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Guanfacine Side Effects

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Guanfacine side effects should always be reported to your healthcare provider. While many prescription drug side effects are minor, some may prove serious. You may need emergency medical attention if the guanfacine you’re prescribed causes serious side effects to occur. Prescribed to treat high blood pressure, it relaxes the blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more easily. The resulting lowered blood pressure removes strain on the heart and cardiovascular risks associated with high blood pressure. Although this medication works well for many, it might not be the ideal choice for all patients, especially if its side effects cause significant health problems. 

At Resurgence Behavioral Health, some patients may rely on guanfacine to manage their high blood pressure. In its extended-release form, it may also be prescribed to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Our clinicians are licensed and experienced. Although we specialize in mental health and behavioral health conditions, including substance use disorder and addiction, our physicians are highly trained and familiar with the pantheon of medications. We can prescribe or adjust medications as needed. We also work with clients’ primary doctors to ensure a more seamless level of health care.

We’re known for our comprehensive treatment programs, which include inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment. We offer innovative solutions like dual diagnosis and medication-assisted treatment. Our treatment center blends many different treatment modalities to help clients achieve their recovery goals. Our therapeutic approaches include medically traditional therapies, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, as well as holistic treatments and some alternative therapies. Together, these treatment options help clients build a strong recovery foundation. 

If you have been prescribed guanfacine, you can find more information about this prescription medication here. It’s important to use this drug as directed by your physician. Do not take medicine that belongs to someone else. If you have questions about this medication, you can contact us for information or read more here.

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Understanding Guanfacine

Guanfacine is a prescription medication that can treat high blood pressure. Left untreated, high blood pressure can cause stress to the heart. Over time, this stress can cause damage to the heart, arteries, kidneys, and more. It can lead to heart failure, heart attack, and stroke. By controlling your blood pressure with medication like guanfacine, you can reduce the risk of a high blood pressure-related effect. It can be used alone to treat high blood pressure or may be prescribed with other medications to minimize adverse health effects. 

After prescribing this drug, healthcare providers are also likely to suggest that patients make positive lifestyle changes to support healthy living. Positive lifestyle habits that can enhance the use of this medication include daily exercise, giving up smoking, and using alcohol in moderation. 

Common Side Effects of Guanfacine

Like many prescription medications, guanfacine can cause certain side effects to occur. These side effects may include:

  • Confusion.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Fatigue.
  • Sweating.
  • Dizziness — especially after getting up from a sitting or sleeping position.

More serious side effects like difficulty breathing, chest tightness, irregular heartbeat, and increased urination warrant a call to your doctor and, possibly, emergency medical care. Prescription drug side effects can become quite serious. Don’t risk your health by putting off a call to your healthcare provider. 

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Serious Guanfacine Side Effects

As mentioned, serious guanfacine side effects are possible. These include:

  • Chest pain/chest discomfort.
  • Depression.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Slow, fast, or irregular heartbeat.
  • Frequent urination.
  • Fainting.

Seek medical attention if your guanfacine side effects become more serious. In many cases, non-serious side effects will dissipate as you become accustomed to the medication.  However, if your side effects persist or increase in severity, you must call emergency medical care. 

Managing Side Effects of Guanfacine

If you experience guanfacine side effects, it’s best to consult with your physician. Your pharmacist may be able to provide more information about this medication, but your doctor will, ultimately, have the authority to change a medication or increase its dose. Always discuss your side effects with your doctor so they can help manage them. Because some side effects can lead to health complications, keeping your doctor(s) informed is essential. 

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Comparing Guanfacine with Other Medications

There are many different medications that doctors prescribe to control blood pressure. These medications belong to different drug classes. For example, guanfacine is an alpha 2A- adrenergic receptor agonist. The main medications prescribed to treat high blood pressure include:

  • Alpha 2A-adrenergic receptor agonists
  • Alpha-blockers.
  • Calcium channel blockers.
  • Beta-blockers.
  • Diuretics.
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers.
  • Vasodilators.

Sometimes, doctors use a combination of medications, such as alpha-blockers and beta-blockers. Diuretics (water pills) are often used with other medicines. Each of these drug types is associated with side effects. Depending on your treatment needs, your doctor will prescribe one or several medications to treat your high blood pressure. 

Guanfacine is also used to treat ADHD. Adderall, a commonly prescribed ADHD drug, may not be right for you because Adderall can be addictive. That’s why a doctor might recommend the use of this other medication. If you have questions about your prescription, ask your doctor. 

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Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.

When to Seek Help for Guanfacine Side Effects

You should report any guanfacine side effects right away to your doctor. Even if your side effects are mild, it’s important to alert your physician as they could escalate in severity. If your guanfacine side effects do become severe, you should consult with emergency medical providers or seek emergency hospital care. Your doctor may take you off this medication and put you on something else or adjust your dose. Never ignore side effects. Unfortunately, some prescription medications can have adverse effects on individuals. Don’t wait to ask your doctor for guidance. 

How Resurgence Behavioral Health Can Help

Resurgence Behavioral Health’s clinicians are licensed and experienced with many types of medications. When you visit us, we can carefully evaluate your condition so you can get individualized treatment for your needs. We can adjust your medication or change it if needed. 

We specialize in mental and behavioral health conditions, including prescription drug rehab in Costa Mesa. We treat conditions like substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health disorders. Our addiction clinicians routinely treat co-occurring mental health disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety disorders, and more. Often, we prescribe multiple medications to help clients achieve their recovery goals. More medication can mean more risk for side effects. We can help manage these side effects, but clients must report them.

If you are prescribed guanfacine and still have questions, contact us. Our center’s clinicians can help you achieve long-term recovery goals. If you are involved in the abuse of a drug, including a prescription medication, you can get help at Resurgence. If you are taking this drug and it’s not your prescription, note that this is a form of drug abuse. We can help you end your pattern of drug abuse and forge a healthy new lifestyle.

Contact us or call 855-458-0050 today to learn more about our treatment options, including inpatient and outpatient programs. We boast a welcoming treatment center with a relaxing ambiance and many amenities. Let our clinicians guide you to the recovery you crave. Call to learn more about our streamlined enrollment process, accepted insurance plans, and treatment center services. Treatment can help you manage your condition for the long term, so make today the day you begin your recovery journey.

Josh Chandler
Josh Chandler
After growing up in Chicago and North Carolina, Josh chose to get help with substance use disorder and mental health in California because of the state's reputation for top-tier treatment. There, he found the treatment he needed to achieve more than five years of recovery. He's been in the drug and alcohol addiction rehab industry for four years and now serves as the Director of Admissions for Resurgence Behavioral Health. Josh remains passionate about the field because he understands that one phone call can alter the course of a person's life.


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