Wytensin

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Wytensin, |Wytensin

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Wytensin

Generic Name: guanabenz (GWAH na benz)
Brand Names: Wytensin

What is guanabenz?

Guanabenz lowers blood pressure by decreasing the levels of certain chemicals in the blood. This allows the blood vessels (veins and arteries) to relax (widen).

Guanabenz is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure).

Guanabenz may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about guanabenz?

Do not stop taking guanabenz suddenly without first talking to your doctor. This could cause severely high blood pressure, nervousness, and anxiety. Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Guanabenz may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities.

Use caution when rising from a sitting or lying position, especially first thing in the morning. Dizziness may occur while taking guanabenz and may result in a fall.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking guanabenz?

Before taking guanabenz, tell your doctor if you have

  • heart disease;

  • had a heart attack or stroke;

  • liver disease; or
  • kidney disease.

You may need a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Guanabenz is in the FDA pregnancy category B. This means that it is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take guanabenz without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether guanabenz passes into breast milk and if it will affect a nursing infant. Do not take guanabenz without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. If you are over 60 years of age you may be more likely to experience side effects from guanabenz therapy. Your doctor may prescribe a lower dose.

How should I take guanabenz?

Take guanabenz exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass of water.

Take guanabenz at bedtime unless otherwise directed by your doctor. It may cause drowsiness or dizziness. Taking it at bedtime may prevent falls and injuries.

It is important to take guanabenz regularly to get the most benefit.

Do not stop taking guanabenz suddenly without first talking to your doctor. This could cause severely high blood pressure, nervousness, and anxiety.

Your doctor may want you to have blood pressure monitoring or other medical evaluations during treatment with guanabenz to monitor progress and side effects.

Store this medication at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the dose you missed and take only the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if an overdose is suspected.

Symptoms of a guanabenz overdose include drowsiness, lethargy, weakness, lightheadedness, a slow heart rate, nausea, vomiting, and possibly seizures.

What should I avoid while taking guanabenz?

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Guanabenz may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities.

Use caution when rising from a sitting or lying position, especially first thing in the morning. Dizziness may occur while taking guanabenz and may result in a fall.

Avoid alcohol while taking guanabenz. It may increase drowsiness an dizziness caused by guanabenz. Use caution even with small amounts of alcohol.

Guanabenz may increase the effects of other drugs that cause drowsiness, including antidepressants, alcohol, antihistamines, pain relievers, anxiety medicines, seizure medicines, and muscle relaxants. Dangerous sedation, dizziness, or drowsiness may occur if guanabenz is taken with any of these medications. Tell your doctor about all medicines that you are taking, and do not take any medicine without first talking to your doctor.

Guanabenz side effects

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking guanabenz and seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately:
  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives);

  • a very slow heart rate (fewer than 60 beats per minute); or

  • unusually high or low blood pressure (fainting, severe headache, flushing).

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take guanabenz and talk to your doctor if you experience any of the following:

  • unusual fatigue, dizziness, or tiredness;

  • headache;

  • constipation, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea;

  • insomnia; or

  • dry mouth (sucking on ice chips or sugarless hard candy may relieve this side effect).

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect guanabenz?

Guanabenz may increase the effects of other drugs that cause drowsiness, including antidepressants, alcohol, antihistamines, pain relievers, anxiety medicines, seizure medicines, and muscle relaxants. Dangerous sedation, dizziness, or drowsiness may occur if guanabenz is taken with any of these medications. Tell your doctor about all medicines that you are taking, and do not take any medicine without first talking to your doctor.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with guanabenz or affect your condition. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal products.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about guanabenz written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Guanabenz is available with a prescription under the brand name Wytensin. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Wytensin 4 mg--orange, five-sided tablets

  • Wytensin 8 mg--gray, five-sided, scored tablets

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ("Multum") is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum"s drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum"s drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 5.02. Revision Date: 2/13/04 3:58:26 PM.



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