Medication, Metabolism & Autism

I feel like we have been missing in action lately. We have been so sick since Christmas...and I think (hope) we have seen the worst of it all and got our fill of sickness for 2009! All over in one fowl swoop.

We had everything from upper respiratory infections that manifested into pneumonia to the stomach bug that ripped through our family of 6 in waves of three. I have to share the following two situations that occurred because I believe they profoundly relate to the current studies on autism today.


The baby (2 y/o) developed pneumonia and was prescribed an antibiotic, Zithromax and nebulizer treatments, Xopenex, to open his airways. Now, I have to preface this discussion with the fact that I cannot give him anything that has a sedative effect to it or it will exacerbate his mixed apnea. Mixed meaning central and obstructive. This reaction is simply related to the way he metabolizes medications.

We administered the Zithromax at 1pm and he tolerated it well. It was 6:30pm, right after his evening bath when we set him up in his fireman outfit and donned his 'fireman' mask to get him to use the nebulizer. He fought a bit in the beginning but then just succumbed...in a strange fashion for him. He seemed to just zone out although he remained responsive. Within 10 minutes, he went grey. He was ice cold to the touch. His feet, hands, and lips turned blue. He began spasming and the coarse inspiratory wheezes set in. I doubled his jammies, wrapped him in a blanket, called the doctor. As I was calling the doc, I was reading the handout for Xopenex and noted that "PARADOXICAL BRONCHOSPASM" occurs rarely in a small percentage of the population. The nurse on the line agreed, I hung up and called 911. He rode the ambulance with daddy and I followed. The rescue squad which is located behind us took a while to show. 911 stayed on the line with me while we monitored his status. They took long because all the rigs were out cleaning up accidents all over the township...the black ice was horrible this evening.  Read on...

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