Clonidine IR oral tablet is a generic prescription medication. It’s FDA-approved to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) in adults. IR stands for “immediate release,” which means the medication is released into the bloodstream right away.

Clonidine IR oral tablets may be used alone or with other drugs. They’re typically used as an add-on treatment to help lower high blood pressure that’s not well managed by other drugs.

Drug details

Clonidine IR oral tablet belongs to a drug class* called centrally acting alpha-agonists. These drugs lower blood pressure by reducing certain nerve signals that your brain sends to your heart and blood vessels.

Clonidine IR oral tablets are taken by mouth. They come in three strengths: 0.1 milligrams (mg), 0.2 mg, and 0.3 mg.

Note: Clonidine also comes in other forms: XR (extended-release) oral tablets, skin patch, and injection. This article addresses only clonidine IR (immediate-release) oral tablets. For information on clonidine’s other forms, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* A drug class is a group of medications that work in a similar way.

Brand-name versions

Clonidine IR oral tablet is a generic medication. This medication is also available as the brand-name drug Catapres.

Note: The other forms of clonidine have other brand-name drug versions. For information on those versions, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Effectiveness

For information about the effectiveness of clonidine IR oral tablets, see the “Clonidine IR oral tablet uses” section below.

Clonidine IR oral tablet is a generic drug. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. Catapres is the brand-name medication that clonidine IR oral tablets are based on. A generic is considered to be as safe and effective as the original drug. Generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.

If you’re interested in using Catapres instead of clonidine IR oral tablets, talk with your doctor. They can tell you if Catapres comes in strengths that can be used for your condition. If you have insurance, you’ll also need to check whether your plan will cover Catapres.

To learn more about how generics compare with brand-name drugs, see this article.

Clonidine IR oral tablets can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking this drug. These lists do not include all possible side effects.

For more information about the possible side effects of clonidine IR oral tablets, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to deal with any side effects that may be concerning or bothersome.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with clonidine IR oral tablets, you can do so through MedWatch.

Mild side effects

Mild side effects* of clonidine IR oral tablets can include:

Most of these side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. But if they become more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* This is a partial list of mild side effects from clonidine IR oral tablets. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or view the drug label information.
† For more information about this side effect, see “Side effect details” below.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from clonidine IR oral tablets aren’t common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Serious side effects and their symptoms can include:

* For more information about this side effect, see “Side effect details” below.

Side effect details

Here’s some detail on certain side effects this drug may cause.

Lowered heart rate

Clonidine can slow your heart rate. This is one of the ways the medication works to lower your blood pressure. However, if your heart rate gets too slow, this could lead to serious problems. For example, it could cause fainting, heart failure, irregular heartbeats, or a heart attack. However, it’s rare for your heart rate to get dangerously slow while you’re taking clonidine.

If your heart rate is below 60 beats per minute, this is generally considered to be slow. But it’s not always dangerous. For example, athletes and people who regularly exercise often have a resting heart rate that’s below 60 beats per minute.

Your heart rate is more likely to get too slow if you take certain other medications with clonidine. For examples of these medications, see the “Clonidine IR oral tablet interactions” section below.

Your doctor will regularly check your heart rate while you take clonidine, especially when you first start treatment, to make sure it’s not too slow. They’ll do this by taking your pulse. Your doctor can tell you what your heart rate should be during your treatment and show you how to check your pulse.

Call your doctor right away if your heart rate gets slower than it should be while you’re taking clonidine. You should also call your doctor right away if you have symptoms of a serious heart problem. These may include:

  • feeling like your heart is racing, fluttering, or skipping beats
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • shortness of breath
  • feeling lightheaded
  • fainting

Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

If your heart rate gets too slow while you’re taking clonidine, your doctor will likely reduce your dose. If your heart rate becomes dangerously slow or you’re having a serious heart problem, you may also need treatment in a hospital.

Feeling sleepy

Clonidine may cause sleepiness. This is one of the more common side effects of the drug.

Sleepiness can become worse if you drink alcohol with clonidine. This side effect can increase if you take clonidine with other medications that also cause sleepiness. For examples of these medications, see the “Clonidine IR oral tablet interactions” section below.

Along with sleepiness, clonidine can also cause dizziness and blurry vision. All of these side effects can affect your ability to drive or do other potentially dangerous activities safely.

