Other Medications That Can Help With Opioid Withdrawal
Other medications used to relieve opioid withdrawal include the opioid agonist drugs buprenorphine and methadone. Using either of these drugs allows doctors to safely administer a stabilizing dose of a pharmaceutical product in controlled conditions. Both methadone and buprenorphine can also be prescribed as long-term maintenance treatment for opioid dependency.1
Chemically similar to clonidine, lofexidine is a relatively recently FDA-approved medication used for managing opioid withdrawal symptoms. Both clonidine and lofexidine have demonstrated similar levels of effectiveness in controlling signs and symptoms of acute opioid withdrawal and reducing the amount of methadone needed for stabilizing doses.8
Why Is This Medication Prescribed
Clonidine tablets are used alone or in combination with other medications to treat high blood pressure. Clonidine extended-release tablets are used alone or in combination with other medications as part of a treatment program to control symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children. Clonidine is in a class of medications called centrally acting alpha-agonist hypotensive agents. Clonidine treats high blood pressure by decreasing your heart rate and relaxing the blood vessels so that blood can flow more easily through the body. Clonidine extended-release tablets may treat ADHD by affecting the part of the brain that controls attention and impulsivity.
High blood pressure is a common condition and when not treated, can cause damage to the brain, heart, blood vessels, kidneys and other parts of the body. Damage to these organs may cause heart disease, a heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, loss of vision, and other problems. In addition to taking medication, making lifestyle changes will also help to control your blood pressure. These changes include eating a diet that is low in fat and salt, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising at least 30 minutes most days, not smoking, and using alcohol in moderation.
How Does This Medicine Work
Clonidine is in a group of medicines called alpha-agonists. By regulating brain activity, it has a calming effect in children with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder . It can also be used for other conditions, such as tics, aggression, migraines, high blood pressure, pain in the hands and feet, sleep problems or other conditions.
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Rated For Anxiety Report
I’ve taken Claudine for a couple of years for insomnia. I marked Anxiety because Insomnia wasn’t listed. It did help fairly well with sleep. remember that it effected my concentration and memory. I was already struggling with these problems before starting Clonidine. I’ve recently going another Dr that is willing to work with me so I’ve decided to stop. It’s been three weeks and I’m thinking much more clearly. Also I’ve felt depressed and totally unmotivated which lifted after a week of cutting back. I never want to experience these side effects again. They took my life away although I slept better.
Why Is This Blog About Clonidine And Anxiety Important
This blog about Clonidine for Anxiety is important because you might be taking Clonidine or planning to start taking it.
It gives a more comprehensive approach and understanding of how could Clonidine help to treat anxiety-related symptoms, what is anxiety, how Clonidine is normally prescribed, available forms, what is it supposed to do, possible side effects and drug interaction.
These basic questions you need to take into consideration when starting to use any drug. If there are additional specific questions related to your condition, we advise seeking help from your doctor.
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
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What Is Clonidine Used For
Clonidine may be used for different conditions:
- Impulsivity that is seen withAD/HD
- Tic disorders
- Sleep difficulties
- Anxiety disorders
- Smoking cessation
There may also be other reasons why your doctor is prescribing this medication . If you are unclear why this medication is being prescribed, please ask your doctor.
How Do I Use Clonidine For Sleep
Clonidine is a medication that is primarily prescribed to treat high blood pressure, however a doctor may also recommend it for a variety of other medical conditions. Many people take clonidine for sleep disorders, such as insomnia. Some doctors advocate the use of clonidine for sleep disturbances in children who also have an autism spectrum disorder or attention deficithyperactivity disorder . It works by relaxing the blood vessels and reducing the heart rate. Patients should follow dosage instructions carefully and talk to their doctors about potential side effects.
This medication is available as a patch to be worn on the skin or as tablets to be taken by mouth. When a doctor prescribes clonidine for sleep disorders, he may start the patient on a low dose and increase it gradually as needed. Patients may take the tablet two to three times daily to maintain an effective level of the drug in their body.
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Other Uses For This Medicine
Clonidine is also used in the treatment of dysmenorrhea , hypertensive crisis , Tourette’s syndrome ,menopausal hot flashes, and alcohol and opiate withdrawal. Clonidine is also used and as an aid in smoking cessation therapy and to diagnose pheochromocytoma . Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this medication for your condition.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Adopt A Healthy Sleep Routine
Adopting a healthy sleep routine is another way to ease insomnia symptoms without taking medication like clonidine. This includes avoiding screens like your TV or smartphone too close to bedtime, going to sleep and waking at the same time each day, and practicing relaxation techniques at night.
