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Intuniv for ADHD with Bipolar - anyone using?

Angie - posted on 04/20/2010 ( 17 moms have responded )

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My child had ADHD and responded very well to the meds especially Vyvanse. But her Bipolar disorder which the Dr had diagnosed but I had never seen any sign of it, reared it's head in December and we are having had a terrible time trying to get her stable. She has had 3 hospitalizations since January and had to stop treating the ADHD and focus on the Bipolar. The Dr. just gave us Intunive to add to the 1.5 to 2 mg of Risperdal she is taking. Does anyone have any experience with Intuniv or the combo of Risperdal with it?

Thanks!!
Angie
Ang

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Kim - posted on 11/09/2012

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My daughter 28 yo was diagnosed as a teen ADD, put on Adderall. The past 10 yrs has been hell, due to her use of Vyvanse. We discovered though she was abusing this and Adderall and alcohol at once. Now this caused her to be diagnosed bipolar, for years. Her last diagnosis 4 months ago was mixed mania the worse form of bipolar. This diagnosis was given to her while being evaluated in a State Correctional Hospital for her mental ability to stand trial. Our family has been basically shell shocked for the year of 2012. My daughter was not guilty not because of being insane because she is quite sane, she is not abusing drugs. Now at home with us on house arrest, doing excellent for first time in years. We now feel it was the amphetamines that induced EXTREME bipolar like symptoms, since now those symptoms have lessened,, for now. We do however feel the drugs caused increased bipolar symptoms but are still very cautious and feel w/o doubt an underlying bipolar diagnosis is there, just not as alarming. It is clear to us that anyone with mood disorder should NEVER be given any kind of AMPHETAMINE. PERIOD

SpectrumMom - posted on 03/26/2012

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My son has ADHD and Aspergers which can appear like bipolar disorder and a lot of the symptoms (inability to regulate emotions/reactions) are similar. He takes Intuniv and Seroquel. He was on Risperdal but his psychiatrist told us that the Seroquel side effects were less than with Risperdal (same class of medication). It works well with the Intuniv as did the Risperdal.

Jane - posted on 07/06/2011

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My son has taken the older short-acting version of Intuniv called Tenex for ten years. Both are the same as the generic medication called Guanfacine, but Intuniv is a time-release version.



He has also taken Risperdal with the Gunafacine in the past for about two years. The Risperdal worked well but in his case caused massive weight gain. He was switched over to Seroquel instead and still eats more than he should (hard to do in Ritalin, but he succeeds). However, he is no longer gaining huge amounts of weight as he was before.



My son's diagnosis is ADHD, ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder), and Early Onset Bipolar Disorder. The Guanfacine was originally given to him to lessen his anger and aggression from the ODD.



He takes a long-acting form of Ritalin called Metadate for his ADHD. In the past he was on just plain, short-acting Ritalin and then on Concerta, a long-acting form of Ritalin that has a different release mechanism than Metadate. But Metadate's delivery method lets the medication last longer and do more with a lower dose.



For Bipolar Disorder, most kids need both a mood stabilizer and an anti-psychotic. As a mood stabilizer, my son also takes Depakote (aka Divalproex, an anti-convulsant that also works as a mood stabilizer but is less of a worry than Lithium) and Seroquel (an anti-psychotic) for the Bipolar disorder.



In our search for the meds that work best for our son he has taken a number of different meds. Anti-psychotics have included Geodon, Abilify, Zyprexa, and Risperdal. But Seroquel has worked best for him.



Mood stabilizers he has taken included the Guanfacine itself, which seems to really help with his ODD, as well as The anti-convulsants Trileptal, Tegretol and Lamictal we also tried, but the did not work as well as Divalproex.



Keep working with the doctors to find the right combination of meds. You might consider keeping a behavior journal where you record what meds your child is taking on a particular day as well as what behaviors you see and whether they seem worse, the same, or better. Share this with the doc and it will help him decide what to do next.

Santa - posted on 10/31/2013

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Dear parents:
I am not a psychiatrist, as a psychiatric social worker who worked with psyciatrists for many years understand that it is most difficult for parents when they search for a treatment that will address their children's condition in any form or fashion. My advice is to ensure a clear diagnosis and please do not agree to immediate medication to treat particular reported symtoms.by the parent. Do your research on medications and I personally recommend alternative medications first or a combination of low dose Psychotrophic meds in together with alternative/hemeopathic meds. Doctors see your children at a given point in time and we all know children and adolescent children are growing and changing rapidly: apart from the fact we are all unique and side effects is something you should be looking at before deciding a particular regimen for your children. I wish your children well. L.C.S.W.

Tara - posted on 01/01/2013

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Just a heads -up...be careful of the Tenex..or intuniv...My daughter who is 12 was on Tenex and it dropped her blood pressure so much that she was having Vasovagel synkope...(passing out almost weekly). They have taken her off of it and now no episodes for 2 weeks. (yeah) Of course the mania is right back though...ugh.