If you feel sleepy, dizzy, or have blurry vision while taking clonidine, do not drive or operate machinery. And avoid other potentially dangerous activities, such as riding a bike or horse, or climbing ladders.

Sleepiness, dizziness, and blurry vision usually improve as you continue to take clonidine. But if these side effects become troublesome, more severe, or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may recommend switching to a different blood pressure medication.

Sexual problems

Like many other blood pressure medications, clonidine can sometimes cause sexual problems. These problems may include erectile dysfunction (trouble getting or keeping an erection) and loss of libido (sex drive).

If you’re concerned about sexual problems while taking clonidine, talk with your doctor. These problems can often be solved by switching blood pressure medications.

If you have erectile dysfunction with clonidine, do not take medications such as sildenafil (Viagra) unless your doctor says it’s safe to do so. Erectile dysfunction medications can lower your blood pressure, which could increase your risk for dizziness or fainting with clonidine.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking clonidine IR oral tablets.

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • skin rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing (temporary warmth, redness, or deepening of skin color)

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
  • trouble breathing

Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to clonidine IR oral tablets, as the reaction could become severe. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about clonidine IR oral tablets.

Can clonidine IR oral tablets be used to treat anxiety, sleep problems, and more?

Yes, doctors will sometimes prescribe clonidine off-label for anxiety or sleep problems associated with certain conditions. Off-label drug use means using a drug for a purpose other than what the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved.

Clonidine IR oral tablets have only been approved by the FDA to treat hypertension (high blood pressure). But this medication is also used off-label to treat several other conditions.

Examples of other off-label uses for clonidine IR oral tablets include:

When used for alcohol or opioid withdrawal, clonidine can help reduce withdrawal symptoms related to stopping these substances. These may include anxiety, agitation, nausea, diarrhea, and sleep problems.

However, clonidine doesn’t reduce cravings for alcohol or opioids. Talk with your doctor if you’re interested in using clonidine to help with alcohol or opioid withdrawal. They can determine if clonidine is the best treatment for you and what the right dose for withdrawal is for you.

Doctors sometimes recommend clonidine off-label to treat anxiety disorders other than PTSD, but there’s not much evidence that it’s effective. If you have an anxiety disorder, your doctor will likely prescribe a medication other than clonidine. Examples may include benzodiazepines such as clonazepam (Klonopin) and certain antidepressants such as citalopram (Celexa).

If you’re interested in using clonidine for any off-label uses, talk with your doctor. They can determine whether clonidine or a different medication is right for you and what your dosage should be.

Is clonidine a controlled substance?

No, clonidine isn’t a controlled substance. Controlled substances are drugs that have a high risk for misuse and addiction.

Drug misuse refers to using a drug in a way or for a condition it’s not prescribed for, usually to achieve a pleasurable effect or “high.” Addiction refers to feeling unable to stop using a drug, even though it may be causing harm.

There are special rules for prescribing and dispensing controlled substances. Clonidine doesn’t have a high risk for misuse and isn’t classed as being addictive. There are no special rules for prescribing or dispensing it.

Clonidine can make some people feel sleepy or relaxed, but it doesn’t typically make you feel “high.” However, some people may misuse clonidine by taking it with other drugs or alcohol to intensify their effects and create a “high” feeling. Misusing clonidine can cause dangerous side effects, especially if it’s used with alcohol or other drugs.

If you’re worried about how clonidine might make you feel, or if you have concerns about the potential for misuse or addiction, talk with your doctor.

How long do clonidine IR oral tablets last?

The effects of clonidine IR oral tablets last for about 12 to 16 hours. This is the half-life of the drug (how long it takes for half the dose to be removed from your system). IR stands for “immediate release,” which means the medication is released into the bloodstream right away.

Based on its half-life, clonidine stays in your system for about 2.5 to 3.5 days after taking a dose. Its levels will gradually decrease over this time.

If you have other questions about how long the effects of clonidine last, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Is weight gain a side effect of clonidine IR oral tablets?

Weight gain has been reported in some people taking clonidine IR oral tablets. But these people may also have been taking other blood pressure medications, so it’s not known if clonidine caused the weight gain.

If you have unexplained weight gain while taking clonidine, talk with your doctor. They can help determine the possible cause of the weight gain and what your next steps should be.

How much do clonidine IR oral tablets lower blood pressure?

It’s not possible to predict how much clonidine IR oral tablets will lower your blood pressure. How well this medication works for you will depend on several individual factors. To find out what you can expect from taking this medication, talk with your doctor.

