A New Non-Stimulant Medication for ADHD

January 8, 2010

INTUNIV is the new long-acting, non-stimulant medication approved in the fall of 2009 by the FDA for treating ADHD. Studies on Intuniv were completed for children and adolescents, ages 6-17 years old.

What you need to know about Intuniv:
• A long-acting, once daily medication for ADHD
• Non-stimulant, not a controlled substance. Unlike stimulants, your doctor can put refills on this prescription.
• Approved for children and adolescents
• Helps with core ADHD symptoms (Hyperactivity, Impulsivity, Inattention) as well as the associated features of behavioral dysregulation, oppositional symptoms, emotional reactivity, or being “out of control”.
• Has a different mechanism of action in the brain than stimulants
• Doses range from 1-4 milligrams per day
• Clinical benefit is seen within 1-2 weeks of starting Intuniv
• Intuniv may be safely used either by itself or in addition to taking other medications to treat ADHD
• Tablets cannot be crushed, broken, or chewed
• Side effects may include sedation, fatigue, headaches, stomach aches, or decreases in blood pressure

Families often ask me what is the “best” medication for ADHD?

My answer:
There is no one-size-fits-all medication approach for ADHD. Response depends on many factors including individual symptoms, medical history, body chemistry, family history, co-existing conditions, and even the patient’s daily schedule.

Talk to your doctor to find the right medication for you or your child. It should be a collaborative process between the patient and the treating team. And don’t be surprised if it takes a few months to find what works well with the least side effects. This is very normal. The good news is that 70-75% of people do respond to ADHD medications with minimal side effects, so there is much hope you will find “the best”!

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