My 13 year old daughter was given 'Abilify' to help control urges/impulses by her Dr. a behavior specialist.
She was on the drug for 10 days. The morning of the 11th day she had a twitching of her lip, she dismissed it as more of an annoyance. By 4:00 her neck was twisted in a painful and involuntary position, and her lips were uncontrollably puckering with her tongue moving in an uncontrollable manor. My daughter thought she was possessed. She was scared to death because her body was not responding to what her brain was telling it. She was unable to stop any of the gestures but was well aware that she was doing them.
We took her to the nearest emergency facility with the bottles of the new meds she started taking less than 2 weeks prior. The Dr. immediately gave her a shot of vistral which calmed her body almost as benadryl would. The Dr. said it would help her to relax and make her sleepy. He advised us to not give my daughter the 'Abilify' until we told her Dr. the behavior specialist of this incident.
Once we reached him, the Dr. seemed to be concerned, but more so that she might have taken another kind of product that may in combination have given her this bad reaction. We explained to him, she was so scared with her body acting out in a tourettes sort of fashion that she would have divulged any and all to us. She just wanted her body to stop the repetitive gestures. Her face was completely distorted. Unlike anything we've seen before. She had NO CONTROL of her facial expressions. Her mouth was open and she couldn't shut it. She had drool coming from her mouth because she couldn't swallow properly. We explained that the emergency room Dr. was able to move her neck and head around and he also was able to close her mouth without causing her any pain. It was that she herself could not close her own mouth and she herself could not shift her neck and head because it continued to pull to the 1 side. Her specialist continued to ask if she could've possibly taken allergy medications. We again said she didn't take anything and that as a matter of fact she had missed her dose of the 'Abilify' the night before. We told him that after the emergency room Dr. advised us not to give her the 'Abilify' again until the specialist was notified we grew concerned and started doing some research on this 'Abilify'. It's all there every symptom my daughter had is there listed in the side effects. There's even a name for her symptoms it's 'Tardive dyskinesia'.
It also mentions that studies have NOT been done on children under the age of 18. It sickens me that the risk factor was right under my nose and yet I trusted a Dr. instead of checking into this medication for myself.
This specialist isn't hearing what we are saying. We're telling him my daughter had a very bad reaction to this medication... a reaction that on the Abilify site states could possibly be permanent. We are so thankful that it's been almost 24 hours and she hasn't had a facial twitch or spasm.
We need for this story to be told so other parents know what they're up against when it comes to the risks of this medication.
There needs to be more of a warning put out there for parents of innocent children.
Should Abilify be prescribed for children?
Question posted by MariaFS on 8 May 2006
Last updated on 18 August 2021 by lyndawn2d
My 13 year old daughter was given 'Abilify' to help control urges/impulses by her Dr. a behavior specialist.
I am raising my 6yo niece. She was just started on Abilify last night. I know some people think you should never use it on kids. But, you clearly haven't been in the desperate situation some of us are in. If we can't find a medication that will work for her, she will not be allowed to stay in our home. She will be sent to (basically locked up) in a special home for kids like her. She has officially been diagnosed with ADHD and a compulsion disorder, but it showing sociopathic signs. As she ages, these could increase to sever anger and violence.
I will seriously pray for her that she one who has a good outcome, but we have to take chances to find a solution if we want her to be able to have a normal life.
That professional isn't hearing you because abilify without insurance cost like $400-500 for a month supply. Also, abilify is recommended to be taken along side other meds. I was on it for 7 years because "it was the least zombifying one that could treat bipolar." Later on I expressed my concerns about it to another doctor and they found a drug that didn't zombify me and works quite well. I'd find another doctor.
My 4 1/2yr old daughter was started on Aripiprazole aka Abilify for severe ADHD and mood disorder, we had already tried the generic of Adderall and Ritalin and that just caused her to become violent and aggressive. She has been on the Abilify for over 2 months now and it's been a life saver, yes the side effect of weight gain is something to watch for. However I read the posts from other parents and I understand the scary stories you can come across, the thing is that this is true for most all medications- they work for some but not everyone. The first thing our specialist told us was it's going to be like a puzzle; to figure out the right piece- the right medication and the right dose that is going to work and be the right piece to fit the puzzle and it may be a struggle. That and what might work one day/one week may not work in the future.
