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Thread: I need some advice on whether I should take these medications

  1. #1

    Default I need some advice on whether I should take these medications

    I've been seeing a therapist for a few weeks and I've been explaining all my problems like with my tics and OCD. Yesterday I had my first appointment with my psychiatrist and in one session he prescribed me two different medications. Risperidone which is used to treat schizophrenia and Buspirone which is an anti anxiety medication. Here's the thing that makes me upset. I explained to my therapist all the symptoms I have associated with Tourette Syndrome and OCD and I was hoping to be prescribed something for them, but instead my psychiatrist gave me nothing for either of my conditions and instead prescribed me something for schizophrenia which I think is ridiculous because I never once suspected I had that. After I went home I did some research. From what I've read Risperidone has many bad side effects and hasn't helped that many patients.

    The thing is after looking on
    http://www.schizophrenia.com/earlysigns.htm I feel I may have schizophrenia since I experience most of the symptoms. Of the 7 categories on the website I experience almost all of the symptoms of the first 5, but the last 2 categories (delusions and hallucinations) I experience none at all, or very little symptoms. If I do have schizophrenia my type of schizophrenia is more of a secluded/anti-social form then anything else. I do experience some of the common symptoms like talking to myself, but I really only do it when I'm trying to reassure myself, or make myself feel better since I have a very negative personality. As for hallucinations the only type I've experienced is auditory hallucinations which happens very rarely and I don't even consider it a problem since it rarely ever happens. The biggest problem with me is my anti-social behavior. I spend 24/7 inside and most of that time is spent inside my room with no social interaction and the few times I do go outside make me extremely nervous and uncomfortable.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Risperidone used to treat hallucinations associated with schizophrenia? Since hallucinations are not a problem for me it would be stupid to take the medication unless it can help me with my anti-social behavior. Now regarding the Buspirone that seems like something I could take since most of the reviews I've read have said that it either works, doesn't work at all, makes you gain weight (which if you saw how skinny I am you would encourage weight gain), and dizziness. Those symptoms don't seem that serious, so I would be willing to take it if it help me with my anxiety, but Risperidone I'm really not sure about. I guess my big question is should I take these medications? If Risperidone can help with my anti-social behavior I might take it, but I need to know for sure if it can otherwise I see no point in risking serious side effects on a drug that might not help at all. As for Buspirone as long as it doesn't have any serious side effects I'd be willing to take it unless someone convinces me otherwise.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: I need some advice on whether I should take these medications

    Risperidone (Risperdal) is a the class of medications technically referred to as atypical antipsychotics. Initially this medication was indicated to treat schizophrenia, but in later years studies showed risperidone, at different doses from those used for schizophrenia, was effective in relieving symptoms of Tourette Syndrome.

    There are few if any medications specifically indicated to treat Tourette Syndrome, which is why Tourette is sometimes referred to as an orphan disorder not having medications specifically developed for its treatment.

    As a result doctors have, over the years, worked with existing medications in a rational manner and have found certain compounds that are prescribed "off label" to treat Tourette tics symptoms.

    Prescribing off label is legal and ethical as long as the doctor has scientific evidence to support its use. In the case on risperidone, such evidence exists.

    Your doctor has made a rational choice in medications for you, and once you begin your treatment regimen, be sure to advise your doctor of any unusual adverse effects you might experience. Sometimes dosages need to be adjusted or medications modified depending on how each person's body chemistry adapts to the new medication.

  3. #3

    Default Re: I need some advice on whether I should take these medications

    Thanks Steve. I'll take this and see how it goes. I just hope I don't experience too many bad side effects, but that's a risk with any medication you take I guess.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: I need some advice on whether I should take these medications

    bad side effects, but that's a risk with any medication you take I guess.
    There is no medication or medical treatment that is 100% free of some degree of risk. However, modern medicine has developed treatments whereby the benefits far outweigh the risks, so by staying in communication with your doctor, you can mitigate the risks by reporting any difficulties you might have, so necessary changes can be made.

    FYI you may want to read this summary on resperidone on MedicineNet.com, a reliable site for medical information.

    Very important: Be sure your doctor and pharmacist are aware of any and all prescribed and over the counter medications to avoid any unexpected drug interactions.

    Please read this article from the Mayo Clinic on what to do before using resperidone.

  5. #5

    Default Re: I need some advice on whether I should take these medications

    See this is what really worries me.

