Saturday, 19 January 2013

It all began with Clonazepam! (antipanic or antianxiety agent)

She has missed days and days of school in the last 2 weeks. One panic attack after the other and she is only eleven. As long as things weren't too severe, I kept from giving her this anxiolytic (also antipanic or antianxiety agent) drug called Clonazepam.

Her panic attacks come every now and then. (Usually when we least expect them.) When they do pay us an uninvited visit, we send them off with a small dose of clonazepam, which takes only about 15 minutes to start working. They never actually stop these attacks, but definitely take the edge off, which in turn, allows my daughter to rest and/or focus on something other than herself.

My daughter sometimes lets me in on some of her experiences at school. (I wish she would discuss these issues with me more often so that I could be her voice during parent teacher meetings.) She mentioned that lately every time somebody moved a chair or desk (Squeak!) it would cause her to tic. Just imagine how often this must occur in a class full of rambunctious kids. She admitted that this reason alone was keeping her from hearing and/or retaining anything her teachers would say. How could she possibly focus on school work when all her mental and physical energies were being used to stifle tics.

 During these absences from school, my husband came to the adamant conclusion that our daughter would not pass the year. He never told her this (I was worrying about this too), but she sensed his concern for her impending bad grades, but most of all his disappointment.

This past week has been the ultimate test in our endurance and maintenance of our family unit. After hours of crying and insisting help from anyone, I gave in and gave her this PILL! (It couldn't.t make her any worse, right?) Fifteen minutes went by and no change. Now what? I decided to fall back on an idea that had worked before, and drove her to the nearest ambulance station where I know a few of the attendants. They happily took her vitals, and were pleased to announce that she was in perfect health. NOTHING! Finally my husband sucked it up and took her to outpatients about a half an hour away. Even the triage nurse sensed my daughter's despair and sat her and my husband by themselves in a small waiting room,  to await the following five hours.

At 1:30 am I received a call from my daughter informing me that they were on their way home. She sounded well!  The doctor on call suggested her prescription to Clonazepam was not strong enough, so he gave her a higher dose, which did help.

Two days later I receive a phone call from my daughter's psychiatrist (The doctor from outpatients had informed him of my daughter's visit.) who was reluctant to increase her prescription to Clonazepam but did suggest something new. Perhaps Olanzapine? (An alternative antipsychotic for the treatment of tics) UGGHHH!

The doctor suggests that perhaps significantly decreasing her tics (which are the main components to her anxiety, and therefore  contributing to her absence from school.) would be best managed by taking this drug Olanzapine.

She took her first dose last night (Friday) and will take another tonight and tomorrow night. We are to speak with her doctor first thing Monday morning to discuss it's effectiveness and/or any possible side effects.

Are there any parents out there with info on Olanzapine  and it's advantages or disadvantages on their children's tics or behaviours?