has been on Risperdal for years (age 11). Every child is different but he can't do stimulants. He has ADHD and cerebral palsy and a seizure disorder (stimulants actually brought on more seizures). He is verbal and social, not autism, but would slap himself repetitively and also could not sit still and focus. now he is reading very well and can focus, at least for a short time. He was never aggressive though and was always somewhat verbal. In our case the Risperdal has helped. He takes 2 mg in the morning and 2 mg evening but worked up very gradually to this dosage.. he has been taking it since age 6.

Patty - posted on 02/01/2011

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my son is non-verbal 11yr old with autism and he has been on risperdol for 2 yrs now, and it works great for his anxiety and aggression, BUT the biggest thing I don't like about it is that he pees his pant often and I was told it was because of the risperdol.

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My son has autism and started taking Risperdal when he was 5 for behavior and anxiey issues associated with his autism He was non-verbal at the time and very angry. With 1 week, he was a new child. He laughed and played and began to be able to communicate with non-verbal gestures (which we had none of at the time). My son went from being completely enclosed and angry to happy and social. He stayed on it until a few months ago. Our doctor says the medication may have stopped working for him. He became delusional, argumenative and violent. I began to fear him because he seemend so irrational. We decided to taper him off of Risperdal onto Abilify and we have had pretty good luck with that too. I know that no 2 children are the same, but I hope you find some peace in your decsion to medicate you child.

Anita - posted on 02/01/2011

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My son takes risperdal for sleep issues as well as a few others. He is able to stay awake for days and this indeed helped. At one point he stayed awake for 68 hours and had to be hospitalized. This is when he was put on this risperdal. It helped significantly.

Hope - posted on 02/01/2011

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My daughter was on risperidal for awhile but it made her aggressive and she started wetting her pants all the time she is really tiny tho for her age she has ADHD, RAD, FAE clonidine is the sleep med that has worked for her but you are right every kid is different.....he may be non verbal but you sound like you are very attentive to him and his behaviors don't use his non verbal as a reason to not try the meds he will show you if something is really wrong. And I know with my child when we finally got her to sleep more than 2 or 3 hours at a time her behaviors diminished greatly she became a much happier little girl. Start off slow and work your way up until you reach a comfortable spot if you start getting side effects you can back it down again

Karen - posted on 02/01/2011

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Puberty is so challenging when those hormones are so new and variable! We have battled sleeplessness for many years...a combination of over the counter drugs(Melatonin 6 mg with benadryl), occasional prescription meds(Lorazepam works best for our son, we have tried Risperdal(turned him into zombie, but he slept), Seroquel, Clonidine, ageodon(worked well, but he was very unbalanced walking), ambien(made it worse), .... over the past 10 years. Best solution is biomedical approach to balance bowels, eliminate yeast, methylation, detox....but this is a slow solution--but eliminates some of the causes so very valuable. Try gluten free/casein free diet and allergy testing as well. Even if this didn't work in the past, as the kids age, their problems sometimes compound and bring about those food sensitivities. We got down to 9-10 foods for a while and are now back to 33. Lots of physical exerecise in the form of walks, treadmills, swimming, whatever lets him use his excess energy in positive ways. At one point, our son was running up to 3 milles a day, started out walking doing short bursts of running and kept increasing the running. If a medication helps keep your child at home, it is worth a try. You can see side effects in increases or decreases of appetite, aggression, complexion and skin tone, activity levels, sleep, stability. I hope you have some outside help to get you through this!

Guida - posted on 02/01/2011

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hi there my son tiago is going to be 6 this year up untill a year ago he had used rispredal for sleeping to and to make him calmer he is also non verbal i would give your son the medication.

Cherish - posted on 01/31/2011

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Hi,
My son will be 9 in June and is also non verbal and has significant behavior issues.
He hurts himself and others.
He has been on it since he was about 5 and his behavior is MUCH better.
He still pinches,bites,head bangs etc but not like he used to.
I was scared to give it to him as well,B/c of the long list of side effects.
As far as i know he has not had any.
But lately he is doing weird stuff,but the Dr said thats the autism/stimming so who knows.

Nicole - posted on 01/29/2011

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I can tell you my son has been on risperdal since he was 5yrs old he is going to be 12 in june. He does well with it, but I was told the same thing with risperdal also. We use it for his mood and a few other things. He's sever adhd, developmentally delayed, odd, gerd, very picky eater, mr, ld, speech and more. I know if we mess with it sometimes we have lots of issues of things going on. He also has to get blood work done on him every so often just to check levels and where things are at. My son is verberal, but he don't tell me half the time how he's feeling or if anything is going on. I can tell you though it does work. My son has takes 5mgs 1x in the morning and 1x at night. I don't see many problems unless we mess with his meds so we try not to. We just lowered him from 1 1/2pills to 1pill and so far things are going well, but we are adding adderal to meds in the afternoon to see how that goes. We shall see. Hope that this helps a little.

Nicole

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