Clonidine General Information
Clonidine belongs to a group of medicines known as antihypertensives.
Clonidine has been used to treat high blood pressure.
Recently it has found new uses (off-label), including:
heroin or nicotine withdrawal; severe pain; dysmenorrhea; vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause; ethanol dependence; prophylaxis of migraines; glaucoma; diabetes-associated diarrhea; impulse control disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), clozapine-induced sialorrhea.
Follow the directions for using this medicine provided by your doctor. Take Clonidine exactly as directed.
Hypertension: Children 12 years and older: Initial: 0.2 mg/day in 2 divided doses; increase gradually at 5- to 7-day intervals; maximum: 2.4 mg/day.
ADHD (unlabeled use): Initial: 0.05 mg/day; increase every 3-7 days by 0.05 mg/day to 3-5 mcg/kg/day given in divided doses 3-4 times/day (maximum dose: 0.3-0.4 mg/day).
Acute hypertension (urgency): Initial 0.1-0.2 mg; may be followed by additional doses of 0.1 mg every hour, if necessary, to a maximum total dose of 0.6 mg.
Hypertension: Initial dose: 0.1 mg twice daily (maximum recommended dose: 2.4 mg/day); usual dose range: 0.1-0.8 mg/day in 2 divided doses.
Nicotine withdrawal symptoms: 0.1 mg twice daily to maximum of 0.4 mg/day for 3-4 weeks.
The dosages should be adjusted in elderly patients.
Store at room temperature below 86 degrees F (30 degrees C) away from light and moisture.
Do not store in the bathroom.
Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Symptoms of overdose may include fainting, severe weakness, fast/slow/irregular heartbeat, slowed breathing, seizures, coma.
Clonidine Possible Side Effects
Dizziness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, dry mouth, unusual tiredness, or headache may occur as your body adjusts to the medication.
If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.To relieve dry mouth, suck on (sugarless) hard candy or ice chips, chew (sugarless) gum, drink water or use a saliva substitute.If you notice mild skin redness or itching around the patch area before finishing the full 7 days of use, remove the patch and replace it with a new one on a new skin site.
These effects seem to occur more frequently in patients who use the overlay cover.
If the symptoms persist or worsen into a rash, consult your doctor promptly for further instructions to see if you need to remove the patch.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects.
Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: fast/slow/irregular heartbeat, depression.A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs.
Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: severe or persistent rash, severe or persistent itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing.If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Before taking clonidine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies.The patch should be removed before you have certain procedures (e.g., cardioversion, defibrillation) to correct heart conduction disorders.
Consult your doctor for more information.If you are going to have an MRI test, notify testing personnel that you are using this patch.
Serious burns may occur during MRI tests because of the aluminum contained in these patches.
It should be removed just before the MRI test or consult your doctor for specific instructions.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, heart disease (e.g., severe coronary insufficiency, conduction disorders, recent heart attack), depression, blood circulation disorders (e.g., Raynaud's disease).Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy; use caution engaging in activities requiring alertness such as driving or using machinery.
Limit alcoholic beverages.To minimize dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a seated or lying position.Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially dizziness.This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy.
Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.This drug passes into breast milk.
Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Clonidine Missed Dose
See also How to Use section.If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember.
Do not double the dose to catch up.
Call your doctor immediately if you are late replacing a patch by 3 or more days.
Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them.
Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: beta-blocker drugs (e.g., metoprolol, propranolol), cyclobenzaprine, other drugs which can slow the heart rate (e.g., digoxin, calcium channel blockers, guanethidine), MAO inhibitors (e.g., furazolidone, linezolid, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, selegiline, isocarboxazid, tranylcypromine), tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline, desipramine).Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products, diet aids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs - NSAIDs for pain/fever reduction) because they may contain ingredients that could increase your blood pressure.
Many cough-and-cold products may also contain ingredients that cause drowsiness.
Ask your pharmacist about the safe use of those products.Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you also take drugs that cause drowsiness such as: antihistamines (e.g., diphenhydramine), anti-anxiety drugs (e.g., diazepam), anti-seizure drugs (e.g., carbamazepine, phenobarbital), medicine for sleep (e.g., sedatives), muscle relaxants, narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine), psychiatric medicines (e.g., phenothiazines such as chlorpromazine), tranquilizers.