Compare Catapres vs. Zanaflex

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

Catapres
(Clonidine)

Zanaflex
(Tizanidine)

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.Relaxes your muscles. Zanaflex (Tizanidine) isn't a first-choice treatment for muscle spasms. Try other options before using this.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.223684210526316Catapres
Reviews for Catapres (Clonidine)
42%
of people say Catapres (Clonidine) is worth it
33%
say it works well
34%
say it's a big hassle

Not enough reviews for this drug. Help someone out, leave a review!

Side effects
CatapresZanaflex

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

More about Catapres side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Zanaflex side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Zanaflex »
How it works
CatapresZanaflex
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.Zanaflex (Tizanidine) is a muscle relaxer. It works in the nervous system to calm down muscle spasms without interfering with normal muscle function.
Type of medication
CatapresZanaflex
Antihypertensive
Alpha agonist
Prescription only
Muscle relaxer
Centrally-acting alpha agonist
Prescription only
Available as
CatapresZanaflex
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Patch
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
CatapresZanaflex
Risk factors for serious side effects
CatapresZanaflex
  • 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 »
    • Age 65 years or older
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
    • Age 65 or greater
      Detailed Zanaflex (Tizanidine) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy category
      CatapresZanaflex
      CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      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.

      See the FDA package insert
      CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      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.

      See the FDA package insert
      Alcohol
      No specific alcohol-related info.
      • Don't drink alcohol while using this.
      Food
      No specific food-related info.
      • Need to be consistent every day in taking this with or without food.
      • Can be taken with or without food, but you need to be consistent in how you take it every day.
      • Can be taken with or without food, but you need to be consistent since food affects how the medication is absorbed and works.
      Kidneys and liver
      No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
      Sex
      No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
      Sleep
      • Can cause drowsiness, headache, dizziness, and dry mouth.
      • Can cause dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness, and dry mouth.
      • Can cause extreme drowsiness or dizziness if you are taking meds for high blood pressure.
      Weight
      No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
      Upsides and benefits
      CatapresZanaflex
      • 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.
      • Relieves muscle spasms well.
      • Can be taken with or without food, but you need to be consistent in how you take it every day.
      • Available as a generic.
      • Available in a tablet or capsule form. It also comes in a capsule that can be opened and sprinkled in applesauce for people that can't swallow pills.
      Downsides and risks
      CatapresZanaflex
      • 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.
      • This isn't a first-choice muscle relaxing medication. Other drugs work better and have fewer side effects.
      • Zanaflex (Tizanidine) can lower blood pressure, so be careful if you are already on a blood pressure medication.
      • Need to be consistent every day in taking this with or without food.
      • Elderly individuals have more side effects when taking Zanaflex (Tizanidine).
      • Can't stop taking this abruptly if you use it regularly.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      CatapresZanaflex
      • 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.
      • Can cause dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness, and dry mouth.
      • Avoid activities requiring mental alertness (like driving) until you know how it affects you.
      • Can cause extreme drowsiness or dizziness if you are taking meds for high blood pressure.
      • Side effects are more prevalent in the elderly.
      • Don't drink alcohol while using this.
      • Can be taken with or without food, but you need to be consistent since food affects how the medication is absorbed and works.
      Learn more
      More about CatapresSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      More about ZanaflexSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert