ADHD Medication and Treatment Reviews
Return to Intuniv Overview


Intuniv (guanfacine) is a once-daily, non-stimulant ADHD medication used to treat symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children ages 6-12, and adolescents. Learn about Intuniv side effects and dosages, plus how it differs from stimulant ADD medications like Vyvanse or Adderall. Generic Name: guanfacine

29 Comments & Reviews: Intuniv

  1. My son is 9 yrs. old and is taking Intuniv medication for approximately 2 yrs. He has had a signaficant weight gain and increased appitite., is this a side effect of his medication?

  2. My 7 year old son started taking Intuniv about 2.5 months ago after he experienced horrendous come down effects on Ritalin IR and SR. He had become suicidal, more anxious, and very aggressive (stabbed his 2 year old brothers hand with a screwdriver). Symptoms were definitely worse in the mornings just before taking his meds again. He is currently on 2mg Intuniv in the morning and takes 10mg Ritalin IR morning and lunch. We are waiting to increase his dose to 3mg as we haven’t found it to be very therapeutic yet. But we’ve had to delay the increase in dose due to it causing him to have a low heart rate. He still gets the come down in the mornings (I presume from the Ritalin) but it is definitely not as severe as it was. Plan is to get up to 3mg Intuniv and 10mg Ritalin SR daily. The stimulants definitely help him with his impulsiveness and hyperactivity but the come down with the larger doses was just too severe.

  3. My 19 yr old was placed on 3 mg of Guanfacine. Unfortunately, has been using it for 6 months and it hasn’t done a thing to help with ADHD. Stimulant medications have been used in the past but cannot be prescribed or tolerated because of an addictive personality. Any suggestions?

  4. 1 to 4mg of intuniv is the dosing for children for teenagers and adults the dosing is 4 to 7 mg. Dosing is based on body weight. People who are 91 kg or more 202 pd should be on 5 to 7 mg according to the fda. In Japan intuniv 4 to 6 mg was statistically significant and superior to placebo in adults with adhd in Japan
    And intuniv 4 to 6 mg was approved in Japan for adults with adhd in 2018. So if your an adult who weighs 190 to 200 pda 3 to 4mg of intuniv probably won’t work . You need 5 to 7 mg of intuniv a day.

  5. I took 2mg/day Guanfacine Extended Release (Intuniv) for newly diagnosed ADHD and noticed some improvement in symptoms. I increased to 3mg/day after checking with my psychiatrist. For the first three days, my depression flared up without any obvious external triggers. For the next two days, I was grumpy and moody. On the final (and last) day I took it at 3mg, I had a bit of a meltdown and had a self-hatred spiral where I was obsessing over something I’d done wrong and trying to correct it and was becoming (passively) suicidal. It’s been YEARS since I’ve done something similar. Please be cautious with higher doses. I have since reduced to 2mg/day (which had no noticeable side effects) and added a stimulant and am doing fine.

  6. I am 17, I have been on Intuniv for 6 years when I was diagnosed with mild ADD and never had a serious problem with it and think it does it’s job. However when I don’t take, even just one day I cant only sleep to save my life. I’m also very energetic and can’t stop my brain. it makes me hot and my face turns bright red. It’s very odd considering it’s supposed to be non addictive.

  7. Having read some of the reviews I have to say that Night terror and insomnia were a problem for my son. I was very fortunate to have changed pharmacy and the pharmacist asked how the sleep routine was going and explained insomnia was a side effect of Intuniv (1mg incresed to 2mg) medication and she suggested melatonin (5mg) to assist with sleep which I now also use. It has now been 5 months since the change and my life is transformed, After fifteen years of heartache my family can now have a normal life,my son is focused on schooling and working in a fast food restaurant all thanks to Intuniv

  8. Coloradoful
    Thank you for the comment, my grandson is 7 and he is on the same medication. He hasn’t been sleeping well with alot of restless and talking and fighting in his sleep.he has only been on the medication for 3 weeks but now he is acting quite differently. Do they have your daughter in anything else since they took her off the intunvi.
    Thank you for posting in here

  9. My 7 year old daughter was prescribed several drugs for ADHD, Vyvanse and most recently Intuniv. After nearly a month of night terrors and animated dreaming we pulled her off Intuniv and have immediately seen improved, restful sleeping. I can’t tell you how devastating it was to see her in an inconsolable dreamlike haze lasting from 45 minutes to several hours. Her terrors consisted of things crawling on walls and macabre events, something I truly found odd as we heavily monitor her television/news/etc.l intake. Thankfully we’re all getting some rest now and can tackle the day with clarity. Intuniv may work for others but it was a nightmare of a drug for us.

  10. Bobyvr and Sally..
    That is actually wrong. What the insert means is that they haven’t yet (at the time of that publishing) completed trials on adults with ADHD, so there is no info either for or against it.

    However, as of late 2017, a major phase of a trial for this medication and adult ADHD is showing clinically significant improvement in those on guanfacine vs placebo.

    So just because it didn’t work for you (remember, it can take 4-6 weeks to work AFTER you’ve found the right dose, so it could take many months to find the right dose), does NOT mean it doesn’t work for other adults.

    We are individuals, not every medication works for every person.

    But yes, this medication so far in trials IS showing it does in fact work for many.

  11. THANK YOU bobyvr for letting adults know that Intuniv does NOT work for adults! I was in process to ask for a prescription, when I read your post.

