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Hypotension, Bradycardia, And Syncope
Treatment with INTUNIV® can cause dose-dependent decreases in blood pressure and heart rate. Decreases were less pronounced over time of treatment. Orthostatic hypotension and syncope have been reported [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].
Measure heart rate and blood pressure prior to initiation of therapy, following dose increases, and periodically while on therapy. Titrate INTUNIV® slowly in patients with a history of hypotension, and those with underlying conditions that may be worsened by hypotension and bradycardia; e.g., heart block, bradycardia, cardiovascular disease, vascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, or chronic renal failure. In patients who have a history of syncope or may have a condition that predisposes them to syncope, such as hypotension, orthostatic hypotension, bradycardia, or dehydration, advise patients to avoid becoming dehydrated or overheated. Monitor blood pressure and heart rate, and adjust dosages accordingly in patients treated concomitantly with antihypertensives or other drugs that can reduce blood pressure or heart rate or increase the risk of syncope.
Sedation And Somnolence
Somnolence and sedation were commonly reported adverse reactions in clinical studies [see ADVERSE REACTIONS]. Before using INTUNIV® with other centrally active depressants, consider the potential for additive sedative effects. Caution patients against operating heavy equipment or driving until they know how they respond to treatment with INTUNIV®. Advise patients to avoid use with alcohol.
Cardiac Conduction Abnormalities
The sympatholytic action of INTUNIV® may worsen sinus node dysfunction and atrioventricular (AV) block, especially in patients taking other sympatholytic drugs. Titrate INTUNIV® slowly and monitor vital signs frequently in patients with cardiac conduction abnormalities or patients concomitantly treated with other sympatholytic drugs.
Blood Pressure And Heart Rate Increase Upon Discontinuation
Blood pressure and pulse may increase following discontinuation of INTUNIV®. In postmarketing experience, hypertensive encephalopathy has been very rarely reported upon abrupt discontinuation of INTUNIV® [see ADVERSE REACTIONS]. To minimize the risk of an increase in blood pressure upon discontinuation, the total daily dose of INTUNIV® should be tapered in decrements of no more than 1 mg every 3 to 7 days [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION]. Blood pressure and pulse should be monitored when reducing the dose or discontinuing INTUNIV®.
Patient Counseling Information
Advise the patient to read the FDA-approved patient labeling (PATIENT INFORMATION).
Dosing And Administration
Instruct patients to swallow INTUNIV® whole with water, milk or other liquid. Tablets should not be crushed, chewed or broken prior to administration because this may increase the rate of release of the active drug. Patients should not take INTUNIV® together with a high-fat meal, since this can raise blood levels of INTUNIV®. Instruct the parent or caregiver to supervise the child or adolescent taking INTUNIV® and to keep the bottle of tablets out of reach of children.
Advise patients not to abruptly discontinue INTUNIV®. Instruct patients on how to properly taper the dose because clinically significant blood pressure increases can occur [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Advise patients that sedation can occur, particularly early in treatment or with dose increases. Caution against operating heavy equipment or driving until they know how they respond to treatment with INTUNIV® [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. Headache and abdominal pain can also occur. If any of these symptoms persist, or other symptoms occur, the patient should be advised to discuss the symptoms with the health care provider.
Advise patients to avoid becoming dehydrated or overheated, which may potentially increase the risks of hypotension and syncope [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. Advise patients to avoid use with alcohol.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility
No carcinogenic effect of guanfacine was observed in studies of 78 weeks in mice or 102 weeks in rats at doses up to 6.8 times the maximum recommended human dose of 0.12 mg/kg/day on a mg/m basis.
Guanfacine was not genotoxic in a variety of test models, including the Ames test and an in vitro chromosomal aberration test; however, a marginal increase in numerical aberrations (polyploidy) was observed in the latter study.
Impairment Of Fertility
No adverse effects were observed in fertility studies in male and female rats at doses up to 22 times the maximum recommended human dose on a mg/m basis.
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category B
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of INTUNIV® in pregnant women. No fetal harm was observed in rats and rabbits with administration of guanfacine at 4 and 2.7 times, respectively, the maximum recommended human dose. Because animal studies are not always predictive of human response, this drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.
Reproduction studies conducted in rats have shown that guanfacine crosses the placenta. However, administration of guanfacine to rats and rabbits at 4 and 2.7 times, respectively, the maximum recommended human dose of 0.12 mg/kg/day on a mg/m² basis resulted in no evidence of harm to the fetus. Higher doses (13.5 times the maximum recommended human dose in both rabbits and rats) were associated with reduced fetal survival and maternal toxicity.
It is not known whether guanfacine is excreted in human milk; however, guanfacine is excreted in rat milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when INTUNIV® is administered to a nursing woman. Observe human milk-fed infants for sedation and somnolence.
Safety and efficacy of INTUNIV® in pediatric patients less than 6 years of age have not been established. The efficacy of INTUNIV® was studied for the treatment of ADHD in five controlled monotherapy clinical trials (up to 15 weeks in duration), one randomized withdrawal study and one controlled adjunctive trial with psychostimulants (8 weeks in duration) in children and adolescents ages 6-17 who met DSM-IV criteria for ADHD [see ADVERSE REACTIONS and Clinical Studies].
In studies in juvenile rats, guanfacine alone produced a slight delay in sexual maturation in males and females at 2 to 3 times the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD). Guanfacine in combination with methylphenidate produced a slight delay in sexual maturation and decreased growth as measured by a decrease in bone length in males at a dose of guanfacine comparable to the MRHD and a dose of methylphenidate approximately 4 times the MRHD.
In a study where juvenile rats were treated with guanfacine alone from 7 to 59 days of age, development was delayed as indicated by a slight delay in sexual maturation and decreased body weight gain in males at 2 mg/kg/day and in females at 3 mg/kg/day. The No Adverse Effect Level (NOAEL) for delayed sexual maturation was 1 mg/kg/day, which is equivalent to the MRHD of 4 mg/day, on a mg/m² basis. The effects on fertility were not evaluated in this study.
In a study where juvenile rats were treated with guanfacine in combination with methylphenidate from 7 to 59 days of age, a decrease in ulna bone length and a slight delay in sexual maturation were observed in males given 1 mg/kg/day of guanfacine in combination with 50 mg/kg/day of methylphenidate. The NOAELs for these findings were 0.3 mg/kg of guanfacine in combination with 16 mg/kg/day of methylphenidate, which are equivalent to 0.3 and 1.4 times the MRHD of 4 mg/day and 54 mg/day for guanfacine and methylphenidate, respectively, on a mg/m² basis. These findings were not observed with guanfacine alone at 1 mg/kg/day or methylphenidate alone at 50 mg/kg/day.
The safety and efficacy of INTUNIV® in geriatric patients have not been established.
It may be necessary to reduce the dosage in patients with significant impairment of renal function [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
It may be necessary to reduce the dosage in patients with significant impairment of hepatic function [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Last reviewed on RxList: 7/18/2016
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