Intuniv For ADHD & Substance Abuse
As we move down the early ADHD road of experience with Intuniv some interesting additional likely indications appear. Remember: Intuniv is not a stimulant, not a controlled substance, not abusable, and is approved by the FDA for ADHD.
The indication suggested in this post is not FDA approved, but simply makes street sense. This Intuniv comment/question regarding addiction indications recently arrived in this CorePsych Blog comments:
I have a 19 yr old son, he’s still trying to finding the right medication [for ADHD], period. Doctors don’t want to put him on a stimulant because of his age and possible addiction. He has tried Strattera, that didn’t seem to work well [my observation, repeatedly], he seemed to be moody.
We are trying Intuniv tomorrow, at first because of his age I wasn’t sure, age says from 6 to 17, but I am trusting the doctors, are there any studys of young adults who have taken it, I know its new. I am also going to start a protein shake of 8oz of coffee and 20g of protein powder with it, so hopefully it will work.
You are on the right path. Intuniv is clearly indicated with folks who have some measure of medical concern about abuse… it just isn’t abusable, period. A likely indication, not mentioned in this post, are those in recovery from substance abuse, e.g. medical professionals in programs who suffer with ADHD and are standing before licensing boards, and pilots?
As you point out adults don’t have a specifically approved indication through the FDA, but the safety with children does encourage an Intuniv intervention if any abuse concern does exist. Older adults on antihypertensive meds, with blood pressure problems or any specific cardiac conditions need a medical review – in spite of the fact that in the ‘flexible-dose’ titration study [customized for the person based upon symptom resolution, rather than the 2 ‘forced-dose' titration studies] the hypotensive side effect was nearly the level of placebo.
On the other hand, it is my frequent concern that still too few docs understand the diminished abuse potential of Vyvanse, documented throughout CorePsych Blog posts and elsewhere, including this abuse study from Shire. Yes, Vyvanse is an amphetamine, but is the only full-on stimulant with peer reviewed studies in the package insert regarding diminished abuse potential. Nothing is perfect, but anecdotally Vyvanse has proven useful with its prodrug release for use with recovering individuals with ADHD.
Stay with the protein, well done, and very likely you will have a positive outcome. It’s never to late to treat ADHD, and with more treatment options Intuniv might prove quite helpful for these other indications. Always remember that substance abuse folks frequently show diminished neurotransmitter biomarkers, and often prove refractory to psychotropic medications of any sort.