    Because Adults NEED something like this, you will have adults going into action to try it unless you CLEARLY STATE THAT STUDIES SHOW IT DOES NOT WORK FOR ADULTS. When we read, “for 5 – 12 yr olds” we will think adults were, once again, simply left out of the study or article.

  12. As a 66 year old and recent ADD diagnosee, I was willing to try my doctor’s suggestion of Intuniv XR. After four weeks of horrible side effects and no benefits, I started some research. And the manufacturer’s Product Monograph states: ” When data were examined by age subgroups, only children aged 6 to 12 years demonstrated clinically relevant improvements.” Even the manufacturer is stating that this drug does not help for teens or adults. What a waste of people’s money and time and hopes to be offered this by a doctor who obviously is picking from some simple chart. Yuk!

  13. I’ve been on Intuniv for well over a year. I take 3 mg everyday, and its worked well for me. I have very bad adhd and have problems functioning without my meds. My current doctor told me not to stop taking it because on high dosages you may have a stroke. I’ve noticed that without it I can get very antsy and my emotions become a mess. The only other thing is since ive taken it my appetite has decreased. And my blood pressure raises quite a bit.

  14. I’m 55 years old, and have been on Intuniv for a few months now. I was hoping it would help with impulsivity. I started on 1 mg, working up to 4 mg daily (morning), and took this along with Adderall (usually 10 mg daily). I found myself in rages a few times (actually threw a glass at one point),more scattered and acting haphazardly, and also extremely tired. So, I’ve cut all the way back to the 1 mg daily dosage, and feel much better. I also stopped the Adderall, since I’ve realized it’s caused excessive hair loss.

  15. My 13-year-old son takes Concerta daily in the morning and takes Intuniv at night with dinner. He has not experienced any of the side effects. I found that the Intuniv helps with the impulsivity and frustration, too.

  16. My son is almost 6 years old and he takes Methylphenidate 10mg in the morning and Intuniv 3 mg at night. My son is a total different person with this medication. He is much less moody and has less mood swings and is much less aggressive towards others. However, I must say that if he misses one dose, all hell breaks loose.

  17. Intuniv made both my boys tired. We were taking it at night. We switched to taking it in the morning, which has made all the difference.

  18. One of my twin daughters (age 8-1/2) takes Guanfacine. She was started on it when she had too much of a bounce-back effect from Ritalin and then Adderall (being angry and frustrated when the meds wore off). Guanfacine definitely helped her, but it is too short acting to get her through the day. She now takes Strattera in the morning, 1/2 mg. of Guanfacine mid-afternoon, and 2 mg. Intuniv plus 25 mg. Trazadone before bed.

  19. My 17-year-old ADHD son is on his 4th week of Intuniv (the 2nd week of 3 mgs) & he still seems very tired. He takes it in the morning with the lowest dose of Vyvanse. He does also seem irritable a lot.

  20. My son took Intuniv with his stimulant for about 9 months a couple years ago. We finally realized his new nightmares were the Intuniv and they went away within a couple days of stopping it.

  21. My 9 year-old son started Intuniv about a month ago. He also takes Vyvanse. We have seen a big difference in impulsive behavior. The two weeks he had some lethargy, but his body has adjusted and he no longer has that tired feeling.

  22. Our 10 years old began 2ml of short-acting Intuniv 2x/day (Guanfacine, Tenex) and continued taking it for 3.5 months. This medicine triggered the most bizarre behavior – mania, aggression, and illness. It “cured” the hyperactivity almost overnight, but it did nothing for the inattentiveness.

  23. Tenex (the short-acting form of Intuniv) was added to my daughter’s mix of medications a few months ago. She is almost 11 and, clearly, takes other meds – so our experience may be less relevant than that of others. However, it has been a welcome addition. We have never had a ‘eureka’ moment with her meds but the Tenex seems to help her very much with impulse control.

  24. We switched our 17 years old son from Concerta to Intuniv one month ago. He started on 1mg and then after a week went to 2 mg. He has been doing really well on the 2mg, so we don’t feel the need to go up to 3mg. Concerta was making him have horrific nightmares and he had no appetite. Since being on Intuniv, he is eating like a normal 17 years old. He has gained 5 lbs. this month and he is sleeping well and no nightmares. Only side effect was being really tired at the beginning but that has worn off.

  25. My son was very sleepy when he started taking it. He only takes 2mg dosage between dinner and bedtime. He is still sleepy towards the end of the evenings. We are having good results in school and at home.

  26. I have a teenage son that just started Intuniv and is on 2mg at this time. He is taking Intuniv in place of a stimulant due to anxiety. His side effects are light-headedness upon standing too quickly and tingling of his extremities.

  27. My 10-year-old started on 1mg Intuniv 7 days ago, so will be starting the 2nd week trial at 2mg. He has been more tired. The 3rd day headaches started, which have not lessened.

  28. My son is 16 and has been taking ADHD medication for several years. He now takes Focalin XR and added Intuniv about a year ago. He is doing better with his attention, but doesn’t like the way the meds make him feel. He feels like it dulls his “fun” personality. Without the meds, he is very hyper, but likes to joke and cut up with his friends. When he is taking his medicine, he is quieter but easily annoyed and angered.

  29. My 7-year-old son has been on 36 mg Concerta since March. It has been very good for him. He had also been taking 3 mg Intuniv up until April. I found that it lasted all day and into the night. We began a very slow taper off. We slowly noticed a facial tic as we ended the Intuniv. When we finally stopped the tic became much worse.

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