Abilify for children with anxiety?? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 13 Old 12-06-2007, 09:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
chantald's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NY's Mid Hudson Valley
Posts: 1,294
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hello
My 6 year old has very high anxiety, social anxiety, attention problems, sensory processing problems, seperation anxiety.. His teacher feels he may also have some Asperger like tendencies.
He struggles each and every day socially. He is a bright, intelligent and caring child who cannot make it through the school day without numerous supports. He is currently in a self contained 1:15:1 placement with a dedicated 1:1 aid full time. His teacher says he should NOT be in a self contained setting forever and needs to be in a regular classroom.. until we can manage his social difficulties.. this will be a hard goal to meet.

When he was 4, we tried Zoloft for his anxiety. At first it was a Godsend.. it took the edge off his anxiety. He started to make friends, he attended in the classroom.. things got smooth.. Then the Dr upped his dose and the horrible side effects started. He could not control his movements, he was totally off the wall hyperactive in a very scary sort of way, he stopped sleeping. We had to wean him off of it slowly. The Dr said we can't try any other SSRI as they will all be the same.

So.. he is currently not on any medication.. and I hate the thought of putting him on something.. but I am not doing him justice if I don't research this. IF his brain isn't producing what it needs to be calm and able to function.. it is iresponsible of me to knee jerk reaction say NO to medication. We have been seeing a Biomedical Dr for a year, doing diet, suppliments etc for him and have seen some improvement...he has also been in counseling for nearly 3 years. But we are not seeing the progress we would expect.. everyone is saying that.. so it is time to look at other ways to help him.


That is the short summary..

The teacher suggested we look into Abilify. Some of her ASD children are on it for anxiety and she says it seems to help them tremendously.

If your child takes Abilify and you feel comfortable sharing information about it, why and how it has helped or not.. please.. I'd really like to hear what you have to say..

thanks
chantald is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 13 Old 12-06-2007, 11:00 PM
 
elizaMM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: rural midwest
Posts: 560
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm afraid I can't help much. But I'm curious what others think about the idea that no other SSRI would work. Is that b/c it seemed to cause some hypomania-like side effects? Because I've definitely had different side effects from different SSRIs.

And what about sticking with the low dose of Zoloft?

And then there is Wellbutrin and Effexor and the like that are similar to SSRIs but different (Wellbutrin is antidepressant/antianxiety but works on Norepinephrine instead of Seratonin, and Effexor works on both of those. There is one more like Effexor, I think).

You've probably thought about all this but I can't help but make sure.

Anyway, best of luck. It sounds like you are handling extra-challenging parenthood well.
elizaMM is offline  
#3 of 13 Old 12-07-2007, 12:06 AM
 
GinaRae's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Lghtly toasted and fogged in NorCal
Posts: 5,410
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My 12 year old has been diagnosed bipolar (since he was 7 or 8) and we were pretty anti meds before his diagnosis. He's on some pretty heavy meds and we're weaning him off them in favor of Abilify due to his doctor's recommendations. Supposedly Abilify is going to do the same as his other meds but is more gentle on his body. Anything sounds better than the meds he's on and he MUST be on meds. Without them we were losing him.

Also, DS was recently trialed on Adderall and WOW what a terrible reaction. He looked like a drug addict, shaking and tongue tied and ... anyway, the doc said due to that reaction, he wouldn't be able to use those class of drugs. Sounds like that's the same case as your son on SSRI's - they will all have the same reaction.

I guess because your son isn't just general anxiety but this is a very serious issue for him, I would suggest giving it a try. I don't know that it works for anxiety, but I can see that it might. My mom has seen it help people on the psych ward, my son's doc recommends it, etc.

Good luck!

Almost a b-ball team: : Taylor -14, Alex -11, Jack -8, Lachlan born at home 11/15/07
"Well behaved women rarely make history"
GinaRae is offline  
#4 of 13 Old 12-07-2007, 06:48 PM
 
AnyMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 411
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
2 things: Your teacher is NOT a mental health professional, so she should not be recommending a specific medication. Actually, in some states it's illegal for a teacher to do this. Abilify is an atypical antipsychotic, as far as I know it is not approved as a treatment for anxiety.

Abilify bears warnings not to take it for longer than 6 weeks, it's longterm advantages/safety have yet to be determined and most studies don't show a substantial benefit to taking it for long term.

Also know that this is a VERY expensive drug. Drugs in this class are very hard on the liver, and most can cause blood sugar problems leading to diabetes.

