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Catapres-TTS Warnings and Precautions

Before starting treatment, it's important to be aware of the warnings and precautions with Catapres-TTS. For example, you should know that stopping this medication abruptly can result in serious complications such as stroke or even death. Be sure to let your healthcare provider know if you have heart disease, irregular heart rhythms, or kidney problems, as Catapres-TTS could cause problems in people with these conditions.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Taking Catapres-TTS?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Catapres-TTS® (clonidine hydrochloride) if you have:
  • Heart disease, especially chest pain (angina) or a recent heart attack
  • An irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
  • Had a stroke or transient ischemic attach (TIA)
  • An upcoming surgery
  • An upcoming MRI procedure
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Catapres-TTS Warnings and Precautions

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using Catapres-TTS include the following:
  • Abruptly stopping clonidine (the active ingredient in Catapres-TTS) may result in very serious problems, such as a stroke or even death. This is probably less of a concern with Catapres-TTS patches, compared with Catapres tablets, since some of the medication remains in the skin and is released slowly over a few days, making severely abrupt discontinuation impossible. Your healthcare provider will advise you about how to safely stop taking this medication.
  • Some people who develop an allergic reaction to Catapres-TTS patches may also be allergic to Catapres tablets.
  • Catapres-TTS should be used cautiously in people with heart disease, irregular heart rhythms, kidney problems, or have had a heart attack or stroke.
  • If you have an upcoming surgery, it is usually recommended that you keep the patch on during surgery, if possible. Be sure to ask your surgeon for specific instructions for your particular situation.
  • Catapres-TTS patches must be removed before MRI scans or before a defibrillator is used, as serious burns may result.
  • Catapres-TTS can potentially interact with a few other medications (see Catapres-TTS Drug Interactions).


  • People who wear contact lenses may develop problems due to dry eyes from Catapres-TTS. 


  • Catapres-TTS can cause dizziness and drowsiness. This may interfere with your ability to drive or operate heavy machinery.
  • Catapres-TTS is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it might not be safe during pregnancy, although the full risks are not currently known (see Clonidine and Pregnancy).
  • Catapres-TTS passes through breast milk in humans. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Clonidine and Breastfeeding).
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