What is Intuniv?There are many children out there that take stimulant medications like Concerta or Adderall for their Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). However, Intuniv is a long active non stimulant prescription medication for children with ADHD like Strattera. For those of you that don't know, a non stimulant is not a controlled substance which means it doesn't pose the same concerns of dependency or addiction as stimulants can.
Intuniv is used for and FDA approved for ADHD children ages 6-17. Though it has been known to be prescribed at other ages as well depending on what a doctor recommends is best for their patients' needs. Depending on the child's needs doctors or psychiatrists may prescribe Intuniv alone or in addition to an ADHD stimulant such as Concerta or Adderall depending on the severity of the child's ADHD and what works best for them.
Though I couldn't find a study on Intuniv for ADHD alone, I did find one done on Intuniv when used in conjunction with a stimulant. The 9 week study was done on 455 ADHD children who had been on a stable stimulant dosage for at least 4 weeks with some improvement but still having ADHD symptoms. The children were either given Intuniv or a sugar pill with their normal stimulant dosage daily. Doctors noticed an approximate 30% improvement in the ADHD symptoms of the children who had the Intuniv added to their stimulant compared to those given sugar pills.
How does Intuniv work?Intuniv has the same active ingredient as some blood pressure medications such as Tenex, which is and has been used for years as an off-label ADHD treatments. Intuniv effects certain receptors in the brain which studies show improve attention, impulse control and memory, reduce easy distractions and aggression.
What are the dosages?Intuniv is a once daily medication that comes in 4 strength doses which are 1mg, 2mg, 3mg and 4 mg tablets and each tablet looks a little different, which is nice to make sure they are getting the right dosages. Doctors recommend most children to start Intuniv on 1mg and then increase 1mg weekly until they are at the best dosage for them, which is usually 3-4mg. Again each child is different so your doctor my recommend starting your child on a higher dose or increasing the dosages more slowly.
When will Intuniv start working?I was asked a lot by parents when the Intuniv would start working or when they would start seeing improvement, so i really wanted to research the typical time period where you should start seeing results.
Well, as with any medication, it all depends on the child. It depends on his.her response to Intuniv and their weight as well. However, it could be anywhere from 2-4 weeks to start seeing improvements in his/her ADHD symptoms or even longer sometimes.
Since every child is different and may respond differently to Intuniv, your doctor may find your child's right dose in as early as 2 weeks or even longer. Like I said though, it could take 4 weeks or longer to find the right dose for your child and to start seeing results as well, so be patient.
What are the side effects of Intuniv?The most common side effects of Intuniv I found are sleepiness, trouble getting up in the morning, trouble sleeping, nausea, stomach pain, dizziness and low blood pressure. The most troublesome side effects parents have mentioned to me have been sleepiness and trouble getting up in the mornings. These will usually decrease or go away as your child's body gets used to the medication but, still let your doctor know about any side effects your child experiences.
I some cases the serious side effects include low blood pressure, low heart rate, fainting and sleepiness.
My Conclusion:I think that this is a great medication for children with a more mild ADHD, parents who aren't fond of stimulants and ADHD children who's stimulant needs a little help.
I have heard some great reviews from parents that Intuniv has actually helped their child a lot with their attention, impulsive behaviors and aggression. However, a lot of parents have also mentioned the sleepiness it causes or that they have trouble getting their child up in the morning, usually though they say it goes away over time which I think is probably just the child's body getting used to the new medicine. Most have said that when the side effects began to improve so did the ADHD symptoms.
Remember that Intuniv has the active ingredient as blood pressure medicines, so if you are thinking about Intuniv for your son/daughters ADHD make sure you let your doctor know if he/she has any blood pressure or heart issues at all.
If you know anything more on Intuniv you would like to add including you and your child's own experience with the medication please feel free to share through commenting below or you can email me anytime by clicking the Contact Me button on the right of the page.
This post is not a recommendation for this medication, it is simply the conclusion of my personal research on Intuniv and shouldn't replace a doctors advice.