Guanfacine for 4.5 yr old: My son... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Guanfacine for 4.5 yr old

SunshineF profile image
24 Replies

My son started .5 mg of quanfacine at night for two weeks then moved up to 1mg at night. We thought we were seeing improvements but things went downhill with the increase from .5 to 1 mg. Very impulsive, chatty, can’t focus, etc. We’re back down to .5 mg to see if his behavior improves. Does anyone have experience with quanfacine? Any feedback you might have would be appreciated. Thanks!

24 Replies
Onthemove1971 profile image
Onthemove1971

Yes, our son takes it. But we have him also take Ritlin to help with these impulsive issues.

I understand your son is young, good luck it finding what works for him.

Welcome to the journey...

SunshineF profile image
SunshineF in reply to Onthemove1971

thank you! Roughly how long did it take to find the right combination, dosage, etc.?

Onthemove1971 profile image
Onthemove1971 in reply to SunshineF

I am sorry I can't remember exactly, but I do remember asking ourr son about 6 months ago if he remembered being on different medication and he said NOPE.

The effect on his is amazing, but after he takes the medication he can't really "feel" it. He said he just knows he doesn't get in trouble as much.

I would recommend working with . Child psychiatrist. They help to manage behavior, changes that need to take place in the long term.

Best of luour

SunshineF profile image
SunshineF

thank you! We’re working with his developmental ped right now. In your experience, was a child psychiatrist better than a developmental pediatrician for this?

Onthemove1971 profile image
Onthemove1971 in reply to SunshineF

Our son has never seen a Developmental Pediatrician.

But Psychiatrist are trained to.understand: Type of medication, dose of medication and best timing.

There is much involved in getting the best medication. But when you do it can be magic.

Best to you!

SunshineF profile image
SunshineF

ok thank you!

Angkay01 profile image
Angkay01

My son is 6 and he is diagnosed with ADHD and DMDD. He is currently on Guanfince 1mg and is also on Focalin 10ml. We are taking both in the morning. We've seen massive improvements with impulsivity and focus. We did give try giving him the guanfince at night, but transitioned to the morning with his ADHD meds, and that seems to be working better for him.

SunshineF profile image
SunshineF in reply to Angkay01

Thank you! Did he have any side effects from either?

AnissaL profile image
AnissaL

Hi - my six year old takes 1mg of Guanfacine at night and 10mg of Vyvanse in the am, we were seeing improvements when he was on just the Guanfacine and Dyanavel initially with the impulsivity and aggression but not with the focus, things have been going downhill rapidly with the aggression since switching to Vyvanse (but, focus is much better). Our pediatrician referred us to a developmental behavior team to reassess.

SunshineF profile image
SunshineF

I’m sorry things started to go downhill. Hopefully the developmental behavior team will help and get him back on track! When did your son start medication?

Cjkchamp profile image
Cjkchamp

Didn’t work for my son. We increased all the way to 4mg. He ended up a zombie…no personality, would fall asleep all the time, and lost his desire to do anything. He wanted to be alone.

SunshineF profile image
SunshineF in reply to Cjkchamp

Hi - thank you for sharing your experience. I’m so sorry that happened but I hope you were able to find something that suits him better now.

Cjkchamp profile image
Cjkchamp in reply to SunshineF

All good! Psychiatrist put him on broad spectrum micronutrients, and he doesn’t have to take any medications anymore.

SunshineF profile image
SunshineF in reply to Cjkchamp

wow that’s great! How old is he?

SunshineF profile image
SunshineF in reply to SunshineF

and this might be a dumb question but do they still consider him to have adhd ?

Cjkchamp profile image
Cjkchamp in reply to SunshineF

He is 10 now.

