Medications for Asperger’s, ADHD, Insomnia and Depression/Anxiety


First of all I cannot stress enough that the meds that he takes may not be the right meds for your child and you should always discuss meds, including over the counter vitamins and supplements with a physician. Additionally I personally believe that every person reacts differently to these meds. But since I find myself answering questions about meds on my page an other pages I thought I would just write a post.

I do realize that not everyone wants to medicate their child and it is a personal decision. If you do not like the idea of prescribed meds, the discussion on supplements is under the last heading, Follow up with the Pediatric Neurologist. I decided to put him on medications to help him be able to assist him in paying attention in school and also to help him with being able to focus on the issues he needed to work on.

Additionally he is verbal and has articulated at various times over the years how the meds help him. I feel it important (but recognize not everyone has this luxury) to involve him in all medication discussions. He has actually been the one to ask for a certain medication to be increased when discussing issues he is having at school. His input regarding various medications are included below. I have to admit that helps a lot with my decision making!

ADHD

Since he was originally diagnosed with ADHD when he was 6 the first medication tried was for ADHD. The first med was Concerta. I am sorry I don’t remember the doses since it was so long ago but I remember the first dose didn’t seem to work exactly and so they increased the dose. I remember quite vividly the result of that. He was very irritable and got so mad at me the one day he tried to choke me. He was 6 and about a third of my size so it didn’t cause any harm but it did freak me out. I sometimes laugh at inappropriate times and actually laughed out loud and then he laughed and he decided he didn’t want to choke me anymore. Now at 14 and bigger then me trying to choke me would not end so well. Probably why i get so anxious about switching meds.

He was quickly switched to Straterra and we have had good results. He has been steadily increased on his dosage and is now at the max dosage of 100 mg for about two years. I split the dose to 50 mg at night and 50 mg in the morning because he told me he was not feeling the medication until 5th period when we were giving him the full dose in the morning. Getting this approved through the insurance company was a PITA but worth it!

Depression/Anxiety

When he was 10 he was diagnosed with Depression. I did not want to put him on an anti-depressant and we started cognitive behavioral therapy which did help a lot. He was able to discuss the issues that were making him depressed but he still had a lot of issues. It was also discovered he had Anxiety and in particular social anxiety. We eventually decided to try Zoloft at 50 mg- I think we started that when he was 11. Zoloft helps with depression and anxiety and has been found to specifically help social anxiety so it seemed like the good choice.

About 6 months after starting Zoloft he wanted to spend the night at a friends house. I was not comfortable with him going because I did not know the parents that well and he usually does not do well at sleep overs. It is just too long for him and he doesn’t sleep well and issues start to occur. If the other child sleeps over at our house I can monitor the sleeping and recognize when he needs a break. Anyways one of the excuses I told my son was that he just had too many meds so why not have the child sleep over at our house. He of course told the other child what I said. After he got off the phone I tried explaining to my son that he doesn’t need to tell his friends about his meds. His response: “One day I was like life sucks and the next day I was all happy, I think they know I am on meds.” So I took that to mean the medication helped him.

About 9 months ago he really started to struggle with a lot of things. This is around the time he had to change psychologists and he had other medical issues. The social issues also became more evident and he dropped out of a youth orchestra after having a meltdown in rehearsal. I didn’t intend to change any of his meds but at the psychiatrist appointment he said that the medication didn’t feel like it was working. We decided an increase in dosage might be helpful. The 50 mg pill was blue and the 100 mg pill is a cream color so he was very disappointed he could no longer tell people he is taking the “blue pill” but not the “blue pill” from “The Matrix”.

Insomnia

He has always had issues with sleeping which can clearly affect behavior. We tried Melatonin and that just never seemed to cut it. The regular pediatrician refused to prescribe him anything else. We started taking him to a psychiatrist about 2 years ago for medication management and they prescribed Trazadone for sleep. We started at 50 mg but soon increased to 75 and then 100 mg. It still isn’t perfect.

He was diagnosed with Aspergers about 4 months ago- May, 2011 by a pediatric neurologist. She had some real issues with him being on Trazadone because she said it can actually cause behavior issues. We did a trial run of Clonidine 0.1 mg over the summer for about a week but I swear it made him non-verbal and it was really, really scary. He barely said anything so i never found out what the med really did so I switched him back to Trazadone. We have agreed to do a trial run of Remeron over christmas break.

Follow up with Pediatric Neurologist

We decided to go back to the pediatric neurologist last week to have her do all of his medication management and we will not be going back to the psychiatrist. The pediatric neurologist specializes in autism spectrum disorders so I feel more comfortable going to her. Additionally my son seems more comfortable with the way she interacts with him compared to the psychiatrist which is the most important. She agrees with the Straterra and Zoloft but again does not agree with the Trazadone but we agreed to wait until a break from school to try Remeron.

I also wanted advice on possible supplements since I had read about people having success with various supplements for ADHD and even Autism. She suggested one a day teen advantage for him. I did notice that it has 250% of B6 and B12 which are the supplements I have read people having success with. Omega 3/6/9 but he has to take the chewables because I have tried caplets before with him and of course they smell too bad. Because I have read about immunity issues are common on the spectrum I wanted to discuss a possible supplement for this as well. He gets sick often and it takes him forever to get over colds she suggested coldeeze (zinc) and vitamin C once he starts to get sick. We also discussed staying on the zinc all of the time for his pica issues- he never actually eats the metal but he craves chewing on metal.

Progress on New Supplements

I tried to start him on all of these new supplements but it was too much of a change for him. I successfully started him on the vitamin c because he was currently sick. I am adding the One A Day today since it has so many things including zinc in it. I tried to coax him into taking it by pointing out it was blue, yay! He informed me he would rather have the red one. I had to watch “The matrix” to confirm that Neo took the red pill. My son really is awesome.

Even with the Matrix thing he still said it was too soon to take the new blue pill. I am really not sure he will ever take the coldeeze lozenge or the omega 3/6/9 due to the taste but I intend to try. I will keep you posted on what supplements he takes and any benefit that he has or self reports.

Please let me know of any experiences you have had with any of these meds. Thanks!

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Comments

  1. Well put Keep up the good work. I do love the manner in which you have presented this specific concern. Thanks.

  2. Great content on website. Very well written and explained. Will bookmark site to visit again.

Trackbacks

  1. […] I recently posted details about my son’s medication regimen here.  I wanted to update you on his supplements and also to tell everyone about a recent minor […]

  2. […] 6.  http://aspieside.com/2011/09/24/medications-for-aspergers-adhd-insomnia-and-depressionanxiety/ […]

  3. […] we lost The Matrix persona and we were all just real with each other.  Like my son I would like to take the red pill.  I would like to be in the world where I belong and they accept my son and me.   We don’t […]

  4. […] the past I had written about his medications and how we decided what medications worked for him here and here.  As I mentioned in those please remember every kid is different.  All medication […]

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