Risperidone for a young child? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 36 Old 05-25-2011, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyone have experience with Risperidone for violent behaviors in a young child? My son is four. I have another thread going about the behaviors, but thought I may get more input about the med here. I never thought we'd be considering medicating at this age, but he's becoming very dangerous to his sister and we need something to change. The doc was talking about splitting a .25 mg tablet twice a day.  He's decided to refer us to a child Psychiatrist though, so the drug and dosage could end up different. 

 

I'm really worried about side effects. I don't want him to be all zoned out all the time. :( 


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#2 of 36 Old 05-26-2011, 01:58 PM
 
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Hi, I'm sorry to hear about the issues your having with your son.  I understand it is a difficult decision to medicate, especially at that age.  But I think your
reasoning is valid and it is in everyones best intrest for the violence to end. 

 

With that said, my 8 year old is on Risperdone. I know he isn't as young as your child, but the more replies the better I figure.  It has been our miracle drug.  My son, who at the time was dx with ADHD and depression (since then aspergers, tourettes, ODD, TDD, everything under the sun with the exception of what I believe he really has, which is bipolar) had tried about 3 stimulants for ADHD and an antidepressant until the psyc finally concurred that it wasn't working.  The stimulants just made him worse. He was also having suicidal/homicidal thoughts, so it was time to try something else. 

 

He is never zoned out.  I'd say he's calmer, but still himself.  He was a little tired the first week, but that went away quickly.  The biggest symptom is increase in appetite, and he has gained about 7 lbs, but he was a pretty skinny kid so that hasn't become an issue yet. 

 

If it were me, I'd try it, you can always take him off if the side effects are affecting him more it should.

 

Good luck!


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#3 of 36 Old 05-26-2011, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for the reply. I'm glad to hear a good experience with it. 


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#4 of 36 Old 05-26-2011, 06:25 PM
 
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My son with ASD was on Risperdone for about 14 months. We started him on the medication about a month before he turned 5 and took him off last August. He just turned 7.

We put DS on the medication because he was becoming violent and aggressive when frustrated or overwhelmed. Other children were afraid of him. And you can't work on ocial skills of other kids don't want to be around you. Then one day he gave me a concussion. We became worried that he would seriously hurt someone else, especially that he might injure a child. It was a very difficult decision, but we came to realize it was necessary. Our developmental ped gave us a prescription for a very low dose of the liquid form. We tweaked his dosage a few times while he was on it.

We saw a change in DS after a week on the medication. We were at playgroup and DS got angry and overwhelmed by the other kids, which happened often. Usually he would lash out at them as avresult. However, this time he walked away, sat in a corner, and cried for a few minutes. Then he got up and played with something else. It broke my heart to see hom crying in the corner, but it was amazing to see him calm himself down like that.

We started doing a lot of work with DS on recognizing emotions - his own and other people's. We worked on how to deal with emotions, especially anger and frustration. The medication never "zoned him out", but it took the edge of his emotions enough that he was able to learn new techniques to cope with them. As his language and social skills continued to improve, his coping skills got better too. We also added some nutritional supplements that help keep his mood stable.

The most talked about side effect for Risperdone is wight gain. We never had that with DS, but he is very active, high-energy kid, so that may be the reason. But we did see new forms of stimming every time we increased the dose. Some were very minor, others were very annoying. The doctor wasn't sure the stimming and related to the medication and because we were sure that they were stimson and not tics, she wasn't concerned. (Developing new tics while on this medication can be a problem.)

After about 14 months, we had an incident were the bottle of medicine spilled, requiring an early refill. We had to get the refill called in by the doctor, when there was an issue with the insurance company..... Long story short, by the time we got the refill DS had been off the medication for five or six days. At that point DH and I decided to see how he did off the medication. To our relief the violence and aggression did not come back and the new stims went away (he stll had all the old ones.)

I don't regret the time DS was on the meds at all. As I said, it took the edge off his emotions enough that he could learn better ways of coping with his frustration and anger. The medication is a tool, just as therapy is a tool and nutritional supplements are tools. I'm glad that we only needed to use the medication for a while and I know that many children need to be on it for a longer period of time. But I do think it is important to know that starting a child on this type of medication does not mean he will be on it forever.

Good luck.

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#5 of 36 Old 05-26-2011, 06:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Lollybrat, thank you so much for your detailed post. I keep thinking we could work so much more on social skills, self control etc if only it were not for the aggression. I really do worry about him seriously injuring my daughter. Previously, when he lashed out it was a quick slap, but as he gets bigger and apparently angrier, the violent acts are growing too. 