Now it is possible that your son is bipolar and the Zoloft caused a manic episode. If that's the case, then abilify might be an acceptable drug for mood stabilization, but there are plenty of other drugs out there with more established long term safety guidelines. It's also possible that his serotonin levels are fine, so he doesn't need to inhibit it's reuptake. If you mess with something that's not a problem, it can cause bad side effects.

Have you tried natural alternatives? Like calm's forte for children or rescue remedy. Also, valerian root is an potent anti-anxiety herb, and you can buy a valerian extract for children by a company called "herbs for kids" it's name is "super calm".
AnyMama is offline  
#5 of 13 Old 12-07-2007, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
chantald's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NY's Mid Hudson Valley
Posts: 1,294
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hello
I know that the teacher is not a mental health professional. I did specifically ask her for her thoughts on DS and treatment options. So, she was not offering advice unasked, which she cannot do.

I know that Abilify is not approved for children, not much is unfortunatly..

I don't think he is bipolar, but I will ask his therapist if he thinks so. Since it hasn't been mentioned in the years we have been seeing him, I doubt it.

How does one measure seratonin levels to confirm that they are appropriate?

Trust me when I say we have tried every natural and alternative approach that we can think of. Valerian super calm (herbs for kids) actually made him worse.. *shrug*
chantald is offline  
#6 of 13 Old 12-07-2007, 08:57 PM
 
AnyMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 411
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
It's not about abilify being approved for children or not. Lots of psyche drugs aren't approved for children. The issue I'm trying to point out is that 1) you shouldn't look to a teacher to suggest a drug for your child and 2) this particular medication IS NOT RECOMMENDED for use longer than 6 WEEKS!!!! And it has long term implications for your son's overall wellbeing. He is not old enough to weigh the risk/benefits, which is why you need to do that as his mother, with the help of a doctor.

Why not go see a psychiatrist and explain the situation and see what the doctor recommends? He may well choose abilify, I can't say. But don't suggest a drug, let the doctor suggest one, that's what he's trained to do.

You can't measure serotonin levels, there is no test for it. But if he's not depressed, they're probably fine.

Another thing to bear in mind is that Anti-psychotic medications (and Abilify is one) can cause psychosis in reverse responders. Your son is sounding an awful lot like a reverse responder based on what you've said so far. So if so far he reacts negatively to everything, you run the risk of him becoming psychotic if you jump the gun and insist on Abilify.
AnyMama is offline  
#7 of 13 Old 12-08-2007, 10:16 AM
kjm
 
kjm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Western MA
Posts: 530
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnyMama View Post
It's not about abilify being approved for children or not. Lots of psyche drugs aren't approved for children. this particular medication IS NOT RECOMMENDED for use longer than 6 WEEKS!!!! And it has long term implications for your son's overall wellbeing. He is not old enough to weigh the risk/benefits, which is why you need to do that as his mother, with the help of a doctor.
I agree with AnyMama, you just don't know what the long term effects will be. As an aunt to twins forced into the Asperger's paradigm (who suffered many side effects of psych meds from ages 2-8) I would say that there are definitely other resources. My sis was mislead by pharma happy doctors until she finally found a DAN doctor (Defeat Autism Now doc). The twins have fully recovered through supplements (like Vitamin B injections) and diet (wheat and dairy free). It was a fair amount of work, but not as much work as dealing with the daily melt-downs and behavioral issues. And the kids are much happy and healthier--they know that they have recovered!!
check out http://www.autism.com/

11/24/08 SMBC with a loving LTR DP in a Queer & Poly relationshiploving my new baby Kale Cqolbi Justice!!!!!
kjm is offline  
#8 of 13 Old 12-09-2007, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
chantald's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NY's Mid Hudson Valley
Posts: 1,294
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnyMama View Post
if you jump the gun and insist on Abilify.
I am not insisting on ANY drug. We have been trying for years to avoid them. I was trying to find out more about this drug from real people, instead of the literature provided by the maker. I had never heard of it before and IF the Dr suggested medication and IF this drug was mentioned (by the DR) I wanted to have some information on it already.

That was the reason for my post, I'm sorry if that was unclear.
chantald is offline  
#9 of 13 Old 12-09-2007, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
chantald's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NY's Mid Hudson Valley
Posts: 1,294
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjm View Post
I agree with AnyMama, you just don't know what the long term effects will be. As an aunt to twins forced into the Asperger's paradigm (who suffered many side effects of psych meds from ages 2-8) I would say that there are definitely other resources. My sis was mislead by pharma happy doctors until she finally found a DAN doctor (Defeat Autism Now doc). The twins have fully recovered through supplements (like Vitamin B injections) and diet (wheat and dairy free). It was a fair amount of work, but not as much work as dealing with the daily melt-downs and behavioral issues. And the kids are much happy and healthier--they know that they have recovered!!
check out http://www.autism.com/
I'm sorry for your experience. I can't say my experience with Doctors has been any better.. The one Psychiatrist we saw was a Quack, the Developmental Ped was hardly better.

