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In a clonidine overdose, hypertension may develop early and may be followed by hypotension, bradycardia, respiratory depression, hypothermia, drowsiness, decreased or absent reflexes, weakness, irritability, and miosis. The frequency of CMS depression may be higher in children than adults. Large overdoses may result in reversible cardiac conduction defects or dysrhythmias, apnea, coma, and seizures. Signs and symptoms of overdose generally occur within 30 minutes to two hours after exposure. As little as 0.1 mg of clonidine has produced signs of toxicity in children.
There is no specific antidote for clonidine overdosage. Gastric lavage may be indicated following recent and/or large ingestions. Administration of activated charcoal and/or a cathartic may be beneficial. Because clonidine overdosage may result in the rapid development of CMS depression administration of ipecac syrup to induce vomiting is not recommended. Supportive care may include atropine sulfate for bradycardia, intravenous fluids and/or vasopressor agents for hypotension and vasodilators for hypertension. Naloxone may be a useful adjunct for the management of clonidine-induced respiratory depression, hypotension or coma; monitor blood pressure as the administration of naloxone has occasionally resulted in paradoxical hypertension. Dialysis is not likely to significantly enhance the elimination of clonidine.
The largest overdose reported to date involved a 28-year-old male who ingested 100 mg of clonidine hydrochloride powder. This patient developed hypertension followed by hypotension, bradycardia, apnea, hallucinations, semicoma, and premature ventricular contractions. The patient fully recovered after intensive treatment. Plasma clonidine levels were 60 ng/mL after 1 hour, 190 ng/mL after 1.5 hours, 370 ng/mL after 2 hours, and 120 ng/mL after 5.5 and 6.5 hours. In mice and rats, the oral LD50 of clonidine is 206 and 465 mg/kg, respectively.
Do not use Jenloga (clonidine tablets) in patients with known serious hypersensitivity to clonidine (e.g., rash or angioedema) [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Last reviewed on RxList: 10/25/2010
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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