The Best Time of Day to Take Intuniv

Written by dad - 442 Comments

A couple of week ago, I noted that our son had started taking Intuniv to treat his nervous tics. He started out with a 1mg dose, increased to 2mg after a week, and then to 3mg a week later. Easing patients onto Intuniv in this fashion is the standard approach.

Unfortunately, shortly after he started taking Intuniv, he started having problems with insomnia. He’d fall asleep just fine but would wake up at 2AM or 3AM and then be unable to get back to sleep. After consulting with the doctor (who also checked with the pharmaceutical rep) we ended up switching from morning to evening doses.

The good news is that the nighttime sleep problems are gone. The bad news is that he now comes home from school absolutely exhausted. And by that I mean completely and totally wiped out. We’re hoping that he adjusts to the Intuniv in the coming weeks such that he’s no longer so tired in the afternoons, or so we can switch him back to morning doses without disrupting his sleep.

I’ll update when we know more…

Published on February 9th, 2010 - 442 Comments
Filed under: Health
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Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. Just an update for my 11 year old son. We went through hell, had him hospitalized in March. He was having anger rages involving threatening me and my daughter. They got him off Concerta and Clonodine and Zoloft and Intuniv.

    He now takes 50mg Strattera and .5 Risperidone. He sleeps well, he is doing much better in school. He is rarely the hyper I used to go through. He is trustworthy not to harm himself or others, as in he has “common sense”. HE EATS!!!!!!!!!

    He still gets mad and flies off the handle, (usually due to his sister) but it is much much less and way manageable. I am happy after years of trying all the psychs’ suggestions! I hope you all can find your kids’ happy recipe.

    Comment by Christie from May 2010 — Sep 26th 2011 @ 7:59 pm
  2. Thank you for your comment Kathy. I have been so obsessed with researching the internet on stimulant med’s. I have read more good than bad on the Focalin XR stimulant. I decided to try it and was not happy about it over the weekend. He got a really good night sleep and instead of giving him the “wants” for breakfast I got up and cooked him a healthy breakfast. He ate very well. Then I sent him off to school on his third day of this stiumulant. I informed the teacher of the changes in med and anxiously waited the day to go by today to find out how he did. I am a single mother of two and work full time. I picked him up this evening the he came running to me with a smile and told me about his wonderful day and how good he was and how he was taking his time coloring in the lines and doing his work quietly. He never had his behaviour care flipped today. I was so proud of him. Also this eveing he completed all his nightly tasks without whinning, arguing and getting mad. He even had an hour to play what he wanted. It has been a wonderful evening. I haven’t been able to relax and enjoy my wonderful son for a long time. He is in bed now but not asleep yet. Hummm wonder if he is going to have a hard time getting to sleep? We haven’t had this problem yet.

    This is the first day of the school week and I am going to see how the rest of the week holds but it felt so good to have some good news today and have a wonderful sweet child to spend time with. Most days he is so difficult and attitudal. I did speak with his doctor and she said to give him the rest of the week. I really hope this is the start of a good combination. I want my son to get a good education and to make friends. Right now he has so many social problems he doesn’t have any friends and when he does have a family friend to come and play with him he doesn’t get along with them or he just doesn’t have any interest in playing with anyone. I hate seeing him not playing with other children and interacting in a healthy way. I hope this changes too.

    Sorry to go on so long, wanted to share my good day with everyone. Thank you all so much for your support and posts it has really helped ease my mind.

    Comment by Kelly — Sep 27th 2011 @ 1:11 am
  3. Kelly – so good to hear that the new med is going well! It’s wonderful that your son’s sweet personality is shining through!

    Jack’s transition to the Intunive in the evening is going well. A bit harder to get him up in the morning, but the morning behavior is much better. I gave his teacher a heads up on the change and she’ll let me know if she sees any negative changes.

    I did get his “midterm” report card and he’s doing awesome in school!

    Best of luck for the rest of the week!

    Comment by Angie — Sep 27th 2011 @ 2:53 pm
  4. Good evening Angie,
    I am happy to hear that Jack is doing well with the Intuniv. I found when we first started taking the Intuniv he was hard to get up in mornings too. We started going to bed earlier and now he gets up fine. My son hates going to sleep and hasn’t taken naps since he was 3. But if he gets that extra hour or so sleep his behavior and getting up in the morning improved tremendously. I also think eating a much healthier balanced breakfast and dinner helps with behavior and attitude and focus in school. We too got a progress report today. He got one bad mark but the rest were satisfactory. He had his first substitute today and they said he told the sub all day this is what Mrs Penry(his teacher) does. He is too funny. He had a very good day today also in school and the evening went smooth. He is like a brand new child. I just pray this good streak stays with us. Good luck with your mornings and I am happy to hear your son is thriving and doing well in school. Have a great evening.

    Comment by Kelly — Sep 28th 2011 @ 1:05 am
  5. My son is 8 years old we have been battling ADHD since the beginning of first grade, and let me tell you it isn’t easy! We started him out on Concerta in the second grade due to some harsh side effects from the Vyvanse, At the beginning of this school year he was taking Concerta 36mg in the morning, and 2.5mg of clonidine at night .. I started noticing some changes in his school behavior verses his behavior at home. I saw the commercial about INTUNIV, and immediately called his doctor to see if maybe we could use the INTUNIV with the Concerta. WOW!!! What a difference it has made. He takes INTUNIV at night 2mg, Sleeps all night, and really is better focused at school all day. I wished I had switched him sooner. The doctor says he cannot increase the dosage of the Concerta to 56mg until he weighs 50 lbs. I was so discouraged at this so I was desperate to try anything. The INTUNIV seems to be working great! Also for those moms out there that get frustrated with medications. It really is a matter of finding the right one for your child. All kids are different so they react to medications different than other kids. BE PATIENT, and just find a really good pediatrician that will work with you. It is amazing. I just see alot of frustrated parents mostly moms that seem like all hope has been lost, but there is hope if you just stay actively involved with the child. Sometimes children do grow out of it. You just have to invest alot of time and effort in finding what works for your child.

