View Full Version : Anxiety, rage and medication


needsunshine
03-15-17, 07:37 AM
Hello,
I am after some advice or help regarding my 11 year old son. He has a diagnosis of ASD and ADHD and more recently anxiety.
He was taking concerta xl 45mg and suffered from worsening anxiety so prescribed sertraline 50mg. After an initial sucess on sertraline it went downhill and meltdowns became more frequent so we put him on a higher dose of 100mg. He has now reached a point of hitting total rage over non-events so I am thinking it is the sertraline reacting badly so am (under clinical advice) tapering it.
I also want to get him off the concerta as I think that may be causing the anxiety. (I was told that managing the ADHD an uncover anxiety, I am now thinking it may just be the meds causing it?)
Anyone else experienced anything like this? Any positive stories or advice or thoughts?
Any idea how long it will take for him to stop raging? Still waiting for advice on stopping the concerta, can I do that at the same time as the sertraline?
We seem to be in crisis but no professional seems to be able to offer a solution so I am floundering.

dvdnvwls
03-15-17, 03:53 PM
Both things are possible just from the ADHD medication - uncovering the person's authentic anxiety and authentic rage, OR in cases of a too high dose, medication-caused anxiety and medication-caused rage

Postulate
03-15-17, 04:19 PM
Hello,
I am after some advice or help regarding my 11 year old son. He has a diagnosis of ASD and ADHD and more recently anxiety.
He was taking concerta xl 45mg and suffered from worsening anxiety so prescribed sertraline 50mg. After an initial sucess on sertraline it went downhill and meltdowns became more frequent so we put him on a higher dose of 100mg. He has now reached a point of hitting total rage over non-events so I am thinking it is the sertraline reacting badly so am (under clinical advice) tapering it.
I also want to get him off the concerta as I think that may be causing the anxiety. (I was told that managing the ADHD an uncover anxiety, I am now thinking it may just be the meds causing it?)
Anyone else experienced anything like this? Any positive stories or advice or thoughts?
Any idea how long it will take for him to stop raging? Still waiting for advice on stopping the concerta, can I do that at the same time as the sertraline?
We seem to be in crisis but no professional seems to be able to offer a solution so I am floundering.

What's the father's opinion on these medications? When both are home, how are they interacting and what activities are they doing together?

Caco3girl
03-16-17, 07:48 AM
Hello,
I am after some advice or help regarding my 11 year old son. He has a diagnosis of ASD and ADHD and more recently anxiety.
He was taking concerta xl 45mg and suffered from worsening anxiety so prescribed sertraline 50mg. After an initial sucess on sertraline it went downhill and meltdowns became more frequent so we put him on a higher dose of 100mg. He has now reached a point of hitting total rage over non-events so I am thinking it is the sertraline reacting badly so am (under clinical advice) tapering it.
I also want to get him off the concerta as I think that may be causing the anxiety. (I was told that managing the ADHD an uncover anxiety, I am now thinking it may just be the meds causing it?)
Anyone else experienced anything like this? Any positive stories or advice or thoughts?
Any idea how long it will take for him to stop raging? Still waiting for advice on stopping the concerta, can I do that at the same time as the sertraline?
We seem to be in crisis but no professional seems to be able to offer a solution so I am floundering.

Only a doctor should advise you on if and when to change medications he's been on long term. I can tell you that my son didn't react well to Vyvanse...lots of GRRRRRRR going on....he had only been on it for 2 days when he was taken off and he was himself the next day.

Not sure if it is relevant to YOU but I have noticed that the longer my son is on medication (and concerta is one that works for him) the less of a fog he has in his head....in other words he is more quick witted, has more of an opinion and understands better what is going on around him. Since he's 14 he has some teenage angst that is coming out now that he understands more.

needsunshine
03-16-17, 08:59 AM
Thanks for replying. I do hope this isn't his authentic anxiety and rage or we are in really big trouble! I am clinging on to the hope that it is the medication causing the issues.
He has been on the concerta for a few years in increasing doses (having tried and had a poor reaction to Equasym) but his anxiety seems to get worse alongside it. I have been researching other alternatives, has anyone tried Intuniv?
Thankfully today he seems to be a little more back to his happy self. I am trying to test him to see how far below the surface his rage is but it hasn't reared up yet today.
Could his ASD makes him more sensitive to the meds.

sarahsweets
03-16-17, 11:47 AM
There are some of us who simply do not do well with anything from the methylphenidate class of drugs. There is often no rhyme or reason to it. Have you considered dexedrine? As far as amphetamines go, it seems to be one that has a mild side effect profile.

Caco3girl
03-16-17, 12:10 PM
Thanks for replying. I do hope this isn't his authentic anxiety and rage or we are in really big trouble! I am clinging on to the hope that it is the medication causing the issues.
He has been on the concerta for a few years in increasing doses (having tried and had a poor reaction to Equasym) but his anxiety seems to get worse alongside it. I have been researching other alternatives, has anyone tried Intuniv?
Thankfully today he seems to be a little more back to his happy self. I am trying to test him to see how far below the surface his rage is but it hasn't reared up yet today.
Could his ASD makes him more sensitive to the meds.

