Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Medication Update: Success or More of the Same?

We have had our son on medication for several months now with little success.

We’ve seen terrible side effects including ticks, lethargy, and the loss of our son’s exuberant personality. And while the side effects disappeared after adjusting medicines and dosages, we did not see any lasting improvements in our son. If anything, Kai’s behavior worsened, with an increase in outbursts and major incidents.

In the days before we left for our Thanksgiving trip, as we saw his anger continue to escalate, we decided to go in a different direction.

We spoke with our son’s psychiatrist. He had had Kai on various anti-anxiety and ADHD meds since we started the process last summer. A few weeks ago, the doctor had mentioned that if continued to see unsatisfactory results, there was a different type of drug that we could try – an antipsychotic.

Risperidone is used for treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and is also the only drug approved by the FDA for the treatment of aggression in children and adolescents with autism.

I had been reluctant to go this route, and wanted to only after we had exhausted other alternatives.

I finally felt that time had come.

We weaned Kai off the other medicines and started him on Risperidone just before Thanksgiving. Last week was his first week of school on the medication.

He started off having a great week.

On Monday, a day when many kids at his school had a tough time adjusting to being back after the holiday, Kai had a very good day. The staff reported that Kai had no trouble getting back into the school routine and performed well all day.

He followed that up the next day with a 100% on his point sheet, which is amazing considering his recent history of major incidents every day.

He had another good day on Wednesday. And on Thursday, he handled the potentially disruptive field trip without issues.

Not only did Kai do well in school, he was much happier overall, too.

So, about that time, we were feeling optimistic that perhaps we had finally found the right medication for our son.

On Friday, though, his streak of good days ended. He had a couple of major incidents at school. We were hoping that it was just a bad day.

But, this week his streak of bad days at school is continuing, including an especially bad day yesterday.

So, now we are back to square one.

We will give this latest medication more time. But it is looking again like the medication route may not provide the benefits we were hoping for.

Time will tell.


  1. I am sorry to hear this. I know you will be monitoring Kai closely. Hopefully after the initial medication stabilization period...he will again, be happy.

  2. Thank you. The ups and downs are difficult. Hopefully things will become more stable.


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