Clonidine Withdrawal

Is It Dangerous?

Common Clonidine withdrawal symptoms include dizziness, nausea, fatigue, headache, gait instability and insomnia.

Some may even report flu-like symptoms, and the range of symptoms may be mild to severe.

What Is Clonidine?

Clonidine is a prescription medication used to treat high blood pressure and anxiety. In addition, it is increasingly used in conjunction with stimulants to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

This is because it helps reduce symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsiveness and it can help moderate the side effects of stimulant-based ADHD medications such as Ritalin and Adderall. 

Clonidine Withdrawal Symptoms

The list of withdrawal symptoms is large and includes: tremors, visual hallucinations, headache, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, blurred vision, sweating, and fever.

It can also include abdominal discomfort, mood disturbance, sleep disturbance, flu symptoms, general malaise, decrease in appetite, anxiety, agitation, irritability, and memory and concentration difficulties.

Withdrawal symptoms may be similar to the side effects. As a result, inform your medical professional if you experience any of the following symptoms: pound heart rate, blurry vision, mood changes, sudden behavioral changes, muscle twitching, swelling, fatigue, rapid weight loss, and changes in appetite, sleep or sexual side effects.

Also, seek immediate attention if you experience any of the following: fainting, shortness of breath or trouble breathing, muscle weakness, seizures, unexplained aches or pains, confusion, delirium, slurred speech, skin rashes, itching, extreme dizziness, and swelling of body parts such as the tongue which may obstruct breathing.

Please do not stop taking Clonidine without first consulting with your doctor. You will likely need to gradually reduce the dose before stopping Clonidine completely. This should only be done under the supervision of a professional.

Suddenly stopping this medication may cause unpleasant and potentially serious Clonidine side effects.

How To Avoid Withdrawal

The best way to avoid withdrawal is to only take your medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take more Clonidine than is recommended by your treating doctor. Never take anyone else's Clonidine; only take prescription medications that were specifically prescribed for you by a medical professional.

If already using this medication and wish to discontinue taking it, the best advice is to taper off slowly instead of going “cold turkey.” This means working with your doctor to safely and gradually reduce the dosage over time in order to prevent any adverse reactions.

It is important to develop a specific tapering schedule with your health care provider to minimize withdrawal symptoms. Anyone discontinuing this medication runs the risk of suffering the above-mentioned withdrawal symptoms.

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