Guanfacine

Guanfacine treats high blood pressure. Do not stop taking this medication all of a sudden because your blood pressure may increase rapidly.

Guanfacine Overview

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Guanfacine tablets are a prescription medication used alone or with other medications to treat high blood pressure. Guanfacine extended-release tablets are used to treat the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children.

Guanfacine belongs to a group of drugs called centrally acting alpha 2A -adrenergic receptor agonists. Guanfacine treats high blood pressure by decreasing heart rate and relaxing the blood vessels so that blood can flow more easily through the body. Guanfacine extended-release tablets may treat ADHD by affecting the part of the brain that controls attention and impulsivity.
 
Guanfacine comes as a tablet and as an extended-release tablet. The tablet is usually taken once daily at bedtime. The extended-release tablet is usually taken once daily. Swallow the extended-release tablets whole. Do not chew, crush or break them.
 
Common side effects include dry mouth, weakness and headache. Guanfacine can cause drowsiness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how it affects you.

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Guanfacine Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautionsprecautions

Uses of Guanfacine

Guanfacine tablets are a prescription medication used alone or with other medications to treat high blood pressure. Guanfacine extended-release tablets are used to treat the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

 

 

 

Guanfacine Brand Names

Guanfacine may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Guanfacine Drug Class

Guanfacine is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Guanfacine

The most common side effects of guanfacine tablets (regular-release) include:

  • sedation
  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • weakness
  • dizziness
  • constipation
  • impotence

The most common side effects of guanfacine extended-release tablets include:

  • sleepiness 
  • tiredness 
  • trouble sleeping 
  • low blood pressure 
  • nausea 
  • stomach pain 
  • dizziness 

Tell the doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Guanfacine extended-release tablets may cause serious side effects including:

  • low blood pressure 
  • low heart rate 
  • fainting 
  • sleepiness

Get medical help right away, if you have any of the symptoms listed above.


Guanfacine Interactions

Guanfacine may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how guanfacine works. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • ketoconazole 
  • medicines that can affect enzyme metabolism 
  • valproic acid 
  • high blood pressure medicine 
  • sedatives 
  • benzodiazepines 
  • barbiturates 
  • antipsychotics

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a list of these medicines, if you are not sure.

Guanfacine Precautions

  • Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how guanfacine affects you. Guanfacine can slow your thinking and motor skills.
  • Do not drink alcohol or take other medicines that make you sleepy or dizzy while taking guanfacine until you talk with your doctor. Guanfacine taken with alcohol or medicines that cause sleepiness or dizziness may make your sleepiness or dizziness worse.
  • Guanfacine may cause serious side effects including low blood pressure, low heart rate, fainting, and sleepiness. Get medical help right away if you experience any of these symptoms.

It is not known if guanfacine extended release tablets are safe or effective in children younger than 6 years old.

Guanfacine Food Interactions

Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of guanfacine there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving guanfacine.

Inform MD

Before you take guanfacine , tell your doctor if you:

  • have heart problems or a low heart rate 
  • have fainted 
  • have low blood pressure 
  • have liver or kidney problems 
  • have any other medical conditions 
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if guanfacine will harm your unborn baby. Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. 
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if guanfacine is excreted into human breast milk. You and your doctor should decide if you will take Intuniv or breastfeed.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicine, vitamins, and herbal supplements. 

Guanfacine and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. It is not known if guanfacine will harm your unborn baby.

Guanfacine and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed. It is not known if guanfacine is excreted in human breast milk or if it will harm your nursing baby.

Guanfacine Usage

Take guanfacine exactly as your doctor tells you. 

Guanfacine regular release tablets:

  • Your doctor may change your dose. Do not change your dose of guanfacine without talking to your doctor. 
  • Do not stop taking guanfacine without talking to your doctor. 

Guanfacine extended-release tablets:

  • Guanfacine extended-release tablets should be taken 1 time a day, either alone or in combination with an ADHD stimulant medication that your doctor may prescribe. Your doctor will tell you when to take guanfacine and when to take your ADHD stimulant medication. 
  • Guanfacine extended-release tablets should be swallowed whole with a small amount of water, milk, or other liquid. 
  • Do not crush, chew, or break guanfacine extended-release tablets, and tell your doctor if you can not swallow these tablets whole. 
  • Do not take guanfacine extended-release tablets with a high-fat meal. 
  • Your doctor will check your blood pressure and heart rate while you take this medication. 
  • Do not stop taking guanfacine without talking to your doctor. 

Guanfacine Dosage

Take guanfacine exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully. Your doctor will determine the best dose for you.

The recommended dose range for guanfacine (regular release) tablets is 1 mg to 2 mg per day.

The recommended dose range for guanfacine (extended release) tablets is 1 mg to 4 mg per day.

Guanfacine Overdose

If you take too much guanfacine, call your local Poison Control Center right away or seek emergency medical attention.

Other Requirements

Store guanfacine at 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C).

Keep guanfacine and all medicines out of the reach of children.