Intuniv vs. Focalin

Reviewed on 10/30/2019

Are Intuniv and Focalin the Same Thing?

Intuniv (guanfacine) and Focalin (dexmethylphenidate) are used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Unlike other drugs used to treat ADHD, Intuniv is not a stimulant.

Intuniv is also used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) and is often given together with other blood pressure medications.

Intuniv and Focalin belong to different drug classes. Intuniv is an alpha-2 adrenergic agonist and Focalin is a mild stimulant.

Side effects of Intuniv and Focalin that are similar include dry mouth and headache.

Side effects of Intuniv that are different from Focalin include dizziness, nausea, stomach pain, irritability, drowsiness, constipation, tiredness, and weight gain.

Side effects of Focalin that are different from Intuniv include restlessness, anxiousness, feeling jittery, stomach upset, loss of appetite, sore throat, and sleep problems (insomnia).

Both Intuniv and Focalin may interact with anti-seizure drugs.

Intuniv may also interact with azole antifungals, rifamycins, antihistamines, medicine for sleep or anxiety, muscle relaxants, narcotics, psychiatric medicines, and cough-and-cold and other over-the-counter products that may contain drowsiness-causing ingredients.

Focalin may also interact with antidepressants, blood pressure medications, blood thinners, and cold or allergy medicines that contain decongestants.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Intuniv?

Common side effects of Intuniv include:

  • drowsiness,
  • dizziness,
  • dry mouth,
  • constipation,
  • tiredness,
  • nausea,
  • headache,
  • stomach pain,
  • weight gain, or
  • irritability.

Tell your doctor if you have serious side effects of Intuniv including:

  • severe dizziness,
  • slow heartbeat,
  • fainting, or
  • mental/mood changes (such as depression, hallucinations, or thoughts of suicide).

What Are Possible Side Effects of Focalin?

Common side effects of Focalin include:

  • restlessness,
  • anxiousness,
  • feeling jittery,
  • stomach upset,
  • loss of appetite,
  • dry mouth,
  • sore throat,
  • headache, or
  • sleep problems (insomnia)

What Is Intuniv?

Intuniv (guanfacine) is an alpha-2 adrenergic agonist used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in patients older than 6 years of age, as part of a total treatment plan including psychological, educational, and social measures. Unlike other drugs used to treat ADHD, Intuniv is not a stimulant. Intuniv is also used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) and is often given together with other blood pressure medications.

What Is Focalin?

Focalin (dexmethylphenidate) is a mild stimulant to the central nervous system used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

SLIDESHOW

ADHD Symptoms in Children See Slideshow

What Drugs Interact With Intuniv?

Intuniv may interact with valproic acid, azole antifungals, rifamycins, antihistamines, anti-seizure drugs, medicine for sleep or anxiety, muscle relaxants, narcotic pain relievers, psychiatric medicines, or cough-and-cold and other over-the-counter products that may contain drowsiness-causing ingredients. During pregnancy, Intuniv should be used only when prescribed.

What Drugs Interact With Focalin?

Focalin XR may interact with MAO inhibitors, antacids, blood pressure medications, blood thinners, clonidine, seizure medications, or antidepressants. Tell your doctor all medications you use. Focalin XR should be used only when prescribed during pregnancy. It is not known if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

How Should Intuniv Be Taken?

Intuniv is an extended-release tablet dosed once daily. Starting dose is 1 mg/day, and the maintenance dose is in the range of 1-4 mg once daily, depending on clinical response and tolerability.

How Should Focalin Be Taken?

The recommended starting dose of Focalin XR is 5 mg/day for pediatric patients and 10 mg/day for adult patients. Dosage may be adjusted in 5 mg increments for pediatric patients and in 10 mg increments for adult patients.

QUESTION

The abbreviated term ADHD denotes the condition commonly known as: See Answer
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References
Shire Pharmaceuticals. Intuniv Product Information.

http://pi.shirecontent.com/PI/PDFs/Intuniv_USA_ENG.pdf

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2013/019032s021lbl.pdfNovartis. Focalin XR Drug Information.

https://www.focalinxr.com

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