Clonidine : Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Interactions, & Contraindications

Clonidine : Therapeutic uses, Clinical uses, Indications, Dosage, Side Effects, Warnings, Interactions, Precautions, Contraindications & Brand names

Clonidine (imidazoline derivative) is a adrenergic agonist, primarily used in the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure), diarrhea in diabetic patients, incidence of menopausal hot flashes etc. 
Dose : 100-300 μg
Route : Oral, Intramuscular, Intravenous, Transdermal, Topical
Plasma half-life : 12-16 hours
Duration of action : 6-24 hours
Bioavailability : 75-95% (Oral), 60-70% (Transdermal)
Chemical formula : C9H9Cl2N3
IUPAC name : N-(2,6-Dichlorophenyl)-4,5-dihydro-1H-imidazol-2-amine
Trade name : Catapres, Cataprestis, Duraclon, Arkamin, Kapvay, Nexiclon, Clophelin, Catapres-TTS, Clonidine ER, Clorpres (clonidineHCl + chlorthalidone)
Therapeutic uses : Clonidine has following usage :

  • Majorly used in the treatment of hypertension (even that has not responded adequately to treatment with two or more drugs.)
  • May be useful in reducing diarrhea in some diabetic patients with autonomic neuropathy.
  • May be useful in treating and preparing addicted subjects for withdrawal from narcotics, alcohol, and tobacco & may help ameliorate some of the adverse sympathetic nervous activity associated with withdrawal from these agents, as well as decrease craving for the drug.
  • May be useful in selected patients receiving anesthesia because it may decrease the requirement for anesthetic and increase hemodynamic stability.
  • Transdermal administration of clonidine may be useful in reducing the incidence of menopausal hot flashes.
  • Acute administration of clonidine has been used in the differential diagnosis of patients with hypertension and suspected pheochromocytoma.
  • Off-label uses of clonidine are atrial fibrillation, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, constitutional growth delay in children, cyclosporineassociated nephrotoxicity, Tourette’s syndrome, hyperhidrosis, mania, posthepatic neuralgia, psychosis, restless leg syndrome, ulcerative colitis, and allergyinduced inflammatory reactions in patients with extrinsic asthma.

Note :- 

  1. Clonidine does not decrease renal blood flow or glomerular filtration and, therefore, is useful in the treatment of hypertension complicated by renal disease.
  2. The Kapvay brand is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) whereas Catapres brand is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure).

Directions for use

  • Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor.
  • Usually taken twice daily (in the morning and at bedtime). If you take different doses of this medicine at each dosing time, it may be best to take the larger dose at bedtime.

Side effects: Adverse effects of Clonidine are as follows:

  • Dry mouth (xerostomia), nose & eye
  • Sedation,
  • Sexual dysfunction,
  • Marked bradycardia,
  • Contact dermatitis,
  • Lethargy,
  • Constipation,
  • Mental depression,
  • Disturbed sleep, Nightmares,
  • Loss of appetite,
  • Impotence,
  • Salt & water retention.

Call for emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to clonidine: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor if you feel deleterious adverse effects like chest pain, shortness of breath, a very slow heart beat & nasal bleeding etc.


  • Rebound hypertension occurs following abrupt withdrawal of clonidine. The drug should, therefore, be withdrawn slowly if discontinuation is required.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase certain side effects of clonidine.


Drug Interactions : Clonidine may interact with following drugs :


Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist

  • If you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies.
  • Your medical history, especially of kidney disease, heart rhythm problems.


  • Catapres is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.
  • Do not give Kapvay to a child younger than 6 years old.
  • CATAPRES-TTS transdermal therapeutic system should not be used in patients with known hypersensitivity to clonidine or to any other component of the therapeutic system.

For detailed query or in case of uncertainty, Always consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Doctoralerts is dedicated to empower every person with the knowledge of medical health by providing precise, credible & valuable health information to better manage their own health status & thereby, improvement in health status of community.


Copyright © 2020 All Rights Reserved | DoctorAlerts does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

To Top