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What should I know before taking a centrally acting alpha agonist?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

If you have severe coronary insufficiency or have had a recent heart attack, a centrally acting alpha agonist may not be a good option for you.

If you have had a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), a centrally acting alpha agonist may not be a good option for you.

If you have AV block, a depressive disorder, or Raynaud disease, clonidine may not be a good option for you.

If you have impaired kidney function, guanabenz may not be a good option for you. If you have kidney failure, clonidine and guanfacine may not be good options for you.

If you have impaired liver function, guanabenz and guanfacine may not be good options for you.

If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or may be pregnant, centrally acting alpha antagonists may not be a good option for you. It is not known if they are safe for pregnant women.

If you are breastfeeding, you should not take clonidine. Guanabenz and guanfacine may not be good options for you. It is not known if these drugs can be passed into breast milk. 

This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.