 

Medication is really hard for me to consider, but I think we are there... we're trying a few new supplements and strategies while we wait for our appointment, but if we can't see a change we will go ahead and try it. 


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#6 of 36 Old 05-28-2011, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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After a really over the top bad day yesterday, I emailed my son's developmental ped to see if he could help us get into a psychiatrist sooner and he went ahead and called the prescription in himself. We got the rx this am and he hasn't had an outburst since he took it. I am still a little skeptical because it's soon soon, but the doctor seemed the think it would work quickly. We're really praying that this is going to help us get over this hurdle and try and help him. I really, really didn't want to do this, but all I can do is pray we made the right choice and watch him closely to be sure he isn't experiencing side effects. 


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#7 of 36 Old 05-28-2011, 04:37 PM
 
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Don't know if you're still looking for BTDTs, but I just took my just-turned 9yo ds off of it after about 4 or 5 mos.  It did abolutely nothing for him.  He wasn't zoned or stoned or tired during the day and even after his pm dose he still needed meltonin to fall asleep.  He took .25mg 2x/day for the first 6 wks them bumped to .5mg 2x/day. 

 

So nothing good came from it but it did cause him to wet the bed at first and then again after increasing the dosage and since he weaned off of it he's had wierd eye-blinking, like an OCD "even-ing" kind of thing.

 

BTW, his dx is GAD and Mood Disorder NOS but I truly think he is bipolar.


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#8 of 36 Old 05-28-2011, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for sharing your experience. Now I know to look out for that. Sorry it didn't help. 


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#9 of 36 Old 05-28-2011, 05:32 PM
 
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I have not worked w/ 4 yr olds, but have worked with 5 - 10!

 

I know that I am not a parent of a child on Risperdone, but I taught kiddos that had/have emotional impairments/behavioral disorders at the Elem. level (K-5).

 

We had a few kiddos that Risperdone did wonders for. Honestly- night and day. It did not zone them out, rather reduced the intensity of anger/rages/etc. Soemtimes it took some dosage tweeking, but the school I worked at was flexible and would help parents look for side-effects as well as keep a log of behaviors to chart improvements/worsening symptoms.

 

I can not imagine as a parent the anxiety you feel to try such a med on a young kiddo (and feel isolating if you dont know anyone else that is going through the same thing and/or are not supportive of your situation), but as a teacher  - I have seen it work well  for  some kids age 5-7 and again the older kids (as they go through puberty) it helps them focus/contain emotions long enough to learn some coping mechanisms and be able to absorb academic and social skills as well.  

 

Is there a local support group or other parents you can talk with to ease your anxiety? Families that have children that may be facing the same behavior patterns as your DS may have ideas, personal stories, or just be able to provide much needed support. 

 

Often, there is a lull between ages 7-13/14 where a certain maturity (depending on the developmental age of the kid vs chronological age) allows some coping skills to develop and a few kids go med free or are able to take something else....some kids go back on it (or another med) when they are dealing with puberty related hormonal moods. But at age 4-6, sometimes the natural bubbling emotions of a preschooler are simply overwhelming and using medication is a well-thought out solution to enable them to stop the 'react- act' cycle and start to learn some proactive, preventation and self-soothing techniques. It can be scary for a family and for the kiddo to rage : finding a way (through meds, talk therapy, play therapy, ABA, etc) to help the child feel more control and empowered over their own emotions is huge. Under the care of a good Dr, use what methods you can and know you are doing the best for your child and your family with the information you have the current situation. 

 

Also, know if it does not work--- try something else, then you will know what you have tried and can take a new path. If it does help, know that it is the best choice right now for your DS and your family.

 

*HUGS*  I hope you continue to see improvement  and have a successful visit with the psychiatrist.

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#10 of 36 Old 05-28-2011, 09:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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KC Michigan, thank you so much for your detailed post. It's really reassuring, 

 

 

We really had our first good day in a long time today, after one day on the med. Hopefully, this is a good sign. This is the first day in months that he did not leave a scratch, bruise or bite mark on his little sister! 


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#11 of 36 Old 05-30-2011, 04:57 PM
 
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My 12-yr old started taking Risperdal (risperidone) back when he was 8 or 9---a little older than your child, I know. We started it after a long visit with a pedi psychiatrist when we were discussing my son's inability to attend, his inability to sleep, his tendency towards self-injurious behaviors, and his intense sort of inward focus (it was as if he lived in a bubble that extended about 2' on all sides. If you weren't in his bubble, he wouldn't even acknowledge you). We started with a teeny-tiny amount of liquid Risperdal (0.1 mg), and increased it weekly until we saw some effect.

