Clonidine is one promising antihypertensive drug which can help patients deal with psychological bout as well. The drug also is proven effective in children suffering from ADHD. It needs to be taken properly to maintain maximum efficacy and safety.
Clonidine is the generic name of the antihypertensive drug which acts as an a2 adrenergic agonist. It is generally used for the treatment of high blood pressure by stimulating brain receptors in order to relax blood vessels in the body. It is also used to treat Tourette syndrome, neuropathic pain, sleep hyperhydrosis and opioid detoxification. It can be used together with stimulants to treat ADHD or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Its effects on moderate ADHD-associated oppositional and impulsive behavior are helpful in managing tics.
Clonidine is also known under brand names like Catapres and Dixarit. It comes in tablet form, injectable form via epidural as well as transdermal patches. Parasympathetic activity results through its central nervous system actions. Heart rate can significantly decrease with concurrent use of the medication. Other useful actions of clonidine involve treating migraine headaches, menopausal hot flashes, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, smoking cessation symptoms and ulcerative colitis.
The medication can cause several side effects as well manifesting as mild, moderate or severe. A doctor should be contacted immediately if these become severe: dry mouth, dizziness, drowsiness, fatigability, headache, constipation, nervousness, decreased libido, upset stomach, rash and vomiting. Other serious side effects include fainting, slow or rapid heartbeat, arrhythmia, swollen feet or ankles and allergic symptoms like facial and lips swelling, breathing difficulty and hives. Orthostatic hypotension, xerostomia and tolerance to clonidine may also result.
Special precautions are given to pregnant women and nursing mothers. Individuals who are about to undergo surgery including dental procedures should inform their doctor first to avoid bleeding complications. Those who are allergic to the drug should not take it and those with history of kidney disease, heart attach, stroke and coronary artery disease should inform their doctor first before taking clonidine. The medication may also cause adverse effects if interacts with beta blockers, sleeping pills, a number of supplements, vitamins and herbal medicines.
Clonidine acts as an a-adrenergic receptor agonist and has more affinity for a2 compared to a1. Brain receptors are selectively stimulated by the drug. These receptors are responsible for monitoring catecholamine levels in the blood and stimulation causes them to think that levels are higher than normal actual levels. The result would be reduction of catecholamine production and blood levels through relaxation and widening of blood vessels.
A survey of 35 children with FXS treated with clonidine showed significant improvement in symptoms like sleep disturbances, motor tics and hyperactivity. 63% of parents reported overall improvement in their child’s condition, 20% reported minor improvement, 11% reported that their child’s condition became worse while 6% reported no noticeable effect. There were a number of exacerbated symptoms as well like anxiety and sleep disturbances.
Clonidine is a prescription medication which should only be purchased from legitimate and verified pharmacies and doctors’ clinics. The tablets and patches are also available online but consumers should check the source and manufacturer first to ensure freshness and authenticity of products.
Individuals should watch out for symptoms of clonidine overdose such as lethargy, lightheadedness, vomiting and drowsiness. The dosage should be taken as indicated by the doctor. The medication should not be stopped abruptly even if condition becomes better. The drug may need to be taken for life by those suffering from chronic hypertension for maintenance. Store the drug in room temperature away from sunlight, heat and moisture.
Clonidine has the following structural formula:
• Molecular formula of clonidine is C9H9Cl2N3
• Chemical IUPAC Name is N-(2,6-dichlorophenyl)-4,5-dihydro-1H-imidazol-2-amine
• Molecular weight is 230.093 g/mol
• Clonidine available : 0.1mg tablets, 0.2mg tablets, 0.3mg tablets
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