Clonidine tablets are prescribed as monotherapy or in combination with other drugs for the management of hypertension (high blood pressure). Clonidine extended-release tablets are used as part of a comprehensive treatment regimen to alleviate symptoms associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, including difficulty focusing, impulse control, and hyperactivity.
Clonidine belongs to the class of centrally acting alpha-agonist hypotensive agents, which work by reducing heart rate and relaxing blood vessels to facilitate improved blood flow throughout the body. The extended-release formulation of clonidine may treat ADHD by modulating the activity of the brain region responsible for regulating attention and impulsivity.
Uses and Dosage
Clonidine is available as an immediate-release tablet and an extended-release tablet, both taken orally. The immediate-release tablet is typically taken twice a day, spaced evenly apart, while the extended-release tablet is taken once or twice a day with or without food.
Take clonidine at the same time each day as prescribed by your doctor or pharmacist, and carefully follow the instructions on the prescription label. Do not modify the dosage or frequency of administration without consulting your doctor.
Extended-release tablets should be swallowed whole and should not be split, chewed or crushed. Your doctor may initiate treatment with a low dose and gradually increase it, usually once a week.
While clonidine can help regulate your condition, it is not curative. Continue taking the medication even if you feel well, and do not discontinue use without consulting your doctor. Abruptly stopping clonidine can result in a sudden increase in blood pressure and withdrawal symptoms such as headache, nervousness, and tremors. Your doctor may gradually reduce your dose over a period of 2 to 3 days for immediate-release tablets or 3 to 7 days for extended-release tablets.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- dry mouth
- decreased sexual ability
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- difficulty swallowing or breathing
Prior to taking clonidine, inform your doctor or pharmacist of any allergies you may have, including any history of developing a rash while using clonidine patches. This product may contain inactive ingredients that can lead to allergic reactions or other complications.
Prior to commencing treatment with this medication, notify your doctor or pharmacist of your medical history, particularly if you have a history of kidney disease or heart rhythm disorders, such as slow or irregular heartbeat, or second- or third-degree atrioventricular block.
This medication can cause drowsiness or dizziness. The consumption of alcohol or marijuana can intensify these effects. Do not engage in activities that require alertness, such as operating machinery or driving, until you are capable of doing so safely.
Wearing contact lenses while taking this medication may cause dry eyes, and as a result you may require wetting eye drops.
Older adults may be more susceptible to the side effects of this medication, specifically dizziness or drowsiness, which can increase the risk of falling.
During pregnancy, this medication should only be used when the benefits outweigh the potential risks. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
This medication passes into breast milk and may cause undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Prior to breastfeeding, consult with your doctor.
Form and Strength
Catapres is available in the following forms and strengths:
clonidine immediate release tablet:
Does Catapres calm you down?
Catapres decreases anxiety attacks and psychiatric symptoms – as such, it is often prescribed for panic disorder and/or other mental health conditions.
How many hours before Catapres takes effect?
The patient’s blood pressure declines within 30 to 60 minutes after an oral dose, the maximum decrease occurring within 2 to 4 hours.