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Catapres Side Effects Center
Medical Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Catapres (clonidine hydrochloride) is a centrally acting alpha-agonist hypotensive agent used to treat hypertension. Catapres is available as a generic named clonidine (tablets and patches). Common side effects of Catapres include dry mouth, drowsiness, dizziness, irritability, mood changes, sleep problems (insomnia or nightmares), headache, ear pain, fever, feeling hot, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, increased thirst, loss of interest in sex, impotence, difficulty having an orgasm, or cold symptoms such as runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, cough, or sore throat. Many side effects of Catapres may go away after several doses.
Catapres (clonidine hydrochloride, USP and TTS) is available in strengths of 0.1, 0.2 and 0.3 mg tablets and patches for transdermal administration (TTS form). Serious side effects of Catapres include hypotension, bradycardia, congestive heart failure, weakness, and edema. Catapres may increase the effects of alcohol and antidepressants, especially somnolence (sleepiness). Sudden cessation of clonidine treatment has, in some patients, can result in symptoms such as nervousness, agitation, headache, and tremor accompanied or followed by a rapid rise in blood pressure and elevated catecholamine concentrations. No adequate, well-controlled studies have been conducted in pregnant or breastfeeding women; this drug may be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed. Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients has not been established although some pediatric physicians have used the drug to treat hypertensive children.
Our Catapres (clonidine hydrochloride, USP and TTS) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What is Patient Information in Detail?
Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.
Catapres in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- fast or pounding heartbeats, tremors;
- a very slow heart rate (fewer than 60 beats per minute);
- feeling short of breath, even with mild exertion;
- swelling, rapid weight gain;
- confusion, hallucinations;
- flu symptoms;
- urination problems; or
- feeling like you might pass out.
Other common side effects may include:
- drowsiness, dizziness;
- feeling tired or irritable;
- cold symptoms such as runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, cough, sore throat;
- mood changes;
- sleep problems (insomnia), nightmares;
- headache, ear pain;
- mild fever;
- feeling hot;
- constipation, diarrhea, pain in your upper stomach;
- dry mouth, increased thirst; or
- loss of interest in sex, impotence, difficulty having an orgasm.
Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Catapres (Clonidine)
What is Patient Information Overview?
A concise overview of the drug for the patient or caregiver from First DataBank.
Catapres Overview - Patient Information: Side Effects
To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
To relieve dry mouth, suck on (sugarless) hard candy or ice chips, chew (sugarless) gum, drink water, or use a saliva substitute.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: fainting, slow/irregular heartbeat, mental/mood changes (such as irritability, depression).
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Read the entire patient information overview for Catapres (Clonidine)
What is Prescribing information?
The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.
Catapres FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
Most adverse effects are mild and tend to diminish with continued therapy. The most frequent (which appear to be dose-related) are dry mouth, occurring in about 40 of 100 patients; drowsiness, about 33 in 100; dizziness, about 16 in 100; constipation and sedation, each about 10 in 100.
The following less frequent adverse experiences have also been reported in patients receiving CATAPRES tablets, but in many cases patients were receiving concomitant medication and a causal relationship has not been established.
Body as a Whole: Fatigue, fever, headache, pallor, weakness, and withdrawal syndrome. Also reported were a weakly positive Coombs' test and increased sensitivity to alcohol.
Cardiovascular: Bradycardia, congestive heart failure, electrocardiographic abnormalities (i.e., sinus node arrest, junctional bradycardia, high degree AV block and arrhythmias), orthostatic symptoms, palpitations, Raynaud's phenomenon, syncope, and tachycardia. Cases of sinus bradycardia and atrioventricular block have been reported, both with and without the use of concomitant digitalis.
Central Nervous System: Agitation, anxiety, delirium, delusional perception, hallucinations (including visual and auditory), insomnia, mental depression, nervousness, other behavioral changes, paresthesia, restlessness, sleep disorder, and vivid dreams or nightmares.
Gastrointestinal: Abdominal pain, anorexia, constipation, hepatitis, malaise, mild transient abnormalities in liver function tests, nausea, parotitis, pseudo-obstruction (including colonic pseudo-obstruction), salivary gland pain, and vomiting.
Musculoskeletal: Leg cramps and muscle or joint pain.
Oro-otolaryngeal: Dryness of the nasal mucosa.
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Catapres (Clonidine)
Additional Catapres Information
Catapres - User Reviews
Catapres User Reviews
Now you can gain knowledge and insight about a drug treatment with Patient Discussions.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Get tips on handling your hypertension.