Generic Name: Clonidine

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Catapres is a medicine used alone or in combination with other medications to treat high blood pressure.

  • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

    How does this medication work?

    Catapres lowers blood pressure by widening and relaxing your blood vessels, allowing your blood to flow through with less resistance.

    What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

    What: By lowering your blood pressure, Catapres may lower your risk of a stroke or a heart attack.

    When: Catapres may start working within 30 to 60 minutes of taking it. Though you may not feel an improvement or change in the way you feel, it is very important to keep taking your medicine as prescribed to keep your condition under control.

    How do I know it is working?

    Check your blood pressure regularly. Your healthcare provider will also check your blood pressure at every visit. Following an appropriate diet and exercise plan will also affect your blood pressure results.

  • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

    The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

    More common side effects may include: dry mouth, drowsiness, dizziness, constipation.

    Less common side effects may include:

    Allergic reactions, with symptoms such as rash; hives; or swelling of your face, lips, or tongue.

    Dry eyes, especially if you wear contact lenses.

  • Who should not take this medication?

    Do not take Catapres if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

  • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

    Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Catapres. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you are scheduled for surgery.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

    Adults: The usual starting dose is 0.1 milligrams twice a day (morning and bedtime). Your healthcare provider may increase your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

    If you are elderly or have kidney impairment, your healthcare provider may adjust your dose appropriately.

    It is important that you do not stop taking this medication abruptly. If you need to change or stop taking this medication, it is important that you only do this with the guidance of your healthcare provider.

  • How should I take this medication?

    Take Catapres exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Catapres without first talking to your healthcare provider.

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how Catapres affects you.

  • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

    If Catapres is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Catapres with the following: alcohol, barbiturates (such as phenobarbital), blood pressure/heart medications known as beta-blockers (such as metoprolol or propranolol) or calcium channel blockers (such as diltiazem or verapamil), certain antidepressants (such as amitriptyline or imipramine), certain antipsychotics (such as risperidone or haloperidol), digoxin, or medicines that may make you sleepy (such as oxycodone).

  • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Catapres during pregnancy are unknown. Catapres can be found in your breast milk if you take it while breastfeeding. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

    If you miss a dose of Catapres, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store this medication?

    Store at room temperature.

Meet the Pharmacists

I'm Kristen Dore, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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