Trial and Error and Error

Just when we thought Dan had tried every possible type of medication to combat his OCD, his psychiatrist prescribed Vyvanse. It did help with Dan’s energy levels, as it is, after all, a stimulant.  But after taking it for a few weeks he became very depressed and even more anxious. This trial and error was a definite error. The next error occurred when Dan was told to reduce his dosage for three days and then stop taking the medication completely. This brought on  a major “crash”  which changed the course of Dan’s story. More on that in a blog to come.

Well, come to find out that not only is Vyvanse not an appropriate drug for OCD, there are also many accounts such as this, where those taking Vyvanse either have worsening symptoms of OCD or actually develop OCD. Who knew? Certainly not me, or Dan. Or I’m guessing the psychiatrist.

Vyvanse is approved by the FDA for the treatment of ADHD. But that doesn’t mean that it is only prescribed for ADHD. Though the psychiatrist toyed with the idea that Dan may have ADHD (he does not), he told us that Vyvanse would “enhance” the effects of the other drugs Dan was taking, and thereby help him.  In other words, he prescribed Vyvanse off-label,  not for the disorder for which it was approved. This is legal, and often done, especially with drugs used for mental health.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, because I don’t think it can be said enough. Be wary of all these drugs, and never rule out the possibility that they might  be the cause, not the cure, of your or your loved one’s problems.

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4 Responses to Trial and Error and Error

  1. momof3feistykids says:

    I am sorry you and your son went through this. My 16 y/o with OCD was just prescribed Ritalin to help with her energy levels. I am feeling very ambivalent about whether this is a safe and wise move. We haven’t filled the prescription yet … still pondering.

  2. ocdtalk says:

    Good luck with your decision……I know it is so tough. I don’t know your situation and of course each individual is different, but if you do decide to go ahead with the medication, the fact that you are already aware of the potential problems, and what to watch for, is a huge plus. Please keep me posted; you are in my thoughts.

  3. Bonnie says:

    My daughter suffered from severe OCD years ago. The only successful form of treatment was an intense cognitive behavioral treatment program at Shand’s Hospital – Gainesville, Florida. If you think that it has gotten worse, please contact Shand’s Hospital. It is a difficult disorder to treat but not impossible. The only effective treatment is CBT and they have the best treatment program and research going on there. I wish you health, happiness and recovery. I understand that the entire family suffers with this. Please make time for yourself and NEVER blame yourself for not doing enough. God Bless you and your family.

    • ocdtalk says:

      Hi Bonnie,

      Thanks for your post. I agree that CBT, specifically ERP Therapy, is the best treatment available for OCD. This therapy literally saved my son’s life almost three years ago and he is still doing well. How is your daughter? Again, thanks for sharing and letting others know that OCD, no matter how severe, is treatable.

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