ADHD Parents Together
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Intuniv side effects

Has anyone’s child tried Intuniv? My 11 year old son was diagnosed with ADHD several years ago. We made the hard decision to put him on medication- mainly because his self esteem was being effected by the ADHD. He was having trouble staying on task at school - getting in trouble at school because he would talk out of turn, distract other kids in class and he was having difficulty maintaining friendships. We started him on a stimulant medication which really helped him stay focused and minimized his impulsivity during the school day, but he didn’t eat while he was on the stimulant and it didn’t help at all at night, so home work and play dates were a challenge. We recently switched our son to Guanfacine, the generic version of Intuniv - a non-stimulant. I have know people who have taken Guanfacine and have had tremendous results, so I was hopeful. My son did have great overall results - much better and more consistent focus and better control of his impulses, BUT he has experience the side effect of low blood pressure, which is making him dizzy. We reduced the dosage and he is still feeling dizzy, but his pulse and blood pressure are normal. He actually wants to go back up to the higher dosage because he liked how it made him focus and that he was able to eat during the day. Has anyone had any experience with Intuniv? If so, do you know if the dizziness goes away eventually? He has been on the medication for about 3-4 weeks. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you!

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My son takes guanfacine 2mg and has not experienced low bp. Does your son take it at bedtime?

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Yes, he takes it at bedtime. He started on 1mg and we increased to 2mg. When we increased to 2mg, he said he felt like he was going to pass out. We had his blood pressure checked and it was normal one time and then we took it a half hour later and it was low. So, we switched him back to 1mg. He still feels dizzy, but his pulse and BP are normal. We bought a BP cuff to monitor. We have an appointment with his psychiatrist tomorrow, but I just joined this group and wanted to get some parent feedback to “take with me” to the doctor tomorrow. I was hoping this side effect would eventually go away, as the medicine really seemed to help with focus and impulse control and my son really likes it. Did your son experience any dizziness when he first started taking it? Does he like the medication? Have you seen good results with it? Thank you so much for responding!

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My son has adhd and motor tics. The guanfacine was mostly used to help with his tics (which it has done very well). My son does not notice much as far as helping with focus. He did not experience dizziness.

I hope he feels better soon! Good luck

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Yes the guanfacine has helped with his tics as well.

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Why does he take it at bed time?

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Guanfacine is taken a bedtime due to the side effect of drowsiness.

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Then what does to help him during the day to focus at school?

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My sons also takes a low dose stimulant (Focalin XR) in the morning to help with focus during school. Unfortunately the dose can not be increased since it exacerbates his tics.

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Why give it to him?

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Because the combination of a low dose stimulant (focalin xr 15 mg) with guanfacine 2mg works for him. After 8 years of trial and error this combo seems to help him the most. He is doing well.

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That is the part I do not like the trail and error. Makes me feel like I am using my child as a test subject.

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Yup. I know what you mean.

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My son also takes a combo of Focalin and Intuniv. He's on a higher dose - 4mg of Intuniv and 17.5mg of Focalin throughout the day plus a 30mg Daytrona patch. I've noticed little change in his tics.

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My son is on guanfacine 1mg and he has had a rapid heart beat. Not sure if it has anything to do with the med. He has only been on it for a week or so.

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It is because of the pill.

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If you haven’t did be so already you should let the dr know ASAP. Guanfacine is used to treat adhd but it was originally used as a drug g to treat high blood pressure. One of the effects of the drug is to decrease blood pressure. As the body adjusts to the lower blood pressure it may compensate by increasing the heart rate. Some people can adjust heart rate over time but for some the decrease in pressure could cause dizziness/fainting etc. It’s worth giving the dr a call to discuss.

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My son takes guanfacine, but doesn't have that issue. He was first taking quillivant alone and would feel dizzy going up the stairs at home , so we spoke to his neurologist and he also prescribed guanfacine HCL ER to help with the dizziness and my son has not complained about it since. He has been taking the medication for over a year, although, we switched him from the liquid to the pill, because he did not like the taste.

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My son takes 2 mg of Guanfacine twice a day. We eliminated any side effects by switching it to morning and after lunch. When he took it at night it messed up his sleep.