Is clonidine a beta-blocker?

No, clonidine isn’t a beta-blocker. Clonidine is a type of drug called a centrally acting alpha agonist. Both types of drugs can be used to lower blood pressure, but they work in slightly different ways.

Clonidine and beta-blockers both slow your heart rate and allow your blood vessels to relax and widen. But clonidine does this by reducing certain nerve messages from your brain, while beta-blockers act directly on your heart and blood vessels.

To learn more about how clonidine helps lower blood pressure, see the “How clonidine IR oral tablets work” section below.

The clonidine IR oral tablet dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. (IR stands for “immediate release,” which means the medication is released into the bloodstream right away.)

These factors include:

  • the type and severity of the condition you’re using clonidine IR oral tablets to treat
  • your age
  • how well your kidneys work
  • other medical conditions you may have
  • other medications you may be taking

Typically, your doctor will start you on a low dosage. Then they’ll adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s right for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Drug strengths

Clonidine IR oral tablets are available in three strengths: 0.1 milligrams (mg), 0.2 mg, and 0.3 mg.

Dosage for high blood pressure

The usual starting dosage of clonidine for adults with high blood pressure is 0.1 mg taken twice a day (morning and evening).

Depending on how you respond to the medication, your doctor may increase your daily dose by 0.1 mg each week until your blood pressure is well managed. Your daily dose should be split into two doses that you take each morning and evening. If your daily dose can’t be evenly split, you should take the larger of your two doses at bedtime.

The usual dosage range is 0.2 mg to 0.6 mg per day. The maximum dosage of clonidine for hypertension in adults is 2.4 mg per day. However, doses this high are rarely used.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of clonidine IR oral tablets, take it as soon as possible. But if it’s almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and just take your next dose as usual. Do not take extra doses to make up for missing doses. Doing so could raise your risk for side effects.

If you miss more than one dose of clonidine, talk with your doctor right away. If you go without this medication for too long, it can cause your blood pressure to increase rapidly. This can cause dangerous side effects. To read more about this, see the “Clonidine IR oral tablet withdrawal and dependence” section below.

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or timer on your phone or downloading a reminder app. A kitchen timer can work, too.

Will I need to use this drug long term?

Clonidine IR oral tablets are meant to be used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that clonidine IR oral tablets are safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take them long term.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as clonidine IR oral tablets to treat certain conditions. Doctors may also prescribe clonidine IR oral tablets off-label for other conditions. Off-label drug use means using a drug for a purpose other than what it’s been approved for by the FDA.

The clonidine IR oral tablet is FDA-approved to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) in adults. (IR stands for “immediate release,” which means the medication is released into the bloodstream right away.) It can be used alone or with other drugs. But it’s typically used as an add-on treatment to help lower high blood pressure that’s not well managed by other drugs.

About high blood pressure

High blood pressure occurs when you have too much pressure inside your blood vessels. This doesn’t usually cause any symptoms. But over time, high blood pressure can put a strain on the walls of your arteries and can damage your arteries and vital organs.

High blood pressure can cause various health problems, including vision loss and kidney disease. In particular, high blood pressure can raise your risk for cardiovascular problems, such as heart failure, heart attack, and stroke. Lowering high blood pressure helps reduce the risk of these problems. In many cases, people take blood pressure medications to help lower their blood pressure.

Effectiveness for high blood pressure

Clonidine IR oral tablets are an effective treatment for lowering blood pressure. This drug has been widely used to treat high blood pressure for more than 50 years. The American Heart Association guidelines recommend clonidine IR oral tablets as a treatment for high blood pressure.

Clonidine IR oral tablet and children

The clonidine IR oral tablet is not FDA-approved to treat high blood pressure in children. But doctors may sometimes prescribe this medication off-label for children with high blood pressure if other drugs weren’t effective for them.

If your child has been prescribed clonidine, you may be concerned about possible side effects of this medication. In general, side effects of clonidine in children are likely to be similar to those reported in adults. To learn more, see the “Clonidine IR oral tablet side effects” section above.

It’s important to note that if your child is unable to take more than one dose of clonidine (for example, because of vomiting), you should contact their doctor. If your child goes without this medication for too long, it can cause their blood pressure to increase rapidly. This can cause dangerous side effects. To learn more, see the “Clonidine IR oral tablet withdrawal and dependence” section below.

