Clonidine hydrochloride USP is a centrally acting antihypertensive agent.
Catapres, clonidine, is indicated in the treatment of hypertension. Clonidine may be employed alone or concomitantly with other antihypertensive agents.
Catapres comes as a tablet containing 150 µg. clonidine, to take by mouth.
The dose of clonidine must be adjusted according to the patient's individual blood pressure response. The following is a general guide to its administration.
Initial dose: One 0.15 mg Catapres tablet twice daily (morning and bedtime). Elderly patients may benefit from a lower initial dose.
Maintenance dose: Further increments of 0.15 mg per day may be made if necessary until the desired response is achieved. Taking the larger portion of the daily dose at bedtime may minimize transient adjustment effects of dry mouth and drowsiness. The therapeutic doses most commonly employed have ranged from 0.2 mg to 0.6 mg per day given in divided doses.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as remembered if it is within an hour or so. If you do not remember until later, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not "double-up" the dose to catch up.
The safety of Catapres has only been established in a highly selected group of cancer patients, and only after an adequate trial of opioid analgesia. Other use of Catapres is of unproven safety and is not recommended.
As with all antihypertensive therapy, clonidine should be used with caution in patients with severe coronary insufficiency, recent myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular disease or chronic renal failure.
For individuals with renal impairment, the dosage of clonidine must be adjusted according to the degree of impairment, and the individual should be carefully monitored. Since only a minimal amount of clonidine is removed during routine hemodialysis, there is no need to give supplemental clonidine following dialysis.
Patients should be instructed not to discontinue therapy without consulting their physician. Sudden cessation of clonidine treatment has resulted in subjective symptoms such as nervousness, agitation and headache, accompanied or followed by a rapid rise in blood pressure.
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women why clonidine should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.
As clonidine hydrochloride is excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when clonidine hydrochloride is administered to a nursing woman.
Possible side effects
Most side effects effects of the use of Catapres, clonidine, are mild and tend to diminish with continued therapy. The most frequent (which appear to be dose-related) are dry mouth, drowsiness, dizziness, constipation and sedation.
Less frequent side effects include nausea and vomiting, anorexia, malaise, mild transient abnormalities in liver function tests, nervousness, agitation and insomnia.
If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor.
If overdose of clonidine is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.
The signs and symptoms of clonidine hydrochloride overdosage include hypotension, bradycardia, lethargy, irritability, weakness, somnolence, diminished or absent reflexes, miosis, vomiting and hypoventilation.
Keep Catapres in a tightly closed container and out of reach of children. Store Catapres at controlled room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
If a patient receiving clonidine is also taking tricyclic antidepressants, the effect of clonidine may be reduced, thus necessitating an increase in dosage. Clonidine hydrochloride may enhance the CNS-depressive effects of alcohol, barbiturates or other sedatives.
The above information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of Catapres is safe, appropriate, or effective for you.
Consult your health care professional before you