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guanidine

Pronunciation: GWAN ih deen

Brand: Guanidine HCl

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

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have bone marrow depression or a weak immune system.

Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from this medication.

Guanidine can lower the blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. To be sure your blood cells do not get too low, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your urine may also need to be tested. It is important that you not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

What is guanidine?

Guanidine improves the action of a chemical in the body that regulates muscle cells.

Guanidine is used to treat muscle weakness caused by Eaton-Lambert syndrome. Guanidine will not treat myasthenia gravis.

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

What should I discuss with my health care provider before taking guanidine?

Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you have:

  • bone marrow depression; or
  • a weak immune system.

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use guanidine, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

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This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

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Guanidine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take guanidine?

Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from this medication.

Guanidine can lower the blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. To be sure your blood cells do not get too low, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your urine may also need to be tested. It is important that you not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

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Store guanidine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

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Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Symptoms of a guanidine overdose may include loss of appetite, diarrhea, numbness or tingling of the lips and fingers, nervousness, tremors, severe muscle spasms or twitching, diarrhea, and vomiting.

What should I avoid while taking guanidine?

Avoid contact with people who have colds, the flu, or other contagious illnesses. Contact your doctor immediately if you develop signs of infection.

Do not receive a vaccine while you are being treated with guanidine. Vaccines may not work as well during your treatment with guanidine.

What are the possible side effects of guanidine?

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Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

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Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • unusual thoughts, changes in behavior;
  • feeling light-headed, fainting;
  • confusion, hallucinations (seeing things that are not there);
  • weakness, lack of coordination;
  • numbness, coldness, or tingling in your face, lips, hands, or feet; or
  • fast or pounding heartbeats.

Other less serious side effects are more likely to occur, such as:

  • nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhea, stomach pain;
  • skin rash;
  • increased sweating; or
  • dry mouth, dry flaky skin.

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. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect guanidine?

Before taking guanidine, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • a steroid medicine;
  • cancer chemotherapy or radiation;
  • cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune, Gengraf);
  • etanercept (Enbrel), efalizumab (Raptiva), tacrolimus (Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune); or
  • any other medicines that can weaken your immune system.

If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to use guanidine, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

There may be other drugs not listed that can affect guanidine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist has more information about guanidine written for health professionals that you may read.


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.

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