 

Frankly, it's been a wonder drug for Gabe. He began to sleep at night, rather than wake up at 2 or 3 am and stay awake until 5 am. He actually noticed his siblings for the first time ever, and began to interact with them. His SIBs decreased to the point where he could actually control them. He began to be able to attend to something long enough to really learn.

 

He's never been zoned out or acted stoned from the drug; it just serves to sort of put a damper on some of his behaviors that were interfering with his ability to learn, communicate, and interact with other people.

 

Some kids have problems with weight gain from Risperdal, but while we've noticed an increase in appetite in Gabe, he's still a pretty lean machine.

 

I understand how big a decision this can be. Putting my son on a potent anti-psychotic med was never on my list of things "good parents" do, lol. But you know what? I've really come to peace with it. The med makes it possible for Gabe to have a good quality of life and to interact with his world. This was not possible before we started Risperdal.

 

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#12 of 36 Old 05-30-2011, 07:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for sharing your experience. 

 

We haven't had a major meltdown since he started on the medication. He's cried. He's slapped his sister here and there. He actually tried to hit our pastor at church on Sunday blush.gif but all in all it's better. We are cautiously optimistic at this point. We haven't gone this long without a violent outburst in years, so I am thinking it is working. It is such a relief. I feel bad having to medicate him, but if he can handle himself better he will have more opportunity to work on social skills etc and that will help him so much. It's hard on him (and us) when no one wants to bring their kid around him. I am hoping that having one less obstacle will go a long way for him. 


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#13 of 36 Old 05-30-2011, 09:11 PM
 
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My son has takes Risperisdone. He started taking it at age 8 due to aggression issues. The first two years he took it, it truly was a miracle drug... he slept better, had fewer tantrums, slowed down a bit, etc. But I have seen the medication effects slightly wear off in the past year (DS is 14 now)... it still helps with calming him down, but it's just not the go to drug it once was for us. 

 

DS appetite has increased a lot since taking it, and he's gain a total if about 40+ pounds in the last 6 years.... some of that weight is normal development, but we're now super conscience of his diet so he doesn't become too overweight. I'm sure this is rare, but a good friend of mine's son gained over 150 pounds while on Risperisdone. The wight gain makes me a bit paranoid.


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#14 of 36 Old 05-31-2011, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The weight gain possibility worries me. Though DS could probably stand to gain a few lbs. He can still wear 2t shorts lol . So far we really have not noticed any change in appetite.

Thanks for sharing  your experience. 


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#15 of 36 Old 05-31-2011, 02:53 PM
 
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It can cause not only weight gain but also cholesterol and blood sugar issues, so even though ds is a skinny stick, his ped wanted him on a "healthy foods only" diet with sugary garbage reserved for special occasions only.  This was fine with me bc that's how we live anyway, but my exdh was pissed!  haha

 

My ds didn't gain any weight but he didn't take it for long.  He is a major carb craver, though (I've read it's a bi-polar kiddo thing), so when he gets back on meds in the next few weeks I know I'll really have to watch out for weight gain, bc weight gain coming from carbs is b.a.d.


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#16 of 36 Old 06-04-2011, 10:22 AM
 
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My son has taken Risperdone for years for bipolar disorder. I don't remember the age that he started Risperdone, he is now 23. It has been at least 15 years.  It never helped with how he treated others. He has mainly mania and it does help him sleep. He has to take Celexa to be able to get along with others. My son never gained weight, he is 6'2" and weighs 130. Size 29 waist jeans are too big!


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#17 of 36 Old 06-09-2011, 10:27 PM
 
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My son had Bipolar. We have good experience with Abilify. at first he was gaining weight on it but he started taking Metformin along with it and is doing well. Plus lithium

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#18 of 36 Old 06-10-2011, 10:16 AM
 
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My son has been on Risperdal since December 2007.  He was put on it for possible bipolar disoder.  The disorder was confirmed in April 2008.  He s also on Lithium and Seroquel.  He is not spacy at all - the Risperdal helps tremendously with his mania and agression.  It didn't stabilize him completely so we added the Lithium and then had to add the Seroquel for anxiety.  He is on 2.5 mg a day of the Risperdal and has experienced no adverse affects.  He is a skinny little guy. 


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#19 of 36 Old 06-11-2011, 06:05 AM
 
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When my oldest DS was 5, we spoke to his psych about this drug briefly. He said it was not approved for children under age 6 or 7 and was against us trying it. However, we weren't at the "breaking point" yet. 

 

It is very very powerful but from what I heard yields good results. Good luck.