My son did very well on concerta but he wouldn't eat so the doctor moved him to a dose of Aderall in the morning and another 20mg dose in the afternoon. He does very well on that as well, but he actually eats :- )

needsunshine
03-16-17, 02:03 PM
I will have a look into both of those as well as elvanse which I think is also an amphetamine. Are amphetamines known to be anxiety inducing do you know? (I mean in general, they all seem to react so differently in different people)
I so wish he didn't need any of it.

sarahsweets
03-16-17, 03:38 PM
I think that certain amphetamines produce less anxiety then others. Dexedrine is a good example, because it doesnt contain the levoamphetamine that adderall has. Levo tends to cause the excess PNS stimulation and anxiety if you have those types of side effects.

Postulate
03-17-17, 09:06 AM
Thanks for replying. I do hope this isn't his authentic anxiety and rage or we are in really big trouble! I am clinging on to the hope that it is the medication causing the issues.
He has been on the concerta for a few years in increasing doses (having tried and had a poor reaction to Equasym) but his anxiety seems to get worse alongside it. I have been researching other alternatives, has anyone tried Intuniv?
Thankfully today he seems to be a little more back to his happy self. I am trying to test him to see how far below the surface his rage is but it hasn't reared up yet today.
Could his ASD makes him more sensitive to the meds.

I have tried Intuniv, it's great but for me, it's a supplement to Dexedrine. What other sources of rage could the boy have? Did he use to spend lots of time with his father?

dvdnvwls
03-17-17, 05:29 PM
Yes, ASD could potentially cause medication sensitivity. Or at least they can occur together - I don't know the causes.

Autistic meltdowns are not tantrums. They can be prevented. In a child, it is unfortunately everyone else's responsibility to prevent them, because he will need time to develop the self-awareness and the required ability to assert his needs to others, to be able to prevent them himself.

Caco3girl
03-21-17, 10:31 AM
Thanks for replying. I do hope this isn't his authentic anxiety and rage or we are in really big trouble! I am clinging on to the hope that it is the medication causing the issues.
He has been on the concerta for a few years in increasing doses (having tried and had a poor reaction to Equasym) but his anxiety seems to get worse alongside it. I have been researching other alternatives, has anyone tried Intuniv?
Thankfully today he seems to be a little more back to his happy self. I am trying to test him to see how far below the surface his rage is but it hasn't reared up yet today.
Could his ASD makes him more sensitive to the meds.

Is he getting enough sleep? Do you track it? Any chance there is less rage when he gets to sleep in over the weekend?

needsunshine
03-23-17, 04:43 AM
He struggles with sleep due to the concerta but he has melatonin which helps.
The rage is just something new from the last 6 weeks or so. Meltdowns have always happened but prior to the sertraline he was very emotional and threatening to self harm. He is down to 25mg this week but still having flare-ups which is causing even more anxiety around school and other activities now. We are pretty much becoming house-bound whilst we try to reduce the medication and I am so scared that this will change his behaviour for good.

Off to see his psychiatrist today but not sure what else she can offer other than more meds and I am loathe for him to take anything else at the moment until we see him without any. Just a long, hard process which seems to be destroying his school placement and causing us all huge amounts of stress.

sarahsweets
03-24-17, 03:45 AM
He struggles with sleep due to the concerta but he has melatonin which helps.
The rage is just something new from the last 6 weeks or so. Meltdowns have always happened but prior to the sertraline he was very emotional and threatening to self harm. He is down to 25mg this week but still having flare-ups which is causing even more anxiety around school and other activities now. We are pretty much becoming house-bound whilst we try to reduce the medication and I am so scared that this will change his behaviour for good.

Off to see his psychiatrist today but not sure what else she can offer other than more meds and I am loathe for him to take anything else at the moment until we see him without any. Just a long, hard process which seems to be destroying his school placement and causing us all huge amounts of stress.

If memory serves, setraline is the generic name for zoloft? Or is it prozac? Either way, both my girls have depression and adhd. My youngest is 13 now but had to go inpatient at age 11-yes-11 because of wanted to overdose an kill herself. The medication that ultimately stabilized her was lexapro. She is not a child who could ever tolerate side effects from stimulants so thats all she takes. My 17 year old also wanted to kill herself when she was 16, this past december. She also went inpatient and then like her sister did intensive outpatient for monitoring. She was on zoloft but that made her sad and rageful. Lexapro is what saved her too. I am not saying it cant ever be the concerta but alot of times the type and dose of antidepressants are really key.

