Generic Name: clonidine (KLON-i-deen)
Brand Name: Catapres
Clonidine tablets are used for:
Treating high blood pressure. It may be used alone or with other medicines. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Clonidine tablets are an alpha agonist. It works by relaxing blood vessels and decreasing heart rate, which lowers blood pressure.
Do NOT use clonidine tablets if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in clonidine tablets
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using clonidine tablets:
Some medical conditions may interact with clonidine tablets. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have had a skin reaction to the patch form of clonidine tablets
- if you have kidney problems, heart problems (eg, slow or irregular heartbeat), an adrenal gland tumor (pheochromocytoma), problems with the blood vessels in your heart or brain, or the blood disease porphyria
- if you will be having surgery
- if you have a history of stroke or a recent heart attack
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with clonidine tablets. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Beta-blockers (eg, propranolol) because severe and sometimes life-threatening increased blood pressure may occur if clonidine tablets are suddenly stopped
- Digoxin, diltiazem, or verapamil because the risk of slow or irregular heartbeat may be increased
- Barbiturates (eg, phenobarbital) or tizanidine because they may increase the risk of clonidine tablets's side effects
- Tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because they may decrease clonidine tablets's effectiveness
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if clonidine tablets may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use clonidine tablets:
Use clonidine tablets as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Take clonidine tablets by mouth with or without food.
- Take clonidine tablets on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it.
- Continue to take clonidine tablets even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
- If you miss a dose of clonidine tablets, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use clonidine tablets.
Important safety information:
- Clonidine tablets may cause drowsiness, dizziness, light-headedness, or blurred vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use clonidine tablets with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Clonidine tablets may cause dizziness, light-headedness, or fainting; alcohol, hot weather, exercise, or fever may increase these effects. To prevent them, sit up or stand slowly, especially in the morning. Sit or lie down at the first sign of any of these effects.
- Talk to your doctor before using alcohol or medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using clonidine tablets; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
- Do NOT take more than the recommended dose without checking with your doctor.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take clonidine tablets before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Patients who take medicine for high blood pressure often feel tired or run down for a few weeks after starting treatment. Be sure to take your medicine even if you may not feel "normal." Tell your doctor if you develop any new symptoms.
- If you have high blood pressure, do not use nonprescription products that contain stimulants. These products may include diet pills or cold medicines. Contact your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
- If you experience dry mouth, use sugarless candy or gum, or melt bits of ice in your mouth to help keep your mouth moist.
- Patients who wear contact lenses may notice dry eyes while using clonidine tablets. If you experience eye dryness or irritation, talk with your doctor about ways to lessen this effect.
- Do not suddenly stop taking clonidine tablets without talking to your doctor. Nervousness, agitation, tremor, and headache may occur. These may be followed by a rapid, severe rise in blood pressure. You may be at greater risk if you use high doses or if you also take a beta-blocker (eg, propranolol). If you need to stop taking clonidine tablets, follow your doctor's instructions for slowly decreasing your dose.
- Contact your doctor if you develop an illness that includes vomiting or if you vomit soon after you take clonidine tablets.
- Lab tests, including blood pressure, may be performed while you take clonidine tablets. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Use clonidine tablets with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially dizziness.
- Clonidine tablets should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 18 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using clonidine tablets while you are pregnant. Clonidine tablets are found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use clonidine tablets, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
If you suddenly stop taking clonidine tablets, you may experience WITHDRAWAL symptoms, including nervousness, agitation, headache, tremor, and rapid increase in blood pressure. Do not suddenly stop taking clonidine tablets without checking with your doctor.
Possible side effects of clonidine tablets:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Constipation; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; headache; nausea; tiredness; trouble sleeping.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); blurred vision or other vision changes; chest pain; confusion; dark urine; decreased sexual desire or ability; difficulty urinating; fainting; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; mental or mood changes (eg, anxiety, agitation, depression, nervousness, restlessness); hallucinations); severe or persistent headache or dizziness; shortness of breath; stomach pain; sudden, unexplained weight gain; swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet; unusual bruising or bleeding; yellowing of the skin or eyes.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include coma; decreased body temperature (feeling very cold); decreased reflexes; difficult or slow breathing; fainting; irritability; pinpoint pupils; seizures; severe or persistent dizziness, light-headedness, or drowsiness, or headache; slow or irregular heartbeat; weakness.Proper storage of clonidine tablets:
Store clonidine tablets at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep clonidine tablets out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about clonidine tablets, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Clonidine tablets are to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take clonidine tablets or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about clonidine tablets. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to clonidine tablets. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using clonidine tablets.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
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