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What is this medicine?

CLONIDINE (KLOE ni deen) is used to treat high blood pressure.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • kidney disease
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to clonidine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You can take it with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not suddenly stop taking this medicine. You must gradually reduce the dose or you may get a dangerous increase in blood pressure. Ask your doctor or health care professional for advice.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

Overdosage: If you think you've taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:

-MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

-alcohol
-barbiturate medicines for inducing sleep or treating seizures like phenobarbital
-certain medicines for blood pressure, heart disease, irregular heart beat
-certain medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Check your heart rate and blood pressure regularly while you are taking this medicine. Ask your doctor or health care professional what your heart rate should be and when you should contact him or her.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. To avoid dizzy or fainting spells, do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older person. Alcohol can make you more drowsy and dizzy. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water will help.

Do not treat yourself for coughs, colds, or pain while you are taking this medicine without asking your doctor or health care professional for advice. Some ingredients may increase your blood pressure.

If you are going to have surgery tell your doctor or health care professional that you are taking this medicine.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • anxiety, nervousness
  • chest pain
  • depression
  • fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
  • swelling of feet or legs
  • unusual bleeding or bruising

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (Report these to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome.):
  • change in sex drive or performance
  • constipation
  • dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • headache
  • tiredness

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All visitors to AARP.org should seek expert medical care and consult their own physicians for any specific health issues. Read this disclaimer in its entirety.
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Note: This information is not intended to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions, or adverse effects for this drug. If you have question about the drug(s) you are taking, check with your health care professional.
 
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