    Comment by Cherie Flores — Oct 11th 2011 @ 9:58 pm
  6. My 12 yr old son was prescribed Risperdal for his ADHD symptons. Any feedback on this?

    Comment by Kristi — Oct 19th 2011 @ 3:19 am
  7. Hello all,

    Just an update on Jack and the switch from a.m. Intunive to p.m. Intuniv. It didnt’ go well at all. We gave it a few weeks, but it seemed that his mornings and evenings were worse. The teacher didn’t note any changes at school, so that was okay. We moved back to a.m.’s and overall saw a big improvement. Not sure why – maybe just some honeymoon affect, but I’ll take it. He’s been going to bed easier too.

    Kristi – I haven’t had any experience with Risperdal – sorry!

    Comment by Angie — Oct 19th 2011 @ 1:20 pm
  8. Angie: I have also noticed that the Intuniv has a honeymoon effect when switched to a different time of day, or when we stop it for a few days and start again. My daughter is now taking Straterra in the mornings and Intuniv at night. The straterra has been a huge blessing. She is on 60 mg and is doing wonderful at school. She is no longer getting in trouble every day, and is actually finishing her work ahead of the other students, and it is correct. I know that all children react differentlly to medicine, but I would definitely recommend giving Straterra a try.

    Comment by Angel — Oct 20th 2011 @ 12:29 am
  9. HI,
    IT IS THE FIRST TIME I AM ON THIS WEBSITE. I READ A FEW COMMENTS ABOUT INTUNIV. MY SON ( 13 yers old) HAS BEEN TAKING INTUNIV FOR THE PAST MONTH. HE WAS PREVIOUSLY TAKING TENEX .HE IS ON THE AUTISTIC SPECTRUM , BUT HE ALSO HAS ADHD AND OCD . HIS ATTENTION HAS IMPROVED ( IT’S EASIER TO DO HOMEWORK NOW ) , BUT HIS STIMMING GOT DEFINETELY WORSE. DO YOU PLEASE HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS?

    Comment by ROSARIA — Oct 29th 2011 @ 8:38 pm
  10. I have 3 sons. My 12 year old is what most people think of as a typical child. My 10 year old is off the charts ADHD (absolutely CANNOT be still, not talk/make sounds, or think before doing some amazingly stupid things – if he’s not on his meds). My 8 year old is mild ADHD, moderate ODD.

    We started the middle child on Focalin when in 1st grade. It worked, but got the “zombie” effect; so, after several months switched to Concerta. Concerta helps his focus immenslly and works great to control the hyperactivity and talking, not as great on the impulsivity, but does help reduce the impulsive decisions that could result in severe physical harm to himself or others. One thing we did find (both on the Concerta and the Focalin) is if his dose is not high enough, he experiences extreme anxiety. The dr told us this is actually a common thing and that increasing the dose will decrease the anxiety (I know, weird, seems counter intuitive). He is right. Each time we start at a lower dose, the ADHD symptoms are controlled, but he has anxiety. Dr increases the dose, the ADHD stays controlled and the anxiety goes away. Eventually the anxiety returns, dr increases dose, anxiety goes away. He’s now on Concerta 72mg. Dr. says he’s not comfortable going higher. I’m a bit concerned about what we’re going to do if the anxiety comes back. He’s been on 72 for over a year now and that is usually about the time frame we start seeing the anxiety return. Dr. is talking about adding Intuniv rather than changing the stimulant med to see if that helps when/if the anxiety does recur.

    We started my 8 year old on Concerta when in kinder at the suggestion of his psychiatrist. Bad move. He had always had an anger problem but after starting Concerta he became prone to sudden violent outbursts of temper that ended up in him being suspended from school (in Kindergarten!!). I wasn’t real comfortable putting him on Concerta anyway b/c our biggest problem with him was the ODD not the ADHD. Additional research on Concerta revealed that in some kids it can cause feelings of extreme anger. Great! So, let’s give it to the kid who has anger issues. We dumped the psychiatrist and went back to our regular pediatrician who seemed to know way more about this stuff. He started him on Intuniv, which is used for ODD. Amazing improvement in the defiant behavior, but we had problems with the insomnia/daytime sleepiness at 3 mg. At 2mg, still there, but not so much of a problem. He also takes 3mg sublingual melatonin, and that helps a lot. 2mg not working so well anymore; so, we went back up to 3. I was hoping since he’s bigger now, that it would be ok. No. Night-time insomnia and daytime sleepiness is back and seems to be getting worse after about 6 months on the higher dose. I’m reluctant to try the stimulant meds again after what happened with the Concerta the first time, but we gotta do something. We initially gave the Intuniv in the morning, but switched to right before bed as that made the daytime sleepiness less. After reading the posts here, I’m going to try giving it a few hours before bed and see if that helps. Anyone have any other suggestions?

