Important Information on Clonidine
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking this medicine if you:
- Have heart disease, especially chest pain (angina) or a recent heart attack
- Have an irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
- Have had a stroke or transient ischemic attach (TIA)
- Have an upcoming surgery
- Have kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- Have a bleeding disorder
- Are taking anticoagulant medications ("blood thinners")
- Have any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant (see Clonidine and Pregnancy)
- Breastfeeding (see Clonidine and 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.
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Clonidine to learn more, including information on who should not take the drug.)
Clonidine belongs to a group of medications known as alpha-2 adrenergic agonists. It works by stimulating alpha-2 receptors in the brain stem. This causes a decrease in both blood pressure and heart rate. There is also some evidence that clonidine may decrease certain substances (such as renin or aldosterone) in the body, an action that might also contribute to decreased blood pressure.
When used in an epidural to treat pain, clonidine works by blocking pain signals from reaching the brain. It is unknown how clonidine works to treat ADHD.