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Clonidine (By mouth)

Clonidine (KLOE-ni-deen)

Treats high blood pressure. Also treats ADHD. This medicine is an antihypertensive.

Brand Name(s):

Catapres, Kapvay, Kapvay Dose Pack

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to clonidine.

How to Use This Medicine:

Long Acting Suspension, Tablet, Long Acting Tablet

  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
  • Swallow the extended-release tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
  • Clonidine extended-release tablets work differently than clonidine immediate-release tablets. Do not switch from the extended-release tablets to the immediate-release tablets unless your doctor tells you to.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup. Shake the bottle well before each use.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose. If you miss more than 1 dose of clonidine tablets, check with your doctor right away.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Do not use this medicine together with other products that contain clonidine.
  • Some medicines can affect how clonidine works. Tell your doctor if you are taking depression medicine.
  • Tell your doctor if you drink alcohol or if you are using any medicine that makes you sleepy, such as allergy medicine or narcotic pain medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have kidney disease, heart or blood vessel disease, heart rhythm problems, stomach or bowel problems, or a history of heart attack or stroke.
  • This medicine may make you drowsy, dizzy, or lightheaded. Do not drive or do anything that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • This medicine may cause dryness of the eyes. Talk to your doctor about how to treat the dryness.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine several days before you have surgery or medical tests.
  • Even if you feel well, do not stop using the medicine without asking your doctor first. This medicine will not cure your high blood pressure, but it will help keep it in the normal range. You may have to take blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Fast, slow, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Constipation, stomach pain
  • Dry eyes, mouth, or throat
  • Mild skin rash
  • New or worsening headache

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 9/4/2014


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