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Generic Name: Guanfacine (gwahn’ fa seen) 

Drug Class: Centrally acting alpha 2A-adrenergic receptor agonists

Table of Contents

Intuniv Guanfacine






Intuniv (Guanfacine) is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD) by affecting the part of the brain that controls attention and impulsivity. This medication is approved for use in children.

Guanfacine may help lessen ADHD symptoms in children, including hyperactivity, being disruptive or impulsive, inattention, and arguing with adults or losing one’s temper.

This information is for educational purposes only. Not every known side effect, adverse effect, or drug interaction is in this database. If you have questions about your medicines, talk to your health care provider.

It works by helping change certain chemicals in the brain, which professionals refer to as “neurotransmitters.” It is not yet well-understood why changing these neurochemicals results in symptom relief for the conditions this drug is commonly prescribed for.

How to Take It

Follow the directions for using this medicine provided by your doctor. Read the patient leaflet that comes with this medicine. Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist any questions that you may have about this medicine. The extended-release tablet is usually taken once a day and high fat meals should be avoided while taking it. It should be taken around same time every day,  exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Side Effects

Side effects that may occur while taking this medicine include:

  • fatigue
  • weakness
  • nausea
  • headache
  • vomiting
  • irritability
  • dry mouth
  • constipation
  • vomiting
  • stomach pain

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • serious allergic reactions including rash, itching, swelling
  • difficulty breathing
  • extreme dizziness
  • depression
  • hallucinations
  • thoughts of suicide

Warnings & Precautions

  • Do not increase your dose of this medicine without first talking to your doctor, even if you feel that the medicine is not working.
  • This medicine may cause dizziness or lightheadedness when standing up quickly from a lying position. Do not operate machinery or drive a car until you know how this medication affects you.
  • Avoid becoming dehydrated or overheated during exercise, especially during hot weather.
  • Alcohol can potentially increase side effects of guanfacine.
  • Tell your doctor if you have ever had a heart attack or stroke, heart or kidney disease, or personal family history of mood disorders or depression.
  • For an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. For non emergencies, contact your local or regional poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Drug Interactions

Before taking any new medicine, either prescription or over-the-counter, check with your doctor or pharmacist. Check the labels on all of your medicine (e.g., cough-and-cold products, diet aids) because they may ingredients that could increase your heart rate or blood pressure. Ask you pharmacist about the safe use of those products.

Dosage & Missed Dose

The extended-release tablets should be swallowed whole, taken with a small amount of water or other liquid. Do not break, chew, or crush them.

Take your next dose as soon as you remember. If it is time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not double doses or take extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.


Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (preferably not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.


If you plan on becoming pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using this medicine during pregnancy. It is NOT known if this medicine is excreted in breast milk. It is recommended that you DO NOT breast-feed while taking this medicine unless your doctor or pediatrician has told you to.

More Information

For more information, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or health care provider, or you can visit this website, for additional information from the manufacturer of this drug.


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APA Reference
Psych Central. (2018). Intuniv. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 26, 2020, from


Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Oct 2018
Last reviewed: By Christine Traxler, M.D.
Published on All rights reserved.