Most Anti-psychotics have the possibility of Tardive dyskinesia, that's why it's so important to monitor your child or loved one when they start this medication. Do research on the medications and talk to your doctor about your concerns.
Medication should never be the first line of defense for any mental health problems, though for those that have tried everything to no avail, medications can greatly help. My daughter still has her spirit and personality- the medication did not make her a zombie or someone else. She takes the 2mg dose and we are happy with the results we have gotten. Yes she is still a hyper 4yr old but now she can communicate and control her emotions and not have the wild outbursts. If you have questions or concerns about the medication your doctor prescribed, Then talk to your doctor about it... if your worried about giving the medication to your child tell your doctor your thoughts and concerns. I understand online is a great way for people to communicate with others though you paid good money to see that doctor- he/she is the expert- we have our own experiences with the medications we can share but it's not the same as a physician's expert advice. So basically I'm just trying to say it's good to be cautious about new medications, do research, talk to your doctor, monitor your child though go to your doctor if you question the med.
The specialist we use treats over 1000 kids a year dealing with Mental Health disorders including: Anxiety, depression, bipolar, ADD, ADHD, schizophrenia, etc...
There is no one way to treat a mental health disorder, and one med that might work for one child, may not work for another. Each child is different so each child will need a different approach.
Just asking for other parents not to panic and talk to your doctors!!!
I would never give abillify to a child. I am an adult (61 years old) that was given abilify to help with my bi-polar and anti-depression medecine. I could not believe the side effects to this medecine. It started with a severe headache, I don't remember ever suffering such pain. I ended up having a headache every day for over 5 months. I know have migirains, my anxity and depression are even worse at times. There is a possibilty that I will suffer from tremors for the rest of my life. If this could happen to an adult what could it do to a child? This medecine is scary, before giving it to your child have a long talk with there Dr. and research abilify before giving the first dose. It could possible save both you and your child a lot of pain, and suffering.
My son was also put on Ablilify for ADHD due to behavor problems. They started him on 10mg a day. By the second day he was not able to stay awake his mouth would open involuntarialy and his tongue was stuck to the top of his mouth. By that evening his neck was curling to the side involuntarily and he was helpless to do anything about it. I called my local er who in turn had me call poison control who then sent me immediately to the er where they gave him benadryll. I was horrified. I have been given the run around as to if this is really side effects or overdose. The er doctor told us it was a toxic level of abilify in his system. But the issueing clinic has assured us that it was a side effect. The overdose symtoms and side effects are so close when compared that one cannot be sure. I have yet to get an answer as to why would a doctor prescribe a 61 pound 10 year old child 10mg and not the smallest dose of 2mg.
It's been 3 days since he has had abilify and still has uncontrollable tremors. We seem to be the unfortunate ones who don't question a doctor because we trust them. My son is a brillant child who is doing school work 2 years ahead of his grade and my be left with these tremors for the rest of his life. We need to stand up for our children who can not stand up for themselves and have this drug reviewed more closely when being used in children.
I just want to thank you for writing this. My 10 year old daughter has seen her new doctor twice now, and upon her 2nd visit, she added Abilify to her current medication, which is Wellbutrin SR. I had seen the commercial, and didn't think too much of it until after we got home with the medication that day. When I starting reading the info. on it, I was shocked when it said it was an anti-psychotic medication!!! My daughter is being seen for depression & reading that made me think I should do some research on it myself. Your story is the first thing I have read. That is incredibly scary what happened to your little girl, and I'm glad you are sharing your story to warn others, like me! Thanks again. Hope your daughter is okay, and I wish you both the best! God bless you!!
Unfortunately, you and your poor daughter learned a hard lesson, many docs are prone to prescribing meds for kids, based on what they think they will do, rather than actually researching what they can really do.
Print the info you found and stick it under the doctors nose, including the info about not being tested in children. If he doesn't admit the problem then, it is time to find a different doc.
What a scary and horrifying experience for all of you, then to have a doc not listen, wow.
- Abilify uses and safety info
- Abilify prescribing info & package insert (for Health Professionals)
- Side effects of Abilify (detailed)
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