Skip to content

Dr. Byrne Talks About a Nonstimulant Medication for ADHD: Guanfacine

  • by

Today Dr. Byrne talks about a non-stimulant drug that helps treat ADD/ADHD. You can reach out with more questions or to schedule an appointment at or 919-636-5240.

Hi this is dr. jenny byrne i’m an adult psychiatrist at cognitive psychiatry of chapel hill and today i wanted to talk with you a little bit about a non stimulant treatment for adhd in adults this medication is called guanfacine other names for it are intuniv which is a once-a-day formulation or 10x which is once or twice a day formulation so why is it important

To know about this medication if you have adhd most people hear a lot about stimulant medications which are things like ritalin or adderall these are medicines that you take that have a very quick effect on adhd and they’re relatively short acting so they wash out of the body and you feel it and depending on the form of ritalin or adderall you have a different

Duration of action these medicines can be really great they can have some problems with them like side effects trouble with appetite or sleep feeling moody or kind of having your mood be very flat they can also have kind of a crash when you come off of them where you get kind of irritable and tired and they can be habit-forming and that’s why they are controlled

Substance and a lot of people have concerns about taking them because they are controlled substance so things to know about there are other medicines that treat adhd so in another video i talked about strattera and this video is talking about guanfacine so what is guanfacine it is a medication that’s actually been around for a long time it can treat high blood

Pressure so it’s been around for blood pressure for a long time intuniv is a long-acting form that’s taken once a day that was just went generic but that one had been kind of a pricey newer medication that people really liked because it was just once a day dosing so guanfacine acts on nor adrenergic receptors so that’s like norepinephrine works on alpha-2 receptors

It’s an agonist which means it binds to the receptor and activates it so this medication is known to help with blood pressure can bring down both pressure a little bit it also can help a little bit with anxiety and it can help with adult adhd in ways that we’re not entirely clear on how it helps and i should note here that it’s not fda-approved for adult use it’s

Approved up to age 18 but a lot of people can use it off-label and adults over age 18 so intuniv can be a great choice if you’re someone that’s having side effects or problems taking stimulants if you are taking stimulants and they’re helping but you you notice that they’re wearing off really quickly or you need a little extra so sometimes people take a stimulant

And then they add on the guanfacine to help boost the effects of the stimulant it could be a good choice if you’ve had problems with substance abuse in the past and you’re worried about taking something that’s habit-forming it can be a good choice if you have if you don’t want to take a medicine every single day but you still want to take a non stimulant so we had

Talked about strattera that one you do have to take every day so in two note or guanfacine or 10x work probably better if you take them every day but you don’t have to take them every day so that’s a pretty attractive feature for a lot of people another thing that’s nice is you can notice whether they’re working you know pretty quickly within a few days as opposed

To against your terra you’re gonna have to wait probably two weeks before you see in effect what are some of the side effects of want the seen most common one that i’ve seen is sedation so that means you know getting too tired or fatigued generally if people take this i recommend they take it at night and that they take the long-acting form if they can that way

They have less of the sedation during the day some other common side effects i’ve heard from people could be dizziness or just kind of being ineffective so i think it’s really important to understand about quad 15 and strattera and other non stimulants because a lot of doctors don’t really know about using non stimulants especially if you have adhd and you’re

Being treated by your primary care doctor or your ob/gyn these are meds they’re probably just not very familiar with and even a lot of psychiatrists aren’t familiar with these medicines it’s really more people who to see a lot of adhd or who kind of specialized in it or who follow the research who are gonna know about it so it’s something that you should educate

Yourself on if you have adult adhd or you know someone who does and if you think this is a good option for you or maybe solve some problems you’re having in your treatment you probably want to print out the information and take it to your doctor because again they may just simply not know about it or be thinking about it so i hope this was helpful um feel free to

Connect to us with the links below and i hope you all have a great day bye bye

Transcribed from video
Dr. Byrne Talks About a Nonstimulant Medication for ADHD: Guanfacine By Jennie Byrne MD PhD