I have read so many posts on this board from parents who are frustrated with their childrens' Autism. Whether it is causing biting, tamtrums in public, difficultly with following directions, general crying spells, sensory issues, aggressive behavior toward siblinigs, classmates or even adults, sleep problems or even self-injurious behavior, we finally have a possible cure! My son has been on Risperdal 1 mg at night for 5 years (he is 11). Johnson and Johnson just got Risperdal approved by the FDA as a medication to help kids with the above listed issues. It has ELIMINATED these problems from our lives!!!! Other medications in the same family that are helping Autistic children I know are Seroquel, Abilify, Geodon, anti-depressants, and ADHD medication. I assume the other drug companies will soon get approval for these drugs also. All 3 of my kids have been on some type of medication in these families that has made such significant progress in helping them overcome Autism and ADHD, that I can't help but encourage everyone I talk to to at least TRY these medications. Doctors in many states are learning from my kids how to solve the puzzle of Autism. I feel obligated to share with you this important news and hope your comfort level for TRYING medication on your kids in general will dramatically increase so that the severety of Autism in your home can dramatically decrease! Along with that change, you will see a substantially better quality of life for everone involved!
Feel free to ask me any questions about the medications or other approaches we've used if you llike. I only want to help kids in any way possible from all that I have learned. By the way, my kids were started on medicaiton at age 2 by our neurologist and pschiatrist.
I have 3 sons, the 2 older having autism. My second son, age 9, has been on risperdal for approximately 2 1/2 years. Is it a miracle drug....of course not. I have not noticed any side affects which is nice. My son was a runner, and his dr. thought the risperdal would would work well with taking the edge off and perhaps curbing his impulsivity to run. He does not run off much at all anymore. I can't give all credit to the meds. Of course we become more diligent as parents, kids change as they age, and I am sure most of us have our children in some other sort of therapy as well. You do need a prescription to get this medication, and if you think it may benefit your child, I would speak to your doctor about it. I just don't want people thinking this is going to cure your children, because it won't. Can it help your child....possibly. Kids on the spectrum vary so much from child to child who knows what will work from one child to the next.
You really have a great attitude! If you don't try the medication, even if it is just for a few weeks, you'll never know how much it may calm your child and help them concentrate and learn. For my kids when they meet new people, the person doesn't even realize they have Asutism. They have had a miraculous recovery from a COMBINATION of medication, intensive therapy, excellent school system, tremendous patience and unconditional love from family and TONS of confidence building and complementing on a daily basis. I don't think they would have been able to come this far without the medication piece, it is critical! If it doesn't help your child you can always try something else or take them off and try again in a couple years. There is so little to lose and SO MUCH TO GAIN!!! Why not try?
Sorry to post again but I forgot 2 quick points. First, you do need a prescription for all of these medictions. Most often children are seen by a Child Psychiatrist or Pediatric Neurologist to be diagnosed and given the proper medicaiton. It is legal and possible to get a prescription for these classes of drugs from your Pediatrician or other M.D. in a related field. Also, it is VERY IMPORTANT for children to start out on a very low dose of any new medication and gradually increase to a theraputic level over days, weeks or even months with some medications. This way if there are any side effects the drug can be stopped, leveled off, or lower, before the dose gets too high. Also if it is substantially helping the child at a low dose, the child dosen't have to be on a higher dose than absolutely necassary. The most frequent side effect for kids I've experienced with Risperdal, Abilify, Geodon, Seroquel and Zyprexa (very bad with Zyprexa) is weight gain of 5 to 25 lbs. in a year. Sometimes just lowering the dose a little will stop the problem, but it is something to watch. Otherwise, the benefits of these drugs definitely outweigh any concerns to this point!
I just wanted to add that there are VERY serious side affects to risperdal. As I said earlier we have been lucky to not experience any of them. Its awesome that it seems to be such a great fit for your family also gotitbad. I do feel that its a bit presumptuous to say the benefits far outweigh the risks. Each family needs to decide for themselves what works best for them. You can do a search on risperdal and you will see there can be quite serious side affects, mostly in the elderly. There has been very little research done on the side effects in children.
