The prescription medication clonidine (Catapres®, Catapres-TTS®, Duraclon®, Kapvay™, Nexiclon® XR) is used for treating several different conditions. Depending on the form, clonidine is approved to treat high blood pressure, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and cancer pain. Since the specific directions for using each clonidine product may vary substantially, be sure to follow the instructions for your particular product.
Clonidine is a type of alpha-2 adrenergic agonist that works to decrease blood pressure by stimulating alpha-2 receptors in the brain stem and possibly by decreasing certain substances (such as renin or aldosterone) in the body. Although it can help lower blood pressure levels, the medication is not a cure for high blood pressure. When used in an epidural to treat pain, clonidine works by blocking pain signals from reaching the brain.
(Click Clonidine for a list of the potential side effects of the medicine, several warnings and precautions, and more detailed dosing guidelines.)