What exactly is Intuniv?

Intuniv is a medication used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adults. Unlike many ADHD medications, Intuniv is not a stimulant, although it is sometimes prescribed in combination with stimulant medications to treat the disorder. Intuniv comes in an extended release tablet that is taken once daily.

Is there a generic version of Intuniv available?

Yes, the generic version of Intuniv is called guanfacine and is available for purchase in extended release form.

When did the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approve Intuniv?

Intuniv was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1986.

Are there any major differences between Intuniv and stimulants used to treat ADHD?

Stimulants work quickly to treat symptoms, but they are habit-forming and have many side effects. They also might not be a good option for persons with other mental illness diagnoses or a history of substance use. Non-stimulants like Intuniv take longer for the effects to be felt, but they are not habit-forming. The most common reasons reported by people who discontinue Intuniv are drowsiness and lethargy. Talk to your doctor about whether a non-stimulant, a stimulant, or a combination of the two is the best approach for treating your ADHD.

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Can children take Intuniv?

Children over the age of 6 may be prescribed Intuniv for ADHD. They should take the medication in the exact amount prescribed by their doctor and adults should monitor for side effects.

Are there potential interaction issues for people taking Intuniv and any other drugs?

There are also hundreds of drugs which are known to interact with Intuniv in major, moderate, or mild ways. These include antipsychotics, blood pressure medications, sedatives, ketoconazole, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and medications that treat enzyme metabolism among others. Tell your doctor what other medications you are taking before you begin Intuniv therapy.

Are there any other medical conditions that would make someone ineligible for Intuniv therapy?

Tell your doctor if you have low blood pressure, issues with fainting, kidney problems, heart problems, or liver problems before you take Intuniv.

What is the typical dose that would be prescribed to someone taking Intuniv?

The recommended dosage for Intuniv ranges from 1 to 4 mg once daily.

How long does Intuniv work?

Intuniv is designed to last for 24 hours.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

Take the dose of Intuniv when you remember, but skip the missed dose if it’s almost time for your next dose. You should never take extra doses of the medication to make up for missed doses.

What are Intuniv’s common side effects?

Common side effects of Intuniv can include:

  • fatigue
  • dizziness
  • stomach pain
  • sleepiness
  • trouble sleeping
  • low blood pressure
  • nausea

If you experience major side effects, report them to your doctor immediately and stop using the medication. Major side effects can include low heart rate, low blood pressure, and fainting, among others. You can report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or online.

Are there any possible psychiatric side effects that come from taking Intuniv?

There is some report of increased depressive symptoms while taking Intuniv, but this is not a common side effect.

Is it safe for a woman who is pregnant, about to become pregnant, or nursing to take Intuniv?

There have been no controlled human pregnancy studies on the effects of Intuniv. It is not known whether the drug can be transferred via breast milk in small amounts and harm a baby. Therefore, talk to your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are nursing before you take Intuniv.

Can symptoms occur if Intuniv is discontinued?

Withdrawal symptoms of Intuniv can include headaches, tremors, agitation, and nervousness. Abrupt discontinuation can also cause a rapid increase in blood pressure, so maintain contact with your doctor and seek medical attention if necessary when discontinuing the drug.

What should I do if I overdose on Intuniv?

An overdose of Intuniv could be fatal, so seek help immediately or call the Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222 if you overdose. Overdose symptoms can include sleepiness, sluggishness, respiratory depression, bradycardia, and hypotension.

Is Intuniv habit-forming?

Intuniv is not a controlled substance and has no established potential for abuse.

How much does Intuniv cost?

One hundred 1mg tablets of Intuniv extended release cost approximately $1000.

Are there any disadvantages to Intuniv?

A major disadvantage of Intuniv is that it is expensive. Because it is not a stimulant, the medication also takes longer to produce effects, with some patients waiting up to a month to notice changes. Also, those who discontinue the drug often report increased sleepiness.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained herein should NOT be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately qualified and licensed physician or other healthcare providers.  This article mentions drugs that were FDA-approved and available at the time of publication and may not include all possible drug interactions or all FDA warnings or alerts. The author of this page explicitly does not endorse this drug or any specific treatment method. If you have health questions or concerns about interactions, please check with your physician or go to the FDA site for a comprehensive list of warnings.


Last Updated: Feb 21, 2018