2011501940 Health Library | Health and Wellness | Wellmont Health System
  • Clonidine

    (kloe' ni deen)

    WHY is this medicine prescribed?

    Clonidine is used alone or in combination with other medications to treat high blood pressure. Clonidine is in a class of medications called centrally acting alpha-agonist hypotensive agents. It works by decreasing your heart rate and relaxing the blood vessels so that blood can flow more easily through the body.

    HOW should this medicine be used?

    Clonidine comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken two or three times a day at evenly spaced intervals. Take clonidine at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take clonidine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
    Your doctor may start you on a low dose of clonidine and gradually increase your dose, not more than once every week.
    Clonidine controls high blood pressure but does not cure it. Continue to take clonidine even if you feel well. Do not stop taking clonidine without talking to your doctor. If you suddenly stop taking clonidine, it can cause a rapid rise in your blood pressure and symptoms such as nervousness, headache, and uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body. Your doctor will probably decrease your dose gradually over 2 to 4 days.

    Are there OTHER USES for this medicine?

    Clonidine is also used in the treatment of dysmenorrhea (severely painful cramps during menstrual period), hypertensive crisis (a condition in which your blood pressure is very high), Tourette's syndrome (a condition characterized by the need to perform repeated motions or to repeat sounds or words), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), menopausal hot flashes, and alcohol and opiate (narcotic) withdrawal. Clonidine is also used and as an aid in smoking cessation therapyand to diagnose pheochromocytoma (a tumor that develops on a gland near the kidneys and may cause high blood pressure and fast heart rate). Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this medication for your condition.
    This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

    What SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS should I follow?

    Before taking clonidine,
    • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to clonidine, any of its ingredients, clonidine patches, or any other medications. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
    • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: antidepressants; beta blockers such as acebutolol (Sectral), atenolol (Tenormin, in Tenoretic), betaxolol (Kerlone), bisoprolol (Zebeta, in Ziac), carvedilol (Coreg), labetalol (Trandate), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL), nadolol (Corgard, in Corzide), pindolol, propranolol (Inderal, Innopran XL, in Inderide), sotalol (Betapace, Sorine), and timolol (Blocadren, in Timolide); calcium channel blockers such as amlodipine (Norvasc, in Caduet and Lotrel), diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac, others), felodipine (Plendil, in Lexxel), isradipine (DynaCirc), nicardipine (Cardene), nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia), nimodipine (Nimotop), nisoldipine (Sular), and verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, Verelan, others); digoxin (Digitek, Lanoxicaps, Lanoxin); medications for anxiety, mental illness, or seizures; sedatives; sleeping pills; tranquilizers; and tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline, amoxapine, clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Sinequan), imipramine (Tofranil), maprotiline, nortriptyline (Pamelor), protriptyline (Vivactil), and trimipramine (Surmontil). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
    • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had a stroke, a recent heart attack, or heart or kidney disease.
    • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking clonidine, call your doctor.
    • talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of using clonidine if you are 65 years of age or older. Older adults should not usually use clonidine because it is not as safe as other medications that can be used to treat the same condition.
    • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking clonidine.
    • you should know that clonidine may make you drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
    • ask your doctor about the safe use of alcohol while you are taking clonidine. Alcohol can make the side effects from clonidine worse.
    • you should know that clonidine may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting when you get up too quickly from a lying position. This is more common when you first start taking clonidine. To avoid this problem, get out of bed slowly, resting your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up.

    What SPECIAL DIETARY instructions should I follow?

    Your doctor may prescribe a low-salt or low-sodium diet. Follow these directions carefully.

    What should I do IF I FORGET to take a dose?

    Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

    What SIDE EFFECTS can this medicine cause?

    Clonidine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms or those listed in the SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS section, are severe or do not go away:
    • dry mouth
    • tiredness
    • weakness
    • headache
    • nervousness
    • decreased sexual ability
    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • constipation
    If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
    • rash anywhere on the body
    • hives
    • swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
    • difficulty swallowing or breathing
    • hoarseness
    Clonidine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
    If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch ] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].

    What should I know about STORAGE and DISPOSAL of this medication?

    Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

    What should I do in case of OVERDOSE?

    In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
    Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
    • fainting
    • slow heart rate
    • difficulty breathing
    • shivering
    • slurred speech
    • tiredness
    • confusion
    • cold, pale skin
    • drowsiness
    • weakness
    • smaller pupils (black circles in the middle of the eyes)

    What OTHER INFORMATION should I know?

    Keep all appointments with your doctor. Your blood pressure should be checked regularly to determine your response to clonidine.
    Your doctor may ask you to check your pulse (heart rate) daily and will tell you how rapid it should be. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to teach you how to take your pulse. If your pulse is slower or faster than it should be, call your doctor before taking this medication that day.
    To relieve dry mouth caused by clonidine, chew gum or suck sugarless hard candy.
    Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
    It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

    Brand Names

    • Catapres®
    • Clorpres® (as a combination product containing Chlorthalidone and Clonidine Hydrochloride)
    • Also available generically

    Clonidine Transdermal

    (kloe' ni deen)

    WHY is this medicine prescribed?