    Also a note on the decreased appetite with Concerta. A hint another mom gave me was she buys Ensure for her son to drink during the night. We’d been having problems with ours getting up in the middle of the night and eating junk; so, I started buying the generic ensure for him. Now he drinks that and goes back to bed. He gets a better night’s sleep and his weight is actually going up! 🙂

    Comment by Cathleen — Dec 2nd 2011 @ 3:31 pm
  11. i am a 17 year old in high school and i have recently started up on intuniv along with 72mg of concerta each day.i started on 1mg (intuniv) for three weeks once in the morning.
    i have found that since i bumped up to 2mg a day, that i have had LITERALLY, model student behavior. and i can not emphasize how serious i am when i say LITERALLY.
    everyday the teachers and principal call my mom(by their choice) and tell her that they would like to take the time to say how they would like to tell her ,how amazing i have been doing in school since i have started up on this medicine.
    im sure that you are saying to yourself oh big deal all kids can easily do that good.
    well im a kid that has quite doing meth,cocaine, and ecstacy everyday, with occasional ghb, ketamine, barbituaries, and acid (both pcp and lysergic acids) useage.
    i did homeschooling after getting blacked out drunk at school and trying to fight my principal and the later called to the scene resource officer.
    i spent my time selling ecstacy to fund my habbits.
    i have never done perfect in school until this year, and this medicine has definately helped, in such ways as making me feel to mellow to fight, misbehave our even laugh at other students negative behavior to encourage it, but at the same time without making me feel high off of it.
    i have found that drinking 1 full 12 ounce cup of water at least every 30 minutes(if not more frequently) has made the medicine much more relaxing on me. (p.s. i am 5’11” and 235 pounds with a body that is very used to medicines) the water has helped me make 2 pills as effective as 5, but i have found that i have to keep drinking constantly throughout the day.and i feel that the water helps my liver and/or kidneys alot easier to all the meds i have to take.
    in other words , i think that all the water makes my kidneys not as damaged or affected(made less healthy) as badly from all of my meds.
    remeron has helped with bedtime, no insomnia at all. but i need to eat a piece of bread with butter 30 minutes after taking the remeron and trying to sleep after that even if i dont feel drugged up from it ,will get me to fall right asleep.sleep alnight, no groggyness in the morning.

    Comment by forrest t. — Dec 7th 2011 @ 6:00 pm
  12. Hello,
    This is my first time on this site and I have already read so much useful stuff. I have a 6yr old daughter who i’ve been struggling with for several years. She is aggressive, impulsive and plain out mean at home to us and her siblings. But at school she is shy, reserved, behind and pretty much keeps to herself. After being in therapy for a year with little improvement, I decided it was time to seek help from her pediatrician and try out meds after we concluded that she does suffer from ADHD, ODD and a little OCD. She is in the 1st grade now, which she will probably repeat since she is still at a kind level. He first prescribed vyvanse but after 2 days on that she was all speedy, wouldn’t sit still, kept doing this weird movement with her jaw. I took her off. We waited a few days and started intuniv 1.5weeks ago. I have already noticed much improvement at home, she is polite, helpful and responsvie at homework time.
    The only problem that we are encountering is her waking up several times a night. I give her the meds after school around 3pm because doing so in the AM made her very sleepy. I have started to give her melatonin to help her sleep through the night. Last night wasn’t good but I realized I gave her the regular kind not the extended realese. Anyone use melatonin? Reccomendations?

    Comment by Michelle H. — Dec 14th 2011 @ 8:09 pm
  13. Hi. My son is 6 years old, and was diagnosed with ADHD when he turned 5. He is now taking 27mg of concerta and 2 mg of intuniv. We are about to increase the intuniv to 3 mg because it seems like nothing is working anymore. He is always saying no to me no matter what i ask him to do.He basicly laughs in my face when he sees me getting upset. Everything is an argument, he purposely does things to upset me. It is so hard for me to not lose my temper. The worst part is that his 2 yr old sister is watching every little thing that he does and is starting to learn his behaviors because she thinks that is what normal is. My son has problems in school. Can’t sit still, or keep his hands to himself. I thought this medication was supposed to make things better but it hasn’t. 2 months ago, everything was working great at home and at school and then it was like someone just flipped a switch and now all of the ADHD symptoms are back. Does anyone have any tips on how to handle him saying no all the time? Spanking doesn’t work, time out doesn’t work. Nothing works!

    Comment by Andrea N — Dec 15th 2011 @ 1:20 am
  14. Im glad I found this site, its nice to see others that are experiencing some of the same things I am seeing with my son. He also was diagnosed at age 5 with ADHD and has ben on several medications, ending with Focalin which seemed to do the job…….but after about 6 months he got ticks that went form infrequent to very frequent. We stopped the Focalin (he was taking two doses, am and pm, at 10mg per) I have not put him back on any stimulants and per his Dr we are now trying Intuiniv. He started with a very low dose and weve barely gotten to 1 mg and tonight did 2mg. Even with the low doses there was really no reduction in the ticks so Im hopeful that the increase dosage will have an effect. My question to anyone who might know, is that if the ticks subside, is it because of the Rx, and what happens if he stops it or the dose is lowered? Do the ticks come back?? Im not a fan of all the stimulants and thankfully intuniv is not, but just the whole idea of depending on this drug long term frightens me. Any input or experience someone has to share would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

    Comment by scott — Jan 2nd 2012 @ 2:09 am
  15. My son is on his third week of intuniv & I’m wondering, if he misses a dose, will it take another two weeks for him to get used to it again? He is a sweet boy, he is just difficult to handle & I’m jus trying to figure out how to handle him. He also takes Procentra.

    Comment by Allyson — Jan 6th 2012 @ 2:32 pm
  16. Yes thank you all for so much useful information! My 6 year old son just started taking it TONIGHT (5pm) and we are anxious and excited and hopeful to see improvement. I thought there was something about a bad taste in the mouth, as already he has woken up complaining of that, but I’m looking for more recent feedback. Anyone?

