Saturday, June 4, 2011

Clonidine Fail

We have tried for months to avoid medicating Alanna for sleep, opting instead for melatonin.  This has worked well generally - in a good week she will sleep through 5 out of 7 nights without waking.  In bad weeks - well, each night is a prayer said before bed that she might sleep.

After seeing a neurologist, we decided to try clonidine, a medication typically used for blood pressure but one that had some good research behind it for reducing night wakings and inducing sleep.  We started it two weeks ago...

... and both Mom and Dad believe it is a failure.  In the last two weeks she has slept worse than ever, waking multiple times at night or waking early in the morning.  She does fall asleep more quickly, but the melatonin did that too.  We kept titrating up her dose until we hit 0.1mg today... and she was a complete zombie.

We are not totally surprised by this.  Alanna has demonstrated this paradoxical reaction before with Benadryl (it made her more excited and hyper) when we tried it before too.

So we are tapering her off this medication and hoping melatonin does the trick until the next appointment.  I hate medicating her but if it will help her sleep regularly, the whole family, including her, benefits.  But it's got to work, and clonidine is not the drug for her.


  1. I can't remember if you're trying dietary changes - if you haven't removed all milk products for at least three days, you might try that.

    The sleepless years are the worst.

  2. Penny, not yet but we are at the point of considering trying a DAN protocol. We are already gluten free but Alanna loves dairy so this would be tough on her.

  3. I am sure you had done this, but we had to increase the melatonin. He was at a dose of 0.5 ml (liquid melatonin) and now he takes 1.0 ml after two years of taking it.

  4. Yeah, she takes 9mg as an initial dose and then up to another 9mg if she wakes.

  5. Dietary changes are the only thing I am sold on so far, go for it!

  6. Has anyone heard of doing blood test through Great Plains Lab in the USA? My doctor suggested doing lots of tests($2000) or just do the organic acid test and food intolerance test. My daughter also does not sleep and melatonin does not work anymore. She also suffers from awful constant constipation. My daughter is on night two of clonidine. Not sure what I think yet but feel if we could find out why she is not sleeping perhaps we could help her. My doc said that the only two medicine options were clonidine or hard core pyshiatic med. Let me know if they suggest anything else.