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#20 of 36 Old 06-15-2011, 03:27 PM
 
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We have had our almost-7 year old on Risperdal for about a month. It was intended to be combined with an ADHD medication. He's high functioning autistic/PDD-NOS with ADHD. Likely gifted as well but that's masked with social skill/language issues. His impulsivity is a danger to himself and others (no sense of safety, runs out in parking lots or street, climbs things, pulls down bookcases) and is an issue in school, of course. Well, the stimulant meds were a disaster (I told the psych they wouldn't work, we had tried them) but the Risperdal has seemed to "smooth out the edges" of his frustration and anxiety to where he doesn't throw himself on the ground or hit himself, or bite or throw things when he's frustrated. We didn't like to leave him alone with his younger siblings because of the unpredictability. He's so much more even keeled now. We have had some sleepiness issues, not so much during the day, but he is lights out pretty early each night now.

 

I was scared to try this medication but it seems to be helping him function better in a group and he seems happier. We did baseline bloodwork and will be watching his health closely for side effects. I hope to try non-stimulant ADHD meds soon (psychiatrist on vacation this month) since he still can't seem to keep himself out of harm's way.


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#21 of 36 Old 06-27-2012, 06:20 AM
 
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My son who is 5,.5 years old is on Risperdal at the moment. He has moderate autism too. He was put on the medication after the doctor spotted pinch and bruises along my arms. She then enquired about his tantrums. It seemed to calm him down a bit and it also makes him wake up quite a bit in the middle of the night because he is hungry.

 

From this thread, does this mean that he should be taking our kids for regular blood tests for diabetes?

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#22 of 36 Old 07-25-2012, 12:29 PM
 
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I have a 4yr old that been very active since she a baby. I trying to get help but everyone I call an go to say she to young to test have to wait til 6. I been changing Dr trying to find someone to help me she wasn't sleeping at night now found Dr to help me now she takes med to help her fall asleep we in process trying to find to help her today Dr put her on adhd medicine and risperdal she won't play will with others other kids dont want to play with her an she is very mean to me an her 6yr old sister we can't even go places with her she acts out so bad I don't have a life but being home with her other family members can't handle her but for so long cause she just acts out I hate to put my baby on medicine but I don't know where else to turn I am a mother of 4 I have 17yr old girl 14yr old boy 6yr old girl and 4yr old an she is the only one I have this problem with. I am so glad to see I am not the only one with a child like this I spend many days crying asking what am I doing wrong.
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#23 of 36 Old 05-17-2013, 10:21 AM
 
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My son is 7. He has had anger and aggression issues. Even has recieved an in school suspension for hurting another child at school. He has started a day program for a week to see a therapist & psychologist. I was looking into people's expierences to see if I made the right decision to put him on this medication. I am hoping this helps. Judging by what I have read it seems we have made the right decision. We just need to make adjustments at home as to how we act & speak in front of him. I was also worried about his 2 year old sister picking up or modeling his aggressive behavior. So I am glad we have made this intervention.
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#24 of 36 Old 06-10-2013, 12:24 AM
 
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Hello Everyone!!!!  I am new to this site/group, and joined once I googled Risperidone, and came across this thread.

 

I have 2 children, both with ocd, adhd, sensory integration dysfunction, anxiety, and my 8 yr. old son had autism for sure, but my 6 yr. old daughter has traits of it-but the doctors, and myself are leaning more towards bi-polar with her.  I HATED having to came to grips with putting them on medications-BUT a very wise therapist we see now for over 5 yrs. once told me-"the medicine doesn't make the child, it allows the child to be who they truly are."  I have lived by the words now for years to help me cope with them having to be medicated.  it makes sense doesn't it? I love these words of advice, they have helped my anxiety and me cope with all this for years..... I hope it helps you guys too!!!?smile.gif

 

well, to get back on track...I have tried other meds for my daughter-adhd ones(Adderall & Ritalin) made her worse or did nothing, and anti-depressants (Zoloft), made her terribly worse and gain new symptoms!!!  PLEASE do not think that I had the doctors use my babies as guinea pigs and experiment all types of drugs one them. But, as most of you all know-it does unfortunately take time in not only getting the proper diagnosis, but therapies, and maybe in some cases such as mine-medications.

 

we started my daughter on Risperidone when she was 5-so she has been on it a bit over 1 1/2 yrs.  She takes .25mg in am and pm.  She actually asks for it at times, when it is time for her dose, as if it helps her and such-its hard to explain.  But she is VERY hyper active before the meds and still while on them!!!-NO zombie personality for her whatsoever-thank GOD!!  that was my hesitation with any meds, but especially for this one(Risperidone).  She used to stay up all night or keep waking up before this med, and was way more aggressive and too picky of an eater.....Risperidone has helped with all that.  She also was too reckless -it was dangerous....so it did help with that as well, and less, or shorter meltdowns!! 