The blue light that emanates from screens can trick your mind into thinking its daytime. This overstimulation prevents your brain from producing melatonin and can make it difficult to fall asleep. Another way to promote a healthy sleep-wake cycle is to go to bed and wake at the same time each day and night, including weekends. Journaling, practicing meditation, or taking a relaxing bath each night can help calm your nerves and signal your body and mind that its time for sleep.
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Clonidine: An Incredibly Useful Drug When Used Properly
Like many other medications on the market today, clonidine can have some pretty beneficial applications. Hypertension, ADHD, insomnia, and opiate withdrawals are all treatable with this versatile drugs help.
But equally similar to many other substances, clonidine use does come with the potential for abuse and addiction, particularly when its used with other substances.
As such, its important that anyone using clonidine follows their doctors prescription completely. Otherwise you may be facing an addiction thats not only troublesome, but fatal as well.
Side Effects Of Clonidine
Its clear that one potentially beneficial side effect of clonidine is sleepiness. While this can be useful for those with insomnia, there are other mild side effects of clonidine you should be aware of.
These include, but arent limited to:
- Dry mouth and eyes
- Low blood pressure upon standing
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How To Use Clonidine Hcl Oral
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually twice daily . If the doses are not equal, take the larger dose at bedtime to decrease the risk of side effects.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day. Keep taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick.
Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. You may experience symptoms such as nervousness, agitation, shaking, and headache. A rapid rise in blood pressure may also occur if the drug is suddenly stopped. The risk is greater if you have used this drug for a long time or in high doses, or if you are also taking a beta blocker . There have also been rare reports of severe, possibly fatal reactions from stopping this drug too quickly. It is important that you do not run out of clonidine or miss any doses. Tell your doctor or pharmacist right away if you are unable to take the medication . To prevent any reactions while you are stopping treatment with this drug, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details. Report any new or worsening symptoms right away.
How Should I Give It
Clonidine comes in pills and transdermal patches. It can also be made into liquid by your pharmacist.
The dose must be changed gradually. Do not stop the medicine without checking with your doctor or nurse practitioner.
Give it at regular times to keep a steady level in the bloodstream. With tablets, the last dose of medicine may be given at bedtime to avoid being very tired during the day.
- If using the liquid form, shake well right before using. Draw up the correct amount in the medicine dropper or oral syringe. Give a small squirt of the medicine inside the cheek. To avoid choking, let your child swallow each squirt before giving more.
- For children who cannot swallow pills:
- Crush it between 2 spoons, inside a plastic bag, or in folded paper.
- Mix the powder with a very small amount of soft food, such as applesauce, chocolate syrup, ice cream, jelly, or yogurt. Make sure your child takes all of the mixture.
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Treatment Options For Opioid Abuse & Addiction
Opioid use disorder is challenging to overcome. Fortunately, there are several options for help.
There are three types of medication-assisted therapy for opioid use disorder:
Buprenorphine and methadone help manage withdrawal symptoms as you detox.
Naltrexone blocks the receptors that opioids bind to, making it impossible to get high from them.
Medication-assisted therapy is most effective when combined with other treatments.
Inpatient programs are the most intensive addiction treatment options.
These programs guide you through:
- Medically supervised detoxification
- Other services like medication-assisted therapy
They typically last 30, 60, or 90 days. However, they may be longer if necessary.
Partial Hospitalization Programs
Intensive outpatient programs are the next level of addiction treatment. These programs provide similar services to inpatient programs such as detoxification and behavioral therapy.
The difference is that the patient will return home to sleep. Some programs also include transportation and meals.
PHPs are ideal for new patients and those who have completed inpatient treatment but still need intensive care.
Outpatient programs provide well-rounded treatment for people with a high motivation to recover. These programs are flexible and can be made around your schedule. They can also be customized to work best for you.
What Precautions Can You Take
Bottom line. Clonidine is a widely used drug for children, adolescents, and adults. Our advice: Talk to your doctor about all drug and non-drug treatment options for your condition. If first-line medications aren’t effective or you can’t tolerate them, ask your physician if there’s sufficient evidence to use clonidine.