Clonidine oral XR tablet and ADHD

The FDA has not approved clonidine IR oral tablet to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. But another form of the drug, the clonidine oral XR (extended release) tablet, is approved for this use in children ages 6 years and older.

If your child has ADHD, talk with their doctor about their treatment options. If medication is recommended, their doctor can determine whether clonidine or a different medication, such as amphetamine/dextroamphetamine (Adderall), is the best option.

Clonidine IR oral tablet is commonly used with other medications to treat hypertension (high blood pressure). Examples of these drugs may include:

If you take clonidine with other blood pressure medications, tell your doctor if you feel dizzy or lightheaded. Your doctor may need to adjust the doses of your blood pressure medications.

There haven’t been studies on whether clonidine IR oral tablets can cause drug dependence. However, it’s possible to have withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking clonidine. Withdrawal symptoms are negative effects that you may have if you suddenly stop taking a medication.

Clonidine lowers your blood pressure by reducing the amount of epinephrine and norepinephrine that’s released from certain nerve cells in your body. Epinephrine and norepinephrine are chemical messengers that are responsible for producing your body’s “fight or flight” response. They help control your heart rate and blood pressure.

If you suddenly stop taking clonidine, large amounts of epinephrine and norepinephrine can suddenly be released in your body. This can cause your heart to beat faster and your blood vessels to tighten and narrow. This can result in symptoms such as:

  • nervousness
  • agitation
  • headache
  • tremor
  • rapid increase in blood pressure, which could cause a stroke and in rare cases, may lead to death

You should not suddenly stop taking clonidine IR oral tablet. If you and your doctor decide you should stop taking this drug, your doctor will slowly reduce your dose over 2 to 4 days to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions on how to stop your clonidine treatment.

If you’re taking a beta-blocker when you stop using clonidine, this can raise your risk for a rapid increase in blood pressure. If you need to stop taking clonidine, your doctor will usually have you stop taking the beta-blocker several days before you gradually stop using clonidine.

Examples of beta-blockers include:

If you have questions about how to safely end your clonidine treatment, talk with your doctor.

Clonidine IR oral tablets are used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure). IR stands for “immediate release,” which means the medication is released into the bloodstream right away.

High blood pressure occurs when you have too much pressure inside your blood vessels. This doesn’t usually cause any symptoms. But over time, high blood pressure can put a strain on the walls of your arteries and can damage your arteries and vital organs.

What clonidine does

Clonidine is a type of drug called a centrally acting alpha-agonist. The drug’s mechanism of action (the way it works) is that it reduces certain signals your brain sends to your heart and blood vessels.

Clonidine works by attaching to certain sites, called alpha-2 adrenergic receptors, located on nerve cells in your brain. When clonidine attaches to these receptors, it stops these nerve cells from releasing as much epinephrine and norepinephrine in your body.

Epinephrine and norepinephrine are chemical messengers that help control your heart rate and blood pressure. They’re responsible for producing your body’s “fight or flight” response. They cause your heart to beat faster and your blood vessels to tighten and narrow. Both these actions increase your blood pressure.

By reducing the amount of epinephrine and norepinephrine released from your nerves, clonidine reduces their effects on your heart and blood vessels. This slows your heart rate and allows your blood vessels to relax and widen. This helps lower your blood pressure.

How long does it take to work?

The clonidine IR oral tablet starts working to lower your blood pressure 30 to 60 minutes after you take a dose.

Clonidine IR oral tablets can interact with several other medications.

Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some interactions can interfere with how well a drug works. Other interactions can increase side effects or make them more severe.

Clonidine IR oral tablets and other medications

Below is a list of medications that can interact with clonidine IR oral tablets. This list does not contain all drugs that may interact with clonidine.

Before taking clonidine IR oral tablets, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Types of drugs that can interact with clonidine IR oral tablets include:

