Clonidine is used on its own or together with other medicines to keep your blood pressure under control. This medicine relaxes your blood vessels to increase blood flow and helps to lower your blood pressure.
Clonidine may also be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
Take this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Clonidine may be taken with or without food. Try to take it at the same time each day.
If you are taking the modified-release type of tablet, usually labelled as “ER”, swallow it whole. Do not divide, chew or crush the tablet.
This medicine must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking Clonidine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it suddenly as this may worsen your condition.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you have slow heartbeat due to heart disease called sick sinus syndrome (heart rhythm disorder) as Clonidine may not be suitable for you.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- heart disease
- Raynaud's disease (poor blood circulation which makes the toes and fingers numb and pale when feeling cold or stressed)
- depression or history of depression
- kidney disease
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving this medicine to a child.
If you are going to have an operation, including minor surgery and dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medicine.
What lifestyle changes can I make to improve my blood pressure?
Regular exercise and eating a healthy diet will help control your blood pressure and improve your overall health. Engage in physical activity like walking for at least 30 to 60 minutes on most days of the week. If you have not exercised for a long time, start with light exercises such as slow walks. Speak to your doctor about what type of exercise would be suitable for you. Follow a healthy diet plan by eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products and reduce your intake of foods high in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. Cutting down on deep-fried foods and using less salt when cooking can kick-start your healthy diet.
If you smoke, you should try to quit. Smoking is harmful to your blood pressure, heart and overall health. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about ways to stop your smoking habit.
Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- Your blood pressure may rise to unsafe levels without you noticing it. Monitor your blood pressure and heart rate.
- Regular monitoring of signs of depression may also be needed.
Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
Clonidine may cause dizziness and drowsiness. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
You may also feel dizzy when getting up from a sitting or lying down position, especially if you are taking this medicine for the very first time. This is common and should improve gradually as you get used to Clonidine. To minimise this problem, stand up slowly. If you are taking this medicine for the very first time, take the first dose of at bedtime to minimise dizziness.
Other side effects may include any of the following: dry mouth, constipation, vomiting, headache, difficulty sleeping, tiredness, weakness and slow heartbeat.
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- NSAIDs (medicine for pain and inflammation) e.g. ibuprofen, naproxen
- medicine to treat depression e.g. mirtazapine, imipramine
- medicine for mood disorders e.g. chlorpromazine
- other medicines for high blood pressure or heart disease e.g. atenolol, prazosin, digoxin
- water pill or medicine for water retention e.g. furosemide
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Clonidine.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Cut down on your salt intake. This may help lower your blood pressure and improve your overall health. Discuss with your doctor or dietitian about ways to cut down on your salt intake.
Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol. You may speak with your doctor if you have a drinking problem.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.