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Why is this medication prescribed?
To treat high blood pressure, clonidine pills (Catapres) can be taken by themselves or in conjunction with other drugs. Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have more difficulty focusing, controlling their actions, and remaining still or quiet than children of similar age. Clonidine extended-release (long-acting) tablets (Kapvay) are used alone or in combination with other medications to treat these symptoms. The drug clonidine belongs to the group of drugs known as centrally acting alpha-agonist hypotensive agents. By lowering heart rate and relaxing blood vessels, clonidine lowers blood pressure and improves blood flow throughout the body. Clonidine extended-release pills may treat ADHD by influencing the portion of the brain that controls attention and impulsivity.
High blood pressure is a common illness that, if left untreated, can harm the kidneys, brain, heart, blood vessels, and other organs. Heart disease, a heart attack, heart failure, a stroke, renal failure, eyesight loss, and other issues may result from damage to these organs. Making lifestyle modifications will help you control your blood pressure in addition to taking medication. These adjustments include quitting smoking, drinking alcohol in moderation, eating a diet low in fat and salt, keeping a healthy weight, and exercising for at least 30 minutes most days.
How should this medicine be used?
There are oral tablet forms of clonidine as well as extended-release (long-acting) tablets. The tablet is often taken twice daily, at regular intervals. With or without food, the extended-release tablet is often taken once or twice daily. Clonidine should be taken every day at roughly the same time. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you do not understand, and carefully follow their instructions. Just as prescribed, take clonidine. Never take it in quantities or frequencies other than those recommended by your doctor.
Do not split, chew, or crush the extended-release pills; instead, swallow them whole.
Your doctor might prescribe you a low dose of clonidine to start, and then progressively increase it up to once per week.
Your illness won’t be cured with clonidine, but it might help regulate it. Even if you are feeling fine, keep taking clonidine. Without consulting your doctor, do not discontinue taking clonidine. When you abruptly stop taking clonidine, your blood pressure may spike quickly and you may have symptoms including anxiety, headaches, and uncontrollable shaking of a body part. For the standard pill, your doctor will likely gradually lower your dosage over 2 to days; for the extended-release tablet, over 3 to 7 days.
Other uses for this medicine
Besides treating dysmenorrhea, which causes excruciating cramps during the menstrual cycle, clonidine is also used to treat hypertensive crisis, Tourette’s syndrome, menopausal hot flashes, alcohol and opiate (narcotic) withdrawal, hypertensive crisis (high blood pressure), Tourette’s syndrome, and hypertensive crisis. Moreover, clonidine helps with smoking cessation therapy and is used to identify pheochromocytomas (a tumour that develops on a gland near the kidneys and may cause high blood pressure and fast heart rate). The potential dangers of using this medicine for your illness should be discussed with your doctor.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you think this drug may be recommended for other conditions.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking clonidine,
- If you have an allergy to clonidine, any of its chemicals, clonidine patches, or any other drugs, let your doctor and pharmacist know right once. Get a list of the components from your pharmacist.
- Inform your doctor and pharmacist about all prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, dietary supplements, and herbal products that you are now taking or intend to use. Incorporate any of the following: beta blockers such acebutolol (Sectral) and atenolol, as well as antidepressants (Tenormin, in Tenoretic), pindolol, propranolol (Inderal, Innopran XL, in Inderide), sotalol (Betapace, Sorine), and timolol; betaxolol, bisoprolol (Zebeta, in Ziac), carvedilol (Coreg), labetalol, metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL, in Dutoprol); calcium channel blockers such verapamil (Calan, Covera, Verelan, others, in Tarka), amlodipine (in Amturnide, Norvasc, in Amturnide, in Tekamlo, and others), diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor XR, Dilt-CD, Taztia XT, Tiazac, and others), isradipine, nicardipine (Cardene); sedatives, sleeping pills, tranquillizers, tricyclic antidepressants like amitriptyline, amoxapine, clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Silenor), imipramine (Tofranil), maprotiline, nortriptyline (Pamelor), protriptyline (Vivactil), and trimipramine, as well as medications for anxiety, mental (Surmontil). Your doctor might need to adjust your medication doses or keep a close eye out for any negative side effects.
- Inform your doctor if you have renal or heart problems, a recent heart attack, a stroke, or any other medical conditions.
- Inform your doctor if you are expecting, intend to get pregnant, or are nursing a baby. Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking clonidine.
- If you are 65 years of age or older, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using clonidine with your doctor. Clonidine is typically not recommended for usage by older adults since it is less safe than alternative drugs that can be used to treat the same condition.
- You should let your doctor or dentist know that you are taking clonidine if you are having surgery, including dental surgery.
- You should be aware that clonidine may cause you to feel sleepy or lightheaded. Prior to understanding how this drug affects you, avoid using machinery or driving a car.
- Inquire with your doctor if drinking is safe while taking clonidine. Clonidine side effects can be exacerbated by alcohol.
- You should be aware that clonidine may result in lightheadedness, dizziness, and fainting if you stand up suddenly from a laying position. When you initially start taking clonidine, this happens more frequently. Get out of bed gradually, resting your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up, to avoid this issue.
- Clonidine extended-release pills should be used as a part of an all-encompassing treatment plan for ADHD, which may include involve counselling and specialised instruction. Be sure to adhere to your therapist’s and doctor’s recommendations.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Your doctor might advise a low-sodium or low-salt diet. Pay close attention to these guidelines.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
If you miss a dosage, take it as soon as you recall. If the next dose is soon due, skip the missed one and carry on with your regular dosing plan. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missing one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Side effects from clonidine are possible. If any of these symptoms or any of the ones detailed in the section on SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS are severe or persistent, consult a doctor right away.
- Mouth ache
- Reduced sexual capacity
Certain adverse effects can be very harmful. Get emergency medical care if you encounter any of the following symptoms, or call your doctor right away:
- Edoema of the hands, feet, ankles, lower legs, cheeks, neck, tongue, lips, and eyes
- Breathing or swallowing challenges
Further negative effects of clonidine could exist. If you experience any strange issues while taking this medicine, contact your doctor right away.
You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online or by phone if you have a serious side event (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Keep it away from excessive heat and moisture at room temperature (not in the bathroom).
Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilising a medicine take-back programme is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programmes in your area, speak with your pharmacist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medications website at http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p for additional information.
Although many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning. http://www.upandaway.org
In case of emergency/overdose
Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Moreover, information can be found online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.
Signs of overdose may include the following:
- Sluggish heartbeat
- Having trouble breathing
- Muddled speech
- Pale, icy skin
- Smaller eyes (black circles in the middle of the eyes)
What other information should I know?
Keep all of your doctor’s appointments. You should have your blood pressure monitored frequently to see how clonidine is impacting you.
Your doctor may instruct you to check your pulse (heart rate) each day and will specify the ideal rate. To learn how to take your pulse, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Before taking this medication that day, consult your doctor if your pulse is slower or faster than it should be.
Try sucking on sugarless hard candies or chewing gum to combat the dry mouth that clonidine causes.
No one else should take your medication. Any queries you may have regarding medication refills should be directed to your pharmacist.
You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.