Clonidine: Has Your Child Taken It? Looking for Info. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 12-23-2010, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello mamas:

 

Do any of you have children who have taken Cloninide for behavior problems (aggression, tantrums, rages)?  My 5-year-old son has been prescribed this medication, and I am just wondering if any of you have had experience with this medication.  I am very reluctant to give my son medication, so I am curious if anyone else has had experience with this medication.

 

I am wondering. . . . .

 

  • How effective was this medication for your child?
  • Child's age, dose, reason for taking (if you don't mind sharing)?
  • How long did your child take this or has your child taken it?
  • Did your child have any side effects?  How severe?
  • Do you have any concerns about this medication?

 

 

My son also does NOT take medication well under any circumstances.  Last year he had MRSA (resistant staph infection) and almost had to be hospitalized because he refused to take the antibiotics, even if it was in ice cream or a milkshake.  He is very resistant to taking medications of any kinds.  Has anyone had this experience with kids being unwilling to take meds?  What did you do?

 

Also, for people with kids who take medication for behavior, how did you explain this to your child?  I don't want him to feel damaged or "bad."

 

I guess I have a lot of questions.  Any help with the above would be appreciated.

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#2 of 4 Old 12-24-2010, 06:47 AM
 
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I dont have a kid that has taken that medication, but I have taught kids that have been on it ( Spec. Ed. Teacher).

 

As for the medications taking-- I would try a few things (antibiotics are bitter so most kids dont like taking them unless they are hidden in something else).

 

1. I would mix in with something that EVERYONE eat/drink but only his has the medication, then he will not feel singled out.

 

2.If he is old enough explain what it is for and why taking it

 

3. ask for it flavored by the pharmacy- they can make stuff taste SO much better!

 

4. Potentially- could he take it AT school? Sometimes kids do better going to the nurse and takign it since it is treat to get out of the classroom

 

If it is a taste thing, not to hard to get around. If it is just a plain defiance problem--them you need to have some sort of system (depending on your home system or school system)  that is positive for taking it- a reward chart, a small treat or trinket, extra time before bed, movie,etc. Especially at the beginning.

 

They DO make a patch version--- is your DC old enough to use that??

 

 

Most of the kids I worked with that took it were dx w/ Austism Spectrum disorders. They took it to improve sleep and moderate moods. The side effects we saw at school were sleepiness, sluggishness, dry mouth, and low blood pressure. We saw reduced anger/aggression in most of the kids that took it-- a few it did not seem to effect (at the dose they were given).

 

Again, I do not know the insides of the family dynamics of most of the families I worked with-- but often it was a medicine that was used after a few others had been tried. The kids I worked with took it long term.

 

I would suggest keeping a journal. Both of a few days before and then afterward on his behaviors/sleeping/eating patterns. It will be helpful to see any trends (reduced eating, less sleep, more raging or anger). That sometimes in the moment or after a week it is hard to definitively say 'YES I see a big improvement or little gains.' Then if you do see side effects, you can weight the pros/cons of continuing it.

 

As for explaining it to him.. try going to route that a lot of people take medicine, sometimes even when they are not sick. (give examples of diabetes, headaches, blood pressue--whatever he may be familiar with) and that his medicine is to help his moods (or how ever you explain it to him). If you dont make a big deal he most likely will not either (depending on his age). Simply keep it as a medicine that helps him, matter of factly. If he is young this is often enough.  If he is old enough and then sees an improvement in his actions, he will be more motivated to keep taking it.

 

HTH. I dont have kids that take it, but have watched families agonize over behavioral medication use. Really- I see it as just one of a helpful tool to help a legitimate issue in a person being socially/emotionally involved in daily life. It takes many different things together- medication is only one piece. ( therapies, supportive environment, behavior plans, etc)  The stigma that society places on such things is sad since there are so many people (kids/adults) that could benefit.

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#3 of 4 Old 12-24-2010, 09:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your reply.

 

My son doesn't have autism or any other diagnosed condition.  He just has anger problems that can be severe at times.  (He was abused at a daycare at age two and has experienced a few other traumatic incidents as well, which seem to be contributing to his problem.)

 

My issue with giving my son meds is that I am mainly concerned about possible side effects since he's SO young (only five years old!) and I think we are way too gung ho on giving everyone meds in this culture. 