    Comment by Sage — Jan 9th 2012 @ 3:24 am
  17. Concerta causing eye rolling

    We have a 9 year old son diagnosed with Moderate Severe ADHD. We have had him on meds since he was 6. He went from thinking he was a weird kid to loving school and being a straight A student with friends. As nerve racking as it has been we’ve been very pleased with the positive results of meds, therapy, school involvement and learning techniques.

    The meds now seem to be the problem. In December we moved my son from 27mg of Concerta to 36 mgs. He started rolling his eyes in just a few days. We dropped the Concerta totally and have started on Intuniv (1mg).

    Our psychiatrist mentioned Tourette, but suggested we change meds and see if things improve.

    Obviously we hoped we would have seen improvement by now (1 week), but we can’t see any change. We move to 2mg of Intuniv tomorrow.

    Has anyone been down this path? Did the eye rolling get better?

    Comment by Mike — Jan 17th 2012 @ 12:25 am
  18. I have 2 boys a 10yr old nd a 7yr old both of them has ADHD my 10yr old takes Alleral XR 35mg nd Intuniv ER 3mg at night to help him.. Both of my boys Meds work every well nd they r improving alot.. Of course they have their days when they want 2 be bad but the meds work..

    Comment by Beth — Jan 17th 2012 @ 4:39 am
  19. My nine year old daughter just started Intuniv on Monday afternoon (three days ago) and I have several questions. My first question is if anyone has any experience with the Intuniv if it is broken or crushed? My daughter has a very difficult time swallowing pills and we are really trying hard to swallow this but she is biting into it before swallowing it. I called Shire and they told me it would be absorbed into the bloodstream faster if it is altered. So I was wondering what people’s experiences were with that.
    Now for a little history about us and then for my next question. My daughter stared taking Adderall XR when she was seven years old in second grade. The Adderall worked great for the first year but by third grade she was up to 20 mg and it had stopped working. In the middle of third grade we switched to Vyvance for about three weeks which was a disaster. She had the worst mood swings and would go days without eating a thing and then binge non stop for several days in a row. We then switched to Focalin XR which worked beautifully for her. The only problem was she needed a pretty high dose right from the start as she is very athletic and seemed to matabolize it very quickly. 30 mg seemed to work like a charm for her from the winter through the rest of the school year. Unfortunately at the start of this year the Focalin stopped working and even when we went up to 40 mg we saw minimal improvement. So in November we switched to the Daytrana patch. The patch seemed to work better than the Focalin, however, it seems to take about 3.5 hours to kick in in the morning and she doesn’t put a morsal of food in her mouth all day. So we just started the Intuniv this week and for the first two weeks we are using it in conjunction with the Datrana patch. The doctor said when we increase the Intuniv to 3 mg we will stop using the patch. Now for my question…. I’ve noticed from all the blogs that I’ve been reading that most kids are on a combination of Intuniv with a low dose of stimulant. Has anyone had any experience of going back to an old medication that used to work after being off it for a while and then combining it with the Intuniv? I’m wondering if since my daughter did have so much success with the Adderall and with the Focalin at first if it is worth trying a low dose of either of those in conjunction with the Intuniv? What I want to know is once these meds lose their effectiveness does that last forever or can you go back to them after not being on them for a while? She has been off the Adderll for a little over a year and off the Focalin for three months.
    Any advise would really be appreciated.
    Thanks,

    Comment by Tammy — Feb 2nd 2012 @ 5:12 am
  20. Hi Tammy: Sometimes a med break can result in the med working again- if it is a tolerance issue. Others won’t- as they stopped working due to change in the body’s chemistry, the person’s diet, etc. Of course, athletics speed up metabolism- hence the need for a higher dose- due to the increase. There is also the body’s PH. The more acidic a person, the faster a medicine breaks down- opposite for a person with an more alkaline system.

    Comment by cindy — Feb 9th 2012 @ 4:32 am
  21. Hi all.
    My DEAR ds has been on intuniv for about 9 months now, and he is doing very well on it. We have played with dosage times, but the best one seems to be between 4-5pm in the afternoon. He is on 2mg. We tried going up to the 3mg dose and it was definitely too much! He actually got worse on 3mg. Anyway, if he takes it about 4 or 4:30, it seems to help him ease off his daytime stimulant(Focalin XR 10mg) nicely and get a little sleepy for bedtime at 8.

    Hope this helps! Good luck to all of you. ADHD is a NASTY disease and it will wreak havoc on your life…IF YOU LET IT! Be strong, and positive 🙂

    Comment by Fancymom — Feb 21st 2012 @ 1:20 pm
  22. My son is 10 years old and started taking Intuniv a week ago. He was diagnosed with PANDAS at age 3 1/2, so he is dealing with the OCD, impulsivity, rages, separation anxiety, tics, social anxiety and emotional lability that go along with the autoimmune disorder of PANDAS. Though strep cultures in his throat are negative, he is currently in a full flare. His ASO (strep) titers, AntiDNAse (strep antibodies) and C1Q binding assay (auto-antibodies) are all at very high levels so the strep infection is obviously elsewhere in his body-probably his sinuses. He takes augmentin 1000mg per day (500 mg every 12 hours), 200mg ibuprofen every 12 hours to deal with the brain inflammation and also 1 benedryl every 12 hours.

