Clonidine is the generic form of Catapres and can be taken by oral as well as transdermal patch. The biological half-life of this medication is about 12 to 16 hours. It is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
This alpha-agonist hypotensive agent is used in treating conditions like high blood pressure or hypertension. This is achieved by modifying certain chemicals that are present in the brain. When this happens, the blood vessels in the body gets relaxed thus increases the flow of blood to the heart. This lowers the hypertension in the patient. Apart from this, there are few other conditions that are treated with the help of Clonidine. They are Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), kidney problems, anxiety disorder, migraine, menopausal flushing, addiction withdrawal from smoke or alcohol and diarrhea.
Dosage and Administration
Clonidine is usually prescribed in dosage strengths of 0.1 mg, 0.2 mg and 0.3 mg to be taken twice in a day, with or without food. The two doses in a day might differ from each other, in such cases the smaller dose can be taken in the morning whereas the larger dose can be taken at night. The patients should not take two types of this drug at the same time. The extended-release tablet should be swallowed as a whole without splitting, crushing or chewing it. The tablet would be manufactured in such a way that the ingredients would release at a different time. When the tablet is crushed and taken, it would release all the ingredients at the same time leading to drug overdose. This pill can be taken separately or combined with other medications and get treated on the condition. When the medication is taken for high blood pressure, it must be taken continuously even though if the patients feel well. In this case, the patients should often refill the pills and sometimes they may even forget about restocking.
Severe side effects that may occur while administering this drug are:
- severe chest pain
- nose bleeding
- severe headache
- slow heart rate or irregular heartbeats
Some among the common side effects of Clonidine are loss of appetite, feeling tired, dizziness, constipation, insomnia, dry mouth or eyes, drowsiness and nightmares. The minor ill effects may fade away automatically but if it persists for a longer period of time, it is recommended to seek medical help.
Relative contraindications to Clonidine
To get maximum benefit from the pill, it is very important not to take Clonidine with drugs that interact with it. When drug interactions happen, it would either induce certain side effects or change the mechanism of the pill. Some of the possible drugs that would cause interaction are muscle relaxers, sleeping pills, Anxiety disorder medications, narcotic pain relievers, heart and blood pressure medications. The medications that are bought with prescription, over-the-counter, herbal products as well as vitamin medications should be thoroughly checked for any possibilities of interaction before commencing the course of therapy.