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What are the side effects of Clonidine?

Mark C. Houston, MD
Internal Medicine
Clonidine primary side effects are dry mouth and sedation.  It can also cause sexual dysfunction.  It should never be stopped suddenly as it will cause a severe withdrawal syndrome with increased blood pressure , heart rate and possibly stroke and heart attack.
Possible side effects of clonidine (name brands: Catapres, Chlorpres) are as follows:
  • It has a sedating quality that sedates to the point of drowsiness in about a third of the people who use it. So don't drive or operate any heavy machinery until you know you can tolerate the drug without problems.
  • If you don't have high blood pressure, clonidine can drop your blood pressure low enough to cause dizziness, fainting, and falls.
  • If you start taking clonidine and then decide to stop, you need to carefully discontinue taking it, as an abrupt halt can trigger nervousness, agitation, confusion, and a sudden rise in blood pressure.

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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.