Lowers blood pressure.
Our pharmacists’ bottom line
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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Side effects for Catapres (Clonidine)
From clinical trials of Catapres / High blood pressure (Patch) ( 101)
- Redness/itching / pruritisRedness/itching / pruritis26% for Clonidine vs.0% for placebo
- Dry mouthDry mouth25% for Clonidine vs.0% for placebo
- DrowsinessDrowsiness12% for Clonidine vs.0% for placebo
- Skin blisteringSkin blistering7% for Clonidine vs.0% for placebo
- FatigueFatigue6% for Clonidine vs.0% for placebo
- HeadacheHeadache5% for Clonidine vs.0% for placebo
- Skin or nail darkeningSkin or nail darkening5% for Clonidine vs.0% for placebo
- Allergic contact sensitizationAllergic contact sensitization5% for Clonidine vs.0% for placebo
- Lack of energyLack of energy3% for Clonidine vs.0% for placebo
- Relaxation or sleepinessRelaxation or sleepiness3% for Clonidine vs.0% for placebo
Manufacturers don’t say how common these side effects are
- Abnormal electrical activity in the heart
- Abnormally fast heart beat
- Abnormally large breasts in males and weight gain
- Abnormally slow heartbeat
- Angioneurotic edema
- Blurred vision
- Burning of the eyes
- Chest pain
- Congestive heart failure
- Decreased sexual activity
- Difficulty urinating
- Dryness of the eyes
- Feeling unwell
- Hair loss or baldness
- Heart pounding or racing sensation
- Increases in blood pressure
- Leg cramps
- Localized numbness
- Localized or generalized rash
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of libido
- Mental depression
- Muscle or joint pain
- Other behavioral changes
- Positional low blood pressure
- Raynaud's phenomenon
- Skin lightening or darkening
- Visual and auditory hallucinations
- Vivid dreams or nightmares
- Withdrawal syndrome
What to expect when you start Catapres (Clonidine)Skip what to expect section. Skip to Risks & Warnings section.
- 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.
Risks and Warnings for Catapres (Clonidine)Skip Risks and Warnings section. Skip to Tips section.
- Higher risk if:
- › Sudden discontinuation of medicine
Stopping Catapres (Clonidine) suddenly can cause agitation, headache, tremors, or have a sudden rise of blood pressure that can result in complications. Catapres (Clonidine) should be stopped over 2-4 days with the guidance of a doctor. If using with a beta blocker medicine, slowly stop the beta blocker first before stopping Catapres (Clonidine).