    SIDE EFFECTS: The most commonly-noted side effects associated with risperidone are extrapyramidal effects (sudden, often jerky, involuntary motions of the head, neck, arms, body, or eyes), dizziness, hyperactivity, tiredness, abdominal pain, fatigue, fever and nausea. Risperidone may cause a condition called orthostatic hypotension during the early phase of treatment (the first week or two). Patients who develop orthostatic hypotension have a drop in their blood pressure when they rise from a lying position and may become dizzy or even lose consciousness.

    Now I suffer from both vocal and motor tics and I consider my motor tics to be pretty manageable, but my eyes are the absolute worse and I really don't want them getting worse because of this medication, or adding new motor tics to my tourette syndrome. The losing consciousness makes me worry too since I spend a lot of hours at a time laying in bed watching TV and I would hate to pass out when I get up suddenly. I really need my tics to settle down, but this medication makes it seem like it's just going to get worse.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: I need some advice on whether I should take these medications

    It must be kept in mind that the information you are reading has to do with dosages used for treating schizophrania, dosages much higher than those used when the medication is prescribed to suppress Tourette tics.

    Additionally, information gleaned from product monographs, such as the information you are referring to, simply shows a laundry list of potential adverse reacttions, but the actual monograph your doctor uses for prescribing information shows this information as a statistic, compared to placebo and over time. The importance of this is that some people will experience some of these adverse effects even if given a placebo, (placebo effect) plus many side effects diminish over time.]

    In order to have a medication approved for use by your Country's regulatory agency, the manufacturere must demonstrate an acceptable incidence of adverse reactions, meaning the benefits of the medication must outweigh the potential for unacceptable side effects.

    The list you read is by no means a guarantee that everyone is destined to experience the adverse effects listed.

    So, your choice is to rely on your doctor's expertise and judgement and take the medication as directed, or if you have misgiving, make an appointment to see the doctor again and ask to have your concerns addressed.

  7. #7

    Default Re: I need some advice on whether I should take these medications

    Alright, thanks Steve. Today I took the medication and in about 20 minutes I experienced rapid heart beat, light headed feeling, and a slight headache. Some of those symptoms apparently are normal for the first few days when taking the medication, so I'll try my best to get passed that. Also a little later in the day I was really tired and could barely keep my eyes open which I think might have been caused by the Buspirone. It says on the bottle that I'm supposed to take one tablet twice a day, but that's just not going to be possible if it makes me that tired. Would it be alright if I take it just at night before I go to bed, that way I don't feel so tired during the day, or is it important that I take it twice a day? I have no problem taking my Risperidone twice a day, but I just don't think I can handle taking the Buspirone twice a day and being that tired. I've always been tired during the day way before I ever took these medications, so making me even more tired now is just going to end up making me fall asleep during the day which is something I don't want. If it's a temporary symptom I may be able to get passed it if I have a lot of caffeine during the day, but if not I think I would be better off only taking it at night.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: I need some advice on whether I should take these medications

    is it important that I take it twice a day?
    The prescribing information for Buspirone states that this medication is taken twice a day, as the half life of this medication is fairly short requiring it to be taken twice a day to maintain constant blood levels.

    Whatever schedule you settle into for taking your Buspirone, take it the same way with food or without food, but always the same way both times a day. Additionally grapefruit juice and its derivatives as well as apple juice should be avoided with Buspirone.

    The somnolence you experience might be from the combination of the two medications, so if you still feel drowsy after about a week, when your body chemistry should become acclimated to the medications, then call your doctor to report how you feel.

    As I suggested earlier, if you have not already done so, check with your doctor and pharmacist, assuming each or one or the other has a complete list of the prescribed medications you take, to ensure nothing else you might be taking could cause a drug / drug interaction. It's a precaution that should always be verified, especially with these two medications that have certain interaction potentials your pharmacist or doctor can easily check.

    Avoid alcohol-containing drinks while taking medicines that cause drowsiness such as Buspirone, and while you are feeling drowsy
    do not drive or do anything that requires diligence such as operating machinery (such as an electric toothbrush)

    Seriously, be careful the first few days until you know how the medication affects you.

    Do you have a follow up appointment made with your doctor to review your progress?

  9. #9

    Default Re: I need some advice on whether I should take these medications

    I guess I'll see how it goes then. I'll be seeing my doctor again next month and my therapist pretty soon, so I'll let them now how I'm feeling.

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