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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10547
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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My son diagnosed with ADHD when he 8. He is now 15. We tried

Customer Question

My son diagnosed with ADHD when he 8. He is now 15. We tried 13 different ADHD mess with horrible reactions. Over the years started on celexa to control outburst then added ability due to anxiety of a new school. And recently had an Harmonyx Dan test that actually proved that he could not metabolize stimulants. The only recommended medications were Wellbutrin or Strattera. So Wellbutrin was added. This past summer we tried to take him off ability slowly to find out that it just about made him crazy withdrawing. After several episodes of completely going out of control and calling police and emt's , I gave I and resumed the ability. One thing I have noticed with ability is a 100 lb weight gain over 2 years and a total lack of motivation to do anything!! Homework, pick up, anything! Beyond lazy!! So where do we go from here?? How do I get him off ability safely. How do we get him motivated?? Please help!!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

*This website DOES NOT constitute treatment and only provides information and advice in a Q&A format. For treatment (therapy and/or medications) you must go to a licensed professional in your area. Please note that anything said here is not private or confidential, as this is a public forum.

Hello and thank you for using JustAnswer. Can you tell me what dose of the Abilify is your son taking? Also what dose of the Wellbutrin is her currently on as well? Lastly has a benzodiazepine ever been used to help lessen the anxiety your son has?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ability 7.5 mg, was on 5 this spring before we tried to take him off. Wellbutrin 300 mg now causing him to become mad easily. No he has never taken any benzodiazepine"s before that I know of.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your response. The Abilify is definitely at a low dose, so that is a good thing. Decreasing Abilify by 2.5mg every 1-2 weeks would be a good plan and to help prevent withdrawal symptoms. Then when he reaches 2.5mg/day a tapering schedule should look like this:

-2.5mg every other day for 10-14 days

-2.5mg every third day for 15 days

Also adding .5mg-1mg of Clonazepam would be helpful as well as this tend to lessen withdrawal symptoms overall. Abilify has some dopamine antagonist properties so that medication can lower motivation and focus, so getting off that medication can be helpful to increase his motivation and drive. I am not sure why Abilify was suggested for someone with ADHD, since people with ADHD tend to have low Dopamine levels and Abilify just lowers those Dopamine levels further, so trying to discontinue the medication in a slow and methodical manner could prove beneficial to his quality of life. The Clonazepam will also reduce his anxiety and will help to calm down overall as well, so that is something that can help his overall mood and behavior.

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