- High Blood Pressure Slideshow Pictures
- Take the Salt Quiz!
- Lowering Blood Pressure Exercise Tips Pictures
- What is clonidine, and how does it work?
- What brand names are available for clonidine?
- Is clonidine available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for clonidine?
- What are the approved uses for clonidine?
- What are the FDA non-approved (off-label) uses for clonidine?
- What are the side effects of clonidine?
- What is the dosage for clonidine?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with clonidine?
- Is clonidine safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about clonidine?
What is clonidine, and how does it work?
- Clonidine (Catapres, Catapres-TTS) is an oral and topical (applied to the skin) medication prescribed by a doctor for the treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension). It acts by stimulating receptors on nerves in the brain that reduces the transmission of messages from nerves in the brain to nerves in other areas of the body. As a result, it slows heart rate and reduces blood pressure.
- The FDA approved clonidine in September 1974.
What brand names are available for clonidine?
- Catapres and Catapres-TTS are the brand names for this drug available in the US for the treatment of high blood pressure.
- The brand Jenloga has been discontinued in the US.
Is clonidine available as a generic drug?
- Generic is available for this medication in tablet for use as tablet in generic form; however, there is no generic available for the patch form.
What are the approved uses for clonidine?
What are the FDA non-approved (off-label) uses for clonidine?
Non-FDA approved (off-label) uses for this medication include the treatment of:
- Symptoms of narcotic withdrawal
- Nicotine withdrawal
- Diabetes-associated diarrhea
- Diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage)
- Hot flashes associated with menopause
What are the side effects of clonidine?
The most common side effects are:
Other side effects include:
Possible serious side effects include:
- Severe rebound high blood pressure
- Severe low blood pressure
- Slow heart rate
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Severe allergic reactions
- Slow heart rate
- Abnormal heart conduction
Severe rebound hypertension can occur following withdrawal from clonidine. This reaction is more likely to occur if clonidine is stopped suddenly (without a gradual dose reduction).
Symptoms of severe rebound high blood pressure can include:
- Increased salivation
- Heart palpitations
- Muscle pain
- Abdominal pain
Slowly reducing the dose of this medication over several days will prevent these symptoms.
What is the dosage for clonidine?
- The usual oral adult dose is 0.1–0.3 mg twice daily.
- The maximum oral dose is 2.4 mg daily.
- Topical patches should be applied to an area of hairless skin on the upper arm or torso, once every 7 days.
- When applying a new topical patch, a different area of skin should be used.
Which drugs or supplements interact with clonidine?
This drug can increase the sedating effects of other medications that cause sedation. Such drugs include:
- Narcotic pain relievers
- Sedatives such as alprazolam (Xanax) and clonazepam (Klonopin)
Tricyclic antidepressants, for example, amitriptyline (Elavil, Endep), imipramine (Tofranil), desipramine (Norpramin), and clomipramine (Anafranil), can block the blood pressure lowering effects of Catapres. This may cause blood pressure to rise.
Since this drug can reduce heart rate, it should be used cautiously in persons who are receiving any other medication that lowers heart rate such as beta-blockers, for example:
- atenolol (Tenormin)
- metoprolol (Lopressor)
- propranolol (Inderal)
- digoxin (Lanoxin)
- diltiazem (Cardizem)
- verapamil (Calan Covera HS)
Abnormal heart rhythms can occur with the combination of clonidine and verapamil.
Cocaine, pseudoephedrine, phenylephrine, and phenylpropanolamine also can reverse the blood pressure lowering effects of clonidine.
Is clonidine safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
What else should I know about clonidine?
What preparations of clonidine are available?
- Tablets (immediate release): 0.1, 0.2, and 0.3 mg.
- Transdermal patches: 0.1, 0.2, and 0.3 mg delivered over 24 hours.
How should I keep clonidine stored?
- Tablets and patches should be kept at room temperature, 15 C - 30 C (59 F - 86 F).
Heart Health Resources
- the symptoms of narcotic and nicotine withdrawal,
- diabetic neuropathy,
- hot flashes (associated with menopause), and
- the management of severe cancer pain.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis, Treatment, Medication
Learn about type 2 diabetes warning signs, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options. Read how diet and exercise can help manage...
