clonidine CATAPRES

Class: Alpha 2 Adrenergic Agonist/​Aryl-2-aminoimidazoline
FDA Indications: Hypertension
Off-Label Use: ADHD, ODD, Conduct Disorder, Tourette's Disorder, Opioid Withdrawal, Nicotine Withdrawal, Glaucoma, Alcohol Withdrawal (in Conjunction With Benzodiazepines), Migraines, Pheochromocytoma, PTSD, Anxiety
Forms: 0.1, 0.2, 0.3mg tablet; 0.1, 0.2mg extended-release tablets (Kapvay)
Dose Range: 0.05-0.4 mg/day
Starting: for ADHD, 0.1 mg qhs, can ↑ by 0.1mg/day each week with dosing divided (larger dose @hs); max dose generally 0.4mg/day
Stopping: Discontinuation should be done incrementally over ≥ 2-4 days, as discontinuation symptoms are common and can be severe (for example, rapid rise in blood pressure, rare hypertensive encephalopathy, rare cerebrovascular accident, and rare death)

NAMI drug fact sheet

Contraindications: Caution w/ concomitantly use with agents known to affect sinus node function or AV nodal conduction, e.g., digitalis, calcium channel blockers and beta-blockers
Serious Side Effects: Hypotension, syncope, ↓ HR, AV block, angioedema, depression
Side Effects: sedation/somnolence, dizziness, headache, weakness/asthenia, xerostomia
1° MOA: Nonselective α2-adrenergic receptor agonism—its action at α2A enhances PFC functioning → strengthens working memory, ↓ susceptibility to distraction, ↑ attention, ↑ behavioral inhibition, & ↑ impulse control
Target: α2A, α2B, α2C, I1, α1 (mild)
t½: 12.7 (6-20)° TMAX: 1-3°
Substrate of: 1A2, 2D6, 3A4
Inhibits: ∅ ; Induces:
Active Metabolites:
  • - can potentiate the action of, other CNS depressants, such as opiates or other analgesics, barbiturates or other sedatives, anesthetics, or alcohol
  • - sedation is common and may be intolerable for many patients
  • - ↓ autonomic symptoms of opioid withdrawal, i.e. sweating, diarrhea, cramping nausea, anxiety & irritability (BUT NOT AS EFFECTIVE in treating myalgia, restlessness, insomnia and cravings)
  • - remember, if using in setting of alcohol or benzodiazepine withdrawal, clonidine may decrease vital signs and tremor but will not prevent seizures (like beta-blockers, they can 'mask' autonomic signs of withdrawal w/o addressing seizure risk)
Special Populations

Category C—Limited Human Data—Animal Data Suggest Risk

Limited Human Data—Probably Compatible

Prescribe with caution d/t ↑ risk of adverse CNS effects; may cause bradycardia and orthostatic hypotension; generally not recommended

Patients with renal impairment may require a reduced dose of clonidine

No dosage adjustment necessary


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Last updated February 29 2024 20:54:18. Disclaimer: This website does not provide medical advice, nor is it a substitute for clinical judgment.