We are seeing a DAN Dr and have been for a year, we are doing suppliments etc. I thought I had detailed this in my orig post.. perhaps I didn't
chantald is offline  
#10 of 13 Old 12-09-2007, 07:21 PM
 
Milkymommi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Wherever the Wind Blows
Posts: 1,632
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have no opinion or recommendations... however I just wanted to offer some love and support to you as a mama with a dd that has emotional/anxiety issues I think you were quite clear and your curiosity about Abilify is fair.

Ima to Mizz.Jonas- 14, Isman- 12,Javsar- 9, Nani Gweesa- 4 and Baby Micah born into the Universe sleeping at full term Oct. 19th 2008 and Partner to Abba ~ belly.gif8/2011  Grateful to be Dead  broc1.gif
Milkymommi is offline  
#11 of 13 Old 12-09-2007, 10:17 PM
 
AnyMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 411
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Please don't take my comments as any kind of attack, I just wanted to clarify why I was saying you should approach this with caution.

I'll tell you that I do come at it with personal experience. My husband has depression and anxiety that was misdiagnosed for several months as bipolar. He went through ALL of the atypical anti-psychotic drugs, each and every one of them. They all made him super depressed, even though we kept trying different anti-depressants and different doses. He couldn't think, he couldn't feel, and that made him miserable. I just wanted to make sure you realize that these drugs are serious stuff, and not necessarily a starting place unless you have a diagnosis for which they make sense. This one especially is very new, and hasn't been evaluated for long-term use. You have to think about that, it's definitely a factor.

If a doctor suggests it, then maybe it's worth a shot. Mental health diagnosis is a tricky thing. Maybe your son is bipolar...it would explain the mania like reaction to zoloft, though so would other things like his serotonin levels are fine and it made him manic because it elevated them too high.

But just apporoach it with caution. This would be an off label use in 3 ways:
1) it's not approved for anxiety
2) it's not approved for children
3) it's not recommended for use for more than 6 weeks


I'd say the most important thing is to find a doctor you trust and who you can work with and get a good handle on what's going on, then you can experiment. Chances are it's going to be a long road to finding the right combination for your son. And what works now might not always work.

btw, I love this website for research: http://crazymeds.us/ it's humorous and has a lot of good info about meds...and the people who write it have tried them all.
AnyMama is offline  
#12 of 13 Old 03-26-2008, 01:24 PM
 
blakeandbradysmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I am totally new to this web page so I hope I am doing this right.
My son was seen yesterday by a psych. and diagnosed with pdd - nos and put on abilify and focalin. I wondered after reading your post if your child did take the abilify and how it worked, his symptoms seem so close to my sons.
blakeandbradysmom is offline  
#13 of 13 Old 03-31-2008, 02:31 AM
 
bmammaof3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: midwest
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I just wanted you to know my 5 yr old was diagnosed with Aspergers in October. He was also diagnosed with sensor processing delay when he was 3.The pychiatrist that he saw originally put him on Risperdal in Dec, he had a complete turn around by mid January at school and has gone from a self contained cross catagorial special ed classroom for his daily meltdowns, to being mainstreamed 95% of his day now. He also attends OT once a week and works with a behavior therapist, both acutally have a huge impact on him. We had to change him from the Risperdal to the Abilify just within this past 2 months because of a 10lb weight gain. We tried diet, herbal supplements, etc and nothing worked. He needed something that gave him the opportunity to think about what the right choice would be in a given situation instead of just reacting to the situation. Previous to the meds, his was physically and verbally aggressive. Now all of that is behind of for the most part. When he does on a rare occasion have a meltdown there is no more physical aggression, and very little verbal aggression. My pediatrician who serves on the board of directors for Loyola Childrens' Hospital agrees with the pychiatrist as to his treatment. As always with any medication for anyone, we are vigilant watching changes in his daily life, physical appearance, actions, etc. In my opinion, you know what is best for your child. I feel that I would not withhold medication from him if he had diabetes, or any other physical ailment that required him to benefit from medication. I was one parent that said I would never put my child on meds. I can say today I was wrong. Who knows, tomorrow I could say that I made a horrible mistake for putting him on meds. But I will be the one who knows when enough is enough. I hope that helps.
bmammaof3 is offline  
Reply

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off