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Clonidine acts by decreasing activity of the central nervous system and shows effects such as decreased blood pressure, and relaxation. It is known as an alpha-2 agonist. Clonidine is used to treat pain, hypertension, and other conditions.



How to Use


Take this medication by mouth with water.


Take exactly as directed, do not take more than directed.


If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is already almost time for your next dose, take only that next dose. Do not double up on any dose.



Important Information


Visit with your doctor for regular check ups. Check your heart rate and blood pressure regularly while on this medicine, talk to your doctor about what the readings should be.


Do not suddenly stop taking this medication, this can cause a dangerous increase in your blood pressure. The dose should be gradually reduced over time.


Do not operate heavy machinery, drive a car, or engage in other activity that requires fine motor skills until you are sure of how this medication affects you. This medicine can cause drowsiness or dizziness.


Avoid alcoholic drinks to reduce dizziness.


Stand and sit slowly when first starting this medication to avoid dizziness.


This medication can make your mouth dry, drinking water, chewing sugarless gum, or sucking on candy can help to minimize this side effect.


Consult with your doctor before taking medication to self treat coughs and colds while taking this medication.


If you are going to have surgery, inform your surgeon or doctor that you are taking this medicine.



Be sure that your prescribing doctor is aware if you have any of the the following conditions before taking this medication


Kidney disease, history of allergic reactions, pregnancy, breastfeeding, trying to become pregnant.




Side effects that should be immediately reported to your healthcare provider


Allergic reaction(hives, itching, swelling of the face or mouth), trouble breathing, anxiety, nervousness, depression, changes in heartbeat(increased heart rate), swelling of legs or feet, excessive fatigue.



Other Side Effects


Changes in sex drive, constipation, headache.



Adult Dose




Transdermal Patch (Catapres): 0.1 mg/24 hours transdermal patch applied once every 7 days(once a week) to an area of hairless skin such as the upper arm or chest. The dose may then be titrated by 0.1mg/day every one to two weeks according to response. The dose should be gradually reduced over 2-4 days when the patient is being taken off, and it may take a few days before the patch begins to work, so often times the patient is slowly weened off of the previous blood pressure medication.


Max Dose: 0.6mg in 7 days.


Immediate Release Tablets: 0.1 mg by mouth twice per day (morning and evening) as an initial dose. The usual maintenance dose is 0.2-0.6 mg/day given in divided doses.


Extended Release Tablets:  0.17 mg by mouth once daily taken at bedtime. The dose may then be titrated by 0.09 mg by mouth, after at least one week. The typical maintenance dose is between 0.17 and 0.52 mg by mouth daily taken at bedtime.


Extended Release Oral Suspension:



Severe Pain


30 mcg/hr as a continuous epidural infusion used with opioid analgesics. The dose can be titrated up or down according to the patient’s response.


Max Dose: 40mcg



Hot Sweats


0.1 mg/day transdermal patch every 7 days.





1. Lowenthal DT, Matzek KM, MacGregor TR. Clinical pharmacokinetics of clonidine. Clin Pharmacokin 1988;14:287-310.


2. Catapres-TTS(R) transdermal system, clonidine transdermal system[package insert]. Ridgefield, CT: Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc; 2012.

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