    Transdermal clonidine is used alone or in combination with other medications to treat high blood pressure. Clonidine is in a class of medications called centrally acting alpha-agonist hypotensive agents. It works by decreasing your heart rate and relaxing the blood vessels so that blood can flow more easily through the body.

    HOW should this medicine be used?

    Transdermal clonidine comes as a patch to apply to the skin. It is usually applied to the skin every 7 days. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use the clonidine patch exactly as directed. Do not apply it more or less often than prescribed by your doctor.
    Apply clonidine patches to clean, dry skin on a hairless area on the upper, outer arm or upper chest. Choose an area where it will not be rubbed by tight clothing. Do not apply patches to skin that has wrinkles or folds or to skin that is cut, scraped, irritated, scarred or recently shaved. You may bathe, swim, or shower while you are wearing a clonidine patch.
    If the clonidine patch loosens while wearing it, apply the adhesive cover that comes with the patch. The adhesive cover will help to keep the clonidine patch on until it is time for the patch to be replaced. If the clonidine patch significantly loosens or falls off, replace it with a new one in a different area. Replace the new patch on your next scheduled patch change day.
    Your doctor may start you on a low dose of clonidine patch and gradually increase your dose, not more than once every week.
    Clonidine patch controls high blood pressure but does not cure it. It may take 2-3 days before the full benefit of clonidine patch is seen in your blood pressure readings. Continue to use clonidine patch even if you feel well. Do not stop using clonidine patch without talking to your doctor. If you suddenly stop using clonidine patch, it can cause a rapid rise in blood pressure and symptoms such as nervousness, headache, and confusion. Your doctor will probably decrease your dose gradually over 2 to 4 days.
    Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient and read it carefully. To apply the patch, follow the directions in the patient instructions. Be sure to ask your pharmacist or doctor if you have any questions about how to use this medication.

    Are there OTHER USES for this medicine?

    Clonidine patch is also sometimes used as an aid in smoking cessation therapy and for the treatment of menopausal hot flashes. Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication for your condition.
    This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

    What SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS should I follow?

    Before using clonidine patch,
    • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to clonidine, any of the ingredients in clonidine patch, or any other medications. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients in clonidine patch.
    • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: antidepressants; beta blockers such as acebutolol (Sectral), atenolol (Tenormin, in Tenoretic), betaxolol (Kerlone), bisoprolol (Zebeta, in Ziac), carvedilol (Coreg), labetalol (Trandate), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL), nadolol (Corgard, in Corzide), pindolol, propranolol (Inderal, Innopran XL, in Inderide), sotalol (Betapace, Sorine), and timolol (Blocadren, in Timolide); calcium channel blockers such as amlodipine (Norvasc, in Caduet and Lotrel), diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac, others), felodipine (Plendil, in Lexxel), isradipine (DynaCirc), nicardipine (Cardene), nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia), nimodipine (Nimotop), nisoldipine (Sular), and verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, Verelan, others); digoxin (Digitek, Lanoxicaps, Lanoxin); medications for anxiety, mental illness, or seizures; sedatives; sleeping pills; tranquilizers; and tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline, amoxapine, clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Sinequan), imipramine (Tofranil), maprotiline, nortriptyline (Pamelor), protriptyline (Vivactil), and trimipramine (Surmontil). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
    • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had a stroke, a recent heart attack, or heart or kidney disease.
    • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using clonidine patch, call your doctor.
    • talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of using clonidine patch if you are 65 years of age or older. Older adults should not usually use clonidine patch because it is not as safe as other medications that can be used to treat the same condition.
    • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using clonidine patch.
    • you should know that clonidine patch may make you drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
    • ask your doctor about the safe use of alcohol while you are using clonidine patch. Alcohol can make the side effects from clonidine patch worse.
    • you should know that clonidine patch may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting when you get up too quickly from a lying position. This is more common when you first start using clonidine patch. To avoid this problem, get out of bed slowly, resting your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up.
    • you should know that clonidine patch can cause burns on your skin if you are having magnetic resonance imaging (MRI; a radiology technique designed to show the images of body structures). Tell your doctor that you are using clonidine patch if you are to have an MRI scan.

    What SPECIAL DIETARY instructions should I follow?

    Your doctor may prescribe a low-salt or low-sodium diet. Follow these directions carefully.

    What should I do IF I FORGET to take a dose?

    Remove the old patch and apply a new patch to a different spot as soon as you remember it. Replace the new patch on your next scheduled patch change day. Do not apply two patches to make up for a missed dose.

