Catapres (Clonidine) Dosage and Side Effects
CATAPRES is a medication used to treat high blood pressure.
Warnings and Precautions
Always tell your doctor if you have allergies to any medications.
Talk to your doctor about the danger of stopping CATAPRES suddenly, especially if you have any upcoming surgical procedures.
Most likely you will continue to take CATAPRES until just before surgery, and start up again soon after surgery. Doctors should monitor your blood pressure carefully during surgery.
Use CATAPRES cautiously if you have a history of heart problems or stroke, and make sure doctor is aware you have had these conditions.
Your doctor will also want to know, before starting you on CATAPRES, if you have any of these other conditions:
•Previous heart attack
•A heart rhythm abnormality such as atrial fibrillation (afib) or ventricular fibrillation (vfib)
CATAPRES and Pregnancy
If you're a woman, let your doctor know if you are or could be pregnant or if you're breastfeeding.
There's not enough evidence to determine whether CATAPRES is safe to take during pregnancy, but experts do know that CATAPRES passes into breast milk.
If you become pregnant while taking CATAPRES, let your doctor know right away. Also, ask your doctor about breastfeeding before taking CATAPRES.
Children younger than 12 should not take CATAPRES.
The most common side effects of CATAPRES are dry mouth, drowsiness, dizziness, and constipation.
You may experience dizziness if you get up suddenly while using CATAPRES. These side effects are usually mild and diminish over time, but if you have any side effects from CATAPRES, let your doctor know.
It's especially important to call your doctor right away if you have any of these side serious side effects of CATAPRES:
•Rash or hives
•Swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, or eyes
•Swelling or the legs, ankles, or hands
Other possible side effects of CATAPRES include:
•Loss of appetite
•Decreased interest in sex or problems having sex
•Muscle aches or cramps
•Dry eyes and blurred vision
You may be more at risk for side effects from CATAPRES if you are 65 or older. Ask your doctor if there are safer options for you than CATAPRES.
Interactions with this medication
Some drugs may affect the way CATAPRES works, and CATAPRES may affect other drugs you are taking.
It's very important to let your doctor know about all the drugs you take, including any over-the-counter drugs, illegal or recreational drugs, herbs or herbal preparations, or dietary or nutritional supplements.
When you take CATAPRES along with sedatives like alcohol, barbiturates, and some antidepressants, side effects like drowsiness may become more severe.
Some drugs used to treat heart disease may also interact with CATAPRES and cause side effects.
Types of drugs that interact with CATAPRES include:
•Blood pressure medications called beta-blockers, such as acebutolol (Sectral), atenolol (Tenormin, in Tenoretic), and betaxolol (Kerlone)
•Heart medications called calcium channel blockers, including amlodipine (Norvasc, in Caduet and Lotrel), diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac), and felodipine (Plendil, in Lexxel)
•The heart medication digoxin (Digitek, Lanoxicaps, Lanoxin)
•Antidepressants, especially tricyclic antidepressants, such as clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), and doxepin (Sinequan)
•Sleeping pills, such as Ambien
•Medications to treat anxiety, such as Xanax or Valium
•Seizure medications, including phenytoin (Dilantin) and levetiracetam (Keppra)
CATAPRES can make you drowsy, so don't drive or participate in any hazardous activities until you know how CATAPRES affects you.
Drinking alcohol or using sedatives may also increase these side effects of CATAPRES.
In addition, your doctor may advise you to be on a low-salt diet to help treat your high blood pressure.
Proper Use of this medication
CATAPRES comes in tablets of 0.1, 0.2, and 0.3 milligrams (mg), and your doctor will try to find the lowest dose of CATAPRES that works for you.
You usually take CATAPRES twice a day at about the same times. A typical dose schedule for an adult with high blood pressure is 0.1 mg taken in the morning and at bedtime.
Your doctor may increase your dose by 0.1 mg each week until you have a good response. In most cases, a daily dose will end up between 0.2 and 0.6 mg given in divided doses.
People older than 65 and those with kidney disease may need to take lower doses of CATAPRES.
Symptoms of a CATAPRES overdose may include:
•High blood pressure followed by low blood pressure
•Low body temperature
Symptoms usually occur within 30 minutes of an overdose, and children are much more likely to have symptoms of an overdose than adults.
A large overdose can cause abnormal heart rhythms, inability to breathe, seizure, and coma.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.