View Full Version : Risperdal for 7 yr. old?

10-22-08, 06:01 PM
My 7 yr. old daughter is currently on Adderall XR 20 mg for ADHD/ODD. We have her hyperactiveness under control, but her mood swings have gotten worse. Temper tantrums lasting hours, screaming/throwing herself on the floor type of fits, etc. are getting to be the norm here lately. The counselor feels this is a mood disorder, but we're staying away from all "labels" for her right now. We're focussed on treating her symptoms. The doctor wants to try Risperdal (a very low dosage) or Abilify. I'm leaning towards Risperdal, but I wanted anyone's input on the drug before I give it to her. Honestly, I'm scared to give her more medicine. I fear side-effects that won't go away even if we stop the meds. Does anyone have experience with giving their child Risperdal? Thanks!

10-22-08, 06:40 PM
I am generally pro-medication, but...

-Why add more meds? ("polypharmacy")
-Why not try a drug holiday and see if the temper tantrums stop/lessen?
-I see that it is pretty serious to put a 7 y.o. on antipsychotics to reduce the side effects of the Adderall. <!>
-Also, antipsychotics (risperdal) have not been tested/approved for young kids, AFAIK.

#1. Have you tried GOOD HARD REGULAR EXERCISE with your child? (e.g. swimming laps or running on a soccer field for _30-60_ mins/night, til she drops?)

#2. NB In ODD, etc, usually the kids can't verbally communicate well... so their behaviour is all they have. Have you tried counselling for facilitating communication?

PS my husband is a psychiatrist. I say that last line b/c he says the MAIN THING his patients don't do is COMMUNICATE WELL. Same goes for kids who are having problems.

10-22-08, 07:23 PM
I agree with QueensU_girl. One added fact is that risperdal is actually approved for treating autism in children. It's given to reduce anger, combativeness and aggression.


10-22-08, 10:24 PM
I'm with Queens U girl. By way of 3rd hand information, I read on a psychiatrist's blog out there, a rant by the doc himself, about other psychiatrists ADDING meds when they should actually be SWITCHING meds. Kind of makes sense, eh?

10-22-08, 10:26 PM
I know every child is different but my son is 4 1/2 and has been on Risperdal for about a year. It seemed to work very well in the beginning but not so much anymore. He is being reevaluated. I do know that it counteracted with his ADHD med which is Ritalin very well.
I hope you make the best decision for your child.

10-22-08, 10:46 PM

Why don't you try to ask about putting ur child on some kind of antidepressdant?

10-23-08, 11:49 AM
Well, she has been in regular counseling for over a year now, including a special training course over the summer to help her verbalize her feelings and improve her social skills. It minimally helped. I have been involved in the counseling sessions, and I'm 100% on top of everything that's going on. Her aggression and temperment has always been present, since she was a toddler (long before she began any medication). It's just gotten worse in the last couple of weeks since we upped her Adderall dosage. The feeling is that we're dealing with something in the ballpark of Bi-Polar, we just aren't slapping a lable on it. I would love to take her off all medication, but I can't convey how DANGEROUS that would be. She is extremely impulsive/motor driven/tunnel vision when not on medicine. I firmly believe she would be dead by now if we didn't have her on meds - she will dart out through parking lots or step into traffic completely oblivious to any danger. It is scary. Not to mention I would have to bubble-wrap the entire house if we were to let her go med-free. lol She takes Clonidine at night to go to sleep (if she doesn't take it, she doesn't ALL). It calms her down, lowering her blood pressure, and has no side effects. I am hoping that she will gain a little weight on Risperdal, as the ADHD meds has caused her to gain next to nothing over the last couple of years.

Thanks for eveyone's input. At least no one told me she'll grow a second head if I put her on it. (Hey, I gotta cling to my humor to avoid crying!)

10-23-08, 05:37 PM
Give risperdal a try, but watch out for weight gain (a common side effect) and at the first sign of tardic dyskenesia (it's rare) you want to discontinue taking it.

10-29-08, 02:37 PM
My 10 yo daughter has added Abilify to her ADHD meds about 1.5 years ago. The screaming tantrums, including the suicide threats were just crazy. The abilify has really helped. Actually, the doc first tried an antidepressant which made her lethargic. Then we went to respirodal, which helped, but there was some problem with it that I dont remember. Since she went to abilify it has been going really really well. There are still tantrums, but not of the hysterical type that we experinced before.

10-29-08, 06:57 PM
These medications are great if you don't have side effects. I've been on risperdal for about 3 years with no problems.

Me :D

10-30-08, 12:30 AM
This is a minor tangent but you should google "New York Times Bipolar Kids" they featured an article a month or so ago about children with bipolar disorder. Just thought you might be interested in reading it if you haven't already.

Also google "Helena Verdeli bipolar disorder" she is my downstairs neighbor and good friend and she is currently doing a study on psychotherapeutic intervention strategies for children with bipolar disorder.

Hope the above helps. I can't imagine how difficult it is to be a parent in your situation.