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Terms Of Use

CLONIDINE

Brand Name(s) : Catapres, Dixarit
Warnings
Uses
Side Effects
Precautions
Interactions
Overdose

CLONIDINE WARNINGS

Clonidine should be used with caution in: women who are pregnant or who are breastfeeding, those with heart problems (including heart failure and problems with low heartbeat rate and heartbeat rhythm), blood circulation problems (e.g. Raynaud's syndrome, which involves restricted blood flow to the extremities such as the fingers and toes, a colour change in the skin of these areas to yellow or white, which may become cold and numb), patients with a poor blood supply to the brain or heart, kidney problems, people with constipation or those with previous depression.

It should not be used in: patients with very slow heartbeat rate (e.g. in conditions such as sick sinus syndrome or atrioventricular [AV] block of the 2nd or 3rd degree).

Also see list of precautions and interactions.

STORAGE

Protect from light and store below 25°C.

CLONIDINE USES

What is it used for?

  • Clonidine is used to treat a number of problems.
  • It is an antihypertensive, and is sometimes known as a blood-pressure lowering drug.
  • It is used to lower blood pressure, which is achieved by its action on a type of receptor (alpha2-adrenergic receptors) found in the brain, resulting in decreased heartbeat rate and blood pressure.
  • In general this drug is used to treat high blood pressure, treating migraine and flushing of the skin experienced during the menopause (menopausal flushing).
  • Benefits of being on this drug can include the lowering of blood pressure, treatment of migraines and prevent hot flushes that may happen in women during the menopause.

Listed below are the typical uses of clonidine:

  • The prevention of migraine or recurrent vascular headache
  • The management of conditions commonly associated with the menopause and characterised by flushing.

On occasion your doctor may prescribe this medicine to treat a condition not on the above list.

HOW TO USE/TAKE

How often do I take it?

  • Take this medication by mouth, usually between two and four-times daily. It is also available in liquid form for intravenous injection.
  • Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it.
  • Remember to use it at the same time each day - unless specifically told otherwise by your doctor.
  • It may take some time before the full benefit of this drug takes effect.
  • Certain medical conditions may require different dosage instructions as directed by your doctor.

What dose?

  • Dosage is based on your age, gender, medical condition, response to therapy, and use of certain interacting medicines.

Do I need to avoid anything?

  • Avoid driving or operating machinery if clonidine makes you feel sleepy. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

When can I stop?

  • It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well, unless your doctor tells you to stop.

CLONIDINE SIDE EFFECTS

  • Dizziness
  • Dryness of the mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Feeling faint or dizzy when standing up
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Feeling sick (nausea)
  • Vomiting
  • Depression
  • Difficulties sleeping
  • Pain below the ear (from the salivary gland)
  • Impotence
  • Tiredness
  • Slow heart rate (bradycardia)
  • Delusions (false belief held strongly despite overwhelming evidence that disproves such a belief)
  • Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there)
  • Nightmares
  • Tingling, numbness or 'pins and needle' sensations (paraesthesia)
  • Itching
  • Rash
  • Raynaud's phenomenon (restricted blood flow to the extremities such as the fingers and toes, a colour change in the skin of these areas to yellow or white, which may become cold and numb)
  • A feeling of discomfort and fatigue (malaise).

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If any of these persist or you consider them severe then inform doctor or pharmacist.

Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms: jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), changes in behaviour or mental state, or heart problems.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

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 (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine (which includes vaccines, herbals and over the counter medicines) that you are taking. It is run by the medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory agency (MHRA). Please report any suspected side effect on the Yellow Card Scheme website.

CLONIDINE PRECAUTIONS

Before taking clonidine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other blood-pressure lowering drugs; or if you have any other allergies.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: a very slow heartbeat rate (e.g. in conditions such as sick sinus syndrome or atrioventricular [AV] block of the 2nd or 3rd degree).

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following: any kidney problems, previous depression, constipation, or any heart problems or problems with poor circulation.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

Does alcohol intake affect this drug?

  • The effects of alcohol can be increased by clonidine, so avoid or moderate your intake of alcohol.

The elderly: clonidine can be used in the elderly.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding - please ensure you read the detailed information below

PREGNANCY

Clonidine is not safe to take if you are, or are planning to become, pregnant.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during pregnancy whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

BREAST FEEDING

Clonidine is not safe to take if you are breastfeeding.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during breastfeeding whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

CLONIDINE INTERACTIONS

Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and non-prescription/herbal products you may use, especially of:

  • Other blood-pressure lowering drugs (particularly minoxidil or sodium nitroprusside)
  • Beta-blockers, e.g. atenolol or propanolol
  • Anti-arrhythmics (e.g. digoxin)
  • Antidepressants (e.g. monoamine oxidase inhibitors [MAOIs], including the reversible MAOI, moclobemide), and tricyclic antidepressants [TCAs] such as amitriptyline)
  • Antipsychotics (e.g. chlorpromazine)
  • Diuretics (e.g. furosemide)
  • Painkillers (e.g. non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDs] such as paracetamol) and general anaesthetics
  • Adrenaline or noradrenaline, or methylphenidate (used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity order or ADHD).

This information does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using clonidine, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use.

CLONIDINE OVERDOSE

An overdose of clonidine may cause: drowsiness, miosis (constriction of the pupils of the eyes), lethargy, slow heartbeat rate (bradycardia), low blood pressure (hypotension), high blood pressure (hypertension), coma (unable to wake), and breathing difficulties.

If you think you, or someone you care for, might have accidentally taken more than the recommended dose of clonidine or intentional overdose is suspected, contact your local hospital, GP or if in England call 111. In Scotland call NHS 24. In Wales, call NHS Direct Wales. In the case of medical emergencies, always dial 999.

MISSED DOSE

If you miss a dose, take 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.

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Source: Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by Boots UK Limited or TicTac Communications Ltd. This copyrighted material is sourced from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorised by the applicable terms of use.
CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse events, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular medicine is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any medicine, changing any diet, or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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