    His pediatrician is attempting to get him in to see a pediatric neurologist, however he can’t be seen until May. At the advice of the neuro, we began Intuniv to help with the ADHD symptoms of his disorder and the tics (he has hand & vocal tics). I have noticed he is less agitated & antsy and this past week is the first in months that he hasn’t had any kind of meltdown in school. I also haven’t seen any remarks on his behavior reports that say he won’t stay in his seat. It does seem to be helping the impulsivity & I’ve noticed a reduction in physical & verbal tics. When he does become fixated on something, he seems to be able to let it go a little sooner & focus on something besides the obsessive thoughts in his head. I have not gotten much feedback from school since they want to move him out of the regular classroom and into a contained classroom. I think they feel like if they say anything positive about him at this point they may be stuck with him!

    I have been giving it to him at night so we haven’t seen any issues with daytime sleepiness or nighttime insomnia. We also haven’t seen any lack of appetite. Tonight we move up to the 2mg dose and I am keeping my fingers crossed that this is the answer. Over the next few months the augmentin should help kill the strep & support his immune system so the strep antibodies go down & halt the autoimmune response. We just need something to help him in the meantime and I’m sure hoping the Intuniv is it!

    Comment by Leah — Feb 27th 2012 @ 3:52 pm
  23. @asdf…..so much hate you have there, wow. Not that this matters to you but for all of the parents out there struggling with your decision, and yes asdf it is a struggle, this is for you all. My son , who is very intelligent suffered for 3 yrs because I didn’t want to medicate him. Now at the age of 10 he is doing much better in school because he is able to focus. I would have never chosen this for him, like all of the parents here. We are trying to manage our kids disorders while helping them be successful. After much studying, debating and thinking I decided if it meds didn’t work or had an adverse reaction I could take him off BUT If I never tried them too see if they would help I would be doing him a injustice. Most parents , I know, and I’m a school administrator don’t just put their children on medication cause they act bad. It’s much deeper than that. As a matter of fact, my son is one of the most well behaved, thoughtful, verbal children you will ever meet. But with a myriad of learning issues. I exhausted all other means before medication to intervene for him. He is dyslexic , dysgraphic, suffers from anxiety and ADD. My son could actually verbalize that he was in a fog, couldn’t concentrate and just daydreamed all day long. He actually diagnosed himself with dyslexia after watching a Disney show! Yeah Disney…..After 4 days of being on 1 mg of Intuniv he was able, for the first time ever to complete his homework by himself. I am an award winning teacher, with a background in Early Literacy. My husband a nurse. You better believe we didnt just say , ” yeah, he’s bad, let’s get some meds.” Nope, we tutored, we exercised, we eliminated foods, we prayed. It’s a physiological issue that needs a medical response. Now , all that being said, as a school administrator I do see children who are over medicated. But their parents aren’t trying to harm them; that’s the exception. The rule is– parents are desparate to do what’s best for their children. Some are more equipped to make better decisions and others need assistance. So, please Mr or Mrs. ASDF don’t assume all of these people aren’t desparate to help their children because they are or they wouldn’t be here…… So go tell some child molester or abuser they are disgusting and be happy doing it cause as Dr. Phil would say, ” that dog don’t hunt round here.”

    Comment by Adminmom — Mar 6th 2012 @ 5:15 am
  24. Fascinating discussion — my almost 9 year old son is now on 2 mg Intuniv. He has been diagnosed with ADHD, but has had anger and rage issues. Luckily I work close to the school and there were times I’d be called in almost every day. At first they’d send him home, he’d been two out of control (both in first and third grades), then they’d try to keep him there so as not reward him, often working independently. When this first happened in first grade and he went on intuniv it was a difficult choice. I did not want to medicate my child. The turning point came after four really difficult weeks when I got him from skiing and he’d gotten angry and thrown off his coat and snow pants and was laying in the snow angry. I realized that sometimes medications can help. We took him off last year and he was doing well, but the same behaviors came back this year. It’s rough, trying to figure out what is right. He’s doing great academically, but that’s inspite of ADHD and missing class for anger attacks and impulsivity.

    I was just going to read the comments and not comment myself, but the claims of people that “you all are disgusting” and the like shows real ignorance and a lack of ethics. The fact they feel the need to insult people in situations they don’t understand is really sad. Judgmental, self-righteous and arrogant people are often wrong in their beliefs. Anyway, it helps to read what others experience. Thanks!

    Comment by Scott Erb — Mar 18th 2012 @ 10:43 pm
  25. Hi everyone!

    My son has been diagnosed with ADHD for the past 2 years now (also JUST diagnosed last week with Autism) and we’ve tried 3 different meds: Medidate, Strattera, and now finally Concerta. The Concerta seems to be the best “fit” so far, making his symptoms manageable but not putting him a zombie-like state. We just got a prescription for adding Intuniv to help with his facial tics, sleep, and mostly because the doctor also stated that we may be able to drop his Concerta dose down to help increase his appetite because it’s been so affected by all 3 medications. We are hopeful that things work out as planned!

