Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available



  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Patch
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Lowers blood pressure.

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Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

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.

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  • 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
  • Agitation
  • Angioneurotic edema
  • Anxiety
  • Blurred vision
  • Burning of the eyes
  • Chest pain
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Decreased sexual activity
  • Delirium
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Drowsiness
  • Dryness of the eyes
  • Fainting
  • Feeling unwell
  • Fever
  • Hair loss or baldness
  • Heart pounding or racing sensation
  • Hives
  • Hives
  • Increases in blood pressure
  • Irritability
  • Itching
  • 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
  • Rash
  • Raynaud's phenomenon
  • Restlessness
  • Skin lightening or darkening
  • Stroke
  • Visual and auditory hallucinations
  • Vivid dreams or nightmares
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Withdrawal syndrome

What to expect when you take Catapres (Clonidine) for Lowers blood pressure

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • 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)

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    • 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).

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Catapres (Clonidine)

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The FDA category for this medication is C. It is advised that you: Weigh risks vs. benefits
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Can cause drowsiness, headache, dizziness, and dry mouth.
  • It's hard to deal with the drowsiness at work or school. Even on days off it will knock me out for half an hour then leave me drained for hours afterward. Look into other meds.
    Age: 23
    Gender: Man
    Taken for: Tic disorder
    Duration taken: Two years or more