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Clonidine Tablets and Skin Patches
Why is this medication prescribed?
Clonidine is used to treat high blood pressure. It works by decreasing your heart rate and relaxing the blood vessels so that blood can flow more easily through the body.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should this medicine be used?
Clonidine comes as a tablet to take by mouth and a patch to apply to the skin. The tablet usually is taken two or three times a day at evenly spaced intervals. The patch is applied to the skin every 7 days. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take clonidine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
If you are using the clonidine patch, ask your doctor or pharmacist for the manufacturer's patient instructions and read them carefully. To apply the patch, follow these directions:
Clonidine controls high blood pressure but does not cure it. Continue to take clonidine even if you feel well. Do not stop taking clonidine without talking to your doctor. Do not stop taking clonidine suddenly, that can cause a rise in blood pressure and symptoms such as nervousness, headache, and confusion. Your doctor will probably decrease your dose gradually over a few days.
Other uses for this medicine
Clonidine also is used in the treatment of Tourette's syndrome, migraine headaches, ulcerative colitis, menopausal hot flashes, alcohol withdrawal, and as an aid in smoking cessation therapy. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your condition.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking clonidine,
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Your doctor may prescribe a low-salt or low-sodium diet. Follow these directions carefully.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Although side effects from clonidine are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your blood pressure should be checked regularly to determine your response to clonidine.
Your doctor may ask you to check your pulse (heart rate) daily and will tell you how rapid it should be. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to teach you how to take your pulse. If your pulse is slower or faster than it should be, call your doctor before taking the drug that day.
To avoid dizziness or faintness, get up slowly from a sitting or lying position. If you feel dizzy or faint at any time, you should lie or sit down.
To relieve dry mouth caused by clonidine, chew gum or suck sugarless hard candy.
Use of sleeping pills or other medications may increase the drowsiness caused by this drug.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT