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Guanfacine (Intuniv) Review

Guanfacine (Intuniv) Review Guanfacine is a drug that is primarily utilized for the treatment of ADHD and has also been approved for hypertension. It functions as a selective Alpha-2A receptor agonist which results in improvements in concentration. It is thought to have nootropic effects through its interaction with receptors in the prefrontal cortex region of the brain. Moreover, Guanfacine is an alpha agonist and works by relaxing blood vessels, decreasing heart rate thus, lowering blood pressure. Guanfacine (Intuniv) is categorized under Psychostimulants.
Guanfacine (Intuniv)
Also Known
Description Guanfacine is a drug that is primarily utilized for the treatment of ADHD and has also been approved for hypertension. It functions as a selective Alpha-2A receptor agonist which results in improvements in concentration. It is thought to have nootropic effects through its interaction with receptors in the prefrontal cortex region of the brain. Moreover, Guanfacine is an alpha agonist and works by relaxing blood vessels, decreasing heart rate thus, lowering blood pressure.
Typical Dose 0.05-0.12 mg/kg/day
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Benefits and Effectiveness

What is Guanfacine (Intuniv)?

What is Guanfacine? What does it do?

Guanfacine is a drug that has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the year 1986. It is known to be a centrally-acting 2A adrenergic receptor agonist and is usually administered orally. Guanfacine has two different formulations, Intuniv extended release tablets, and Tenex immediate release tablets. Intuniv is the brand name for the long-acting form of Guanfacine. Tenex can be utilized alone or in combination with other drugs for the treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension). Guanfacine has the ability to decrease our heart rate and decrease the resistances of blood flow in our blood vessels, thus, reducing the blood pressure.

Intuniv, which is known as Guanfacine extended release, can be utilized alone or in combination with other drugs for the treatment of a condition called attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, the exact mechanism of action of Guanfacine in treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is not known. According to some clinical trials, long-term use of Guanfacine (lasting up to 8 weeks) is effective for the treatment of ADHD in adolescents and children between the ages of 6 and 17.

How effective is Guanfacine (Intuniv) at treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?

Research studies show that about 70 percent of children who have ADHD experienced significant effects after taking Guanfacine (Intuniv). However, in advance of taking it, it is not known as to who would really respond well. An individual needs to take the medication in order to determine its effects. It usually takes up to two weeks before you can observe any reactions. Some user reviews regarding the use of Guanfacine showed that about twenty percent reported that they failed to experience any positive effects after taking Guanfacine, and about ten percent reported that they experienced irritability after taking the first dose. The irritability caused by taking Guanfacine (Intuniv) does not easily wear off; therefore, the affected patients should not continue using it.

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What is the most important information you should know about Guanfacine (Tenex, Intuniv)?

It is recommended that you should avoid using this medication on off chance that you demonstrate hypersensitivities or are allergic to it. It is important that you should consult first your physician or any qualified medical professional before deciding to take Guanfacine (Tenex, Intuniv). Tell your doctor if you have certain conditions such as coronary artery disease, heart problems, heart block, hypotension (low blood pressure), liver disease, kidney disease, if you have a history of stroke, and recently have a heart attack.

Since Guanfacine has the ability to impair a person’s reaction or thinking; therefore, it is important that you should be careful when driving or do anything that requires high levels of alertness. Avoid drinking alcohol after taking this medication, and avoid becoming dehydrated and overheated during hot weather and exercise. It is vital that your physician should check you progression on a regular basis in order to avoid the harmful interactions of this Guanfacine and to be sure that this medication is truly helping your condition. Your heart rate and blood pressure needs to be checked regularly; therefore, do not miss any “follow-up” visits with your physician.

High blood pressure usually has no signs and symptoms. In the event that you are being treated for high blood pressure, keep using Guanfacine even if you are feeling well. It is recommended that you should use anti-hypertensive medications as long as you live. Medications used to treat sleep problems such as Melatonin could add to the sleepiness caused by Guanfacine. Tell your physician if you are regularly using drugs that make you fall asleep.

What should you avoid while taking this medication?

Avoid taking Guanfacine when consuming a high-fat meal. Do not drink alcohol when taking this medication since alcohol could enhance the side effects of it. Take extra care when you drive after taking this medication since it could increase sleepiness and increases the likeliness of accidents. Avoid becoming dehydrated or overheated after taking Guanfacine.

What is the recommended dosage for Guanfacine?

Extended-release tablets of Guanfacine come in 1 mg, 2 mg, 3 mg, and 4 mg. Experts suggested a dose of one to four mg per day, taken in the morning or during the night. The improvements of Guanfacine in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be observed after 3 to 4 weeks. For best effects, the tablets should be swallowed whole, and avoid chewing, breaking, or crushing it.

It is vital that you should not abruptly stop using this medication since this could lead to the development of unpleasant symptoms. There is no enough evidence to prove the long-term effectiveness of Guanfacine (more than nine weeks), so your physician or healthcare provider should periodically review the long-term effects of this medication.

What happens if you overdose?

Symptoms of overdose include tiredness, severe dizziness, slow heart rate, and pin point pupils. On the off chance that you experience these symptoms after taking Guanfacine, immediately call the emergency room at 911, or call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222.

What happens if you miss a dose of Guanfacine?

It is highly not recommended that you “double up” the dosage of this medication. In the event that you missed a dose, take the missing dose as soon as possible, or avoid taking it if it is close to your next dose.

What are the side effects of Guanfacine?

Some of the less serious side effects caused by Guanfacine include dizziness, drowsiness, tiredness, constipation, dry mouth, stomach pain, headache, weight gain, and feeling irritable.

Immediately call emergency if you happen to experience any of these signs of hypersensitivity or allergic reaction after taking Guanfacin: difficulty breathing, hives, swelling of the face, tongue, lips, or throat.

Contact your physician immediately one you have noticed any serious negative effects such as pounding heartbeats, fast or slow heart rate, tightness of the chest, tingling sensation, numbness, or feeling that you may pass out.

Keep in mind that this is not yet the complete list of side effects associated with the use of Guanfacine and a lot may occur. Contact your physician or any qualified medical professional to obtain some advice regarding the proper usage of this medication. In case you may observe some side effects after using Guanfacine, you may report it to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at 1-800-FDA-1088.

References:
  1. http://www.rxwiki.com/guanfacine
  2. http://www.healthline.com/drugs/guanfacine/oral-tablet#Highlights1
  3. http://www.medicinenet.com/guanfacine-oral/article.htm
  4. http://www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/intuniv
Reviewer: Kathleen R. RN, PT
Wiki Last Updated: 2016-02-15
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Guanfacine (Intuniv) Dosage

0.05-0.12 mg/kg/day

Side Effects

Possible side effects relatedwith Guanfacine usage include headaches, nausea, constipation, dizziness, dry mouth, sedation, and weakness.

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