Clonidine: Uses, Side Effects, Dosage

Clonidine is a prescription medication. It’s available as a patch, an oral tablet, and an oral extended-release tablet. The form you use may depend on your condition.


  • Clonidine is a centrally-acting α2-adrenergic agonist. It crosses the blood-brain barrier.
  • Clonidine lowers blood pressure by decreasing the levels of certain chemicals in your blood. This allows your blood vessels to relax and your heart to beat more slowly and easily.Also used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder(ADHD).

Mechanism Of Action:

Clonidine stimulates alpha-adrenergic receptors in the brain stem. This action results in reduced sympathetic outflow from the central nervous system and decreases in peripheral resistance, renal vascular resistance, heart rate, and blood pressure.

Clonidine Side Effects:

  • A very slow heart rate (fewer than 60 beats per minute);
  • Fast or pounding heartbeats, tremors;
  • Feeling short of breath, even with mild exertion;
  • Confusion, hallucinations;
  • Swelling, rapid weight gain;
  • Feeling like you might pass out.
  • Flu symptoms;
  • Urination problems; or

Other common side effects may include:

  • Cold symptoms such as runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, cough, sore throat;
  • Feeling tired or irritable;
  • Drowsiness, dizziness;
  • A headache, ear pain;
  • Mood changes;
  • Sleep problems (insomnia), nightmares;
  • Feeling hot;
  • Mild fever;
  • Loss of interest in sex, impotence, difficulty having an orgasm.
  • Constipation, diarrhea, pain in your upper stomach;
  • Dry mouth increased thirst;

Clonidine Dosage

  • The usual oral adult dose is 0.1–0.3 mg twice daily.
  • The Usual Adult Dose For Hypertension is 0.2-0.6mg orally per day in a divided doses.
  • The Usual Adult Dose for Pain Is 30mcg/hr As a continuous infusion.
  • The Usual Pediatric Dose for attention deficit disorder (For age 6 year and more ) is 0.1 mg orally at bedtime and Increase in 0.1 mg/day increments every 7 days until desired response; doses should be administered twice daily .
  • The maximum oral dose is 2.4 mg daily.
  • Topical patches should be applied to an area of hairless skin on the upper arm or torso, once every 7 days.
  • When applying a new topical patch, a different area of skin should be used.

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