    For those of you who are here to blast us for “medicating our children instead of letting them be children”: You can take your opinion with you and don’t let the door hit you in the behind on the way out. Unless you have a child that has the aggressiveness, the DANGEROUS impulsiveness or anger issue, the very frustrating day-to-day never ending “quirks” (far above and beyond the typical childhood issues), the heartbreaking bullying issues, and the inability to focus at school that destroys their self esteem and self worth, YOU CAN KEEP YOU OPINIONS TO YOURSELF. Everything we do has potential harmful (and deadly) side effects: eating canteloupe, driving a car, drinking tainted water, etc etc. Even if you follow the law to the letter (crossing in the crosswalk only at the corner, and only with a “walk” sign) you can still get killed at any time, anywhere, any point. But does that stop you from doing what you need to do to make it through the day? NOPE. You still drive your car to get to work (and the vast majority of drivers drive faster than the speed limit as well). You still buy certain foods even though there had been a recall on them at some point in the past. You don’t ALWAYS walk where and when you’re “legally” supposed to. Same concept applies to our children and our choice (or rather NON CHOICE) to medicate them. We do what we have to do to get everyone safely (and hopefully HAPPILY and NORMALLY) through the day, and to help our children have the best possible life they can. Medication has been a necessary implement to our life: My son finally has A friend at school, after years of bullying, shunning, and other kids not wanting to have a thing to do with him because of his behaviors, tics, and “stuttering” (not an actual stutter but rather emotional situations cause him to restart the word or sentence he’s trying to say so it comes across as a stutter). We’ve had to quit numerous sports and even the Boy Scouts because of the effect it took on my son. And the worse he felt, the more pronounced his “quirks”. Which fed into the situation to make it worse yet, which fed into the extent of his “quirks”. I’m trying to give my son the best shot at “being a normal child”, and I’ve tried everything else. We still are adding in a combination of other things besides medication to hopefully get him on as low a dose as possible on as few as meds as possible. There is a marked difference in my child’s behavior, demeanor, and emotional well being. Make no mistake about it: while not every child with these diagnoses will require medication to control their symptoms (because there is such a vast range of severity associated with them all), many children DO need the medication IN ADDITION to other things such as: plenty of sleep (if they can), healthy foods (if they have an appetite), behavioral adaptations (such as a fidget or a wobble chair that allows them to still move some what without it being distracting), learning how to recognize their triggers and how to help cope with different situations without being swallowed alive by their emotional response, and learning coping mechanisms (such as deep breathing to try to help anxiety). This is NOT something we are doing just for the heck of it, and it certainly is NOT “normal, typical childhood issues”. There is a HUGE difference between a typically loud, “pain in the arse” child as one poster put it, and the issues our children are forced to live with day in and day out, day after day, year after year. Some children may outgrow it, some will never outgrow it. We cannot just ignore it and “hope for the best” unless we want to set our children up for failure and throw them under the bus before they even have a chance to step out the door. The only way some of our children will ever have a chance at even a semi-“normal” life IS with medication. Sometimes more than one. But none of us are relying solely on the medications to take the place of being a good parent and doing everything we can to help them. Until you have been in OUR shoes with OUR kids and deal with OUR struggles day after day, year after year, SHUT UP. Yes, some parents will just dope up the kid to have as little problems as possible. Yes, some parents will dope them up because they don’t want to put in the work to find other solutions (because yes it is frustrating, takes alot of time and patience, and sometimes costs a lot more $$ than the meds do). But until you know each of us personally, know our situations on an INDIVIDUAL basis, and get to know and LOVE OUR KIDS as much as we do, you will be best served not even posting on this site to begin with.

    Ok, soapbox rant over…. My last comment if for the mother who mentioned her daughter having trouble swallowing pills. Have you tried giving the pill in a spoonful of pudding/applesauce/milkshake? It works like a charm on my kids, and in the nursing homes I’ve worked (I’m an lpn). Some people just have trouble swallowing pills, but you may want to try this trick if you haven’t before.

    Good luck to each and every one of you, and THANK GOD FOR THIS SITE. It is SO nice not to feel so alone in this. I love my child more than my own life, but sometimes I feel as if I’m fighting a losing battle and adding to his struggles by trying to find the “right” dose and med combination. It’s nice to hear others in the same position have come out on top. And I loved the post from the teen that is the one with the issues and saying how much medication has helped them. THANK YOU for being brave enough to open up to us and tell us your story. I hope things continue to improve for you. 🙂

    Kate

    Comment by Kate — Mar 25th 2012 @ 4:16 pm
  26. Hello Moms-
    My little man will turn 5 next weekend and he has been on intuniv for a little more than a year now. Starting like any other 1 mg then to 2 and we are now on 3mg. (Pre-K has been rough. His teacher, I think means well but one little outburst and she is asking to up the dosage. ) About a month ago I got a call from the school nurse asking if we might change his dosing time to 8:30 am (after breakfast), saying that all the kids in his school that are on Intuniv take it at that time and it works great. So after consulting his ped he said yes give it a shot. Wow for a month we got smiley faces in his folder and can tell he is really coming along in school. The only thing is…. when we pick him up after school he is exausted ready to go to sleep. Well that means not a good nights rest cause he will be up half the night. Then last week I have been informed that his teacher is having “hard” times with him again. Not listening, picking, and bouncing off the walls. Not necessarily bad just hyper and the nurse seems to think we need to up his dosage. I dont think we do, but have an appointment today with his ped to talk with him.
    While the Intuniv has been a blessing I cant seem to shake the feeling that some people think when he is being a “kid” he is having “issues” with his adhd. Cant some of this be his age?? I realize that there are 19 kids in his class and if you have to give all your attention to one student …..well I get it…you cant. I think that He is doing great and that where we are from where we began is so much better…if we can just figure out the right time to give it to him BUT let me also add that Ive noticed each time we have changed his time of dosing it seems to work really really well for a time then plays out, and then we change his time again and the same thing. Has anyone else noticed this? Do you think maybe it releases differntly during different parts of the day? Good luck to everyone and thanks for sharing your stories. It helps so much.

    Comment by Misty — Apr 25th 2012 @ 5:43 pm
  27. Hi all, my son is on week 3 of 2 mg Intuniv and every night for the last week he has been waking up about an hr after he goes to bed w/ night terrors- screaming,crying,shaking, the whole bit. he takes his meds about an hr before he goes to bed. he’s also been complaining about getting up alot during the night, but when it’s bedtime, he’s completely wiped. has anyone else had problems w/ the night terrors? I’m not sure if it’s a side effect of the meds, or if it’s an age thing (he is 6).