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Thank you all for such a great responses about your experience with Intuniv/Guanfacine. I just bought a blood pressure and pulse monitor online. It has an app with it, so I am able to keep a record of my son’s BP and pulse - which will be helpful during our next doctor’s visit. We just went back up to 2mg last night. My son said he felt dizzy today, but fortunately, when I took his BP and pulse it was normal. Having the monitor has been helpful - as I was so worried before that his BP and pulse were getting too low. Hopefully, the dizziness wears off, as my son does seem to focus, and the focus is more consistent, than when he was taking a stimulant medication. I agree, all the trial and error is scary and frustrating. It’s nice to know others who are experiencing similar things.

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Kully

Intuniv is a sleeping pill! That's probably why he is dizzy during the day. Give it to him like 2 hrs before bed. It is supposed to be prescribed. Your need to find a different Pediatrician! If he can't make the determination he needs to be disbared! Also, find a Pediatrician who specializes in ADHD!

I hope your son has an IEP at school.

My son takes Intuniv at night before bed and is on Focalin for his ADHD! Focalin is a slow release. Works very well. He takes 1 30mg per day.

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Thanks for the response. Intuniv definitely makes my son sleepy. It isn't an actual sleeping pill, it was originally indicated to lower a person's blood pressure. I have heard several people mention Focalin. I will definitely ask my son's psychiatrist about it. I appreciate the feedback.

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My 13 year old grandson was put on Intuniv 1mg. He takes it in the morning. He was drowsy at first but that is getting better. That and Wellbutrin have made him a different kid.

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That is so good to know! My son has been taking his dose at night, but I have heard a few, on this site, who also give it to their child in the morning. I may consider that. Also, interesting about Wellbutrin. I will check that out too. What is the reason for that medication? Anxiety? My son has anxiety too - it is very, coming for kids with ADHD to have a concomitant issue, like anxiety or a learning disability. I am reading a great book, called Driving from Distraction. The author describes a person with ADHD, as having a Ferrari brain with bicycle brakes. I love that. The book is great! It really shines a positive light on ADHD - if channeled correctly, it can actually be a good thing. Lots of successful people/inventors/actors have ADHD. Thanks for taking the time to respond. All the best with your grandson!

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It takes Wellbutrin for both anxiety and depression. His psychiatrist said it also helps with ADHD. He was so withdrawn and didn't care about anything. He is showing a new interest in life

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That is great to hear! I am glad the Wellbutrin has helped! Thanks for sharing!

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Is he drinking a lot of water? That could help with the dizziness.

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I do try to keep him hydrated. I have heard that helps. Thanks for the feedback!

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Intuitive helps my son sleep at night,

We had him taking one 1mg in the morning and one at night. We stopped the morning med because he was seriously zoning out in class. Now he is active in class and talks to others around him.

He has had no dizzy symptoms.

Good luck!!

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My 11yr old is autistic and recently diagnosed with adhd as well. He has been taking abilify for about a year but still seem to have a hard time in school. His doctor just put him on guanfacine 1mg in which he have been taking for a little over a week and he informed me of dizziness here and there too. So I'm going to mention it to the psychiatrist to see if its normal or hope it goes away eventually. He take it in the morning and abilify at night I'm hoping these combinations work for him as his behavior and focusing in school is a main concern.

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It's so frustrating knowing which meds to choose. You hear so many different stories from good to bad. I heard the stimulants are more effective then non stimulants. My son has suffered from bad attention and focus problems in school, not to mention his memory is shot. After the diagnosis he started having bad mood swings with sadness, anger and impulsive behavior. The Dr prescribed Zoloft for depression and anxiety but nothing for ADHD. I really wish there was a more safer homeopathic way to treat ADHD rather than all these drugs with bad side effects including potential suicidal thoughts. Very scary. Still trying to figure all this out. He was only diagnosed 3 months ago.

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Kat0762-

Are you working with a good pediatric psychiatrist ? They are really amazing and it is their job to look at your child and study their personality and work with you to adjust the proper medication for what is best for your child, not for you to have to worry Bout each type of medication. My son's Specialist showed me the newest and best medication and explained why these two work best together. she also tried the least medications first and then we added as we needed. When things were not right she always called me on the phone, no e-mails.. made me feel so safe.

Please get someone you trust to take the worry out if your hands...

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