This off-label drug use report is made possible through collaboration between Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. This is the fourth article in a series based on professional reports prepared by ASHP. These materials were made possible by a grant from the state Attorney General Consumer and Prescriber Education Grant Program, which is funded by the multi-state settlement of consumer fraud claims regarding the marketing of the prescription drug Neurontin .
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Clonidine Dosages For A Variety Of Treatments
These dosages are provided by the Mayo Clinic. However, all clonidine dosages should be discussed with and prescribed by your doctor. The dosing here is meant only to be informational.
- For high blood pressure, adults should take 0.17 mg of extended release clonidine once a day before bedtime and 0.1 mg twice a day of regular tablets.
- The clonidine dosage for ADHD treatment begins at 0.1 milligram once a day at bedtime for teenagers and children 6 years and up. Children younger need to have their dosage determined by their doctor.
- The clonidine dosage for sleep and anxiety will be determined by your doctor.
Is It Really A Wonder Drug
Question: What do hot flashes, migraine headaches, and restless legs have in common?Answer: Clonidine , a drug that’s been used off-label to treat those and numerous other conditions, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder , sleep apnea, smoking cessation, Tourette’s syndrome, and withdrawal from alcohol and narcotics.If clonidine sounds like a remedy for all ills, bear in mind that it’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration only to treat high blood pressure, and as an injection in combination with other medications, to ease severe cancer pain.However, it’s likely that doctors prescribe clonidine for more off-label uses than for its approved use. But the evidence for many of those off-label uses consists of only a few studies that are too small or that have other shortcomings which prevents making a clear recommendation. Where the evidence is sufficient to support its use, clonidine is generally recommended as a second-choice or additional medication when preferred treatments aren’t effective or can’t be used.Available as a pill, skin patch, or an injection, clonidine works by controlling certain nerve impulses. As a result, it decreases your heart rate and relaxes blood vessels so that blood can flow more easily through the body. Studies indicate that it can be useful sometimes for the following off-label indications:
Talk to us about it below.
Want to find out about other drugs commonly prescribed off-label? Read more here.
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Can Other Medicines Be Given At The Same Time As Clonidine
- You can give your child medicines that contain paracetamol or ibuprofen, unless your doctor has told you not to.
clonidine should not be taken with some medicines that you get on prescription. It is important to tell your doctor and pharmacist about any other medicines your child is taking before starting clonidine.
- Check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving any other medicines to your child. This includes herbal and complementary medicines.
Some Side Effects Can Be Serious If You Experience Any Of The Following Symptoms Call Your Doctor Immediately Or Get Emergency Medical Treatment:
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- difficulty swallowing or breathing
Clonidine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone .
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Important Note Before Use Clonidine
Well, medicines can be used for different persons in different ways. So, before taking any tablets you may ask the advice of a pharmacist or doctor, if you feel that you are not sure about something.
Clonidine is approved to treat Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and high blood pressure, but there is not enough data that shows it will be used as a treatment for insomnia.
If youre having trouble sleeping or slowly sleeping then try first lifestyle changes, it doesnt work on you, then consult a doctor or talk to doctor about your lifestyle changes.
Your doctor is able to assist great treatment for insomnia that is more effective for you.
How Should This Medicine Be Used
Clonidine comes as a tablet and an extended-release tablet to take by mouth. The tablet is usually taken two times a day at evenly spaced intervals. The extended-release tablet is usually taken once or twice a day with or without food. Take clonidine at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take clonidine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Swallow the extended-release tablets whole do not split, chew or crush them.
Your doctor may start you on a low dose of clonidine and gradually increase your dose, not more than once every week.
Clonidine may help to control your condition but will not cure it. Continue to take clonidine even if you feel well. Do not stop taking clonidine without talking to your doctor. If you suddenly stop taking clonidine, it can cause a rapid rise in your blood pressure and symptoms such as nervousness, headache, and uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body. Your doctor will probably decrease your dose gradually over 2 to days for the regular tablet and 3 to 7 days for the extended-release tablet.
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Clonidine High And Addiction
There is little evidence that clonidine alone actually creates a high or a clonidine buzz. The more likely reason for abuse is that users end up mixing clonidine with other drugs to intensify their effects.
Alcohol, opioids, and barbiturates all have sedative side effects that are bolstered by using clonidine at the same time.
Having said that, continued clonidine abuse, whether its by illegally obtaining and taking the drug or ignoring your doctors dosing directions, can eventually lead to physical dependence and addiction.