Intuniv in Canada

Intuniv is a newer medication which is available in the United States. It is not yet available in Canada.

Intuniv is a non-stimulant which is a long acting form of guanfacine. It can be helpful for ADD/ADHD on its own, or in combination with a stimulant medicine (like Vyvanse, Concerta, Adderall, etc.).

I am regularly asked about when Intuniv will come to Canada. It is hard to say when it will come, and there are so many variables which can happen when a medicine is submitted to Health Canada for approval.

The best estimate that I can give you (based on my perspective – i.e. this is my guess, not “official” information) is that Intuniv will be approved in Canada in mid to late 2012. It is unlikely that it will be here before that. I will certainly update this blog post when I get more specific information.

Best,

Dr. Kenny

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Comments

  1. My granddaughter lives with her parents in Canada. As I recall, her doctor believes Intuniv may help her; she loses weight under her current medication. She has been off the medication for a few months, but now she really needs help. Would it be possible for her to be under the care of a physician in the U.S., with appointments every 90 days, and be able to take Intuniv back to her home in Canada until her next appointment? She was born in the U.S. and has dual citizenship.

    Thanks for any thoughts.

    • Donald – that would probably work. The only question would be: is the US doctor OK with writing 3 month prescriptions, and will the insurance cover the 3 month prescriptions (or will you just pay cash for that)?

    • Hi there Donald,
      My son is on Strattera and Concerta for his ADHD and has lost weight:(
      We are also Canadians who are desperate for Intuniv! I have also been looking into a US doctor in order to get this prescription. I would really appreciate if you could tell me the name of the doctor who agreed to do this for you. Thank you for your consideration and good luck !!!
      Paula

  2. Doctor is OK with the prescriptions and regular checkups (not sure about the frequency until she is evaluated. I would pay cash for her prescriptions until such time that it is available in Canada.

  3. My 9 yr old developed tics from the Ritalin he was on with his Concerta. The doctor stopped the Ritalin adn gave me the free trial pack for my son to try because it helps resolve tics. The doc had me give it to him at night because it tends to make the child sleepy so I started with the minimum dose of 1 mg which is good because as a mom thats what I do anyway. My son was very sleepy the next day, but after a few doses he was fine it leveled off. So I saw a difference after the trial with the tics and called the doc and stated I didn’t want to try the 2mg for the next period that since the 1 was working I wanted to remain at that. Over the summer I noticed no change in needing ti for focus so we stopped all together after taking it for a month and now he still has no tics and is just taking the Concerta minimum dose for his size and age (18mg) 60lbs. Now we are running into the concerta wearing off after 4-5 hrs and needing a second dose. I asked doc about giving him another dose of the Concerta 18mg since its only lasting 4/5 hrs and since I am so happy with how it works in his system and she said sure lets se hwo he does. If it doesn’t help or he can’t sleep or eat then we will try something else within that drug group of Concerta since it seems tyo work best for him. We have already tried increasing his dose last year to 27 and 36 but neither of those worked he was agitated when it wore off and emotional and I really didn’t see achange in lasting effect. But we will see. This is the part I hate the trial and error part. Let me know if you have any information for me.

  4. I so hope that Intuniv is approved in Canada soon. We just moved for the states about 6 months ago. He was on the intuniv. He had wonderful results with it.

  5. Did your son have any side effects with the Intuniv Crystal? My son has terrible tummy aches on Straterra, our dr. friend in the states gave us samples of Intuniv to try, but I am worried..?

  6. Is Guanfacine or Tenex available in Canada? When I phoned the maker of Tenex (Promius Pharma, LLC), the CSR said that they have run out of Tenex and have no idea when it will be available again!?

    Would taking Guanfacine twice a day be an acceptable alternative until Health Canada approves Intuniv?

  7. Hi, Doctor -

    My adopted 11 year old son has just been diagnosed with ADHD-i and we really want to get him on Intuniv. Thank you Dr. Handelman for the update and the website. I hope they do this ASAP.

    Many thanks,

    John

  8. Dear Dr Handleman,

    I live in Vancouver Canada, and I’m eager to try a non stimulant mediation, such as intuniv. Do you know when it will be available in Canada?

    • I don’t know when Intuniv will be in Canada. All indications are that it should be this year. Maybe spring? Maybe Fall? There is no clear answer yet…Dr. Kenny Handelman

  9. Hi,

    Is Intuniv approved for adults too. I am 40 years old have bipolar disorder and ADD. I have tried almost all ADD medications stimulant and non stimulant in very small doses however I become psychotic when taking them. Currently I am off ADD medications and hoping I will be able to tolerate Intuniv better than other ADD meds. Do you think there will be less chances of me having psychotic episodes on Intuniv. And will my doctor be able to prescribe it once its available in Canada or not since I am an adult.

    Thanks
    I Khan

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