It's great these drugs are available, but I'm curious to know how long the subjects in this study were taking the Risperdal and other drugs? My son is 3, and displays many of the behavioral issues. But the thought of him on medication the rest of his life- not knowing what kind of an effect it may have on him years down the line- is kind of scary.
We would all love to find a magic pill that would fix our kids. One a day, for life & you're set. But I don't think we're there yet -- at least in terms of doing this without some uncertainty for what the future may hold.
The studies done on Risperdal safety & efficacy in children have been limited to 8 weeks or less in duration. When you consider that this drug is intended for long-term use, the question should arise, has safety over the long term in children been proven?
The S & E studies on Risperdal for adults were similar in length, 6 - 8 weeks, and this drug came up smelling like a rose. However, after years of clinical experience across many countries, it is commonly recognized that adults taking Risperdal long-term have a 300% increase over controls in rate of stroke or stroke-like effects. As of 2003, there were 16 deaths among adults attributed to Risperdal.
Other common side-effects of Risperdal include: irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness and spasms, high fever, constipation, weight gain, headache, diabetes, pancreatitis, and early-onset osteoporosis.
A less common but extremely serious side-effect that has occurred with Risperdal is Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome, a potentially fatal situation characterized by muscle rigidity and cardiac instability (irregular blood pressure, tachycardia, irregular pulse). Tardive Dyskinesia, involuntary movements of the limbs as well as twitching of the face and tongue, may also develop & in some cases persists after withdrawal of the medication.
Now that this drug has gotten the official FDA stamp, we should know a lot more about the effect of its long-term use on the developing brain in about 10 yrs. time.
Since the drug has been used off-label for a few yrs. now on some children, we do know that weight gain & disturbed glucose tolerance are very common side effects. Children on long-term Risperdal are at risk of developing diabetes.
We don't have a lot of information on what happens to little ones raised on Risperdal when they go through adolescence. That info gap is something I would not take lightly.
If my child exhibited severe aggression or self-injurious behavior, I would perhaps consider a trial of Risperdal after exploring other options. Particularly in an older child or teen.
However, if my child's behavioral problems were mild to moderate, I would explore other avenues of treatment first. And if my child were young, I would double my efforts to explore nondrug treatments. IMO.
Hello, I'm new to this board-so please forgive the intrution if necessary.
I am a parent of a 15 yr old son with autism,and like all of us parents and caregivers dealing with the everyday issues that we may have to battle I have been through the ringer,>so to speak< with my son,his doctors and medications. I happen to be one of those people who has to read all the information I can get before I allow a new medication to be given to my son,not just from a little piece of paper the doctor or pharmacist gives you,actual research.
Now I can't express enough how important what Vicky is saying,and THANK YOU,by the way.These drugs - Risperdol,Seroquel,Abilify,Zyprexa,& Geodon- are in a class called "Atypical Antipsychotics" usually prescribed for schizophrenia,mania,& other psychotic disorders, and there are some VERY serious side efects possible.I have, and always state the point that every person responds to medications/situations in different ways,that said, I am very happy for whoever started this thread and your children, however for anyone else who is reading this information and thinking that there is a possible "cure" for your childs behavioral problems-PLEASE READ THIS- these medications,some more than others have the potential to be life threatning, it is not a common problem,but it is well worth your time to really study up on them.I usually read up on things in the PDR (Physicians Desk Reference),just ask your doctor to read through it with you/or at least let you have some time to look at it for reference before your decision,or you can buy one, another good one, the pill book- is put into terms that are easier to understand & can be purchaced at most drug stores.
I have had my son on all of these but Geodon and Abilify and although he responded well at first to Risperdal & Zyprexa he had a 50lb wt gain,developed diabetes,and began throwing up uncontrollably- that landed him in the pediatric ICU for two weeks- he had orthostatic hypotension,meaning his blood pressure would drop very fast upon sitting up/standing,leading to him passing out and heart irregularities.This is a very common side effect,as is dehydration,the inability to control body temperature when exposed to heat, high blood glucose levels,and irregular heart rate/rythems.The WORST MUST be weighed into your decision also,Tardive Dyskinesia,characterized by uncontrollable muscle spasms & twitches in the face and body..these can be PERMANENT,also NMS (Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome) this can be FATAL..
