Compare Catapres vs. Valium

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Catapres
(clonidine)

Valium
(diazepam)

Lowers blood pressure. Catapres (Clonidine) is a good addition if you need more than one medicine to control your blood pressure, but it has a lot of side effects. You can't miss doses.Helps you relax. Valium (Diazepam) is okay for occasional or short-term use (up to 4 weeks) for anxiety and for pain and sleeplessness from muscle spasm. Less severe withdrawal symptoms compared to similar drugs.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.27Catapres
Reviews for Catapres
42%
of people (All ages) say Catapres is worth it
33%
say it works well
35%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Catapres (clonidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Valium
70%
-28% worse vs. Catapres
53%
-20% worse vs. Catapres
15%
-20% worse vs. Catapres
976 reviews
Have you used Valium (diazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
CatapresValium
  • Erythema / pruritis 26%
  • Dry mouth 25%
  • Drowsiness 12%
  • Localized vesiculation 7%
  • Fatigue 6%
  • Headache 5%
  • Hyperpigmentation 5%
  • Allergic contact sensitization 5%
  • Burning 3%
  • Lethargy 3%
More Catapres side effects »

The Valium FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Valium side effects »
How it works
CatapresValium
Catapres (Clonidine) is an alpha-2 agonist. It works in the brain to tell your blood vessels to relax, and it lowers the activity of certain stress hormones. This lowers blood pressure.Valium (Diazepam) is a fast-acting benzodiazepine. It affects neurotransmitters in the brain and calms the nervous system. This reduces anxiety and muscle spasms, and causes sleepiness.
Type of medication
CatapresValium
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
CatapresValium
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Patch
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Rectal gel
Used for
CatapresValium
Risk factors for serious side effects
CatapresValium
  • Sudden discontinuation of medicine
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Age 65 years or older
  • Using other medicine(s) that slows the heart
Detailed Catapres (clonidine) risks & warnings »
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Taking longer than 4 weeks
  • History of drug abuse
  • Long-term use
  • Alcohol
Detailed Valium (diazepam) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Alcohol
CatapresValium
No alcohol related info.
  • Not safe to use with alcohol.
  • Can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment, or for people who've had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
Kidneys and liver
CatapresValium
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • Processed by the liver, so might not be the best choice if you have liver problems.
Sleep
CatapresValium
  • Can cause drowsiness, headache, dizziness, and dry mouth.
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
Upsides and benefits
CatapresValium
  • Can be added to other blood pressure-lowering medicines if you need additional blood pressure control.
  • Available in a weekly patch for people that aren't good at taking medicine by mouth.
  • Works in the brain, so it can help treat some nervous system and psychiatric conditions.
  • Under the brand name Kapvay, it's used to treat ADHD in children and teenagers.
  • Effective at relieving short-term anxiety and sleeplessness.
  • Can be used together with antidepressants to manage anxiety disorders. Especially helpful for anxiety symptoms while you wait for an antidepressant to kick in (it can take several weeks).
  • Effective at relieving muscle spasms caused by a variety of conditions.
  • Less severe withdrawal symptoms compared to other benzodiazepines.
Downsides and risks
CatapresValium
  • Has a lot of side effects compared to other blood pressure-lowering medicine because it works in the brain.
  • The pill form can make some people sleepy, dizzy, and have dry mouth.
  • You can't miss doses. Stopping Clonidine suddenly can cause your blood pressure to go up suddenly, which raises the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Processed by the liver, so might not be the best choice if you have liver problems.
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment, or for people who've had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
  • Most people find that it gets less effective over time.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
CatapresValium
  • Usually taken together with other medicines for better blood pressure control.
  • Can cause drowsiness, headache, dizziness, and dry mouth.
  • Check your blood pressure 1 week after starting this medicine, and tell your doctor if it hasn't improved.
  • If side effects don't go away, talk to your doctor about alternatives.
  • The weekly patch form can have fewer side effects.
  • Don't stop taking this medicine suddenly.
  • Extended release tablet also used to treat ADHD.
  • Good for short-term relief of anxiety symptoms.
  • Starts working in 30 minutes when swallowed.
  • Helpful with muscle spasms.
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Addictive. Long-term use can cause dependence or abuse.
  • Not safe to use with alcohol.
Learn more
More about CatapresSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Catapres (clonidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ValiumSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Valium (diazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it