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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Do You Need More or Less Medication?

Question:  My son is 19 yrs old and he has tourettes, OCD, and feels he also has anxiety.  He takes risperidone for tourettes and fluvoxamine for OCD. Last night he seemed to have an attack. When he gets in a relationship, he feels he needs to break up. Does he need new medication?

Click on comments to read Laura's advice.


Eleventh Hour LLC said...

Dear Donna,
Without knowing more history, it is possible that your son's anxiety may be a side effect of the risperidone. Occasionally, risperidone and other antipsychotic medications have a side effect called akathisia. Akathisia is a fancy word for a feeling of inner restlessness, like an anxiety. And, some people with akathisia feel like they can't sit still, they have to keep moving around. It is a very uncomfortable feeling. I'm not sure that is the answer for your son, but it is one option to consider. You don't indicate the doses of his medications. It could be that he needs the doses adjusted. Sometimes, medications that have been working quite well, suddenly become ineffective and need adjusting. It is possible that he may have legitimate reasons for wanting to end a particular relationship. Maybe the girl wasn't right for him. Or maybe she was pressuring him in some way that made him anxious. If he is having new panic attacks, that is something to discuss with the nurse practitioner or doctor as there may be something medical going on or he may indeed need an additional medication. As you can see, there are many possible rationals to explain what's going on for your son. I suggest having him see his psychiatric prescriber and he should give a very detailed explanation of how he's feeling. Good luck and let us know what happens.