Clonidine is a sedative and antihypertensive drug that can be prescribed by your doctor. Common brands include Catapres, Kapvay, and Catapres-TTS-1. In addition to brand-names, there are also generic options available. The drug can be used to help treat high blood pressure, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and pain from cancer. There are different options of clonidine, including a patch, an oral tablet, and an oral extended-release tablet. Here we will examine the oral tablet in detail. However, depending on your condition, your doctor may suggest a different form to use.
Do not take clonidine if you have had an allergic reaction to it in the past. It is important to let your doctor if you have experienced an allergic reaction while taking this drug. Please note that I am not a doctor, but this article has undergone extensive research to try to provide accurate information. Do not hesitate to contact or reach out to a doctor you trust for a professional opinion.
How does clonidine work?
Clonidine hydrochloride is odorless, bitter, and white. It can dissolve in water and alcohol, and it is a centrally acting alpha-agonist hypotensive agent. The drug works by focusing on the part of the brain related to behavior, attention, and emotion. It can be given in different dosages, depending on your condition. These dosage strengths include .1 mg, .2 mg, and .3 mg.
There are possible side effects related to clonidine. Common side effects include the following:
- dry mouth
- dry eyes
- stomach pain
- upper respiratory tract infection
There are other possible side effects that can be more severe. If you experience any serious side effects or feel as though your life may be in danger, go to the nearest emergency room or call 911 immediately. Call your doctor and make sure to relay all side effects you may be experiencing.
Certain side effects that are more serious to your health may not go away or can last for long periods of time. If you notice that you are passing out or are dizzy when you stand up, you may be experiencing a serious side effect of clonidine. Other severe side effects can include increased and decreased blood pressure, uneven or change in heart rate, trouble breathing, chest pain, or seeing hallucinations.
Before using clonidine, make sure to look at the different possible side effects as well as the warnings associated with the drug. Warnings can include:
Alcohol: Do not consume alcohol while taking clonidine. Alcohol can increase the risk of side effects, such as drowsiness or sleepiness. Drinking alcohol can also impair your judgment and slow down your reactions and thinking.
Women who are Pregnant: Do not take clonidine while pregnant. Women who are pregnant or are breastfeeding should not take clonidine. Research has shown that there may be adverse effects to the fetus or child. Contact your doctor and let them know if you are or plan on becoming pregnant.
Children: Children under the age of six years old should not be given clonidine. There has not been enough research conducted to know the exact effect clonidine can have on children younger than 6 years who have ADHD.
Seniors: Adults over 65 years old should be cautious while taking clonidine. The drug can cause higher or lower blood pressure and affect your heart rate. It can also make you dizzy or increase the risk of fainting or falling. Seniors should speak to their doctor about the possible side effects and whether clonidine is right for them.
Other Conditions: People who have certain conditions, such as heart problems, get dizzy often, or who faint should not take clonidine. Depending on your condition, your doctor may recommend a different treatment option for you. The drug can worsen your condition, especially if you already have heart problems like low heart rate, low blood pressure, or heart disease.
Other Important Information
If you forget a dose, you can take it as soon as you remember. However, do not take the medication if it is almost time for the next dose. Just skip the missed dose and keep taking it on your regular schedule. It is important to not take two times or more of the recommended dose at once.
Your doctor may recommend you follow a certain diet that consists in low-salt. Speak to your doctor if you have any questions about what food or drinks you should and should not consume.
Different Brands for Different Conditions
There are different brands of clonidine, as previously mentioned. More specifically, Catapres helps treat high blood pressure, while Kapvay helps treat ADHD.
If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to call or make an appointment with your doctor.