Intuniv – how long to see changes?

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    • #115349
      bumpywx
      Participant

      Hi all!
      New to the forum, and thought I’d ask this here since it’s hard to get information elsewhere online.
      My son is 4 1/2, and recently started Intuniv (guanfacine) extended release 1mg for ADHD and ODD. We are just shy of 2 weeks now.
      Our struggles with him have been anger outbursts, compliance, frustration tolerance, impulse control and focus, though frustration and anger top the list.
      Though our story is longer than that, I’m curious about others’ experience about how long it takes to “know” Intuniv is actually working? I’ve heard it takes a few weeks, but we’re feeling exhausted at this point without any noticeable signs of improvement. Can anyone else share their experience with how long Intuniv takes to kick in? Thanks!

    • #115362
      jlynn37
      Participant

      It is my understand that it can take up to 4-6 weeks to see improvements. It does depend on the kiddo though. Some medicines we have tried for my son I can see within a week or so (even thought they say 4-6 weeks) and some have taken longer to see. Just depends on how their body processes the medication. Are you seeing a psychiatrist? If so, I would ask them to do a cheek swap dna test that tests for what medications work best for him. My son was diagnosed at age 4 and we didn’t get one done (because I didn’t know about them) until he was 7 and I wish I would have had it sooner! Good luck!

    • #115364
      Penny Williams
      Keymaster

      Intuniv takes 4-6 weeks to reach full efficacy. And your child may require dosage adjustments as well. Intuniv is dosed by size/weight though, so your doctor should have an idea of the final target dose from the start.

      Here’s more about Intuniv:

      Intuniv

      Penny
      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #115365
      bumpywx
      Participant

      Hi Jlynn. Funny you should mention the cheek swab. We did actually pay to have this done for that exact reason. The Intuniv is actually in his “yellow” zone of possibly a “reduced response”, but the psych told us that the DNA test doesn’t tell the whole story. Even still, we know which ones will be more compatible than others, and it’s possible that he just needs a higher dose than others of his age/weight.

      I guess, even with a reduced response, I expected we would notice something….and we just aren’t seeing it yet. So, I want to give it a chance, but I also have a little impatience since there are so many struggles with hitting and fighting at school and non-compliance. It’s really wearing on us, and I’m worried nothing seems to work. We’ve also been doing extensive OT, play therapy, and PCIT therapy. Thanks for the feedback!

    • #115376
      jlynn37
      Participant

      Awesome! That is what our psych told us as well. It was so helpful I recommend to everyone! We discovered stimulants don’t really work for him and that he has has a reduced efficiency to most all meds…sigh..super frustrating but good to know!

      I hear you on the impatience! It is so hard to be patient when it is so stressful for everyone involved, including your little one. I struggled so much seeing our guy struggle and just not know what would help him. Big hugs and lots of good thoughts your way! Let us know how it goes.

    • #115377
      bumpywx
      Participant

      Jlynn, how is your little one doing? Sounds like you might have found something that works for him now?

      Our impatience might stem a bit from having been kicked out of 3 daycare sites….and he’s in a special needs daycare now, but even they seem exasperated with his behavior, and we just want to get this under control for everyone involved before it’s too late. It breaks my heart when he asks about his old daycares, and “when can I go back to ____?”

      He has plenty of good moments, and even good days, but the bad moments/days feel so severe that it’s hard to know what you’re going to get with him. He does great in therapy sessions, but as soon as the therapy session ends, he seems to be back to poor behaviors again. It really seems like he’s trapped in his own body/mind. He’ll even say things to that effect once in awhile after he sort of snaps out of a bad episode. Feeling so bad for him, and want him to feel better as soon as possible!

    • #115784
      judiro
      Participant

      Can I ask about what he eats? When my daughter was about 5, and we were edging toward a diagnosis, we also did a food sensitivity panel, and found that she is very reactive to dairy and eggs. And we were giving her lots of protein in the form of hard boiled eggs, yogurt, cheese. Her sensitivities to dairy and eggs (NOT the same as allergy and WON’T show up on standard allergy testing) manifested in behaviors. General crankiness, misunderstanding social cues, anger, frustration, rage, lack of impulse control.

      If you can, you might want to test your son for food sensitivities, and if the test identifies any, eliminate them from his diet.

      (we also tried Intuniv for our daughter and helped somewhat. But, be careful about increasing the dosage too much, too soon. We did the introductory dosage, and before we even got to the full dose, she felt tired and lethargic–after all, it’s a medicine to lower blood pressure.)

    • #115851
      bumpywx
      Participant

      Thank you!

    • #115852
      bumpywx
      Participant

      Having trouble posting or editing my responses 🙁

    • #116195
      bumpywx
      Participant

      Going to try this again. He eats the normal stuff a 4 year old eats. Other than milk, he doesn’t eat much dairy. What we did learn was he has a MTHFR issue, meaning he cannot convert folic acid into the usable form in the body, which could lead to all sorts of things. We have him on supplements for this, but haven’t noticed any changes yet. His pysch took him off the intuniv and had him start Vyvanse late last week. Just 10mg. So far, nothing with this medication either….and since it’s a stimulant, we were supposed to see something right away. Another appointment tomorrow, so we’ll see what she says. This is so frustrating.

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by bumpywx.
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