Brand Names: Catapres, Kapvay
Generic Name: clonidine (oral)
- What is clonidine (Catapres, Kapvay)?
- What are the possible side effects of clonidine (Catapres, Kapvay)?
- What is the most important information I should know about clonidine (Catapres, Kapvay)?
- What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking clonidine (Catapres, Kapvay)?
- How should I take clonidine (Catapres, Kapvay)?
- What happens if I miss a dose (Catapres, Kapvay)?
- What happens if I overdose (Catapres, Kapvay)?
- What should I avoid while taking clonidine (Catapres, Kapvay)?
- What other drugs will affect clonidine (Catapres, Kapvay)?
- Where can I get more information (Catapres, Kapvay)?
What is clonidine (Catapres, Kapvay)?
Clonidine is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure). The Kapvay brand of clonidine is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This medicine is sometimes given with other medications.
Clonidine is also available as a transdermal patch worn on the skin. Do not use two forms of this medicine at the same time.
Clonidine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What are the possible side effects of clonidine (Catapres, Kapvay)?
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- severe chest pain, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeats;
- a very slow heart rate; or
- a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out.
Common side effects may include:
- drowsiness, dizziness;
- feeling tired or irritable;
- dry mouth;
- constipation, loss of appetite; or
- sleep problems (insomnia), nightmares.
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 the most important information I should know about clonidine (Catapres, Kapvay)?
Use only as directed. Tell your doctor if you use other medicines or have other medical conditions or allergies.
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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking clonidine (Catapres, Kapvay)?
You should not take this medicine if you are allergic to clonidine.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- heart disease or severe coronary artery disease;
- a heart rhythm disorder, slow heartbeats;
- high or low blood pressure, or a history of fainting spells;
- a heart attack or stroke;
- pheochromocytoma (tumor of the adrenal gland);
- kidney disease; or
- if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a clonidine transdermal skin patch (Catapres TTS).
It is not known if clonidine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry to track the effects of clonidine on the baby.
Clonidine may affect fertility in men or women. Pregnancy could be harder to achieve while either parent is using this medicine.
If you are breastfeeding, tell your doctor if you notice somnolence, tiredness, rapid breathing, and poor feeding in the nursing baby.
Catapres is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old. Do not give Kapvay to a child younger than 6 years old.
How should I take clonidine (Catapres, Kapvay)?
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Clonidine is usually taken in the morning and at bedtime. If you take different doses of this medicine at each dosing time, it may be best to take the larger dose at bedtime.
Clonidine may be taken with or without food.
Swallow the extended-release tablet whole and do not crush, chew, or break it.
Tell your doctor if you have a planned surgery.
You may have withdrawal symptoms if you stop using clonidine suddenly. Ask your doctor before stopping the medicine.
Call your doctor if you are sick with vomiting. This is especially important for a child taking clonidine.
If you have high blood pressure, keep using this medicine even if you feel well. High blood pressure often has no symptoms.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
What happens if I miss a dose (Catapres, Kapvay)?
Skip the missed dose and use your next dose at the regular time. Do not use two doses at one time.
What happens if I overdose (Catapres, Kapvay)?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking clonidine (Catapres, Kapvay)?
Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase certain side effects of clonidine.
Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Dizziness or drowsiness can cause falls, accidents, or severe injuries.
Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated during exercise and in hot weather.
What other drugs will affect clonidine (Catapres, Kapvay)?
Using clonidine with other drugs that make you drowsy can worsen this effect. Ask your doctor before using opioid medication, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety or seizures.
Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:
- other heart or blood pressure medications;
- an antidepressant; or
- any other medicine that contains clonidine.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with clonidine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
Where can I get more information (Catapres, Kapvay)?
Your pharmacist can provide more information about clonidine.
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