The FDA approved on Friday, October 6, 2006 the use of Risperdal to treat symptoms of autism in children and adolescents.Â There was no mention of this being used for adults, which I find unusual.Â This is also theÂ first drug to be given the nod for autism.
The press release - http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061006/hl_nm/jnj_risperdal_dc_3
Initially Risperdal was approved to treat symptoms of Schizophrenia in adults.Â For the past few years it has been prescribed to children with autism.Â
My son who is now ten is non verbal and had PICA symptoms, took forever for him to sleep and had self injurious behaviors.Â When he was put on Risperdal several years ago the sleeping routine changed significantly, his eating of dirt, tree bark and picking at the walls stopped, he had a solid bowel movement for the first time in years and he stopped hitting himself.
This was wonderful news, plus the fact that this med was available in a clear liquid solution, which made it easy to hide inside his soymilk bottle twice a day.
I suggest and advise anyone who has a child that has been prescribed Risperdal to know the correct spelling of this medication and to print out the side effects to give to school nurse, teacher, aides, therapists and keep posted at home onÂ a bulletin board or on the refrigerator.Â Also keep track of the dosage amount the child is taking.
When my son started medication I kept him home for two days and kept a log of his eating habits, sleep patterns and bowel movements.Â This is good to do whenever a medication dosage is changed.Â
My ex husband, father to my children, who both are on the Autism Spectrum, is Paranoid Schizophrenic.Â He was on Risperdal years ago before it was suggested for my son.Â I was able to observe how his personality and behavior changed when on this medication.Â It was the only time he was able to endure supervised visitation with the kids and comprehend it all, to a degree.Â
I noticed his weight gain, which I found to be a plus for my son as he was malnourished for awhile due to his limited food intake that was a result of his autism.Â I researched the medication before making that decision.Â I was one of those parents who was dead set against medication.
At the time I was on speaking terms wiht my Mother and she would explain how medication is what kept my sister alive.Â She was born with a brain tumor, had seizures and became blind as a result of the last operation.Â This was about the age of eight for her and I was a few years older.
I have written an article about the side effects and what I had to do about the teacher and aide who disagreed about the side effects.Â It is quite normal for people to assume the side effects of Rispderal - known as Tardive Dyskinesia, are autistic behaviors.
IÂ was told my son was just mimicking another child with his hands.Â This was not the case and they could not decipher between hand flapping and jerking movements of the hand.Â My son had jerking movements of his legs and was constantly smacking his lips.
This occurred after upping the dosage of the Risperdal.Â I notified the Developmental Pediatrician and we lowered the dosage back to the initial dose and then had to change to another medication as the side effects continued.
Our experience with Rispderal - know the side effects
Tardive Dyskinesia - Make sure you know the spelling of this.
A parent on one of the autism groups I belong to mentioned that her daughter has pubic hair and has been on Rispderal.Â This is a girl that is seven years old.Â I wonder if this is why my son has lots of hair on his legs.
Please do research on the medication that you place on your child and keep them home for a day so you can monitor your child's behaviors and be there for them while they go through changes a medication can do to their bodies and systems.
My sonÂ has been on Geodon for a few years now and all is well.Â It is a capsule and I open it up and break half into one bottle and the other in the night bottle.
The FDA approving this is for the symtoms of self injurious behaviors, aggression, temper tantrums and irritability.Â They do not state that there is significant weight gain with this, but that might not be the case if your child is on other meds.Â The other side effect I find rewarding is the ease in putting your child to sleep.Â My son is still going to sleep by 7 pm and gets up at 6 am.
The time change is when he gets up around 3 am, for a few days before the clocks change twice a year.Â I met a parent at the SSI office a week ago who was just getting SSI for her child.Â She mentioned he had ADHD and was on Rispderdal.Â That was the first I heard of SSI paying for ADHD and Risperdal being used for it.
I hear of many parents on the OCD group putting their kids on Rispderal along with other medications.Â I also read of many kids on the Autism Spectrum that weigh a lot.Â
Good luck with the decision to medicate your child and do research, observe your child and teach those that work with your child about the side effects.