Using Guanfacine for ADHD symptoms relief is gaining popularity, and research how shown it to be effective at reducing ADHD symptoms.
Guanfacine is the active ingredient in the ADHD medication INTUNIV, which is an extended-release (long-acting) tablet.
Guanfacine is believed to work by binding to alpha-2A adrenergic receptors located in the prefrontal cortex in the brain.
The prefrontal cortex is the area of the brain associated with attention, behavioral inhibition, memory, distractibility, and impulsivity. As you know, these are also the diagnostic indicators of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Guafancine also decreases blood pressure by realaxing the blood vessels so blood can flow more freely throughout the body.
Researchers at the University of Connecticut Medical School found that in randomized controlled trials, INTUNIV demonstrated clinically significant ADHD symptom improvement as measured by the ADHD Rating Scale-IV (ADHD-RS-IV).
In addition, INTUNIV also demonstrated ADHD symptom improvement as measured by three other popular ADHD rating scales: the Clinical Global Impressions-Improvement (CGI-I), the Conduct Problem Subscale of the New York Parent Rating Scale-School-Aged (NYPRS-S), and the Parent Stress Index-Short Form (PSI/SF) questionnaire.
Specifically, INTUNIV was found to be effective at reducing oppositional behavior in children with ADHD as measured by the NYPRS-S. The NYPRS-S is a parent-rated scale that measures symptoms of anger, defiance, loss of temper, and arguing with adults.
Further, INTUNIV was found to reduce the incidence of stressful parent-child interactions as measured by the PSI/SF. The PSI/SF is a 36-item questionnaire rated by parents that measures stressful areas in parent-child interactions. In the UCONN study, the Intuniv group reduced its score by 17 stressful interactions compared to 7.7 for the placebo group.
According to the same research study, the most commonly reported side effects of INTUNIV were drowsiness, headache, stomach pain, sedation, irritability, and fatigue.
While those side effects certainly sound unpleasant, keep in mind that they were reported by no more than ten percent of the population study. The majority of side effects were mild to moderate, and no serious side effects or adverse reactions were reported.
Some folks wonder if they are guaranteed to experience side effects when taking an ADHD medication, but the answer is not cut and dry. Often, we don't how any specific individual will react to a given medication until they try it.