19 year old daughter with ADHD and no... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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19 year old daughter with ADHD and now anxiety


My 19 year old daughter was recently diagnosed with Inattentive ADHD and given Vyvanse. It works well for her- She is doing exceptionally well in college because of the added focus. However, she recently shared with me that she really struggles with anxiety- especially social anxiety. She also gets really panicked during tests. She is very social and has lots of friends so I actually dismissed her. How could that be true when she does so well all around is what I thought. I realize now it's real. Her dr actually prescribed 2mg Guanfacine to take at night (she takes 60mg Vyvanse during the day). She just recently started taking the Guanfacine. She's not sure of any effects yet. I understand it could take a few weeks to work but she thinks maybe her focus is being affected negatively by the Guanfacine. I read that Gunafacine is mostly for kids up to 17. I did not ask my doc about this because I only read that last night. Does anyone have a kid who is 19 or older with similar situation? I am wondering if the Guanfacine typically helps with anxiety AND if anyone has any experience with the G negatively affecting focus. I am guessing that the G has nothing to do with her focus issues. I'm mostly concerned about dealing with her anxiety right now. She is going to see a counselor about it in order to incorporate some behavior changes but I am wondering if Guanfacine can help with anxiety as well. Ive read posts from people with kids (12 and under) who take it successfully, but I want to know about young adults. tY!

6 Replies

My son who is 15 has the exact same diagnose, ADHD/ ADD always comes with a friend, rather it's anexity , depression, ODD, OCD, etc. He began taking Vyvanse this year and quickly moved to 60 mg, he also takes guanfacine, this medication he has taken since he was 7yr old, it has always been prescribed for impulsive behaviors, for his anexity, he takes a generic versions of zoloft, appx 125 mg. Then around noon, he takes a small dose of Adderall for focus. I really can't tell you if the zoloft works well, because his demeanor is the same , also he chews the heck out of his finger nails until he has none for the past seven years and he really can't describe rather if it's working for him as well, the biggest issue my son has at this point is his impulses behavior, it's overwhelming. He's constantly is in need of direct supervision because his impulseness puts him in various situations and he never think things through . I believe a combination of his immaturity and impulses behaviors keeps him lacking . He also takes trazdone at night for sleep . I informed his Dr. that the guanfacine no longer works for his impulsive behaviors and she usual up his anxiety meds, well based on his behavior she either need to change it or increase it.

willandgrace in reply to Alex_7

Ty! She does a job on her finger nails too!

Guanfacine can sometimes reduce anxiety in a modest way but is not a first line choice. Like the other reader, our son (a young adult) takes guanfacine to add to his ADHD medication and is also on an anxiety medication . If the counseling is not enough after a period of months, your daughter should consider adding a medication that is anxiety specific.

As an aside, the FDA approval that says "indicated" up to a certain age means that was the age range of the studies used for FDA approval. It does not mean that it can't be used outside that range. There are usually research studies that support the use but the drug company may not have any incentive to go back to the FDA to expand the age range, especially when the drug has generic versions.

willandgrace in reply to Elijah1

TY so much- in fact the dr. prescribed the Guanfacine to help with ADHD so that she can possibly reduce the Vyvanse dosage. I hate to add yet another medication to the list but may have to for the anxiety. I wasn't completely clear on what Guanfacine is supposed to do but your post makes it more clear. Thank you- May I ask the anxiety meds your son takes- and if it is helping?

Elijah1 in reply to willandgrace

He is in venlafaxine ER but only because he had problems with fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft). My understanding is that starting with a Prozac like drug is first choice. Whoever will be treating knows the medication options.

My 18 yr old has been on Fluoxetine HCL (generic Prozac) for years now and it’s been very helpful.

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