Information on Tablets A-Z
Guanabenz acetatePronounced: GWAHN-ah-benz
Why is this drug prescribed: This drug is used in the treatment of high blood pressure. It is effective used alone or in combination with a thiazide type of diuretic. Guanabenz begins to lower blood pressure within 60 minutes after taking a single dose and may slow your pulse rate slightly.
Most important fact about this drug: You must take guanabenz regularly for it to be effective. Since blood pressure declines gradually, it may be several weeks before you get the full benefit of guanabenz; and you must continue taking it even if you are feeling well. Guanabenz does not cure high blood pressure; it merely keeps it under control.
How should you take this medication: Guanabenz may be taken with or without food. Take it exactly as prescribed. --If you miss a dose... Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take 2 doses at the same time. If you forget the medication 2 or more times in a row, contact your doctor. --Storage instructions... Store at room temperature, in a tightly closed container, away from light.
What side effects may occur: Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking guanabenz. More common side effects may include: Dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, headache, weakness Less common side effects may include: Abdominal discomfort, aches in arms and legs, anxiety, blurred vision, breast development in males, changes in taste, chest pain, constipation, decreased sex drive, depression, diarrhea, fluid retention, frequent urination, impotence, irregular heartbeat, itching, lack of muscle coordination, muscle aches, nausea, pounding heartbeat, rash, shortness of breath, sleep disturbances, stomach pain, stuffy nose, vomiting Rare side effects may include: Heartbeat irregularities
Why should this drug not be prescribed: Do not take guanabenz if you are sensitive to it or have ever had an allergic reaction to it.
Special warnings about this medication: Guanabenz can make you drowsy or less alert. Driving or operating dangerous machinery or participating in any hazardous activity that requires full mental alertness is not recommended until you know how this drug affects you. If you have severe heart disease, stroke or related disorders, or severe liver or kidney failure, or if you have recently had a heart attack, this drug should be used with caution. Your doctor will monitor your blood pressure if you have disorders of the kidney or liver.
Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication: Guanabenz may intensify the effects of alcohol. Use of alcohol should be avoided. If guanabenz is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining guanabenz with the following: Antihistamines such as Benadryl, Chlor-Trimeton, and Tavist Drugs that depress the central nervous system such as Halcion, Valium, and phenobarbital
Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: The effects of guanabenz during pregnancy have not been adequately studied, but it may affect the fetus. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Guanabenz may appear in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If this medication is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until your treatment is finished.
Recommended dosage: ADULTS: Your doctor will adjust the dosage of this medication to meet your individual needs. The usual starting dose is 4 milligrams 2 times per day, whether guanabenz is used alone or with a thiazide type of diuretic. Your doctor may increase the dosage in increments of 4 to 8 milligrams per day every 1 to 2 weeks, depending on your response. The maximum reported dose has been 32 milligrams twice daily, but doses as high as this are rarely needed. CHILDREN: The safety and effectiveness of this drug have not been established in children under 12 years of age. OLDER ADULTS: Older adults should use this drug with caution.
Overdosage: Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms of guanabenz overdose may include: Excessive contraction of the pupils, irritability, low blood pressure, sleepiness, slow heartbeat, sluggishness