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Clonidine Fact Sheet

Description of Product:
Clonidine, also known as Catapres®, is generally prescribed to treat high blood pressure; clonidine may reduce tobacco withdrawal symptoms when first-line medications do not work. The use of clonidine for smoking cessation has not been approved by the FDA.
Clonidine dosages for tobacco cessation have ranged from 0.15 to 0.75 mg a day orally and 0.1 to 0.3 mg a day transdermally. Therapy is usually initiated at 0.1 mg orally twice daily or 0.1 mg a day transdermally and is increased by 0.10 mg a day each week as tolerated.
Side Effects:
Side effects may include:
  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Sedation
  • Constipation
This fact sheet was created to give you a general understanding of this medication. Please note that this fact sheet may not provide you with all the information you need to make a decision about using this medication. Always read the instructions on the package carefully and talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a severe medical problem, talk with your doctor before starting any new medication.
Special Precautions:
Clonidine has not been approved by the FDA for the treatment of nicotine addiction. Doctors sometimes prescribe this drug to help people quit smoking when the first line of treatment does not help with cessation.

References: Information in the medication guide and fact sheets is from a variety of sources, such as product information guides; manufacturers' Web sites, medical Web sites, and articles in the medical literature, including Corelli RL & Hudman KS. Pharmacologic interventions for smoking cessation, Crit Care Nurs Clin N Am 2006;18, 39–51.