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clonidine (oral) (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking clonidine (Catapres, Kapvay, Kapvay Dose Pack)?

You should not take this medication if you are allergic to clonidine.

To make sure clonidine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • heart disease or severe coronary artery disease;
  • heart rhythm disorder, slow heartbeats;
  • low blood pressure;
  • a history of heart attack or stroke;
  • pheochromocytoma (tumor of the adrenal gland);
  • kidney disease; or
  • if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a clonidine transdermal skin patch (Catapres TTS).

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether clonidine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

Clonidine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not take this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give Kapvay to a child younger than 6 years old.

How should I take clonidine (Catapres, Kapvay, Kapvay Dose Pack)?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Do not take two forms of clonidine at the same time.

Clonidine may be taken with or without food.

Shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. Measure the liquid with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow it whole.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using clonidine. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

Do not stop using clonidine suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to safely stop using clonidine.

If you are being treated for high blood pressure, keep using this medication even if you feel well. High blood pressure often has no symptoms. You may need to use blood pressure medication for the rest of your life.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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