Catapres Patch #1

We met with our family doctor last Tuesday and decided to give meds a try with Christian.  We chose the weekly Catapres transdermal patch.  Dr. S said that it was fine to place the patch on Christian’s back so that he was less likely to be able to pull it off.  Also, so that C wouldn’t be able to see it as band-aids totally freak him out!

Catapres was originally designed as a medication for people with high blood pressure, but has been proven to work well in children with ASD — helping aid sleep, reducing sensory sensitivity & “fight-flight” reflexes, and maintaining focus and calmness.  All with few side effects — mostly sleepiness & crankiness.

Dr. S decided to start him off slowly, for at least a week, to see how he responds to the meds.  (Most likely Christian will have to go up to the next patch dosage, but we didn’t want to have a zombie on our hands, either.) 

Tuesday night, after Christian fell asleep, I said a prayer and gently stuck the patch on C’s back.  He wiggled around a little bit, rolled over, and continued to sleep.  Whew.

Get patch on a super sensory Christian.  CHECK!

I wondered if he would notice when he got up in the morning and get very upset about something being on his back.  No need to fear, it hasn’t seemed to phase him and we are currently on Day #4.  Whew (again)!

Here is what we have noticed over the last four days:

  • Christian falls asleep a lot faster and earlier.  He has been snuggling with Brian on the couch after supper, actually SITTING and watching movies.  Crazily awesome! 😀  The first 3 nights he was sleeping by 8pm!  Last night he fell asleep shortly after 7!  Wowza!
  • Nights 1 & 2 — Christian slept straight through the night until 7am!  😀  Hooray!!!  Night #3 – he was up at 2am and was wild.  (I wonder if he heard me milling around sneaking in from midnight Black Friday shopping and assisting Liv with a bad dream (about kitties falling off of a bicycle and needing to go to the doctor).  I had him back to sleep in time to be standing in line by 5:30 for the Menards sale.  Night #4 — Christian slept until 5am.  Too early for me, however, he had slept 10 hours straight.  So much more than usual for him.  We’ll take it!
  • Christian has been much less willing to be verbal since we’ve started the meds (unless it’s on his own terms).  However, I am trying to keep in mind that he has also been off of school since we’re started the meds.  Extended weekends/vacation for him often also brings out an unwillingness to use his words.  We’ll have to wait and see what happens when he gets back into his school routine this week.
  • Christian is still super sensory seeking.  Running, jumping, crashing, pressing his chin as hard as humanly possible into whatever is close by — no change on that front.
  • He is still “disappearing” into his own world of credits and movie/TV logos for periods of time.  Not better, but not worse either.
  • Spitting/toileting issues are probably more related to teething and being off of school than the meds, but have observed a pick up in these behaviors in the last couple of days as well.

Dr. S has warned us that it could take a couple of weeks to fully achieve the benefits of Catapres, however she has recommended that without major “improvements” over the weekend, we should highly consider bumping him up to the proper dosage for his weight.  I am VERY curious to see if there are any changes in Christian in the school setting.

We will be monitoring this process very carefully over the next couple of months.  I’m sure that I will be keeping a record of our experience here.