Guanfacine (Intuniv) is a drug that FDA approved to treat ADHD and Tourette Syndrome. It is an extended-release tablet that can be taken once daily or as needed for symptom relief. Guanfacine works by regulating the brain’s neurotransmitters. People with ADHD and Tourette syndrome have a hard time staying calm. They take this medicine and it helps them stay calm. If you are interested in learning more about this medication, please read on!
- 1 What is Guanfacine (Intuniv)?
- 1.1 How does Guanfacine work?
- 1.2 Dosage of Guanfacine (Intuniv)
- 1.3 Directions Of Use
- 1.4 Side effects of Guanfacine (Intuniv)
- 1.5 When should I expect to see improvement in my symptoms?
- 1.6 Precautions To Take
- 1.7 Can I take this medication with other medications?
- 1.8 Withdrawal Of Guanfacine (Intuniv)
- 1.9 Is Guanfacine (Intuniv) Addictive?
- 2 Conclusion
- 3 A Word From Mantra Care
What is Guanfacine (Intuniv)?
Guanfacine is an oral medication that treats ADHD and tic disorders. It is an extended-release tablet that can be taken once daily or as needed for symptom relief. The release of the medication is controlled and slow so that it can be effective for 12 hours.
It works by changing the effects of certain neurotransmitters in the brain called catecholamines, specifically dopamine and norepinephrine. These two chemicals help with thinking, focus, moods, and behavior control. People who have ADHD or tic disorders have problems with how these neurotransmitters work, so guanfacine helps to regulate them.
How does Guanfacine work?
Guanfacine is a selective alpha-two agonist. It works by regulating the levels of norepinephrine in the brain. This helps to improve focus and attention span, as well as reduce impulsivity and hyperactivity. It can also work to improve behavior control.
For people with ADHD, guanfacine helps to increase attention span and reduce hyperactivity. It also helps to improve impulse control. For people with tic disorders, it can help to decrease the number and severity of tics.
Dosage of Guanfacine (Intuniv)
The dosage of guanfacine that is prescribed will vary depending on the person’s age, weight, and condition being treated. It can be taken once daily or as needed for symptom relief.
For ADHD, the recommended starting dose is 0.25 mg to 0.50 mg per day, given in two divided doses. The maximum dose for this condition is 0.90 mg per day, given in two divided doses.
For Tourette syndrome, the recommended dose of guanfacine is typically a starting dose of 0.01mg/kg to 0.04mg/kg every morning and it can be increased up to a maximum single daily dose of 0.08mg/kg.
Directions Of Use
Guanfacine is usually taken once daily, in the morning or evening. You should swallow it whole with a full glass of water to avoid irritation in the throat. The tablets must not be broken or crushed because this can cause too much medicine at one time that may increase side effects and could be fatal. If you are taking guanfacine as needed for symptom relief, you should only take one tablet.
If you miss a dose of guanfacine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular schedule. Do not take two doses at once.
Side effects of Guanfacine (Intuniv)
The most common side effects of guanfacine are:
These side effects usually go away within a few weeks. If they continue or are bothersome, talk to your doctor.
Other side effects of guanfacine are:
- Decreased appetite
- Tiredness or weakness (more common in the elderly)
- Decreased blood pressure
When you first start taking this medication, it may lower your blood pressure too much when you stand up quickly from a sitting position and cause dizziness or fainting. You should get up slowly from sitting to standing positions when taking this medication until your body adjusts to it.
There are some serious side effects of guanfacine that you need to be aware of. These include:
- Sudden, severe headache (more common in people with uncontrolled high blood pressure)
- Chest pain
- Severe nausea or vomiting (more common in people with heart failure)
- Feeling sluggish, drowsy, tired, weak (more common in the elderly and may be worse at night when you are resting or sleeping)
- Painful urination or decreased amount of urine that is passed (symptoms include seeing small blood clots, pain in the side or back, and swelling of the feet or ankles)
- Hallucinations (seeing things that are not there), agitation, confusion, or severe sleep problems
- Tingling sensation in hands and feet
- Rapid heart rate (more common in people with heart disease)
If you experience serious side effects, you should seek emergency medical attention right away.
When should I expect to see improvement in my symptoms?
Guanfacine usually starts working within a few days, but it may take up to two weeks for you to notice the full effects. If your symptoms do not improve after taking guanfacine for six weeks, talk to your doctor.
It is also important to note that guanfacine should not be taken with other medications. If you are considering taking guanfacine, talk to your doctor first about what other medications may interact with it.
Precautions To Take
When taking guanfacine, you should be aware of the following precautions:
- Guanfacine may cause drowsiness or dizziness. Make sure to use caution when driving a car or operating machinery until you know how this medication will affect your body and mind. If it is difficult for you to stay awake, or if it is dangerous for you to be in this condition (for example, when driving), do not take guanfacine.
- Guanfacine may lower your blood pressure while standing up quickly from a sitting position. You should get up slowly from sitting to standing positions until your body adjusts to guanfacine.
- Do not drink alcohol while taking guanfacine, as it may increase the drowsiness and dizziness caused by this medication.
Can I take this medication with other medications?
Guanfacine should not be taken with other medications, especially those that affect the heart and blood pressure. If you are considering taking guanfacine, talk to your doctor first about what other medications may interact with it.
Withdrawal Of Guanfacine (Intuniv)
If you stop taking guanfacine abruptly, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as:
- Irritability or agitation
- Sleep problems
These symptoms usually go away within a few days. If they continue or are bothersome, talk to your doctor.
Is Guanfacine (Intuniv) Addictive?
Guanfacine is not addictive, but if you abruptly stop taking it, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about withdrawing from guanfacine.
Guanfacine (Intuniv) is a drug that can help people with ADHD. It increases the level of dopamine in the brain, which helps improve attention span and reduce impulsivity. You should take the medication once or twice per day for it to take effect. Side effects are uncommon but may include headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, dry mouth, and trouble sleeping. Patients taking guanfacine also need to avoid drinking alcohol while they’re on this medication because there’s an increased risk of serious side effects like low blood pressure or sleep problems when combined. Intuniv is not for weight loss purposes so if you have issues with obesity then you will want to look elsewhere for solutions.
A Word From Mantra Care
Your mental health — your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.
At Mantra Care, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can take our mental health test. You can also book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.