Clonidine (By mouth)

Introduction

Clonidine (KLOE-ni-deen)

Treats high blood pressure. Also treats attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Belongs to a class of drugs called antihypertensives.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Catapres

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to clonidine.

How to Use This Medicine

Tablet, Long Acting Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about any special diet.
  • Swallow the extended-release tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it. You may take the medicine with or without food.
  • Clonidine extended-release tablets works differently than clonidine immediate-release tablets. Do not switch from the extended-release tablets to the immediate-release tablets unless your doctor tells you to.
  • Use only the brand of this medicine that your doctor prescribed. Different brands may not work the same way.
  • This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose. If you miss more than one dose of clonidine tablets, check with your doctor right away. If your body goes without this medicine for too long, your blood pressure may go up to a very high level and cause serious side effects.
  • If you miss a dose of clonidine extended-release tablets, skip the missed dose and take the next dose as scheduled. Do not double doses.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using digoxin (Digitek®, Lanoxin®), other medicine to lower blood pressure (such as atenolol, diltiazem, metoprolol, nifedipine, propranolol, verapamil, Inderal®, Lotrel®, Norvasc®, Tenormin®, or Toprol®), or medicine for depression (such as amitriptyline, doxepin, nortriptyline, Anafranil®, Elavil®, Pamelor®, or Sinequan®).
  • Do not use this medicine together with other products containing clonidine (e.g., Catapres®, Kapvay®).
  • Tell your doctor if you are using any medicines that make you sleepy. These include sleeping pills, cold and allergy medicine, narcotic pain relievers, and sedatives.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, heart or blood vessel disease, heart block, heart rhythm problems, low blood pressure, slow heartbeat, or a history of a recent heart attack, stroke, or fainting.
  • This medicine may make you feel drowsy, dizzy, or lightheaded. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert. Getting up slowly from a lying or sitting position may also help.
  • The dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting is also more likely to occur if you drink alcohol, stand for long periods of time, exercise, or if the weather is hot. While you are taking clonidine, be careful to limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Also, use extra care not to become dehydrated or overheated during exercise or hot weather or if you must stand for a long time.
  • This medicine may cause dryness of the eyes. If you wear contact lenses, this may be a problem for you. Talk to your doctor if you wear contact lenses, and discuss how to treat the dryness.
  • If you develop a skin rash, hives, or any allergic reaction to this medicine, stop taking the medicine and check with your doctor as soon as possible.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely.
  • If you stop using this medicine, your blood pressure may go up to a very high level and cause serious side effects. High blood pressure usually has no symptoms. Even if you feel well, do not stop using the medicine without asking your doctor first.
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments. Blood tests may be needed to check for any unwanted effects.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
  • Fast, slow, pounding, or uneven heartbeat.
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, and body aches.
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting.
  • Severe skin rash.
  • Shortness of breath or troubled breathing.
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising.
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Blurred vision or dry eyes.
  • Dizziness or drowsiness.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Feeling sad, depressed, irritable, or nervous.
  • Headache.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Muscle or joint pain.
  • Nausea, vomiting, constipation, or stomach pain.
  • Trouble sleeping.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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