It was 2010 when Clonidine was approved by Food and Drug Administration for usage in pediatric patients suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. A bit later it was approved for adult patients. However, the usage of Clonidine is not limited to ADHD treatment. There are different brands of the medicine which are aimed at various diseases. In addition, there are cases of Clonidine off-label usage.
Clonidine is a prescription drug, and the cases when your doctor can choose it for you include:
High blood pressure;
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder;
Withdrawals from narcotics;
Some cases of diarrhea;
Mechanism of action.
You must know that not all of these indications for usage are FDA approved and Clonidine must be combined with other medicines in some conditions, that’s why it’s crucial to consult your doctor before purchasing the drug and deciding on the dosage you are going to take.
Warnings and Contraindications
This medicine is quite powerful, and some patients need to be very careful when taking it. It’s important to let your doctor know about all the conditions which might affect the impact of Clonidine or which makes taking the drug risky for you, such as:
Heart rhythm disorders;
Coronary artery disease;
Heart strokes or heart attacks history;
Some kinds of Clonidine are prohibited for children under 18, some of them can be taken by children since the age of 6.
As for warnings, it’s necessary to remember that Clonidine affects alertness, that’s why you’d better avoid driving or using machinery. In case you are going to have any surgery, tell your surgeon beforehand that you are receiving Clonidine therapy.
Mechanism of Action
Clonidine decreases peripheral vascular resistance due to being an alpha-antagonist agent of central action. It influences alpha-adrenoreceptors in the brain, so that calcium levels fall down, thus, norepinephrine is inhibited. As for ADHD treatment, Clonidine binds to postsynaptic α2A adrenergic receptors and increases norepinephrine input, so that noradrenergic tone is enhanced.
Clonidine for oral administration is available in three types: 0.1 mg, 0.2 mg and 0.3 mg. It depends on the age of the patient and disease he/she is suffering from considering the fact which dosage to choose. As a rule, the therapy with Clonidine starts with the dosage of 0.1 mg twice a day to check whether the reaction is good. The dosage is to be gradually increased to provide the necessary blood pressure. However, elderly patients and those with kidney conditions might be prescribed with a lower dosage to avoid severe side effects. The maximum effective dose is 2.4 mg daily, but the cases when such a high amount of Clonidine is necessary are quite rare.
The most commonly experienced side effects are:
Also you may experience such adverse reactions as dizziness, vomiting, fever, gynecomastia, agitation, anxiety, insomnia, depression and bradycardia. However, if the dosage is correct and you haven’t got any contraindications, all the side effects are mainly mild and soon disappear by themselves.