Jul 26, 2022

Generic name:  guanfacine  [ GWAHN-fa-seen ]
Drug class:  Antiadrenergic agents, centrally acting

What is Intuniv?

Intuniv reduces nerve impulses in your heart and blood vessels. Intuniv works by relaxing blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure and improves blood flow.

Intuniv is a prescription medicine used to treat  attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)  in children who are at least 6 years old.

Intuniv is a long acting tablet that is taken once daily, normally in the morning, at approximately the same time each day.

The Tenex brand of guanfacine is used to treat  high blood pressure  (hypertension). It is sometimes given with other blood pressure medications.


Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated during excercise and in hot weather. Avoid drinking alcohol.

Tell your doctor if you regularly use other medicines that make you sleepy. They can add to sleepiness caused by Intuniv.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Intuniv if you are allergic to guanfacine.

Intuniv is not approved for use by anyone younger than 6 years old.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • heart problems,  coronary artery disease  (clogged arteries);
  • a heart rhythm disorder;
  • a  heart attack  or stroke;
  • high or  low blood pressure ;
  • liver disease ; or
  • kidney disease.

It is not known whether Intuniv will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It may not be safe to breast-feed a baby while you are using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risks.

How should I take Intuniv?

Take Intuniv exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose.

Avoid taking Intuniv with high-fat foods, or your body could absorb the medicine too quickly.

Take Intuniv at bedtime to ease drowsiness.

Take Intuniv with a full glass of water, milk, or other liquid.

Swallow the Intuniv tablet whole and do not crush, chew, or break it.

If a child is using this medicine, tell your doctor if the child has any changes in weight. Guanfacine doses are based on weight in children, and any changes may affect your child’s dose.

You should not stop using Intuniv suddenly. Stopping suddenly can raise your blood pressure and cause unpleasant symptoms.

Call your doctor if you are sick with  vomiting  and cannot take your medicine as usual.

Your dose needs may change if you switch to a different brand, strength, or form of this medicine. Avoid medication errors by using only the form and strength your doctor prescribes.

Your doctor will need to check your progress on a regular basis. Your blood pressure and heart rate may also need to be checked.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

Dosing information

Usual Pediatric Dose for Attention Deficit Disorder:

Initial dose: 1 mg orally once a day, either in the morning or evening, at approximately the same time each day; may adjust in increments of no more than 1 mg/week.

Recommended target dose: 0.05 to 0.12 mg/kg/day (total daily dose between 1 and 7 mg) once a day, depending on clinical response and tolerability

Maximum dose: 6 to 12 years: Doses above 4 mg/day have not been evaluated; 13 to 17 years: Doses above 7 mg/day have not been evaluated.

Comments: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may require treatment for an extended period of time; healthcare providers should periodically reevaluate treatment and adjust dose as needed.

Use: Treatment of ADHD as monotherapy and as adjunctive therapy to stimulant medications.

Detailed Intuniv dosage information

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss more than 2 doses in a row.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include severe drowsiness,  slow heart rate , and feeling like you might pass out.

What to avoid

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.

Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of Intuniv.

Intuniv side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Intuniv:  hives ; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • anxiety , nervousness;
  • hallucinations (especially in children);
  • severe drowsiness;
  • slow heartbeats; or
  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

If you stop taking Intuniv, tell your doctor if you have headaches, confusion, rapid heartbeats, tremors, increased blood pressure, or if you feel nervous or agitated. If left untreated, these symptoms could lead to very high blood pressure, vision problems, or  seizures .

Common Intuniv side effects may include:

  • dizziness , drowsiness;
  • low blood pressure, slow heartbeats;
  • feeling tired or irritable;
  • trouble sleeping;
  • dry mouth; or
  • stomach pain, nausea,  constipation .

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Intuniv side effects  (more detail)

What other drugs will affect Intuniv?

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.

Using Intuniv with other drugs that make you drowsy can worsen this effect. Ask your doctor before using opioid medication, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety,  depression , or seizures.

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines. Some may affect Intuniv, especially:

  • ketoconazole ;
  • a barbiturate, such as  phenobarbital ;
  • blood pressure medications;
  • medicine to treat mental illness; or
  • a sedative, such as  Valium  or  Xanax .

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with guanfacine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and  herbal products . Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

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