I’ve been meaning to write this for awhile, but just haven’t been able to find the time. As I’ve previously noted, our twelve year old started taking Intuniv (guanfacine) to treat his nervous tics, as well as to improve his impulse control and reduce his aggression.
The good news is that his tics became much less apparent, and his behavior also improved dramatically. Unfortunately, we couldn’t tell if the behavioral improvement was because the medicine was working, or because he was feeling so crummy from the side effects — primarily sleep problems, headaches, and nausea.
We switched his dosing schedule so he’s be taking his Intuniv in the evenings, but that didn’t really solve the problem. His sleep patterns did improve, but he was still having bad headaches and some nausea.
Switching to Lexapro
Ultimately, we ended taking him off the Intuniv and switched him over to Lexapro (escitalopram), which is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that is often prescribed as an anti-depressant. The doctor thought that the Lexapro might help reduce his anxiety, and thus solve both the tics and the behavioral issues.
At first, this seemed to work well, but the behavioral issues returned within a few weeks, and his tics have come back with a vengeance. Perhaps the initial benefit was a placebo effect, or perhaps his body adjusted to the Lexapro, or is otherwise having an adverse reaction.
We’re currently thinking of taking him off the Lexapro, letting it clear out of his system, and then trying again. The tics we can live with, but the behavioral problems are taking a toll on the family.