Before taking clonidine,
tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to clonidine, any of its ingredients, clonidine patches, or any other medications. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: antidepressants; beta blockers such as acebutolol (Sectral), atenolol (Tenormin, in Tenoretic), betaxolol, bisoprolol (Zebeta, in Ziac), carvedilol (Coreg), labetalol , metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL, in Dutoprol), nadolol (Corgard, in Corzide), pindolol, propranolol (Inderal, Innopran XL, in Inderide), sotalol (Betapace, Sorine), and timolol; calcium channel blockers such as amlodipine (in Amturnide, Norvasc, in Amturnide, in Tekamlo, others), diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor XR, Dilt-CD, Taztia XT, Tiazac, others), felodipine (Plendil), isradipine, nicardipine (Cardene), nifedipine (Adalat CC, Afeditab CR, Procardia), nimodipine, nisoldipine (Sular), and verapamil (Calan, Covera, Verelan, others, in Tarka); digoxin (Lanoxin); medications for anxiety, mental illness, or seizures; sedatives; sleeping pills; tranquilizers; and tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline, amoxapine, clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Silenor), imipramine (Tofranil), maprotiline, nortriptyline (Pamelor), protriptyline (Vivactil), and trimipramine (Surmontil). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
tell your doctor if you have or have ever had a stroke, a recent heart attack, or heart or kidney disease.
tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking clonidine, call your doctor.
talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of using clonidine if you are 65 years of age or older. Older adults should not usually use clonidine because it is not as safe as other medications that can be used to treat the same condition.
if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking clonidine.
you should know that clonidine may make you drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
ask your doctor about the safe use of alcohol while you are taking clonidine. Alcohol can make the side effects from clonidine worse.
you should know that clonidine may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting when you get up too quickly from a lying position. This is more common when you first start taking clonidine. To avoid this problem, get out of bed slowly, resting your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up.
you should know that clonidine extended-release tablets should be used as part of a total treatment program for ADHD, which may include counseling and special education. Make sure to follow all of your doctor's and therapist's instructions.