  • Opioids. Taking clonidine with opioids can increase the risk of sleepiness. Examples of opioids include:
    • codeine
    • dihydrocodeine
    • fentanyl (Duragesic, Subsys, Lazanda, Fentora, others)
    • methadone
    • morphine (Kadian)
    • oxycodone (Xtampza ER, Oxaydo, Oxycontin, Percodan, Percocet)
  • Benzodiazepines. Taking clonidine with benzodiazepines can raise your risk for sleepiness. Examples of these drugs include:
  • Sleeping pills. Taking clonidine with sleeping pills increases the risk of sleepiness. Examples of these drugs include:
    • eszopiclone (Lunesta)
    • zaleplon (Sonata)
    • zolpidem (Ambien)
  • Certain muscle relaxers. Taking clonidine with certain muscle relaxers increases the risk of sleepiness. Examples of these drugs include:
    • baclofen
    • tizanidine (Zanaflex)
  • Sedating antihistamines. Taking clonidine with sedating antihistamines raises the risk of sleepiness. Examples of these drugs include:
    • diphenhydramine
    • chlorpheniramine
    • doxylamine
  • Antipsychotics. Taking clonidine with antipsychotics raises your risk for sleepiness and dizziness, especially when getting up from lying down or sitting. Examples of these drugs include:
    • clozapine (Clozaril, Versacloz)
    • haloperidol (Haldol)
    • risperidone (Risperdal)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants. Taking clonidine with tricyclic antidepressants raises your risk for sleepiness. These drugs can also make clonidine less effective. Examples of tricyclic antidepressants include:
    • desipramine (Norpramin)
    • imipramine (Tofranil)
  • Beta-blockers. Taking clonidine with beta-blockers can raise your risk for slow heart rate. And if you stop using clonidine while you’re taking a beta-blocker, this can increase the risk of clonidine withdrawal symptoms. (To learn more, see the “Clonidine IR oral tablets withdrawal and dependence” section below.) Examples of beta-blockers include:
  • Calcium channel blockers. Taking clonidine with calcium channel blockers can raise your risk for slow heart rate. Examples of these drugs include:
    • diltiazem (Cardizem CD, Tiazac)
  • Digoxin (Lanoxin). Taking clonidine with digoxin can raise your risk for a slow heart rate.

Clonidine IR oral tablets and herbs and supplements

There aren’t any herbs or supplements specifically reported to interact with clonidine IR oral tablets. However, you should still check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any of these products while taking this medication.

Clonidine IR oral tablets and foods

There aren’t any foods specifically reported to interact with clonidine IR oral tablets. If you have any questions about eating certain foods with clonidine, talk with your doctor.

It’s recommended that you avoid alcohol during your clonidine treatment. Drinking alcohol with clonidine may worsen certain side effects of the drug, such as drowsiness, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, headache, and blurry vision.

If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor before taking clonidine.

Using more than the recommended dosage of clonidine IR oral tablets can lead to serious side effects. IR stands for “immediate release,” which means the medication is released into the bloodstream right away.

Do not use more clonidine IR oral tablets than your doctor recommends.

Overdose symptoms

Symptoms of an overdose of clonidine IR oral tablets can include:

What to do in case of overdose

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor. You can also call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use their online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

Other drugs are available that can treat your condition. Some may be a better fit for you than others. If you’re interested in finding an alternative to clonidine IR oral tablets, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that may work well for you.

Note: Doctors prescribe some of the drugs listed here off-label to treat these specific conditions. Off-label drug use means using a drug for a purpose other than what the FDA has approved.

Alternatives for high blood pressure

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) include:

There are also several natural ways to help lower your blood pressure. These include lifestyle changes such as exercising regularly, quitting smoking, and reducing stress. They also include dietary changes, such as eating certain foods and avoiding others.

It’s not known if clonidine IR oral tablets are safe to take during pregnancy. There haven’t been enough studies of the drug in pregnancy to know whether it can affect a fetus.

If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor about the possible risks and benefits of using clonidine IR oral tablets. They can help you decide if clonidine or a different blood pressure medication is the right treatment for you.

It’s not known if clonidine IR oral tablets are safe to take during pregnancy. If you’re sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you’re using clonidine IR oral tablets.

For more information about taking clonidine IR oral tablets during pregnancy, see the “Clonidine IR oral tablet and pregnancy” section above.

The clonidine IR oral tablet is not recommended while breastfeeding. The drug passes into breast milk and could cause side effects in a breastfed child.

If you’re breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed, talk with your doctor before taking clonidine IR oral tablets. The two of you can discuss the best options for you and your child.

As with all medications, the cost of clonidine IR oral tablets can vary. To find current prices for clonidine IR oral tablets in your area, check out GoodRx.com.


The cost you find on GoodRx.com is what you may pay without insurance. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Keep in mind that you may be able to get a 90-day supply of clonidine IR oral tablets. If approved by your insurance company, getting a 90-day supply of the drug could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor or your insurance company.

