8 answers

Question on Intuniv for ADD

Hello fellow Mamas. I have posted a few times recentley, but you are always so helpful, I am posting again. My son is ten years old (fifth grade) and has been on Concerta for three years. We tried all of the natural remedies first (and are extremely healthy eaters), that did nothing. We tried Strattera, which did nothing. Concerta has worked like a charm, and he is literally a different kid on it. He is an innattentive type, and on the meds he is verbal, gets his work completed, more organized, brighter eyed, higher self-esteem, etc. (like the "fog" is lifted from him). Lately his medication seems to not be working as well for him-- the effectiveness is just not there. His psychiatrist wants to switch him over to a newly approved med called Inuniv, which is a non-stimulant (very similar to Tenex, which has been used for years). From what I can see online, this is used more for hyperactive, young kids or kids with anger issues or anxiety. My son has none of these issues. I can see nothing indicating it's use for inattentive ADD. We have been trying for about a week over break, and I just notice no difference at all. I am feeling nervous about sending him back to school after break with this different med. Does anyone have any experience? Heard anything? Any help is appreciated. Thanks so much!!

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I haven't seen the other posts so my apologies if this is a repeat. Remember that he has probably grown since he was first put on concerta and therefore the dosage may need to be altered to accommodate for such growth. Great job keeping up on this! As a teacher I am not pro meds but it really does make a difference for many kids!

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Hi H.,

Both my sons have ADD and ADHD. They too were on Concerta for a little while and the reason that they both were off them, because they were at such high dosages that side effects were a big issue and the high dosages had no effect on the attension problem. I also did natural remedies too and nothing. Both sons are on Adderall, which is amphetamine. It did the trick, plus it's cheaper than Concerta, which was about $60.00 per child.

My friend has a son that was diagnosed with ADD around 5 years old. I know she didn't want to have him bounce from medication to medication so she tried putting him on a gluten-free diet. She saw a lot of progress in his behavior. He's now 8 years old and doing very well in school. Maybe you can ask your doctor about this method?

I haven't seen the other posts so my apologies if this is a repeat. Remember that he has probably grown since he was first put on concerta and therefore the dosage may need to be altered to accommodate for such growth. Great job keeping up on this! As a teacher I am not pro meds but it really does make a difference for many kids!

Hi H.,
It's good that you tried to use early intervention to help your son. I would seek medical advice before you try to change dosage or medication. Also, see if any kind of therapy or alternative medicine might help.

Happy New Year!

I just wanted to let you know that I taught middle school for 9 years. Unfortunately this is a very hard time for adolescence with ADD because with their bodies changing, meds seem to change too. Lots of my students went through so many different "coctails" before finding something that worked. Then in a year or so, would be back in the same boat! Good luck I know it is tough! Puberty is a hard thing without the addedd ADD component!

We have used Vyvanse (new in the last four years and great for us) for three years for a son with ADHD whose biggest hyperactivity is pencil tapping. Before you switch any medication, may I suggest documenting the "inefficiency" of his Concerta. My son's psychiatrist cautions us not to expect perfection with attention as we would never expect this from the other four children. Sometimes life is exciting and it is hard to pay attention under the best circumstances.

We also give my son the weekends and vacations off from his medication since he really likes to take it for school but has recognized the medication has a restrictive impact on his natural personality and he likes to feel "himself" whenever he can afford the luxury. The week prior to the December break, he had homework every single day (even on the last day of his fifth grade break-unusual since the teachers usually ease up)but I always try to recognize the difference between many distractions and medication problems. Not everyone recommends the halts in meds but it works well for us.

I no longer worry about other people's opinions about the stimulent he requires since even my son notices the large improvement the medication seems to make and our quality of life has greatly improved at home and at school. My thoughts are with you as ADHD calls for difficult decisions and much agony in children and parent's lives. J.

Intuniv is EXACTLY like the older product Tenex. The only difference between the two is that Intuniv is a sustained release drug that you generally only have to take once per 24 hr period. If this is working for your son, then stick with it. As you stated, it is a non-narcotic medication. There are drawbacks to this though. Not every pharmacy will have it immediately in stock (it is a BRAND NEW drug) in every strenght currently available (there are 4 strengths).
But I would also ask the doctor about the dose of Concerta that your son is on. As you may already know, it too is available in several strenghts. Concerta is very similar to Ritalin. How long has he been on the current strength? Perhaps, as he is growing up, the medication is not the correct dose for his weight. But as with anything, prolonged use tends to cause weakend results. A dosage increase may simply be in order.
You should also check with your insurance provider to make sure they will cover the Intuniv at a rate that you are comfortable with. Since it is so new, it will most likely be on the highest tier of copays, if it is covered at all. Your doctor is a good source of information about these medications, but your pharmacist will have all the side effect, contraindications, and conflicts available right at the pharmacy. And the technicians will have the insurance information to properly bill your plan for the requested product.

Good luck!

H., I would ask your doctor why he is prescribing it and what he thinks your son will get out of it. Sometimes it is as simple as its a new drug and the reps are pushing it like crazy. My son went thru several different drugs for adhd before landing on the one tht worked. ritilin made him angry and confrontational which he had never been before. adderall worked for about a year then he seemed to flounder. they switched to the slow release when worked but he was up and hyper all night couldn't get him to sleep. finally ended up on vyvance which worked wonders. had it for about a year and a half. he is off of all meds now. there is light at the end of the tunnel

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