The Right Decision
Thursday, September 20, 2007
In February of 2006, my son (age 7) was prescribed Risperidone (Risperdal), an atypical antipsychotic. It was widely used in BP children, although not labeled for such, and was the first medication suggested.

We took him off the drug in October, because I was able to get the same effect using a more natural diet and supplements (specifically, zinc, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and choline). In fact, the results on the diet, etc. were so dramatic that we forgot to give him his medication for a few days (husband dear thought I was giving it to him in the morning, I thought he was giving it to him at night) and we didn't even notice. I didn't tell the school about the change - they didn't notice either, and Mr R continued to do well there.

We took him off the drug because:
  • It was expensive ($180 for a 30 day supply) (That's with insurance)
  • It had many serious side effects reported, including irreversible diabetes, high cholesterol, liver damage, and breast growth in males requiring a mastectomy. There were also very rare, but fatal side effects involving rashes.
  • It tied us to our doctor/psychiatrist, who was not helping our son and did not listen to us as parents. He was the only doctor in our corner of the world that took our insurance and treated children.
  • If Mr R did anything wrong, had a problem, or was active, family members and teachers would immediately ask "Has he had his medication"? I did not like the attitude that society assumed - give him a pill and he'll be a malleable, un-spirited child. Pop a pill so he won't inconvenience us. I also did not want him defined by his medical treatment.
Recently I came across an adverse events report for the AMA. Risperidone ranked #9 in prescription drugs that caused death between 1998-2005. Oxycodone was #1, Tylenol (acetaminophen) was #5.

When I first asked about the drug, prior to accepting a prescription, the doctor told me it was "very safe" and "commonly used in children".

Mama says:
Do your OWN research, and trust your instincts.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/20/2007 10:05:00 AM | Permalink | |