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Propranolol for children

(16 Posts)
3waystosave Thu 20-Apr-17 23:06:25

If your child has taken propranolol I would be really grateful to know more - such as how old they were, why, how successful it was, what the doctor's advice was. I am finding conflicting info online. I wanted to try to find out more about it before speaking to my dc's doctor.

Insaneinthebrain3 Fri 21-Apr-17 05:58:24

Hi there
One of my dcs take it. Takes it for migraine but has also reduced aniexty. Seems much happier now taking it whilst we are waiting for some cbt. Obviously we don't want him to be on it but he needs it at this time. No side effects and he says he doesn't feel different taking it.

Hughpughbarneymagrew Fri 21-Apr-17 06:01:29

6 months to 16 months, to treat a painful strawberry birthmark. No problems (and it really helped with the birthmark)

yikesanotherbooboo Fri 21-Apr-17 06:24:56

First 3 years of his life for a cardiac problem.
It is a very safe and well understood drug that works to block the effects of adrenaline i.e. Against the fight or flight response. It most obviously slows down heart rate. My son was too young to tell me of any side effects and certainly came to no harm. I noticed that he was a bit more irritable whilst on it and that his hands and feet got cold very easily.
One good thing is that it isn't habit forming and so if it doesn't suit it can easily be stopped

3waystosave Fri 21-Apr-17 09:45:06

Thank you very much for replying - gives me a bit more confidence about raising it with the doctor! Insane, would you mind telling me the age your dc started taking it?

3waystosave Sun 23-Apr-17 16:17:10

Thanks again for the replies - Insaneinthebrain i asked because my dc is 6 and suffers from anxiety/headaches/overreacting to things and I wondered if a doctor would prescribe for a 6 year old or if they would want to try talking or playing therapies first. DC was very ill a few years ago, for a long time, and this is the tail end of that. The doctor is aware of the background as are his school and they are all fabulous, but I have never spoken to the doctor about medication for the emotional consequences. I took propranolol myself about 25 years ago for about 2 months and it was hugely helpful. Any more experiences or advice about this would be very welcome.

Blossom789 Sun 23-Apr-17 21:02:45

GPs rarely prescribe for under 18s when it comes under mental health umbrella I would think they'll suggest talking therapies first. Given your concerns, talking therapies would have a better outcome as they would treat the problem rather than medication which just stick a plaster over until you take him off it.

3waystosave Sun 23-Apr-17 21:58:09

Thanks Blossom, please can I ask what your expertise here is? Do you know for a fact that GPs rarely prescribe for under 18s? Sorry to question you, it is very helpful that you replied. I am sorry if you have already said your expertise on other threads which I haven't read.

Propranolol as someone has said blocks adrenaline and for me it had long term affects, incidentally, it wasn't a sticking plaster.

Blossom789 Sun 23-Apr-17 23:58:29

I work for camhs and we'd receive referrals from gps with this type of theme. I've never known a referral come through for a child so young that they've put on medication for anxiety.. I've also never known propanalol be prescribed - it'd be more the antidepressant medications and again rarely would a 6year old be prescribed this.

I've just quickly looked online and it seems it's not licenced for children for anxiety but is licenced for migraines and cardiac problems. Doctors can prescribe off licence but wouldn't think a gp would.

The fight/flight response which generates adrenaline is a natural reaction we all have, having medication that blocks this whilst it can help take the edge off the anxiety does not teach you in managing this.

3waystosave Mon 24-Apr-17 08:47:53

Thanks for the reply. I wondered what you did for CAMHS, ie your role? Are you a doctor/nurse/other?

It is useful to know what you have said. We are not in the UK, and I think (I am not certain) that here propranolol is given to children to help with things like adhd - which dc doesn't have but there are similarities in behaviour at times - no doubt I will understand better when I speak to the doctor.

DC was very seriously ill in hospital with an infection which affected his lungs and heart when he was 2, and for 2 years after this was put on a steroid which was not licensed for a child of his age, which affected the adrenal glands, basically blocking his own production of adrenaline, cortisol etc. This drug was not licensed for children of his age, but it was felt it was the safest option at the time.

Recovery has been a long haul for him and he has done brilliantly.
However, just as I thought we were out of the woods, just before Easter he had a few birthday parties and they started judo at school for all his class, and it seems to have been too much as it sent his fight/flight into overdrive! He relaxed over the holiday but I am worried that he will start to get stressed again as the term goes on.

Talking therapies are not useful where there has been trauma apparently. I don't know what our doctor will think. I do believe very strongly that teaching children how to recognise and manage their feelings and to be aware of other people's feelings is the right thing to do and this is what we (and the school) have done up until now and I really do feel that DC has done amazingly well.

I have made an appointment for this week.

In relation to your final paragraph, my experience of propranolol was it took away the panic and left me calm enough to see things objectively, and to think about things, and it changed the way I thought about things for my entire adult life. It also meant I was calm for those 2 months and that became my "normal". This meant whenever my feelings started to edge towards stress or anxiety I was able to recognise it quickly, and to return fairly quickly to my "normal". So for me it was very helpful. My MH has been pretty robust since then and I do put it down in part to having taken propranolol for a short time at a fairly young age (much older than 6 though!).

It is really useful to get your views and would be helpful to get other views, thank you.

BishopBrennansArse Mon 24-Apr-17 08:55:08

Not my child but I myself took it for three years from the age of 9 for migraine.

No ill effects.

Blossom789 Mon 24-Apr-17 09:39:52

If you're in a different country the treatment approach is likely to be different. E.g. Medications in America are used readily. We follow NICE guidance in uk. I guess discuss with the doctor and go from there.

3waystosave Mon 24-Apr-17 09:48:28

Thank you for the advice, Blossom. We aren't in the US and I really don't know what the doctor will say. I know that he isn't pro medication generally, because we discussed it once when talking about how adhd was treated in the UK, and he passed comment at the time. We will be coming back to the UK at some point so it is useful to know how things are done in the UK too.

YouCanDoThis Mon 24-Apr-17 09:58:18

A referral to a Health Psychologist and trauma therapy might be useful.

3waystosave Mon 24-Apr-17 10:05:07

Can you tell me more, youcandothis? What trauma therapy are you aware of? We have accessed everything available where we are but there isn't much. It would be useful to know what is out there.

NeverAShadowOfDoubt Mon 24-Apr-17 10:40:46

Similar to a previous poster, one of my twins is taking this fot treatment of a haemangioma on her nose, shes 15 weeks old. She had to be admitted for the first few doses for monitoring as to whether she tolerated it but she was fine and is taking it for foreseeable future.

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