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Q.

Can you please provide some general information on Intuniv?

 

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

Pediatrics
Cohen Children's Medical Center
29 Answers
91 Helpful Votes
148 Followers
A.

Intuniv is a newly approved medication for the treatment of ADHD. It is the second non-stimulant approved for ADHD, with Strattera being the first.

Although Intuniv is a "new medication", it is actually a new delivery system for an old medication. Intuniv is a long-acting formulation of guanfacine -- which was available in a short-acting form for decades as "Tenex". I prescribed Tenex in the 1980's!

Guanfacine was originally approved for the treatment of high blood pressure in adults, and it was subesequently noted to help with ADHD symptoms and tics. Although Tenex is not approved for treatment of ADHD, it has been used selectively in some patients for many, many years. Although it is not generally as effective a medication as the stimulants are, it does have certain advantages. It doesn't cause insomnia or appetite loss, and it is not a controlled substance prone to abuse. Also, since it is sometimes used in patients who also have tics, you can sometimes get a "two-fer" out of the medication since it will improve both ADHD and tics. Whereas guanfacine is a very cheap medication in its short-acting form (but needs to be given typically 3x/day), Intuniv is a more expensive medication; you pay a premium for the convenience of once-a-day dosing. The manuacturer would like clinicians to believe that once-a-day Intuniv is clinically better than the short-acting guanfacine given repeatedly; however, I am not aware of any studies to prove that whatsoever. 
   

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