The active ingredient clonidine is used to treat hypertension. In addition, the drug is also used to dampen withdrawal symptoms in alcohol, drug or drug addiction. Ingestion can lead to numerous side effects - including fatigue, dry mouth and headaches. We inform you in detail about effect, side effects and dosage of clonidine.
Effect of clonidine
Clonidine is used primarily in the treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension). The active ingredient in the body ensures that less adrenaline and noradrenaline are released. These two messengers ensure that blood pressure is boosted. When their concentration goes down, the blood vessels relax and dilate and the heart has to work less vigorously. All this also causes the blood pressure to drop.
In addition to hypertension, clonidine can also be used as a support during anesthesia and to combat withdrawal symptoms. For example, the drug helps to reduce the withdrawal symptoms after alcohol, drug or opioid dependence.
Side effect of clonidine
There may be a number of side effects while taking Clonidine. The most common side effects include fatigue, drowsiness and dry mouth. Likewise, headaches, constipation, nausea and vomiting, impotence and a slowing of the heartbeat may be noticeable. Occasionally it can also cause skin reactions and itching.
On the other hand, side effects such as dizziness, insomnia, depression, mood swings, sensory disturbances, confusion and hallucinations are rather rare. Also rarely it comes to an increase in weight due to water retention.
To avoid further side effects, clonidine should never be discontinued abruptly, but slowly, step by step. Otherwise, the so-called Rebound phenomenon occur. This can lead to an excessive counter-reaction of clonidine, which can cause a very rapid and strong increase in blood pressure.
Dosage of clonidine
Clonidine can be taken either orally as a capsule or tablet, as well as injected intravenously, intramuscularly or subcutaneously. In addition, the active ingredient is available in various doses. In general, you should always start with the lowest possible dose and then slowly increase it if necessary.
Unless otherwise advised by the doctor, treatment is started at a dose of 0.075 milligrams. If necessary, the dose can then be further increased. However, an adjustment of the dosage should take place only after about two to four weeks.
Under certain circumstances you should not take Clonidine. This is especially the case if you are allergic to the drug. In addition, clonidine is also contraindicated in the following diseases or the patient requires careful medical supervision:
- Low blood pressure
- Renal dysfunction
- Cardiac arrhythmia (AV block)
- Fresh heart attack
- Bradycardia with less than 50 beats per minute
- Severe circulatory disorders
- Severe disease of the coronary arteries
During pregnancy and lactation, the active ingredient should not be taken. Even children should not be treated with clonidine.
If clonidine is taken concomitantly with other medications, interactions may occur. For this reason, always inform your doctor about which medications you are taking regularly. Among other things, interactions with the following drugs are known:
- Tricyclic antidepressants
In addition, the intake of drugs such as beta-blockers, which also influence the blood pressure, should be avoided. Otherwise it can lead to arrhythmia and a slowing of the heartbeat. Also, be careful not to consume alcohol with the active ingredient at the same time as it may increase the effect of clonidine.