    What SIDE EFFECTS can this medicine cause?

    Clonidine patch may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms or those listed in the SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS section, are severe or do not go away:
    • redness, burning, swelling, or itching in the place where you applied a patch
    • change in skin color in the place where you applied a patch
    • dry mouth or throat
    • change in taste
    • constipation
    • nausea
    • tiredness
    • headache
    • nervousness
    • decreased sexual ability
    • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
    Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
    • rash anywhere on the body
    • blisters or inflammation in the place where you applied a patch
    • hives
    • swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
    • difficulty swallowing or breathing
    • hoarseness
    Clonidine patch may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.
    If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch ] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].

    What should I know about STORAGE and DISPOSAL of this medication?

    Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any patches that are outdated or no longer needed by opening the pouch and folding each patch in half with the sticky sides together. Dispose of the folded patch carefully, making sure that it is out of the reach of children and pets. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

    What should I do in case of OVERDOSE?

    If someone applies extra clonidine patches, remove the patches from the skin. Then call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
    Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
    • fainting
    • slow heart rate
    • difficulty breathing
    • shivering
    • slurred speech
    • tiredness
    • confusion
    • cold, pale skin
    • drowsiness
    • weakness
    • smaller pupils (black circles in the middle of the eyes)

    What OTHER INFORMATION should I know?

    Keep all appointments with your doctor. Your blood pressure should be checked regularly to determine your response to the clonidine patch.
    Your doctor may ask you to check your pulse (heart rate) daily and will tell you how rapid it should be. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to teach you how to take your pulse. If your pulse is slower or faster than it should be, call your doctor.
    Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
    It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

    Brand Names

    • Catapres-TTS®

    Chlorthalidone

    (klor thal' i done)

    WHY is this medicine prescribed?

    Chlorthalidone, a 'water pill,' is used to treat high blood pressure and fluid retention caused by various conditions, including heart disease. It causes the kidneys to get rid of unneeded water and salt from the body into the urine.
    This medicine is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

    HOW should this medicine be used?

    Chlorthalidone comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It usually is taken once a day or every other day after a meal, preferably breakfast. It is best to take this medicine in the morning to avoid going to the bathroom during the night. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take chlorthalidone exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
    Chlorthalidone controls high blood pressure but does not cure it. Continue to take chlorthalidone even if you feel well. Do not stop taking chlorthalidone without talking to your doctor.

    Are there OTHER USES for this medicine?

    Chlorthalidone may also be used to treat patients with diabetes insipidus and certain electrolyte disturbances and to prevent kidney stones in patients with high levels of calcium in their blood. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this medicine for your condition.

    What SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS should I follow?

    Before taking chlorthalidone,
    • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to chlorthalidone, sulfa drugs, or any other drugs.
    • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially other medicines for high blood pressure, anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Nuprin) or naproxen (Aleve), corticosteroids (e.g., prednisone), lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid), medications for diabetes, probenecid (Benemid), and vitamins. If you also are taking cholestyramine or colestipol, take it at least 1 hour after chlorthalidone.
    • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had diabetes, gout, or kidney, liver, thyroid, or parathyroid disease.
    • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking chlorthalidone, call your doctor immediately.
    • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking chlorthalidone.
    • you should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this drug affects you.
    • remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this drug.
    • plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Chlorthalidone may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.

    What SPECIAL DIETARY instructions should I follow?

    Follow your doctor's directions. They may include following a daily exercise program or a low-salt or low-sodium diet, potassium supplements, and increased amounts of potassium-rich foods (e.g., bananas, prunes, raisins, and orange juice) in your diet.

    What should I do IF I FORGET to take a dose?

    Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

    What SIDE EFFECTS can this medicine cause?

    Frequent urination should go away after you take chlorthalidone for a few weeks.
    Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
    • muscle weakness
    • dizziness
    • cramps
    • thirst
    • stomach pain
    • upset stomach
    • vomiting
    • diarrhea
    • loss of appetite
    • headache
    • hair loss
    If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
    • sore throat with fever
    • unusual bleeding or bruising
    • severe skin rash with peeling skin
    • difficulty breathing or swallowing
    If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch ] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].

    What should I know about STORAGE and DISPOSAL of this medication?

    Keep this medicine in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medicine that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medicine.

    What should I do in case of OVERDOSE?

    In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

    What OTHER INFORMATION should I know?

    Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your blood pressure should be checked regularly, and blood tests should be done occasionally.
    Do not let anyone else take your medicine. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
    It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

    Brand Names

    • Thalitone®
    • Clorpres® (as a combination product containing Chlorthalidone, Clonidine)
    • Lopressidone® (as a combination product containing Chlorthalidone, Metoprolol)
    • Regroton® (as a combination product containing Chlorthalidone, Reserpine)
    • Tenoretic® (as a combination product containing Atenolol, Chlorthalidone)
    • Also available generically
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