I'm not trying to squash anyones dreams of a better life for your child,one without tantrums,self injuries,running,etc.. We all just want the best for our kids but we must educate ourselves before trying any new medication, I'm not against meds at all,don't get me wrong-my son takes medication(clonidine- as needed) and he does great,he is happy and energetic, he has music therapy 2x per wk,attends a behavioral intervention after school therapy program,and is in a special class in a regular school with speech,OT & PT, he is even mainstreamed into the regular population for PE class(a huge accomplishment).Everyone have a good day and I hope that after reading this that we might think of picking up a BOOK before a prescription.
Last edited by Administrator; 03-08-2013 at 12:53 PM.
elmhar: you can type faster than me!!! I read this and nearly screamed NOT SO FAST!!!! thank you for what you said, I see you have done your research too and hope that the message gets through - no magic pills out there.Thank you, Rebecca
I appreciate your posting of your personal experiences w/atypicals.
I have a 16 yo son, PDD-NOS, who has a few mild to moderate mood issues (mostly anxiety). He is a mellow kid, not aggressive, violent, or a tantrumer. Not a runner. We were HORRIFIED when a child psychiatrist ("local autism specialist') recommended a "trial" of Risperdal -- at a time when our son didn't even have a dx on the spectrum. When we asked this doc what the basis of that recommendation was, he said something like, "you never know what will help ..."
WEEEEELL jimminie crickets! Why are we paying you $2000 for your opinion here ????
We should have known ... all the reading material in the waiting room was pharma promos. Let this serve as a warning to all parents out there. Many psychiatrists will recommend "the hot drug" -- there are usually certain incentives for them to do so, monitored easily by the pharmaceutical companies.
When our son did finally get his dx on the spectrum, courtesy of a very-well respected research U clinic, the recommendations were NOT for any atypicals. Counselling was #1 recommendation.
I'm glad your son is doing well on his regimen of meds & therapies.
This is just my opinion and I am no expert on medications, but I feel the need to say this. You should research these meds. before trying them out. My son was on Respirdal for about a year and he gained about 40lbs in that time. Weight gain is a side effect, muscle cramps, heat stroke among others. Like someone stated above meds are not a cure all. Jace is on Abilify now along with a blood pressure med. to calm his circulatory sys. down for sleeping. From my experience the most obvious change is my child is a little calmer now. I was hesitant to try any meds and I didn't do so, until I found a psychiatrist that I was completely comfortable with. Remember parents the DR. gets "paid" to prescribe, that's their job. Another point I would like to bring up is that if you begin taking medication, you will eventually run out of options. The child will grow and become resistant, that leads to an increased dosage, which leads to a med switch. This cycle goes on and on... hope I don't offend anyone, just something to think about. I know I don't want to run out of options and I do not want my son to become a zombie.
It is sad, but true that nobody can possibly be an actual "expert" on medication. Even though I strongly advocate doing all the research humanly possible, there are still odd things that can happen with meds that aren't listed as side effects. Especially when the meds are actually intended to alter brain chemical balances,every persons body responds differently to medication, so what may work great for one, may have ill effects on another.Our best resourse is ourselves,doing the research and making an informed decision- you really still will not know how your child will respond, but at least you are educated on what things to look for as far as a potential bad reaction and will know to call the Dr. or go to the ER if necessary. I mentioned earlier that there can be a inability to tolorate exposure to heat or sun- that was an understatement, someone else wrote the word heatstroke- that is the real word for the long description that I wrote,and also much more alarming when you read it-thank you.When I mentioned calling the Dr. or going to the ER that is what I was referring to, if a child has a fever you would usually think of a cold bath or a fever reducer, but on these particular meds you know that you had better be safe than sorry- providing you've done the research and know heatstroke is a possibility.I am very happy for anyone who has had or is having a great reaction with any of these meds,we are all just looking for what will work best for our kids, for them to be happy, safe,and to be able to function in society a little easier,thats how I feel at least.