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News 10-11-2010
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ClonidineProduct code SKU16549

Brand Name(s) : Catapres, Dixarit


CLONIDINE USES

What is it used for?

 Clonidine is used to treat a number of problems.
 It is an antihypertensive, and is sometimes known as a blood-pressure lowering drug.
 It is used to lower blood pressure, which is achieved by its action on a type of receptor (alpha2-adrenergic receptors) found in the brain, resulting in decreased heartbeat rate and blood pressure.
 In general this drug is used to treat high blood pressure, treating migraine and flushing of the skin experienced during the menopause (menopausal flushing).
 Benefits of being on this drug can include the lowering of blood pressure, treatment of migraines and stopping menopausal flushing.

Listed below are the typical uses of clonidine:

 The prevention of migraine or recurrent vascular headache
 The management of conditions commonly associated with the menopause and characterised by flushing.

On occasion your doctor may prescribe this medicine to treat a condition not on the above list. Such conditions are listed below.
Control of Tourette's syndrome (a neurological disorder characterised by repetitive tics, such as shoulder shrugging, eye blinking, tongue clicking, sniffing, jumping, twirling, uttering words out of context, or uncontrolled use of obscene language).

HOW TO USE/TAKE

How often do I take it?

 Take this medication by mouth, usually between two and four-times daily. It is also available in liquid form for intravenous injection.
 Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it.
 Remember to use it at the same time each day - unless specifically told otherwise by your doctor.
 It may take some time before the full benefit of this drug takes effect.
 Certain medical conditions may require different dosage instructions as directed by your doctor.

What dose?

 Dosage is based on your age, gender, medical condition, response to therapy, and use of certain interacting medicines.

Do I need to avoid anything?

 Avoid driving or operating machinery if clonidine makes you feel sleepy. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

When can I stop?

 It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well, unless your doctor tells you to stop.

Details

CLONIDINE INTERACTIONS

Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.

This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious, possibly fatal interactions may occur:

 Anti-arrhythmics (beta-blockers, e.g. atenolol or propanolol).

If you are currently using any of these medications, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting clonidine.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and non-prescription/herbal products you may use, especially of:

 Other blood-pressure lowering drugs (particularly minoxidil or sodium nitroprusside)
 Anti-arrhythmics (e.g. digoxin)
 Antidepressants (e.g. monoamine oxidase inhibitors [MAOIs], including the reversible MAOI, moclobemide), and tricyclic antidepressants [TCAs] such as amitriptyline)
 Antipsychotics (e.g. chlorpromazine)
 Diuretics (e.g. furosemide)
 Painkillers (e.g. non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDs] such as paracetamol) and general anaesthetics
 Adrenaline or noradrenaline, or methylphenidate (used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity order or ADHD).

This information does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using clonidine, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use.


CLONIDINE SIDE EFFECTS

 Dizziness
 Dryness of the mouth
 Drowsiness
 Feeling faint or dizzy when standing up
 Headache
 Constipation
 Feeling sick (nausea)
 Vomiting
 Depression
 Difficulties sleeping
 Pain below the ear (from the salivary gland)
 Impotence
 Tiredness
 Slow heart rate (bradycardia)
 Delusions (false belief held strongly despite overwhelming evidence that disproves such a belief)
 Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there)
 Nightmares
 Tingling, numbness or 'pins and needle' sensations (paraesthesia)
 Itching
 Rash
 Raynaud's phenomenon (restricted blood flow to the extremities such as the fingers and toes, a colour change in the skin of these areas to yellow or white, which may become cold and numb)
 A feeling of discomfort and fatigue (malaise).

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If any of these persist or you consider them severe then inform doctor or pharmacist.

Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms: jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), changes in behaviour or mental state, or heart problems.

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.

A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), 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 UK you may report side-effects to the MHRA


CLONIDINE OVERDOSE

An overdose of clonidine may cause: drowsiness, miosis (constriction of the pupils of the eyes), lethargy, slow heartbeat rate (bradycardia), low blood pressure (hypotension), high blood pressure (hypertension), coma (unable to wake), and breathing difficulties.

If you think you, or someone you care for, might have accidentally taken more than the recommended dose of clonidine or intentional overdose is suspected, contact your local hospital, GP or if in the UK call NHS Direct on 0845 4647.

MISSED DOSE

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.


CLONIDINE PRECAUTIONS

Before taking clonidine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other blood-pressure lowering drugs; or if you have any other allergies.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: a very slow heartbeat rate (e.g. in conditions such as sick sinus syndrome or atrioventricular [AV] block of the 2nd or 3rd degree).

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following: any kidney problems, history of depression, or any heart problems or problems with poor circulation.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

Does alcohol intake affect this drug?

 The effects of alcohol can be increased by clonidine, so avoid or moderate your intake of alcohol.

The elderly: clonidine can be used in the elderly.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding - please ensure you read the detailed information below

PREGNANCY

Clonidine is not safe to take if you are, or are planning to become, pregnant.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during pregnancy whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

BREAST FEEDING

Clonidine is not safe to take if you are breastfeeding.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during breastfeeding whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.


CLONIDINE WARNINGS

Clonidine should be used with caution in: women who are pregnant or who are breastfeeding, those with heart problems (including heart failure and problems with low heartbeat rate and heartbeat rhythm), blood circulation problems (e.g. Raynaud's syndrome, which involves restricted blood flow to the extremities such as the fingers and toes, a colour change in the skin of these areas to yellow or white, which may become cold and numb), patients with a poor blood supply to the brain or heart, kidney problems, or with a history of depression.

It should not be used in: patients with very slow heartbeat rate (e.g. in conditions such as sick sinus syndrome or atrioventricular [AV] block of the 2nd or 3rd degree).

Also see list of precautions and interactions.

STORAGE

Protect from light and store below 25C.

Clonidine

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