 

Unfortunately, my son's school doesn't have a nurse on staff on a daily basis, and the doctor recommended that the medication be taken at night since it can cause sleepiness.

 

Thanks for the suggestion about keeping a log.  That's a good idea. 

 

Happy holidays!

 

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#4 of 4 Old 12-25-2010, 12:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bisou View Post

Hello mamas:

 

Do any of you have children who have taken Cloninide for behavior problems (aggression, tantrums, rages)?  My 5-year-old son has been prescribed this medication, and I am just wondering if any of you have had experience with this medication.  I am very reluctant to give my son medication, so I am curious if anyone else has had experience with this medication.

 

I am wondering. . . . .

 

  • How effective was this medication for your child?
  • Child's age, dose, reason for taking (if you don't mind sharing)?
  • How long did your child take this or has your child taken it?
  • Did your child have any side effects?  How severe?
  • Do you have any concerns about this medication?

 

 

My son also does NOT take medication well under any circumstances.  Last year he had MRSA (resistant staph infection) and almost had to be hospitalized because he refused to take the antibiotics, even if it was in ice cream or a milkshake.  He is very resistant to taking medications of any kinds.  Has anyone had this experience with kids being unwilling to take meds?  What did you do?

 

Also, for people with kids who take medication for behavior, how did you explain this to your child?  I don't want him to feel damaged or "bad."

 

I guess I have a lot of questions.  Any help with the above would be appreciated.


 

Originally Posted by KCMichigan View Post

 

As for explaining it to him.. try going to route that a lot of people take medicine, sometimes even when they are not sick. (give examples of diabetes, headaches, blood pressue--whatever he may be familiar with) and that his medicine is to help his moods (or how ever you explain it to him). If you dont make a big deal he most likely will not either (depending on his age). Simply keep it as a medicine that helps him, matter of factly. If he is young this is often enough.  If he is old enough and then sees an improvement in his actions, he will be more motivated to keep taking it.

 

HTH. I dont have kids that take it, but have watched families agonize over behavioral medication use. Really- I see it as just one of a helpful tool to help a legitimate issue in a person being socially/emotionally involved in daily life. It takes many different things together- medication is only one piece. ( therapies, supportive environment, behavior plans, etc)  The stigma that society places on such things is sad since there are so many people (kids/adults) that could benefit.

 

I agree with KCMichigan. Also, I doubt anyone posting on this board started medication just because... My ds has ADHD, the symptoms of which seem to be largely cause by a low level of certain neurotransmitters--the medication (was Concerta, is now Vyvanse) helps correct that deficiency. With medication he is redirectable, without, no behavior chart/technique works.

 

  • How effective was this medication for your child? The first med resulted in a huge improvement, but ultimately ds had some significant impulse control issues that were causing problems at school, so his Dr. suggested a change. I chose to increase the first med but that made things worse, so we tried a stronger med at a lower dose. It is working well at home but it hasn't been tried at school yet.
  • Child's age, dose, reason for taking (if you don't mind sharing)? Ds was about 6yo when we started. Most behavior meds don't seem to be tested on younger children. Last year in K, ds had problems with aggression (including choking a girl who wouldn't give up her swing, stomping on the teacher's foot because he didn't like what she said, and kicking a boy in the gut/sitting on him because he knocked over ds wood chip pile [different parts of the year]), destruction of teacher/school property, arguing, fighting, chronic non-participation, not sitting still [ever]/running around the room/ knocking over chairs, etc...
  • How long did your child take this or has your child taken it? Ds was on Concerta for 3.5 months and just started the other last week.
  • Did your child have any side effects?  How severe? No side effects from either drug. Weight loss is the most common but ds has not had a decrease in appetite and has gained a half inch in height and 1lb since starting the medication.
  • Do you have any concerns about this medication? Not specifically.

 

I think that there is a general attitude that behavior medications are only for adult convience, but that doesn't consider how the child feels when they are unmedicated--and I'm not just talking about peer or adult attitude about those behaviors, but how they feel when they are being aggressive/having tantrums/rages.

 

Ds doesn't have issues with taking medication unless it feels/tastes unpleasant but it has to be really bad for him to refuse to take it. He doesn't feel bad about taking medication; we told him was it is for (medically) and, in his terms (that it helps his body to not feel "the crazies"). Ds also goes to cognitive behavioral therapy once a week.
 


"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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