Menopause & Perimenopause: Symptoms, Signs
What is menopause? What are the signs of menopause? What age does menopause start? Learn about menopause and perimenopause...
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): Symptoms, Causes, Treatments
What causes high blood pressure (hypertension)? Know the warning signs and symptoms of high blood pressure. Read about high blood...
Diabetes Diet: Healthy Meal Plans for Diabetes-Friendly Eating
Discover the best and worst meals for diabetes-savvy dining. See how to avoid carbs and control your blood sugar with healthier...
Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Restless leg syndrome (RLS), an annoying, sometimes painful disorder that keeps millions of people awake at night. What are the...
Menopause Quiz: Symptoms & Signs
The Menopause Quiz challenges your knowledge about the time in a woman’s life when menstruation ceases. Menopause can bring many...
Smoking Quiz: How to Quit Smoking
You know it's time you quit smoking. Learn the myths and facts about quitting smoking with the Smoking Quiz. When it comes to...
Type 2 Diabetes: Test Your Medical IQ
What causes type 2 diabetes? Can it be prevented? Take this online quiz and challenge your knowledge of this common condition....
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Quiz: Symptoms, Signs & Causes
Take this quiz and test your IQ of high blood pressure (hypertension), the cardiovascular disease that causes most strokes and...
Type 1 Diabetes Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
What are the causes of type 1 diabetes? Take this quiz and challenge your knowledge of causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatments...
Diabetes Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Take the Diabetes Quiz and learn the causes, signs, symptoms, and types of this growing epidemic. What does diabetes have to do...
Diabetic Neuropathy Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Diabetic neuropathy is serious. Take this quiz to get the facts....
Pain Quiz: Test Your IQ of Pain
Is pain all in the brain? Take the Pain Quiz to learn everything you've ever wanted to know about the unpleasant sensation we...
Picture of Hypertension
High blood pressure, defined as a repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg -- a systolic pressure above 140...
Picture of Blood Pressure
The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. See a picture of Blood Pressure and learn more about the...
How Diabetes Can Affect Your Feet
Learn more about diabetes related foot problems. For people with diabetes, too much glucose in the blood can cause serious foot...
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy: Improve Diabetes Nerve Pain
Read about diabetic peripheral neuropathy and exercises to manage nerve pain. Learn how to cope with the symptoms of diabetic...
How to Lower Blood Pressure: Exercise Tips
Trying to lower high blood pressure (hypertension)? Discover exercises good for lowering blood pressure, along with other...
Type 1 Diabetes: What Are The Symptoms?
What is type 1 diabetes? Is there a cure for type 1 diabetes? Learn about type 1 diabetes symptoms, warning signs, causes, and...
Blood Sugar Swings: Tips for Managing Diabetes & Glucose Levels
Learn to better control your glucose levels by preventing blood sugar swings. Beware of caffeine, sugary foods, spices, exercise,...
25 Effects of Smoking on Your Looks and Life
What are the effects of smoking tobacco? Besides and increased risk of smoking related diseases, smoking can affect your looks...
Nerve Pain: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options
Learn about nerve pain symptoms, causes, and treatment options. Discover medications, treatments, and natural remedies that can...
Heart-Healthy Diet: 25 Foods to Protect Your Cardiovascular System
See 25 foods loaded with heart-healthy nutrients that help protect your cardiovascular system. Plus, find easy meal/recipes and...
Pictures of Famous People With Diabetes
See pictures of celebrities that have been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes including Mary Tyler Moore, Salma Hayek, and...
Travel Tips for Better Diabetes Control
Traveling with diabetes can be intimidating, but it shouldn't stop you! Learn tips for packing your diabetic supplies, how to...
Diabetes Management Tips and Preventing Complications
Learn 10 simple ways to better manage your diabetes. See tips for controlling blood sugar, diet and exercise and other helpful...
Addicted to Pills: The Health Risks of Drug Abuse
What is drug abuse? Learn about prescription drug abuse and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, including depressants, pain relievers,...
