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Guanfacine Side Effects

In Summary

Commonly reported side effects of guanfacine include: asthenia, constipation, drowsiness, decreased blood pressure, dizziness, fatigue, hypotension, sedated state, and xerostomia. Other side effects include: impotence, and nausea. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to guanfacine: oral tablet, oral tablet extended release

Along with its needed effects, guanfacine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking guanfacine:

More Common

  • Blurred vision
  • confusion
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • sweating
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Less Common

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • cough
  • difficulty with breathing
  • fast, slow, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
  • increased need to urinate
  • lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • mental depression
  • noisy breathing
  • passing urine more often
  • tightness in the chest

Incidence Not Known

  • Agitation
  • back pain
  • cracks in the skin
  • drowsiness
  • fast, pounding, or irregular pulse
  • feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • fever
  • headache
  • irritability
  • loss of consciousness
  • loss of heat from the body
  • mood or mental changes
  • numbness or tingling in the arms, legs, or face
  • red, swollen skin
  • scaly skin
  • seeing or hearing things that are not there
  • seizures
  • sensation of spinning
  • stiff neck
  • swelling
  • vomiting
  • weakness

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking guanfacine:

Symptoms of Overdose

  • Dizziness (extreme) or faintness
  • unusual tiredness or weakness (severe)

Some side effects of guanfacine may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More Common

  • Constipation
  • dizziness
  • dryness of the mouth
  • nausea
  • sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  • unusual dullness or feeling of sluggishness
  • upper abdominal or stomach pain
  • weight gain

Less Common

  • Belching
  • decreased appetite
  • decreased sexual ability
  • dry, itching, or burning eyes
  • heartburn
  • indigestion
  • lack or loss of strength
  • paleness of the skin
  • stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
  • trouble with sleeping

Incidence Not Known

  • Change in taste
  • decreased interest in sexual intercourse
  • difficulty in moving
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • hair loss, thinning of hair
  • inability to have or keep an erection
  • joint pain or swelling
  • leg cramp or pain
  • loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  • muscle ache, cramp, pain, or stiffness
  • seeing or hearing things that are not there

After you stop using this medicine, it may still produce some side effects that need attention. During this period of time, check with your doctor immediately if you notice the following side effects:

  • Anxiety or tenseness
  • increased salivation
  • nervousness or restlessness
  • shaking or trembling of the hands and fingers
  • stomach cramps
  • sweating

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to guanfacine: oral tablet, oral tablet extended release

General

The most common adverse reactions were dry mouth, somnolence, headache, fatigue, dizziness, abdominal pain, constipation, appetite decreased, and sedation.[Ref]

Gastrointestinal

Very common (10% or more): Dry mouth (up to 54%), abdominal pain (up to 15%), constipation (up to 15%)

Common (1% to 10%): Vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal/stomach discomfort

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Dyspepsia[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Somnolence (up to 40.6%), headache (up to 28%), dizziness (up to 16%), sedation (10.2%)

Common (1% to 10%): Lethargy, convulsion, dizziness postural, syncope

Rare (less than 0.1%): Hypersomnia

Postmarketing reports: Tremor, paresthesias, vertigo, taste alteration, hypertensive encephalopathy[Ref]

Other

Very common (10% or more): Fatigue (up to 22%)

Common (1% to 10%): Asthenia

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Chest pain

Rare (less than 0.1%): Malaise[Ref]

Metabolic

Very common (10% or more): Appetite decreased (up to 15%)

Common (1% to 10%): Weight increased

Frequency not reported: Body mass index increased

Postmarketing reports: Edema

Psychiatric

Common (1% to 10%): Insomnia, depression, anxiety, affect lability, middle insomnia, nightmare, irritability

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Agitation, hallucination

Postmarketing reports: Confusion[Ref]

Cardiovascular

Common (1% to 10%): Hypotension, bradycardia, orthostatic hypotension, tachycardia

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Pallor, atrioventricular block first degree, sinus arrhythmia, blood pressure increased, heart rate decreased

Rare (less than 0.1%): Hypertension

Frequency not reported: QTc prolongation

Postmarketing reports: Palpitations, rebound hypertension

Genitourinary

Common (1% to 10%): Impotence, enuresis

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Pollakiuria

Frequency not reported: Urinary frequency increased

Postmarketing reports: Erectile dysfunction[Ref]

Dermatologic

Common (1% to 10%): Rash, pruritus

Postmarketing reports: Alopecia, dermatitis, exfoliative dermatitis

Respiratory

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Asthma

Postmarketing reports: Dyspnea

Hepatic

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): ALT increased

Immunologic

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hypersensitivity

Musculoskeletal

Postmarketing reports: Arthralgia, leg cramps, leg pain, myalgia

Ocular

Postmarketing reports: Blurred vision

References

1. "Product Information. Intuniv (guanfacine)." Shire US Inc, Florence, KY.

2. "Product Information. Tenex (guanfacine)." Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, Philadelphia, PA.

3. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.

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