OverviewDosageSide EffectsInteractionsHalf-Life

Generic Name: Clonidine

Brands: Catapres, Kapvay, Nexiclon XR

Class: Alpha-agonist hypotensive, antihypertensives

Availability: Prescription required

Molecular Formula: C9H9Cl2N3

Substance UNII: MN3L5RMN02

What is Clonidine?

Clonidine is an alpha-agonist hypotensive, a drug that stimulates alpha-adrenergic receptors. It is also antihypertensive, meaning it changes nerve impulses in the brain to regulate blood pressure. It is often sold under the trade names Catapres, Kapvay, and Nexiclon XR.

Clonidine is available as an oral tablet, epidural solution, or transdermal patch. 

What is Clonidine Used For?

Clonidine is used alone or in combination with other drugs to treat high blood pressure. It can also be part of a treatment plan for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), drug withdrawal, menopausal flushing, diarrhea, spasticity, and some type of pain. 

How Does Clonidine Work?

Clonidine crosses the blood-brain barrier to stimulate certain receptors in the brain. This changes the nerve impulses. It also works on some receptors in the brain to reduce blood pressure.  

How Long Does it Take for Clonidine to Work?

Generally speaking, it can take up to eight weeks for someone to experience the full effects of this drug. Others may see the benefits as early as four weeks. Some of the effects from the tablet will appear very quickly in only an hour or two.

Do Not Use Clonidine If:

There are several situations where this medication may not be the right choice for you. According to the FDA, the following should not use clonidine:

  • Hypersensitivity to clonidine

Please note that this list may not be complete, and there may be other situations where use of this drug is not advisable.

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.


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