What is guanfacine hydrochloride?

Guanfacine hydrochloride is an oral medication used to treat high blood pressure. It works by relaxing the blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure. It is also used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Health Benefits

Guanfacine hydrochloride has a variety of health benefits.

1. It lowers blood pressure: Guanfacine hydrochloride is an effective treatment for high blood pressure. A single dose can lower blood pressure by up to 10 mmHg. This effect is usually seen within 2 hours of taking the medication.

2. It Treats ADHD: Guanfacine hydrochloride is also approved to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It can help improve focus, reduce impulsiveness, and decrease hyperactivity in children and adults with ADHD.

3. It has a low risk of side effects: When used at the recommended dosage, guanfacine hydrochloride has a very low risk of side effects. The most common side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, headache, and nausea.

4. It is affordable: Guanfacine hydrochloride is a generic medication, which means it is much more affordable than brand-name medications. A month’s supply of guanfacine hydrochloride can cost as little as $4.

5. It is widely available: Guanfacine hydrochloride is available at most pharmacies and online retailers.

Side Effects

Guanfacine hydrochloride is generally well-tolerated, but it can cause some side effects. The most common side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, headache, and nausea. If these side effects are bothersome, they may go away on their own over time.

More serious side effects are rare, but they can occur. These include low blood pressure, slow heart rate, fainting, and allergic reactions. If you experience any of these side effects, stop taking guanfacine hydrochloride and call your doctor immediately.

Dosage

The recommended starting dose of guanfacine hydrochloride for adults is 1 mg once daily. If this dose is well-tolerated, your doctor may increase it to 2 mg once daily. The maximum recommended dose is 3 mg once daily.

For children 6 to 17 years old, the recommended starting dose is 0.05 mg/kg once daily. This dose may be increased to a maximum of 0.1 mg/kg once daily if needed.

Guanfacine hydrochloride is available in tablets and oral solution. It is typically taken once daily, with or without food.

If you miss a dose of guanfacine hydrochloride, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue on your regular schedule. Do not take two doses of guanfacine hydrochloride at the same time.

Interactions

Guanfacine hydrochloride can interact with other medications, herbs, and supplements. These interactions can increase your risk of side effects or make guanfacine hydrochloride less effective.

To avoid these interactions, be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications, herbs, and supplements you are taking. Do not start or stop any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Mechanism of Action

Guanfacine hydrochloride works by relaxing the blood vessels and reducing blood pressure. It is also thought to work on the brain to help improve focus and reduce impulsiveness in people with ADHD.

The exact mechanism of action is not fully understood, but it is thought to work by increasing levels of norepinephrine in the brain. Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in attention and focus. Increasing levels of norepinephrine may help improve symptoms of ADHD.

Guanfacine hydrochloride may also help to regulate blood sugar levels. This can be helpful for people with diabetes who are taking insulin or other blood sugar-lowering medications.

Pharmacokinetics

Guanfacine hydrochloride is well-absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and has a bioavailability of 100%. It is metabolized in the liver and has an elimination half-life of 12 hours.

Guanfacine hydrochloride is available in tablets and oral solution. It is typically taken once daily, with or without food.