Caco3girl
03-24-17, 08:32 AM
He struggles with sleep due to the concerta but he has melatonin which helps.
The rage is just something new from the last 6 weeks or so. Meltdowns have always happened but prior to the sertraline he was very emotional and threatening to self harm. He is down to 25mg this week but still having flare-ups which is causing even more anxiety around school and other activities now. We are pretty much becoming house-bound whilst we try to reduce the medication and I am so scared that this will change his behaviour for good.

Off to see his psychiatrist today but not sure what else she can offer other than more meds and I am loathe for him to take anything else at the moment until we see him without any. Just a long, hard process which seems to be destroying his school placement and causing us all huge amounts of stress.

What time of day does he take the Concerta? Doc just started my son on Melatonin too, no idea if it's having any effect.

needsunshine
03-27-17, 05:28 AM
Yes, sertraline is our name for Zoloft. He is down to 25mg and seems to have sadness replacing some of the rage (which is where we started before the zoloft). Now signed off school so at least we haven't got that stress for the time being (although re-starting it and getting him back in will be a whole other world of issues I am sure!).
Psychiatrist seemed very keen to get him on the anti-psychotic (to be fair, I think she is worried about us being able to manage him), but I just want him on less drugs, not covering up side effects with more, so she is helping us to taper him and we have it as an emergency back up.

He has his melatonin just before lights out time to help him go off to sleep. It works well for him most of the time although last night he couldn't sleep as he had the word dead going round his head :-( Told him to try to swap it for bed instead which he liked as it rhymed.

needsunshine
09-21-17, 03:53 AM
I wanted to come back and update in case anyone else has similar experiences.
My son is now off the Sertraline / Zoloft and down to the smallest dose of Concerta XL and is a changed boy. He is back to being happy and smiley, he is back at school and doing OK. On the flip side, he lacks focus, bounces off everything when walking, and chats constantly. However, from where we have been, I would take this bonkers, happy boy over the sad, raging, mess we had when he was on medication.

I am just so relieved that I was bold enough to reduce his medication or he could be on that and an anti-psychotic now. I know they work for some children but clearly they have an adverse effect on others.

Caco3girl
09-21-17, 10:46 AM
I wanted to come back and update in case anyone else has similar experiences.
My son is now off the Sertraline / Zoloft and down to the smallest dose of Concerta XL and is a changed boy. He is back to being happy and smiley, he is back at school and doing OK. On the flip side, he lacks focus, bounces off everything when walking, and chats constantly. However, from where we have been, I would take this bonkers, happy boy over the sad, raging, mess we had when he was on medication.

I am just so relieved that I was bold enough to reduce his medication or he could be on that and an anti-psychotic now. I know they work for some children but clearly they have an adverse effect on others.

VERY true. My son was like that on Vyvanse.

Lunacie
09-21-17, 11:24 AM
I wanted to come back and update in case anyone else has similar experiences.
My son is now off the Sertraline / Zoloft and down to the smallest dose of Concerta XL and is a changed boy. He is back to being happy and smiley, he is back at school and doing OK. On the flip side, he lacks focus, bounces off everything when walking, and chats constantly. However, from where we have been, I would take this bonkers, happy boy over the sad, raging, mess we had when he was on medication.

I am just so relieved that I was bold enough to reduce his medication or he could be on that and an anti-psychotic now. I know they work for some children but clearly they have an adverse effect on others.

Clearly the doctor started your son on a too-high dose of Concerta, the dose
recommended to begin is only 18 mg. But if you've now lowered the dose to
about 18 mg and it's not helping, it might not be the best med for your son.

It's tricky finding the right med at the right dose for each person. I hope you
won't give up just because Concerta wasn't the right med for your little guy.

Go in a different direction and try Vyvanse or Adderall. Read up on them and
make sure he's starting at a low dose, it can always be increased as needed.

aeon
09-21-17, 01:02 PM
Ritalin/Concerta worked for my ADHD, but at an efficacious level, caused unbearable anxiety.

Dexedrine works for my ADHD, and at an efficacious level, reduces and removes my anxiety such that I am actually able to relax and experience calm.


Cheers,
Ian

Arei
09-27-17, 02:38 PM
From a personal standpoint, certain medications really set me off as a kid and especially a teenager, and caused the ups and downs and anxiety and rage to go off the charts. It was years before someone diagnosed me with bipolar, and it wasn't until this year that I got put on the correct medications that completely squash the rage and anxiety. It may not hurt him to have an evaluation for mental illness, because some medications aggravate symptoms. My life would've been a whole lot better if people recognized I was bipolar as a teenager, rather than throwing SSRIs and stimulants at me.

It's not always extreme bipolar I where you need to be hospitalized that people think of when they think of bipolar. It's possible for it to be in ranges where people really don't recognize it but think said person is lazy/uncaring, angry, and overly anxious. It seems irrational. Young minds are easily influenced by mental meds and are more susceptible to extremes in mood. He might have a totally different reaction to anti-depressants and stimulants when his brain has fully developed and they then work properly for him without causing aggravating moods.