children have behavior problems are living with birth mom after being in care for 4yrs.mom is not consistent with dosage,case in court as we speak,we need to know what the dangers are.
Former stepson was diagnosed (around age 9) with ADHD & ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) and displayed very aggressive behaviors at home and school. In addition to Ritalin, he was prescribed Clonidine to "reduce his frustration". We were advised to give it to him DAILY and in the early evening. Daily dosing was required to build, then maintain adequate levels in his blood stream... to reduce and eventually eliminate some of the negative side effects.
It definitely calmed him down, but even at the lowest beginning dose, he seemed to go into a "daze", like he was physically present but absent mentally. After a couple weeks this "side effect" diminished, but if he missed a dose or two (when at his biological mom's), this side effect returned and took days of being back on the medicine to diminish again. I definitely believe it is important to consistently administer the prescribed dose, in order to achieve the intended benefit.
After a couple of months, we decided this side effect outweighed the benefits of a "calmer" "less aggressive" child. Fortunately, the Ritalin was helping with his ADHD... because he was more focused, he became less frustrated and less aggressive at school. Unfortunately, his ODD, frustration and aggression resurfaced around 13-14 yrs old and just spiraled downward from there.
I don't know that this directly answers your question about the "risks" of taking clonidine... but wanted to share my experience as a parent (step-parent) with a child taking same medication; and a parent that doesn't administer the medication properly (or at all). Obviously the benefits of any medication should be carefully weighed against the risks and/or side effects; that everyone responds differently to different medications; and whether the medication is clonidine (or an antidepressant, an antibiotic or even birth control pills) it is always important to take the prescribed dose, as close to the same time every day, in order to receive the maximum benefits and avoid unintended or unwanted side effects (i.e. failing to take bc pill at same time each day, or missing a dose, can lead to ovulation and pregnancy).
Best wishes to you and your children!
- Clonidine Information for Consumers
- Clonidine Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Clonidine (detailed)
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