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Specific Concerns With Clonidine

Specific Clonidine Precautions and Warnings

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this drug include the following:
  • Abruptly stopping clonidine may result in very serious problems such as a stroke, or even death. Your healthcare provider will advise you about how to safely stop taking this medication.
  • Some people who develop an allergic reaction to clonidine patches may also be allergic to clonidine tablets.
  • If you have an upcoming surgery, it is important to have a plan in place about whether you should stop taking clonidine (which should be avoided if possible). Remember that abruptly stopping clonidine can cause dangerous side effects.
  • Clonidine patches must be removed before MRI scans or before a defibrillator is used, as serious burns may result.


  • People who wear contact lenses may develop problems due to dry eyes from clonidine. 


  • Clonidine can potentially interact with a few other medications (see Drug Interactions With Clonidine).
  • Epidural clonidine is very likely to cause low blood pressure (hypotension) or other serious problems. For this reason, epidural clonidine should be reserved for treating severe pain in people with cancer. Only very rarely will the benefits of epidural clonidine outweigh the risks.
  • Clonidine can cause dizziness and drowsiness. This may interfere with your ability to drive or operate heavy machinery.
  • Clonidine 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).
  • Clonidine 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).
5 Common Pain Medication Fears

Clonidine HCL Medication Information

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