What is Clonidine?

Clonidine is the generic name for Catapres-TTS-1, Catapres-TTS-2, and Catapres-TTS-3. It comes as a transdermal patch, oral suspension extended release, oral tablet, oral tablet extended release. Clonidine decreasesthe levels of certain chemicals in your blood, lowering blood pressure. The effects of Clonidine allows your blood vessels to relax and your heart to beat more slowly and easily.

Clonidine is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure), often being used together with other blood pressure medications. There are many other conditions that Clonidine is used to treat in both adult and pediatric patients.

Important Information About Clonidine

Patients who have heart disease or severe coronary artery disease, a heart rhythm disorder, a history of heart attack or stroke, or kidney disease must tell their Doctor before beginning treatment with Clonidine. If you are on any other medications it is important to tell your Doctor before beginning treatment with Clonidine.

Clonidine may impair your thinking or reactions, it is important to be careful when driving or doing anything that requires you to be alert.

Clonidine Side Effects

Clonidine produces its desired effects, helping the patient to feel better and see improvements in their blood pressure level. However along with these desired effects there are also side effects that vary with each individual patient. While not all of these side effects will occur, those that do experience any of the following side effects should contact their Doctor immediately.

  • Mental depression
  • swelling of the feet and lower legs
  • Anxiety
  • blistering, burning, crusting, dryness, or flaking of the skin
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • confusion as to time, place, or person
  • decreased urine output
  • dilated neck vein
  • fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  • hyperventilation
  • irregular breathing
  • itching, scaling, severe redness, soreness, or swelling of the skin
  • large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • paleness or cold feeling in the fingertips and toes
  • pounding, slow heartbeat
  • problems in urination or increase in the amount of urine
  • raised red swellings on the skin, lips, tongue, or in the throat
  • restlessness
  • seeing or hearing things that are not there
  • shaking
  • shortness of breath
  • skin rash
  • swelling of the face, fingers, feet, or lower legs
  • tightness in the chest
  • tingling or pain in the fingers or toes when exposed to cold
  • trouble with sleeping
  • troubled breathing
  • unusual excitement, nervousness, or restlessness
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vivid dreams or nightmares
  • wheezing

Common side effects to Clonidine, not requiring medical treatment, include:

  • Constipation
  • Darkening of the skin
  • decreased sexual ability
  • dry, itching, or burning eyes
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea or vomiting

Clonidine Use

Clonidine is most commonly used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure). This medication is often used in combination with other blood pressure medications. Clonidine is available to patients as a transdermal patch, oral suspension extended release, oral tablet, oral tablet extended release.

Others Uses for Clonidine include:

  • Pain
  • Pheochromocytoma Diagnosis
  • Hypertensive Emergency
  • Alcohol Withdrawal
  • Anxiety
  • Benzodiazepine Withdrawal
  • Migraine Prophylaxis
  • Perimenopausal Symptoms
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Opiate Withdrawal
  • Attention Deficit Disorder

Clonidine Dosage and Directions

The average dose for adult hypertention is; 0.1 mg orally twice a day (morning and bedtime) initially, and 0.2 to 0.6 mg/day given in divided doses for maintenance.

The average adult dose for pain is; 30 mcg/hr via epidural infusion.

The average dose for an adult with Pheochromocytoma is; 0.3 mg orally once.

The average adult dose for Hypertensive Emergency is; 0.2 mg orally once. Additional doses of 0.1 mg may be given as needed and tolerated every hour to control this patient’s blood pressure.

The average adult dose for alcohol withdrawal is; 0.1 mg orally twice a day or TTS-1 (0.1 mg) transdermal patch once a week.

The average adult dose for anxiety is; 0.1 mg orally twice a day or TTS-1 (0.1 mg) transdermal patch once a week.

The average adult dose for Benzodiazepine Withdrawal is; 0.1 mg orally twice a day or TTS-1 (0.1 mg) transdermal patch once a week.

The average adult dose for Migraine Prophylaxis is; 0.1 mg orally twice a day or TTS-1 (0.1 mg) transdermal patch once a week.

The average adult dose for Perimenopausal Symptoms is; 0.1 mg orally twice a day or TTS-1 (0.1 mg) transdermal patch once a week.

The average adult dose for Smoking Cessation is; 0.1 mg orally twice a day or TTS-1 (0.1 mg) transdermal patch once a week.

The average adult dose for Bipolar Disorder is; 0.1 mg orally twice a day or TTS-1 (0.1 mg) transdermal patch once a week.

The average adult dose for Opiate Withdrawal is; 0.2 mg orally twice a day or TTS-2 (0.2 mg) transdermal patch once a week.

The average pediatric dose for Attention Deficit Disorder is; 0.05 mg orally at bedtime. Increase sequentially every 3 to 7 days by 0.05 mg increments as 2 times daily, then 3 times daily, then 4 times daily initially. Meximum dose is 0.2 mg/day orally for patients weighing 27 to 40.5 kg; 0.3 mg/day for patients weighing 40.5 to 45 kg.  THis medication may be used alone or as an adjunct to stimulants.