Posts Tagged ‘Zyprexa’

It may be obvious, but the title of this blog post is completely sarcastic. 

So the doctor prescribed Zyprexa for Matt. In a recent post, I went on about how I was reluctant in the past to give my son medication.  It has come to the point where it is very necessary. These expensive little yellow dissolvable pills are supposed to have a sweet taste to them.  This is clearly so it is easier to administer to young children, right?  Not my young child.  The first time I handed him the little yellow pill, he asked me what it was. “It’s your new medicine”, I said. Matt held it in his hand.  He stared at it. He sniffed it.  He squished it between his fingers (it’s a texture thing).  “Go ahead and eat it, Matt” I said. “It tastes kind of like candy”. I also handed him a glass of water in case he needed to help chase it down.

 He looked at me and then  placed the smushed pill in his mouth.  He swished it around in his mouth a little.  The pill must have some type of obnoxious aftertaste because moments after putting it in his mouth, he leaned over and spit it out in his water. Hmmmm, well that’s $2.33 worth of saliva in his glass. Sorry, thats Matt’s dad in me talking .

 “YUCKY!!!!!!”  he screamed.  Matt was upset with me for two reasons:  1. Because I told him it tasted like candy and it clearly did not.  2.  Because I had the audacity to suggest that he drink up the water that he just spit his yucky pill in. 

I chose not to  bribe or threaten right away.  For a kid with this amount of anxiety, such a tactic will usually trigger a large meltdown.  I did not want Matthew to associate taking his medicine as a negative event.  I decided my time and energy would be better spent finding ways of camouflaging the offensive tasting medicine.  Coke.  Matt loves Coke. I crushed the pill in to a powder and stirred it into a small glass of coke.  Here’s the problem with dissolvable tablets.  You can crush them, but once mixed with liquid, these floating granules have a ways of finding each other and clumping.  Added to the fact that these pills are florescent yellow, I am sure you can see the that the task of camouflaging was not easily accomplished. 

While Matt was in the living room watching Bugs Bunny, I turned the lights out so he wouldn’t notice the bright yellow specks in his Coke.  Then I handed the small glass to him.  He looked at me and smelled it.  Uh-oh! He suspects. He looked at me again with suspicion.  But he drank it.  Success.  That was day one.  Day two was a bit more unsuccessful.  He hates Coke now because he decided it tastes like “dog poop”.  Grr stupid medicine. I think I got 1/2 down him yesterday.  It’s too early to tell if it works.  He still has outbursts. A lot of his outbursts are now triggered by me trying to get him to take his meds. The only difference I see so far with the Zyprexa  is that he is a little more tired in the morning.  I had zero success getting him to take the medicine this evening. 

I will continue to brainstorm ways of hiding the meds.  Plan B will be having a reward for him if he takes it.  Sounds like a no-brainer-type plan but when you are dealing with high anxiety kids such as Matthew, it can actually be a recipe for disaster if the expectation is too much for the child.  I’m thinking of calling his doctor Monday to see about getting the medicine in a different form. 


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“Matthew may benefit from taking prescription medication.” 

Always such fun words to hear.  I believe the first time we heard those words was when Matt turned 3 1/2.  His pediatrician was the one who suggested it. But she didn’t strongly suggest it.  Was I completely against the idea of medicating Matt?  No.  In fact, I was a little glad that we now had something to put in the “Plan B” file.  As I have said before, I always prefer to have  other plans on file in case plan A falls through.  But when Matt was 3, plan A was still in effect.  It was working…..well sorta. As a 3 year-old he exhibited some explosive behavior but he was small at the time and I was always able to restrain him if I needed to.  As we all know, that’s not the case anymore.  His outbursts are way more frequent than they used to be. 

It wasn’t until Matt was 4 years old when I decided that he wasn’t making any improvements with plan A. He was becoming more difficult.  By the way, plan A was the gluten/casein free diet.  It’s always worth a try.  It worked well for Matt’s brother.  The diet wasn’t hurting Matt, but it wasn’t helping him either.  I was still very nervous about starting him on any medications.

It wasn’t the doctor that convinced me to try pharmaceuticals, but it was Matt’s occupational therapist  who convinced me.  He said, “If your son had diabetes or cancer, wouldn’t you give him medicine then?” I never thought about it that way. I guess a part of me felt as though we were giving up if we put Matthew on medication.  I know now, that is not true.  Not even close and I’ll be damned if anybody tries to convince me otherwise. 

That was 4 years ago when we first got on the medication rollercoaster.  The very first medication Matt has ever taken (besides antibiotics)is called Risperdal.  Risperdal is an anti-psychotic drug that is often used to treat kids with autism.  Its main purpose is for treating adults and teens suffering from schizophrenia but research has shown it seems to help some children with autistic behaviors as well.  There is a great deal of controversy in medicating children with antipsychotics but I won’t go into that today.  Maybe in a later post.  After being on Risperdal for 1 week we noticed a huge change in Matt.  The outbursts reduced by 80%.  Happy ending?  Well Risperdal, like most medications, tends to lose its effectiveness overtime.  The only answer is to increase the dose or find another medication.   Increasing the dose equals increasing the side effects.  Bad side effects, such as weight gain, tremors, and a higher chance of developing diabetes. 

A few months ago, we decided take him off Risperdal since it appeared to stop working.  The doctor put him on Mirtazaphine (an anti-depressant) to help him sleep.  Matt lost weight (in a good way, he was 8 pounds over). Matt gained sleep.  Our hope was that the Mirtazaphine would help his anxiety and calm behaviors but it did no such thing.  This past Monday, I frantically called Matt’s psychiatrist to inform her that the explosive behaviors were not improving, and they were beginning to spill over into school and daycare. He now needs a personal assistant during daycare.   “Lets try Zyprexa”, the doctor said. Zyprexa is an anti-psychotic much like Risperdal.  Same ugly side effects.  “We’ll try it for 30 days,” she continued. 

I came home and googled “Zyprexa”.  Bad move.  Nothing positive being said about this drug. But then again, nothing good was said about Risperdal either.  I started to doubt myself and the guilt set in.  But I just reminded myself that it’s not long-term. Maybe it will help him get over this hump. Or maybe he’s dealing with a bipolar disorder and this is what he needs to function.  Maybe I’m just a bad mom. That last sentence was Satan chiming in so I told him to shut up!

So I just picked up the prescription for Zyprexa at the pharmacy. The pharmacist looked at me strangely and so did his assistant.  “This is for your boy?” he asked.  “Yes”.  I said.  “How old is your boy?”, he asked.  “Seven”, I answered.  He and the assistant exchanged looks and then he looked at me.  “Ok, I hope he doesn’t gain too much weight”, he told me.  I responded saying , “I understand how this stuff works and its only temporary”.  The pharmacist and his assistant exchanged looks again, almost like they were smiling.  “Ok, have him take one at bed time. Have a nice day. ”  I grabbed the medication bag…….JERKS!! Have a nice day? I just purchased $70 dollars worth of ANTI-PSYCHOTIC medicine for my 7-yr-old!  Do I look like a person who’s been having nice days?!?!  The  mom guilt set in again.  I put the medication in my purse and drove home. Tonight Matt takes his very first dose of Zyprexa.  Hang on tight we are about to start the next ride on the medication rollercoaster. 

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