Terrible reaction to meds — The Bump
Special Needs

Terrible reaction to meds

DS (6 yo, ASD) is on a schedule of meds for ADHD and Anxiety. The SSRI (Celexa) we started a week ago at 5 mg, and then one week in we were supposed to increase to 10 mg. On the 5 mg we saw virtually no change. He had a very rough go when we upped to 10 mg.  Within a couple hours he was gnashing his teeth and just totally "out of it". Unfortunately it was also Christmas Eve. DH had to practically hold him down in church. He would yell out things and just kept rolling his head around and squinting his eyes. Afterwards was our small family gathering. There were no other kids there, the wifi wasn't working at their house and he was totally antisocial- he wouldn't talk to anyone. At one point he took to rolling around on the floor for like a half hour. He got to sleep late and woke up Christmas morning in the same foul mood. He tore into his presents before anyone woke up (totally unlike him- he's a rule boy and knows better). He didn't show any excitement over anything. Even my Mom, who is a major skeptic, said it seemed like it "stole his joy." Finally he crashed midday and slept for three hours and woke up back to "normal." We went back to 5 mg and he continued with his usual "normal" self.

I know every kid is different, but how would you have handled this? I'm wondering if I should have called the after hours nurses line? They warned me that insurance doesn't cover these calls, and I figured they'd just tell me to dial it back. I don't think this was just an "excitement of the holidays" type of glitch. We meet with his psych in two days and I'm afraid she'll tell me the drug has to settle in and we should try again. Thoughts/opinions? Does this sound familiar to anyone?

Re: Terrible reaction to meds

  • We didn't do an ssri with dd but I have taken celexa myself and dd is on seizure meds. The first couple of weeks are brutal. Dd stumbled around looking drunk on her seizure med, was angry and tired. Once she settled in (and we added some b6 as a mood stabilizer) she did just fine.

    You can do one of two things with upping meds. You can try an extra week of 5mg, you can do a week at 7.5 then move up, or bite the bullet and do the 10mg.
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  • -auntie- said:
    Who's prescribing his medication? Dev pedi or pyschiatrist? SSRIs are notoriously difficult to trial; when you add ASD to the mix it is even harder. You really need someone who has a lot of experience with kids on spectrum.

    It's a psych who only sees kids on the spectrum. She's great, and I fully trust her, so that's a bonus. I'm totally kicking myself for not taking a video! Duh. Live and learn. I was also afraid I didn't give the drug enough time to really reveal itself. Now school will be starting next week.. ugh. Oh well, we'll see what she says in a couple days. Thanks for the insight.



  • Spooko said:

    My experience with DS isn't strictly analogous, but I wanted to offer my sympathy, regardless. We tried DS on Adderall last spring with disastrous results. He became aggressive and violent and it was really scary. I think he even scared himself and was so out of control. I did call the hotline at the time and they basically just told me to wait out the 10 hours or so. IDK that there's much you realistically could have done differently.

    Now, since we had given him a stimulant and they're pretty easy on/off, we elected to only try one more time (same results) before scrapping that meds entirely. It wasn't worth it for what we were hoping to achieve. We waited another year with DS because we were pretty scared off, but just started Ritalin this last week with him. The results have been incredible. I think it makes all the difference to find the right med. I hope you are able to do so sooner rather than later. I know how much this process sucks. 

    Thanks so much- this is encouraging. I'm glad you are finding some success after all that! What a relief it must be.
    [Deleted User]
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