Clonidine (By mouth)

Introduction

Clonidine (KLOE-ni-deen)

Treats high blood pressure. A lower blood pressure can reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks. Also treats attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Belongs to a class of drugs called antihypertensives.

Brand Name(s)

Catapres, Kapvay Dose Pack, Kapvay

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

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

How to Use This Medicine

Long Acting Suspension, 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.
  • 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.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.Shake the bottle well before each use.
  • 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 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  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • 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 use digoxin (Digitek®, Lanoxin®), other medicine to lower blood pressure (such as amlodipine, atenolol, diltiazem, metoprolol, nifedipine, propranolol, verapamil, Bystolic®, Caduet®, Lotrel®, Tenormin®), medicine for depression (such as amitriptyline, doxepin, nortriptyline, Elavil®), or medicine to treat mental illness (such as haloperidol, promethazine, Phenergan®, Thorazine®).
  • Do not use this medicine together with other products that contain clonidine (such as Catapres®, Kapvay®, Nexiclon? XR).
  • 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.

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 rhythm problems, stomach or bowel problems, or a history of heart attack or stroke.
  • This medicine may make you feel drowsy, dizzy, or lightheaded. Do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Alcohol, narcotic pain relievers, or sleeping pills may cause you to feel more lightheaded, dizzy, or faint when used with this medicine. Tell your doctor if you drink alcohol or use pain relievers or sleeping pills.
  • This medicine may cause dryness of the eyes. If you wear contact lenses, this may be a problem for you. Talk to your doctor and discuss how to treat the dryness.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine several days before having surgery or medical tests.
  • Even if you feel well, do not stop using the medicine without asking your doctor first. This medicine will not cure your high blood pressure, but it will help keep it in the normal range. You may have to take blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life.
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

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, fainting
  • Severe skin rash
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness

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

  • Constipation, stomach pain
  • Dry eyes, mouth, or throat
  • Headache
  • Mild skin rash

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

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

         
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