    Comment by Jenn E — May 7th 2012 @ 1:06 am
  28. As far as teachers complaining about having 19 kids, if your child has ADHD it qualifies as a disability under the IDEA act, so they are supposed to make accommodations for him to have a free and appropriate education. Put in writing that you want an evaluation and maybe get a 504 or IEP. MY son takes 3 mg of intuniv he also takes zoloft, he has aspergers. The zoloft has helped his anxiety but since being on the intuniv he has had more intrusive thoughts and been more outspoken in a bad way. I give it to him at 6:00pm and that helps the sleepiness. I agree that teachers seem want to fix things with upping the meds but they also need to make the classroom accommodations, my son gets to get up and walk around a little if he is anxious.

    Comment by mary — May 12th 2012 @ 1:09 pm
  29. We have a history of mental illness in both sides of our family. My son had ADD when he was younger,but it wasn’t commonly diagnosed then and meds were looked very down on (including myself as a new mother)-He never had meds and never learned or retained anything in school. At 18yrs.old he had a manic episode and several more in the next 12 yrs. Some which left him with lack of memory. Finally with the proper diagnosis at 30yrs.old(Bi-polar II) and the right meds he can function enough to be home,but a lot of damage has been done. Needless to say when I had to raise his son (my grandson)and he was diagnosed with ADHD, I definitely went with the meds and the Drs.advice. He has been taking concerta and intuniv for several yrs.now. He is 12yrs.old,very smart and understands his illness. My hope is with early intervention he can eventually control it without meds,but will decide that later. My heart goes out to all of you and even more to your children. The poster is right about meds for any illness,just a little trickier to get the right diagnosis and meds adjusted for mental illness! Brain chemistry is very complex and even the doctors don’t always know the answers.You all have obviously highly researched this and you can only do the best you can.

    Comment by Dee — Jun 19th 2012 @ 10:09 pm
  30. I love this site! My son will be 9 soon. He has ADHD. He has tried a couple medications now. Metadate which was horrible and enhanced all symptoms. Adderall which helped but gave him tics so the doctor said no more stimulants. Trying Intuniv (day 4 today of 1mg). The tics are gone, sleeps well at night, hungrier than normal which I love. I give at 5:30 pm so that he wouldn’t be sleepy at school. This has worked well. The first day at school was a good day, the second day not so much. He was hyper, couldn’t control his talking, couldn’t be redirected as easy. Got a call into pediatrican to see if I wait the whole week before trying 2mg. I do notice at home he is calmer and less fidgety but when you add stimuli, like a classroom full of kids, the calmness subsides lol. I have always removed any medication during the summer months and even on weekends. I love his smile, laughter and goofiness and want him to be a kid. I don’t have an issue with him and can control his behavior when I am home. I refuse to zombie him out and want him to have his personality. Not convinced of the medication yet but hopeful. Thinking I will homeschool next year and not worry about the medications. 2 of my children have learned coping strategies for their ADHD and ADD and refused medication after 9th grade. Makes it tougher but is so doable. In some cases, its the teachers, not the kids! Thinking it might the case with my son.

    Comment by Tina — Sep 13th 2012 @ 3:11 pm
  31. My daughter is on Intuniv because she can’t take stimulants. She is on 4 mg which I give at 5:30 PM. Her intuniv does not last during school, so she takes Straterra 100 mg. These two medicines work well together.

    Comment by Angel — Sep 13th 2012 @ 6:34 pm
  32. I am shocked at all the comments. I had removed all prescription medication from my daughters diet, because they all caused ticks sometimes severe. But then my daughter say an autism specialist and he said to try intuniv. My daughter already does not sleep at night so this is scary. I want to take her off now but the doctor says I should wait. He said it doesn’t cause ticks, but it is. I am fed up. I hate drugs and the hold it has on our society that it is the answer to everything when all I have see are horrible side effects. She is still only on 1 mg, and I hate it. I think I am taking her off of it after finding this website. Thank you for the so many comments. I live in eastern NC. If anybody knows any good doctors that don’t use the cycle of constantly going from prescription to prescription. I would love it if a doctor would check her liver, because a poluted liver causes people to wake up around 3 am every night. They probably don’t believe that either, but they believe in these chemical based prescriptions. I am truely fed up with this.

    Comment by Julie — Jan 15th 2013 @ 10:52 am
  33. My daughter just started concerta. She has been tired more at night. We are now starting intuniv with it. I hope this works.

    Comment by charmedpep — Feb 26th 2013 @ 7:32 pm
  34. My daughter had the 3am wake up thing too. We just tonight started the intuniv after 1 week of the concerta. We will see how they work together. She has been on adderall for a long time. It seemed to just stop working. She takes Melatonin to help her relax at night and meds to keep her asleep. She has ADHD and Anxiety. She also takes Zoloft. We have struggled with her for 5 yrs. Her handwriting and school work is now being affected. This is why we are now trying new meds. She has been crying in school everyday. She says she doesnt know why. How long does it take for the concerta to have its full affect?

