Side effects, dosage, uses, etc.

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

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

To note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks the side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to inform the FDA of a side effect you have had with clonidine IR oral tablets, you can do so via MedWatch.

Mild side effects

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

Most of these side effects can go away within days or weeks. But if they get worse or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

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

Serious side effects

Serious side effects of oral clonidine IR tablets are not common, but they can occur. Call your doctor immediately if you experience serious side effects. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms are life-threatening or if you think you have a medical emergency.

Serious side effects and their symptoms can include:

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

Details of side effects

Here are some details about some side effects that this medicine can cause.

Reduced heart rate

Clonidine can slow your heart rate. This is one of the ways the medicine works to lower your blood pressure. However, if your heart rate becomes too slow, it could lead to serious problems. For example, it could cause fainting, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, or a heart attack. However, it is rare that your heart rate slows down dangerously while you are taking clonidine.

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

Your heart rate is more likely to slow down if you take certain other medicines that contain clonidine. For examples of these medicines, see “Interactions with Clonidine IR Oral Tablets” below.

Your doctor will regularly monitor your heart rate while you are taking clonidine, especially when you are starting treatment for the first time, to make sure that it is not too slow. They will 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 control your pulse.

Call your doctor right away if your heart rate slows down from what it should be while you are taking clonidine. You should also call your doctor immediately if you have symptoms of a serious heart problem. These may include:

  • feeling like your heart is racing, beating or skipping beats
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • shortness of breath
  • feel dizzy
  • fainting

Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms are life-threatening or if you think you have a medical emergency.

If your heart rate becomes too slow while you are taking clonidine, your doctor will likely reduce your dose. If your heart rate is slowing dangerously or if you have a serious heart problem, you may also need treatment in a hospital.

Feeling tired

Clonidine can cause drowsiness. This is one of the most common side effects of the drug.

Drowsiness may get worse if you drink alcohol with clonidine. This side effect may increase if you take clonidine with other medicines which also cause drowsiness. For examples of these medicines, see “Interactions with Clonidine IR Oral Tablets” below.

In addition to drowsiness, clonidine can also cause dizziness and blurred vision. All of these side effects can affect your ability to drive or perform other potentially dangerous activities safely.

If you feel drowsy, dizzy, or have blurred vision while taking clonidine, do not drive or use machines. And avoid other potentially dangerous activities, like riding a bike or horse, or climbing ladders.

Drowsiness, dizziness, and blurred vision usually get better as you continue to take clonidine. But if these side effects become bothersome, more serious, or do not go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. They may recommend switching to another blood pressure medication.

Sexual problems

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

If you are concerned about sexual problems while taking clonidine, talk to your doctor. These problems can often be resolved by changing blood pressure medications.

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

Allergic reaction

As with most medicines, some people may have a allergic reaction after taking clonidine IR oral tablets.

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • itchy skin
  • itching
  • flushing (temporary warmth, redness, or deepening of the skin color)

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

  • swelling under the skin, usually on the eyelids, lips, hands or feet
  • swelling of the tongue, mouth, or throat
  • difficulty in breathing

Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to clonidine IR oral tablets, as the reaction could get serious. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms are life-threatening or if you think you have a medical emergency.

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