Clonidine hydrochloride (Catapres®, Catapres-TTS®, Duraclon®, Kapvay™, Nexiclon® XR) is a prescription medication approved for treating high blood pressure, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and severe cancer pain. There are several different forms of the medicine: oral clonidine tablets, long-acting clonidine tablets, oral liquid, clonidine skin patches, and a clonidine epidural.
The directions for using each clonidine product may vary substantially, so be sure to follow the instructions for your particular product.
Clonidine belongs to a group of medications known as alpha-2 adrenergic agonists. It works to decrease blood pressure and heart rate by stimulating alpha-2 receptors in the brain stem. It may also work for high blood pressure by decreasing certain substances (such as renin or aldosterone) in the body. When used in an epidural to treat pain, clonidine works by blocking pain signals from reaching the brain.
(Click Clonidine for more information on when and how to use clonidine, to find out what side effects may occur, and to learn more about the specific effects of this drug.)