Diabetes Diet: 11 Low-Sugar Drink Ideas
Searching for low-sugar drink ideas? This pictures slideshow has eleven beverages ideal for people with diabetes and those...
Pictures of 10 Muscle-Building Exercises for Diabetes
Watch this slideshow on Diabetes and Exercise. If you have diabetes, see how strengthening your muscles with these 10 weight...
10 Ways to Deal With Menopause Symptoms
Menopause can cause night sweats, hot flashes, mood swings, and relationship challenges. Learn how to manage these symptoms here....
How to Quit Smoking: 13 Tips to End Addiction
One of the best ways to improve your health is to quit smoking. These practical tips to help you quit smoking have been shown to...
How to Quit Smoking Without Weight Gain
Learn how to avoid weight gain while quitting smoking. Explore what causes weight gain after quitting smoking. See lifestyle...
Related Disease Conditions
Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2)
Diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. The two types of diabetes are...
Menopause is the time in a woman's life when menstrual periods permanently stop, also called the "change of life." Menopause...
Diarrhea (Causes, Medicine, Remedies, Treatment)
Diarrhea is a change is the frequency and looseness of bowel movements. Symptoms associated with diarrhea are cramping, abdominal...
Restless Leg Syndrome (Symptoms, Causes, Treatment Medications, Home Remedies)
Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a common cause for painful legs that typically eases with motion, and becomes worse and more...
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Signs, Causes, Diet, and Treatment
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a disease in which pressure within the arteries of the body is elevated. About 75 million...
Perimenopause (Symptoms, Signs, Remedies, and Treatments)
Perimenopause is the time in a woman's life when she is approaching menopause. During this time a woman starts to develop...
Hot Flashes (Causes, Symptoms & Medication Treatment in Men and Women)
Hot flashes (or flushing) is the most common symptom experienced by a woman prior to and during the early stages of menopause,...
Premature Menopause (Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments)
Premature menopause is when menopause occurs in a woman before the age of 40. Causes of premature menopause include premature...
Diabetic Neuropathy (Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment)
Diabetic neuropathy a condition in which nerve damage has occurred as a complication of diabetes. The pain from the nerve...
High Blood Pressure Treatment (Natural Home Remedies, Diet, Medications)
High blood pressure (hypertension) means high pressure (tension) in the arteries. Treatment for high blood pressure include...
Childhood ADD or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children)
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) causes the following symptoms in children: excessive activity, problems...
Drug addiction is a chronic disease that causes drug-seeking behavior and drug use despite negative consequences to the user and...
COPD vs. Emphysema (Differences Similarities)
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is the term doctors and other health care professionals use to describe a group of...
Cocaine and Crack Abuse
Cocaine is an addictive stimulant that is smoked, snorted, and injected. Crack is cocaine that comes in a rock crystal that is...
Smoking (How to Quit Smoking)
Smoking is an addiction. More than 430,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. from smoking related illnesses. Secondhand smoke or...
Nicotine is delivered to the brain through smoking, chewing, or sniffing tobacco. Nicotine is an addictive agent. Common names...
Natural Remedies for Hot Flashes
Hot flashes are experienced by many women, especially at night. However, not all women undergoing menopause experience hot...
Febrile seizures, or convulsions caused by fever, can be frightening in small children or infants. However, in general, febrile...
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Teens
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in teens is a disruption of neurocognitive functioning. Genetics contribute to...
Cancer pain results from the tumor pressing on nerves or invading bones or organs. Cancer treatments like chemotherapy,...
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Menopause FAQs
- Smoking FAQs
- High Blood Pressure FAQs
- Diabetes FAQs
- Pain FAQs
- Restless Leg Syndrome RLS FAQs
- Diabetic Neuropathy FAQs
- Type 2 Diabetes FAQs
- Type 1 Diabetes FAQs
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
- Small Number of Drugs Behind Kids' Accidental Poisonings: CDC
- Experts Lay Out Options for Menopause Symptoms
- Antipsychotic Drugs May Triple Kids' Diabetes Risk, Study Suggests
- ADHD Diagnosis Rates Rose Sharply in Past Decade
- Prescription Meds Can Put on Unwanted Pounds
- Drug Combo May Help Treat Kids With ADHD
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.