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Clonidine

Information about Clonidine: Includes the warnings, side effects, precautions and drug interactions.

IMPORTANT NOTE | TITLE | HOW TO PRONOUNCE | COMMON BRAND NAMES | USES | OTHER USES | HOW TO TAKE | SIDE EFFECTS | PRECAUTIONS | DRUG INTERACTIONS | OVERDOSE | NOTES | MISSED DOSE | STORAGE

IMPORTANT NOTE
The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.

TITLE CLONIDINE - ORAL

HOW TO PRONOUNCE (KLAHN-eh-deen)

COMMON BRAND NAMES Catapres

USES
This medication is used to treat high blood pressure. It works by stimulating certain brain receptors (alpha adrenergic type) which results in the relaxing of blood vessels in other parts of your body, causing them to widen. Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems.

OTHER USES
This medication may also be used to ease withdrawal symptoms associated with the long-term use of narcotics, alcohol and nicotine (smoking). In addition, clonidine may also be used for migraine headaches, hot flashes associated with menopause, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and other conditions as determined by your doctor.

HOW TO TAKE
Take this medication by mouth, usually twice daily (in the morning and at bedtime) or as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to use it at the same times each day as directed. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick. Do not suddenly stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor because your condition may become worse. A serious rapid increase in your blood pressure (rebound hypertension) may occur when this drug is suddenly stopped or if you miss 2 or more doses in a row, especially if you have been taking it for a long time, at higher doses, or with a beta-blocker medication. Therefore it is important that you do not run out of clonidine. There have been reports of rare, but severe (possibly fatal) results, including stroke, from stopping this drug too quickly. If you must stop taking this drug, your dose should be gradually decreased over several days as directed by your doctor. When used for an extended period, this medication may not work as well and may require different dosing. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well (e.g., your routine blood pressure readings increase).

SIDE EFFECTS
Dizziness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, dry mouth, or constipation may occur as your body adjusts to the medication. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly. To relieve dry mouth, suck on (sugarless) hard candy or ice chips, chew (sugarless) gum, drink water or use a saliva substitute. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: fast/slow/irregular heartbeat, depression. A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

PRECAUTIONS
Before taking clonidine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you developed a rash during treatment with clonidine in the patch form; or if you have any other allergies. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, heart disease (e.g., severe coronary insufficiency, conduction disorders, recent heart attack), depression, blood circulation disorders (e.g., Raynaud's disease). Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication. This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy; use caution engaging in activities requiring alertness such as driving or using machinery. Limit alcoholic beverages. To minimize dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a seated or lying position. Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially dizziness. Caution is advised when using this drug in children. If they cannot take doses of this medication due to vomiting from stomach/abdominal illnesses, they may be at increased risk for developing rebound hypertension. (See How to Use section.) Consult your doctor immediately about what to do in case your child becomes too ill to take this medication. This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. This drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

DRUG INTERACTIONS
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: beta-blocker drugs (e.g., metoprolol, propranolol), cyclobenzaprine, other drugs which can slow the heart rate (e.g., digoxin, calcium channel blockers, guanethidine), MAO inhibitors (e.g., furazolidone, linezolid, moclobemide, phenelzine procarbazine, selegiline, isocarboxazid, tranylcypromine), tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline, desipramine). Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products, diet aids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs -NSAIDs for pain/fever reduction) because they may contain ingredients that could increase your blood pressure. Many cough-and-cold products may also contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about the safe use of those products. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you also take drugs that cause drowsiness such as: antihistamines (e.g., diphenhydramine), anti-anxiety drugs (e.g., diazepam), anti-seizure drugs (e.g., carbamazepine, phenobarbital), medicine for sleep (e.g., sedatives), muscle relaxants, narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine), psychiatric medicines (e.g., phenothiazines such as chlorpromazine), tranquilizers. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.

OVERDOSE
If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call the US national poison hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Canadian residents should call their local poison control center directly. Symptoms of overdose may include fainting, severe weakness, fast/slow/irregular heartbeat, slowed breathing, seizures, coma.

NOTES
Do not share this medication with others. Lifestyle changes such as stress reduction programs, exercise, and dietary changes may increase the effectiveness of this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about lifestyle changes that might benefit you. Have your blood pressure and pulse checked regularly while taking this medication. Discuss with your doctor how to monitor your own blood pressure and pulse.

MISSED DOSE
See also How to Use section. If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up. Call your doctor immediately if you miss 2 or more doses in a row.

STORAGE
Store at room temperature (77 degrees F or 25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Brief storage between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) is permitted. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

2001-2010 National Alliance against Mandated Mental Health Screening & Psychiatric Drugging of Children. All rights reserved.

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