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Molly - posted on 12/28/2013

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well my daughter leah is taking risperdal 4 mg and forfivo 450 mg a day and and just started intuniv 2mg and that seems to be helping but what type of bipolar is she also my daughter is bipolar 2 adhd modertley and aspergers if that comb cant help im sorry but i am studying psycharitry and i nd i got a lot of ideas so if that doesnt work just let me know good luck

Geraldann - posted on 11/04/2013

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Hi everyone. I really need advice for my son who just turned six yrs. He has recently been diagnoised with ADHA and mood disorders. He is very aggressive, unpredictable and more often frustrated. He has been taking amphetamine 5mg, but moved up to 10mg after not noticing and change. Im so stressed. Heeelp!

Jean - posted on 03/23/2012

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Hi everyone - I am new to this site and look forward to getting some insights in helping my 14 yo son.

My question is about Intuniv. Several of you mentioned your child has been on it for a few years or so. My son has had some severe stomach aches, with no medical reason found as yet. He has been on Intuniv for 2 years, and I just read that stomach aches can be a side effect. Has anyone experienced this side effect? And if so, did it/could it happen several years into it?

Thanks.

Jean

Dana - posted on 07/09/2011

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Angie, I'm not too sure Intunive works well for Bi-Polar....We have a son on Intunive for AD/HD. Bi-Polar has been discussed in reference to him. I do not see the Intunive working for his agressiveness but works wonders for his AD/HD it also helps him to enternalize his feelings instead of externalize, which has it's good and bad sides. I do not wish to coctail medications (because of my son's age),so I don't have any insite on Risperdal. For us, the Intunive works for his anxiety, OCD, and Tics. I really think my son is too young to diagnose with Bi-Polar. Now Psycharist are exploring the area of children with Bi-Polar disorder and are making speculation that it is Intermittent Explosive Disorder, because Childhood Bi-Polar disorder doesn't really fit the criteria for what we know as Bi-Polar I and II.

[deleted account]

I'm so sorry Jane. I know---my daughter also made attempts. I too thank God for the meds----even with a crap shoot. How old is your son? I'll keep you both in my prayers. Am going out of town for a couple of weeks, but I always have an open ear whenever you might want to "talk" ~~

Jane - posted on 07/06/2011

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Janet - Yes, finding the right meds is a crap shoot. But without that crap shoot my son would probably be dead as he has tried suicide several times, starting at age 7.

[deleted account]

Jane,
My daughter, who as I said, was diagnosed with BP 1 1/2 yrs ago and ADHD, 4 years ago is doing quite well now. Yes, she has been on Strattera, Aderall, Concerta, Vyvanse and now is on Intuniv. For the BP she has been on various meds----right now she's on Wellbutrin, Lamictal, Depakote. She had been on Seroquel for 1 year with her blood glucose high and her A1c 6.8--7.3. The psychiatrist kept saying "We'll watch it". Meanwhile, after "watching it" for roughly 10 mos, she now is diabetic---due to HIS negligence of "watching IT!!!" Breaks my heart. And as I mentioned, we changed psychiatrists---no longer is she on the Seraquel---and he took her off of her Vyvanse because it was KNOWN to cause mania. She has been off of Vyvanse 3 1/2 mos now and she has had NO MORE MANIC EPISODES ever since!! She was a very rapid cycler----could have several manic episodes in one day and MANY in a week, all of which led to a very depressive episode. So everyone----watch and be careful out there. I've heard many a psychiatrist say that these meds for these diagnoses are just a guessing game. Now THAT is not very reassuring!

[deleted account]

My 18 yr old ADHD daughter was diagnosed with bipolar 1 1/2 yrs ago. Devastating! She is very bright, good sense of humor, bossy, determined and a very good kid. Competitive during the past 4 yrs of high school. Went to a very challenging private high school in Sacarmento. We felt so lost and hopeless with the bipolar and all that went with it. She was hospitalized for a few weeks and has gone thru therapy ever since (and before). We just started with a new psychiatrist. I wish we found him before. The first thing he told us was that Vyvanse (which worked very well for the first couple of years and she was still on), is KNOWN to cause mania!!! NO ONE had ever told us that before. That is true of almost ALL ADHD stimulants!! He took her off the Vyvanse (which worried us TREMENDOUSLY---it was the end of her SR. year of high school and colleges were watching). But I will tell you---as soon as he took her off of the Vyvanse, she has not had one episode of mania!!--and it's been 3 1/2 mos now!!! THAT is a BIG record for our girl!! Good luck to everyone out there----our hearts ache with you.

Cheryl - posted on 08/09/2010

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We started with the instant release form of Tenex and there was an immediate difference (within 20minutes) it is used as the intiiv now in the 10 year old and it is noticiable and he can verbalize this and his school shows it. He also has instant release tenex that can be used to bump his dosage as needed. The 4 year old literally was starting testing by special education the week he started. On monday he couldn't even be tested because he couldn't focus from second to second, the day he started the tenex form he could begin to be tested, to get out what he knows...couldn't sit but stood at table but could focus. We can not use intiniv for him cause his dosage is higher for age then insurance will allow.. but they are on a complex regimate of meds to control the bipolar and they also have temporal lobe epilepsy and it appears as if either one of the disorders goes out of control the other one is set off.

Mary - posted on 04/23/2010

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My son has been on it 2 months and he is still aggressive but calmer and able to focus by himself for longer periods of time. My son is 12

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