 

well- I hope with all my heart that this helps you (thread starter) and anyone else that read this!!!!  GOOD LUCK!!!grouphug.gif

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#25 of 36 Old 06-10-2013, 12:51 PM
 
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Hmm...my daughter is 7 and 1/2 and just started on Risperidone. I'm wary, because I'm almost positive she has bipolar and was told by a GP that this is the incorrect medication for that. Still, I will try it and feel very hopeful after reading this thread. 

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#26 of 36 Old 06-18-2013, 08:11 PM
 
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I have two sons on Risperdal. One is 3 years old and the other is almost 5. They each get 0.5mg three times a day.

 

My husband and I aren't really sure if the Risperdal is working because we don't know if things would be worse without it. And we're not taking them off to check! They've been on it for almost a year on increasing doses. They've also gained in communication skills and learning, which is also contributing to better behavior. And they're on other meds, too. With some of the meds I know they work because I can see differences as they kick in or if we forget a pill. I don't see it with Risperdal, possibly because one therapist said it builds up in the system rather than some that are fast-acting and either work or don't immediately.

 

Neither of our boys is zoned out or spacey at all from Risperdal.


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#27 of 36 Old 07-09-2013, 08:08 AM
 
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The decision to medicate a child is an extremely difficult one to make. I'm struggling with that decision, too.

 

Re. risperidone, I've read that it can interfere with endocrine function. There are reports of adolescent boys developing breasts and lactating after having been on resperidone for a few years. There are some lawsuits pending about this issue. I don't have a good sense of whether or not these lawsuits were initiated by litigious-happy attorneys or what. But the problem did happen in some boys and so I feel it is something to consider.

 

I've briefly read through the above posts and I didn't see this side effect mentioned, so I thought I should bring it up.

 

I'm really glad to hear how beneficial this medication has been to some of the people here. That's great.

 

Good luck to all who are struggling with decisions re. medications. It's tough.

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#28 of 36 Old 07-09-2013, 04:14 PM
 
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We tried it for my then 7 yr old. It made him gain an immense amount of weight. That is a known side effect. He went from being a skinny kid to a fat kid in 6 months. The positive effects of the medicine were not significant, the weight gain was. We took him off and the weight stayed on. I honestly think it changed his metabolism permanently. The medicine made him crave fat, sugar and carbs like crazy. He continues to struggle with weight at age 17.He's had docs recommend it again through the years and he won't touch it with a ten foot pole. I personally would try something else. A lot of docs really like it and its a common go-to med for aggression but we've had better success with Abilify and then Lamictal combined with SSRI and meds for ADHD. I think its really, really important to get a diagnosis so you know what you are dealing with. If he is so aggressive that he is a danger to others, a brief hospital stay is a good option. We got our best med adjustments and diagnosis clarification while my DS was inpatient. We had to do it twice and while it was really hard to take at the time, it was essential to his good treatment. I wouldn't hesitate to do it again. 


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#29 of 36 Old 07-24-2013, 02:15 PM
 
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I just started my son on risperidone 1 mg tablets today. He's 6 and was diagnosed with adhd last spring. I really hope this helps with his behavior and he doesn't have any of the side effects I've been reading about. I never heard of Risperdal before today. The doctor said it's been around for a long time and I read on the Internet it was fda approved in 1993. The doctor is also scheduling additional testing for my son at a psychiatric hospital. I hope it works for your 4 yr. old.
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#30 of 36 Old 07-27-2013, 09:57 PM
 
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My son has been on Risperdal for 5.5 yrs with only positive results.  He was originally on Risperdal alone from December 2007-June 2008 and then other meds were added when his bipolar disorder (among other issues) diagnosis was confirmed.  Since then we've changed things up a couple of times with other meds but the Risperdal has always been a constant.  He does get blood monitoring for blood sugar, etc. as any child should when on heavy medications and has never had any problems, side effects, weight gain, etc.  He is currently 5'1" and only weighs 90 lbs so definitely not overweight.  For him it has definitely been a positive drug.  His current meds he is on are Lamictal and Risperdal and we are sticking with those two for the forseeable future because he is doing wonderfully.  Oh, I forgot to mention he is 12.5 years old and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder (and various anxiety disorders and learning disorders) at age 7.  I know how scary it is when you have a young child who is completely out of control so I am just responding to say that there is hope.


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