WizKidMama profile image
WizKidMama

SunshineF my daughter is on Guanfacine, she just turned 10. We've had to play around with when & how much she takes, but we're finally at a good place with 1mg in the morning before school. It helps her stay calm longer during the day and has greatly reduced meltdowns, and she's finally able to participate in class and get work done. Taken only at bedtime or 2x a day would cause her to only get about 2-3 hours of sleep at night. You may have to do the same to see when the optimal time to take it and dosage will be. I hope it works because when something finally makes a difference, it's such a huge relief for everyone.

SunshineF profile image
SunshineF in reply to WizKidMama

he’s back down to .5 mg at night since he is behavior worsen with going up to 1 mg at night. Not sure what his dr. Will recommend next. Maybe .5 in the morning and afternoon and no longer give it at night. Honestly this is all so new so I have no idea what to expect but it’s helpful reading others’ experiences. Thank you for sharing!

Lanego profile image
Lanego

My son is 10yo and was on 1mg for 3 months before we moved to 2mg. The first 2 weeks on the 2mg he seemed to be behaving worse-angrier, more easily frustrated and then after a few weeks his behavior improved beyond when he was taking the 1mg. Im not sure how long your child was on the 1mg but it may take a few weeks before it gets better.I know it's hard to see the worsening in behavior.

We've always given his meds before bedtime, that works well for him. He didn't tolerate stimulants. His only other med is sertraline.

IheartDisney profile image
IheartDisney

My son who is 10 staryed on 1 mg and worked his was up to 2mg. He is only 60lbs. He could not tolerate stimulants. He takes it in the morning because it would keep him awake at night. It took about a week or 2 to get through side effects but has really helped him to stay more still and be more calm. There was one point early on that we thought it wasnt really doing much and we eere going to take him off of it and wow. When you see your kid not actually on something, you realize what a big difference it was making. The only thing we noticed is he sometimes gets tired in the late afternoon.

Kkoelle profile image
Kkoelle

yes my son takes guanfacine. We tried it solo 0.5 mg twice daily and it didn’t control his outbursts very well during the school day. It also made him depressed and he gained 15 lbs in 3 weeks which made him very self conscious and unhappy. We now do Focalin in AM and 0.5 guanfacine after school at 330 pm. So far it is his best combo

SunshineF profile image
SunshineF in reply to Kkoelle

thank you for your response. I’m sorry you all had trouble with this initially but I’m glad to hear things are going much better. Do you mind me asking how old your son was when he was taking only Guanfacine twice a day at 0.5 mg?

Kkoelle profile image
Kkoelle in reply to SunshineF

I believe he was solely on guanfacine around 7 1/2 to 8 years old. His doc took him off Ritalin because he started having visual hallucinations. He did guanfacine alone for a few months but he just wasnt the same kid. It was like he was walking around with a storm cloud over his head, but still managed to flip over desks in school. Then we went to once daily Focalin, which was great during the school day, but found his outbursts got really bad around 6 pm so doc added back the 0.5 guanfacine after school to carry him through the night. This combo works so well for him. Eventually you will find the right combo, but it takes a lot of trial and error. Hang in there. He just turned 9 and we were finally able to take a real family vacay last week for 4 days in a row without any major meltdowns. This would never have been feasible before with his mental health struggles. My husband and I are still in disbelief. My son is so much happier when he can control his outbursts and so are we lol.

Imakecutebabies profile image
Imakecutebabies

My 6yo started on 1mg guanfacine at night over the summer and moved up to 2mg. His psychiatrist had us switch to giving it after school because it was making him go to sleep too late--she said it can take 6-8 hours to make them sleepy.

Right after starting the 1mg, and again after moving up to 2mg, we had a few days where he was SO CALM AND EAGER TO PLEASE that it was downright unnerving, in addition to being really sleepy. Eventually his body got more accustomed to the medication and now he's more like his old self except less aggressive. I have been seeing what I feel is an increase in his impulsive behaviors lately; I'm really hoping that his body doesn't just acclimate to the med every few months because I don't want to be increasing his dose every few months, but he's still not getting in nearly as much trouble in school so I'll take it.

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