What is this medication?
Alpha2-Adrenergic Agonist; Antihypertensive
Guanfacine, Intuniv is officially indicated for attention-deficit/hyperactive disorder as monotherapy or as an adjunct to stimulant medications. Previously instant release formulations were used for hypertension, but these are not normally recommended, and it is now almost exclusively used in an extended release for ADHD symptoms.
How does this medication work?
Guanfacine is a selective alpha2A-adrenergic receptor agonist that reduces sympathetic outflow, thereby reducing vasomotor tone and heart rate. It also preferentially binds postsynaptic alpha2A-adrenergic receptors in the prefrontal cortex which may improve delay-related firing of the neurons. This is thought to affect underlying working memory and behavioral inhibition which improves the symptoms of ADHD. It is important to note that guanfacine is not a central nervous system stimulant like most other ADHD medications.
How should I take this medication?
Oral: 1-7mg once daily depending on the patient age, other medications being taken, severity of condition, and patient response.
How to Take Guanfacine, Intuniv: Follow instructions provided by physician/pharmacy label, swallow whole with food, take consistently at same times each day unless otherwise directed, store at room temperature.
You Need to Avoid: Do not break, crush, or chew tablet, do not administer with a high fat meal. Do not stop this medication abruptly, taper dosage over time to prevent rebound hypertension. Avoid or minimize grapefruit consumption while on this medication due to it decreasing drug metabolism.
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Before starting Guanfacine, Intuniv make sure your physician is aware of any allergies or medications you currently take, if you have cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, kidney disease, liver disease, or are pregnant or breastfeeding. It is highly recommended that a cardiovascular assessment should be done prior to initiating this medication (especially when combined with stimulant medications) as serious cardiovascular events have been associated with these medications and in most cases an underlying structural heart disease was found.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of medication, try to take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take only that scheduled dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
How should I store this medication?
Keep out of the reach of children at all times. Store at room temperature, 59 to 86° F (15 to 30° C). Protect from light. Keep the container tightly closed. Properly dispose of any unused medication after the expiration date.
What are the possible side effects of using this medication?
Drowsiness, headache, fatigue, dizziness, insomnia, abdominal pain, decreased appetite
Note this is not a complete list of side effects, only common ones.
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