    Comment by charmedpep — Feb 26th 2013 @ 8:06 pm
  35. Has anyone experienced aggressive side effects with intuiv? A couple months ago we started my son with 1mg and them eventually moved to 3mg. While initially seemed
    to help impulivity at school, we started having bad
    temper fits. Before he was a happy go lucky sweet kid. Doc
    Added vylnanse. Didn’t help. We pulled off everything last weekend: it’s been four days but we can’t break the fits. We hadn’t experienced before the intuiv

    Comment by Mychelle — Apr 2nd 2013 @ 11:40 pm
  36. Yes. two years ago, my son was on INtuniv. AND Concerta, Zoloft and Clonidine. They raised his Intuniv from 2mg to 3mg. We finally had to admit him to pediatric psychiatric hospital, they took him off all pills. He is now on Strattera 40mg, Zoloft (only 25mg) and Rispiridone .5mg. Has been doing great the past 2 years. He is now 13, and making A, B, and C’s since the change. Before the change, he was C, D, F. He gets all kinds of wonderful comments and awards from school and other adults as how polite he is and helpful with struggling students, etc. And how he is soooo caring and will defend kids that are being bullied. He is well-respected now by other students, which is amazing considering what he went through just two years ago with all of them….I cannot pinpoint what the cause was, but was told the stimulant Concerta was to blame, I think it was a combo of all the drugs. Doctors don’t know what they are doing sometimes!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Christie — Apr 4th 2013 @ 3:01 pm
  37. I have been reading comments on this site for two years now and I am always amazed at the difference in our children and their meds. The above comment by Christie? My son started intuniv three years ago or so and takes Concerta and Prozac with it. He has done amazing on all three:) we struggled a little in the beginning until we leveled out on the 3mg. He is now in the 8th grade and A&B’s a well, also getting praises from teachers. I just encourage people just because one thing doesnt work for some doesnt mean it wont work on your child! Keep up the comments and informing one another! It has helped me thru some very dark times…Good Luck to all:)

    Comment by Kathy — Apr 4th 2013 @ 3:14 pm
  38. My 8yr old son has been on Intuniv 2mg for 2 years now. It has been a fairly good medication for him, although in the past 4 or 5 months we have noticed it doesn’t seem to be helping him as much as it used to. We have tried going up to the 3mg dose in the past and he reacted VERY aggressively to it. In fact, my husband had to physically pull him off my 5yr old in the middle of a rage. He was punching him in the stomach while my 5yr old was lying on the floor screaming, and he would not stop!! And before he started on Intuniv, he was a SWEET, loving, sensitive child. Very affectionate. Even on 2mg he was sweet and wonderful.
    At 3mg, he turned into a completely different child! That was the point that I said I would NEVER go back up to the 3mg dose.
    When the 2mg Intuniv stops working (which looks like it’s already happening), we will be weaning him off all meds. He has already tried stimulants (4 different ones) and he does not respond well to those at all! They make him anxious, and even more hyperactive! They also make his mild tantrums into full blown meltdowns. It’s aweful.
    I feel for all you parents on here that are dealing with the same issues I am with your children. It is soooo hard!

    Comment by Amy — Apr 12th 2013 @ 1:02 pm
  39. My daughter, 10 years old, is in the fifth grade. She is struggling with paying attention. She has been diagnosed with severe anxiety disorder and ADHD with more of attention deficit disorder than hyperactive. She is currently on 100 mg of Zoloft and has been on it for a year now (beginning dose was 25 and worked our way up to 50mg in the morning and 50mg at night). She also takes 1mg of Clonidin. Our pediatrician just recently prescribed Intuniv 1mg. I am stuck on when to give it up her. I am afraid it will cause her to be too tired during the day. I am seeking advice. Any will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    Comment by Brooke — Dec 11th 2013 @ 9:03 pm
  40. Hi Brooke!
    My son, now 9 yrs old, has been on Intuniv for 2 and a half years. When we FIRST put him on it, we gave it to him at night because it seemed to make him so TIRED! BUT…then by morning, it had completely worn off, so it was not helping him behave at school. Also, it was affecting his sleep. He would FALL asleep great, then wake up at 3am and could not go back to sleep. Not to mention all the horrible nightmares he was having!! He would wake up screaming and crying saying he dreamed about “monsters” or “Mommy and Daddy died.” It was awful. Then, we switched him to mornings after struggling with all that for about 6 months. He was very tired during the day at first, but got used to it pretty quick, and fast forward 2 years, he still takes it in the morning.
    Sounds like your daughter may be much different though. The Intuniv is the only medicine my son is on. Your daughter’s antidepressant may affect her being able to take it during the day. Unfortunately, it will probably just have to be trial and error, as are MOST ADHD meds! I hate that, but every child is different. I will warn you, Intuniv takes about a month for kids to adjust to. So, it will be a while before the sleepiness wears off, so TRY to be patient!! I KNOW it’s hard!

    Prayers for you and your little girl 🙂
    Amy

    Comment by Amy — Dec 20th 2013 @ 4:58 pm
  41. Thanks Amy for responding. I have decided to wait on the Intuniv for now. The Zoloft seems to be working a little better. Loved your input though. A lot of good info to help with my decision.

    Comment by Brooke — Jan 8th 2014 @ 1:57 pm
  42. Hello all… It has been a few years since I last posted and thought I would give an update on my now 7 year old son. He has been on Intuniv since he was 4 and at the end of his pre-K year we introduced him to the Daytrana patch. Together these two have been amazing. Lucky us these have been the only two we have had to use. We really lucked out because I was so afraid that he would be like so many and have to try different ones before they worked. He takes 2 mgs of Intuniv in the mornings with his patch and all is well. From not being able to communicate in pre-k to reading and making A’s in first. Second grade here we come. Still a very happy child. loves to play and into sports. We are still shooting for the 10 year old mark where we can take him off for good. But for now… fingers crossed and God willing by handsome young man is doing well. Good luck to you parents out there.

    Comment by Misty — Jun 24th 2014 @ 4:39 pm

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