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Guanfacine (Tenex) - Uses And Sides Effects of Guanfacine

Generic Name: GUANFACINE Hydrochloride- ORAL (GWAN-fuh-seen)

Brand Name: Tenex

What is Guanfacine and for what Guanfacine is used ?

Guanfacine hydrochloride tablets are indicated in the management of hypertension. Guanfacine should be given in combination with other antihypertensive agents, especially thiazide-type diuretics.

Guanfacine is used to treat high blood pressure. It works by decreasing your heart rate and relaxing the blood vessels so that blood can flow more easily through the body. Guanfacine is an antihypertensive. Guanfacine relaxes blood vessels, relieving high blood pressure (hypertension). It is not a cure and must be taken regularly to prevent complications of uncontrolled blood pressure. Untreated high blood pressure can cause a stroke, heart failure, or damage to your kidneys. Generic guanfacine tablets are available.

How Guanfacine works

Guanfacine works by controlling nerve impulses along certain nerve pathways. As a result, it relaxes blood vessels so that blood passes through them more easily. This helps to lower blood pressure.

How to Take Guanfacine

Take Guanfacine medication exactly as prescribed. Try to take it at the same time each day, usually at bedtime. Guanfacine medication may be taken with food if stomach irritation occurs. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick. Do not stop taking Guanfacine medication suddenly without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when the medication is stopped abruptly

After 3 or 4 weeks, if your blood pressure is still too high, your doctor may raise the dosage of guanfacine. In some cases, you may take 2 evenly spaced doses per day rather than a single dose at bedtime.

Older patients (over 65 years old) may have a stronger reaction to Guanfacine medicine and need smaller doses.

What are the Side Effects of Guanfacine

Stopping taking guanfacine can produce some of these side effects. Ask your prescriber or health care professional before you reduce your dose, or stop taking guanfacine. Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:

Warnings and precautions for Guanfacine

  • Since guanfacine causes drowsiness and may also make you dizzy, do not drive, climb, or perform hazardous tasks until you find out exactly how the medication affects you.
  • While taking guanfacine, use alcoholic beverages with care; you may feel intoxicated after drinking only a small amount of alcohol.
  • Studies on this medicine have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of guanfacine in children with use in other age groups.
  • It is not known whether guanfacine passes into breast milk. However, this medicine has not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies.
  • If you have kidney damage and also take the antiseizure drug phenytoin (Dilantin), your body may process and eliminate guanfacine rather quickly; in that case, you may need fairly frequent doses of guanfacine to lower your blood pressure adequately.
  • Do not suddenly stop taking guanfacine. You must gradually reduce the dose or you may get a dangerous increase in blood pressure. Ask your prescriber or health care professional for advice.

What drugs may interact with Guanfacine

If guanfacine is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining guanfacine with the following :

  • Alcohol
  • Barbiturates such as Amytal
  • Beta blockers, often used for high blood pressure or heart problems
  • Diet pills
  • Hawthorn
  • Phenothiazines such as Mellaril, Stelazine and Thorazine.
  • Phenytoin (Dilantin)

What to do if you take Overdose of Guanfacine ?

If you take overdose of Guanfacine the seek medical attention immediately. For non emergencies, contact your local or regional poison control center.

Symptoms of guanfacine overdose may include:

Drowsiness, lethargy, slowed heartbeat, very low blood pressure.

What to do if you take Missed Dose of Guanfacine ?

If you miss a dose of Guanfacine , take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

How to Store Guanfacine :

  • Keep Guanfacine medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of the reach of children.
  • Store at room temperature, approximately 20—25 degrees C (68—77 degrees F).
  • Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

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