Vu H. Phan, D.C., QME, L.Ac
Hardin Simmons University
Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing
Pharmacology for Nursing
Heather Flores, RN, MSN
November 30th, 2009
Clonidine is a centrally acting alpha 2 agonist. Clonidine is approved to treat hypertension and relief severe pain. Clonidine has minimal adverse effects. It is both safe and effective. (Lehne, R, 2010)
Mechanism of Antihypertensive Action:
Clonidine is a centrally acting alpha 2 adrenergic agonist that causes selective activation of alpha 2 receptors in the CNS â€“specifically the brainstems areas associated with autonomic regulation of the cardiovascular system. By activating ...view middle of the document...
Hypotensive responses begin 30 to 60 minutes after dosing and peak in 4 hours. Effects of a single dose may persist as long as a day. Clonidine is eliminated by a combination of hepatic metabolism and renal excretion. (Lehne, R., 2010)
Clonidine has two approved applications, treatment of hypertension, which is its main use and relief of severe pain. Investigational uses include treatment of migraine, menopausal flushing, withdrawal from opioids, alcohol and tobacco, and Tourettâ€™s syndrome. (Copur, M., 2007). For treatment of hypertension, the drug is given by mouth or as transdermal patch. For treatment of severe pain, clonidine is administered by continuous epidural infusion. The drug is more effective against neuropathic pain than diffuse visceral pain. When used for hypertension, clonidine is marketed as Catapres. (Manickavasagam, S., 2009). When used for pain relief, it is marketed as Duraclon. Clonidine has no abuse potential and is not regulated under the Controlled Substance Act. (Lehne, R., 2010)(Wright, D., 2008)(Abo-Zena, R., 2000)
There are other uses for clonidine. However, these uses are investigational only and have not been approved by the FDA. Clonidine can be used a sedative in both mechanically and spontaneously breathing patients. It is particularly useful if agitation is a feature or after withdrawal of benzodiazepines or opioids. (Rowe, K., 2008)
In addition, clonidine is also effective alternatives to stimulant medications in the treatment of children with ADHD. (Buck, M, 2008) Also, clonidine has been used for post herpetic neuralgia and restless leg syndrome. (Wright, D., 2008). Clonidine has also been used in congestive heart failure (CHF); Limited trials have reported that reducing central sympathetic outflow thus can benefit CHF. (Abo-Zena, R., 2000). In addition, clonidine has been used in the treatment of Tourettâ€™s syndrome. (Copur, M., 2007)
The adverse effects of clonidine include CNS depression, which could include drowsiness, sedation. Also the patient may experience xerostamia, hypotension, bradycardia and rebound hypertension, constipation, continence, impotence, gynecomastia and localized skine reactions. In addition, clonidine can cause fetal harm, therefore it is not recommended for pregnant women. (Lehne, R., 2010)(Skidmore-Roth, L., 2009)
Clonidine if combined with other antihypertensive drugs needs to be done with caution. In addition, clonidine is eliminated by liver metabolism and kidney excretion, thus any drugs that affect liver metabolism by induction would decrease the level of clonidine. In addition, any drugs that inhibits liver metabolism will cause an increase in the level of clonidine. Also, liver injury or kidney injury will cause a decrease in...