Before approving coverage for clonidine IR oral tablets, your insurance company may require you to get prior authorization. This means that your doctor and insurance company will need to communicate about your prescription before the insurance company will cover the drug. The insurance company will review the prior authorization request and decide if the drug will be covered.

If you’re not sure if you’ll need to get prior authorization for clonidine IR oral tablets, contact your insurance company.

Financial and insurance assistance

Financial assistance to help you pay for clonidine IR oral tablets may be available.

Medicine Assistance Tool and NeedyMeds are two websites offering resources that may help decrease the price you pay for clonidine. They also offer tools to help you find low-cost healthcare, as well as educational resources. To learn more, visit their sites.

Mail-order pharmacies

Clonidine IR oral tablets may be available through a mail-order pharmacy. Using this service may help lower the drug’s cost and allow you to get your medication without leaving home.

If recommended by your doctor, you may be able to receive a 90-day supply of clonidine IR oral tablets, so there’s less concern about running out of the medication. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor and your insurance company. Some Medicare plans may help cover the cost of mail-order medications.

If you don’t have insurance, you can ask your doctor or pharmacist about online pharmacy options.

You should take clonidine IR oral tablets according to the instructions your doctor or another healthcare professional gives you.

When to take

You’ll usually take clonidine IR oral tablets twice per day, in the morning and evening. IR stands for “immediate release,” which means the medication is released into the bloodstream right away.

To help make sure you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or timer on your phone or downloading a reminder app. A kitchen timer can work, too.

Taking clonidine IR oral tablets with food

You can take clonidine IR oral tablets either with or without food.

Can clonidine IR oral tablets be crushed, split, or chewed?

Clonidine IR oral tablets are scored and can be split in half. This may help you swallow them more easily.

If you still have trouble swallowing the tablets, talk with your pharmacist. It’s best not to chew these tablets, as they may taste bitter. But you can crush them and dissolve them in a drink.

Before taking clonidine IR oral tablets, talk with your doctor about your health history. Clonidine may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. These include:

  • Allergic reaction. If you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to clonidine, clonidine patches, or any of the ingredients of clonidine IR tablets, you should not take clonidine IR oral tablets. Ask your doctor what other medications are better options for you.
  • Kidney problems. Your kidneys remove clonidine from your body. If your kidneys don’t work well, clonidine could build up in your body. This could raise your risk for side effects. If you have kidney problems, your doctor may prescribe a dose of clonidine that’s lower than usual.
  • Age 65 years or older. Clonidine can cause various side effects that make it less suitable for use in older adults. If you’re over age 65 years, talk with your doctor about whether this medication is right for you. There may be other blood pressure medications that are safer options.
  • Heart problems. Clonidine can slow your heart rate and may also have other effects on your heart. If you have a heart problem, such as heart failure, irregular heartbeat, or heart block, clonidine could make your condition worse. Talk with your doctor about whether clonidine is right for you.
  • Contact lenses. Clonidine can cause dry eyes, so it can make contact lenses uncomfortable. Your doctor may recommend using lubricating eye drops to help with this.
  • Pregnancy. It’s not known if clonidine is safe to take during pregnancy. For more information, see the “Clonidine IR oral tablet and pregnancy” section above.
  • Breastfeeding. Clonidine passes into breast milk and could affect a child who’s nursing. For more information, see the “Clonidine IR oral tablet and breastfeeding” section above.

Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of clonidine IR oral tablets, see the “Clonidine IR oral tablet side effects” section above.

When you get clonidine IR oral tablets from the pharmacy, the pharmacist will add an expiration date to the label on the bottle. This date is typically 1 year from the date they dispensed the medication.

The expiration date helps guarantee that the medication is effective during this time. The current stance of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to avoid using expired medications. If you have unused medication that has gone past the expiration date, talk to your pharmacist about whether you might still be able to use it.

Storage

How long a medication remains good can depend on many factors, including how and where you store the medication.

You should store clonidine IR oral tablets at room temperature, 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C), in a tightly sealed container away from light. Avoid storing this medication in areas where it could get damp or wet, such as bathrooms.

Disposal

If you no longer need to take clonidine IR oral tablets and have leftover medication, it’s important to dispose of it safely. This helps prevent others, including children and pets, from taking the drug by accident. It also helps keep the drug from harming the environment.

This article provides several useful tips on medication disposal. You can also ask your pharmacist for information about how to dispose of your medication.

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