In this section
Clonidine (klon-ih-deen) is a medicine that can be used to treat a
number of conditions including attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD),
tic disorders (e.g. Tourette’s syndrome), sleeping problems, pain, high blood
pressure and to help with the weaning of strong pain medication.
Clonidine tablets are made by different companies, and different
brands of the same medicine have different names (e.g. Catapres, APO-Clonidine).
Your child’s doctor will work out the amount (the
dose) of clonidine that is right for your child. The dose will be shown on the
medicine label. Always check that you are giving the right amount of clonidine.
Giving too much clonidine can be dangerous because it can make your child
drowsy and affect their breathing. It is important to store clonidine out of
children’s reach. If more than one person usually gives your child their
medication, make sure that you tell each other and write down doses given so
that you don’t give extra doses by mistake.
Clonidine comes in tablet form, there is no commercially made liquid form
(or suspension) available. The RCH Pharmacy department make an oral liquid form
for patients who are prescribed small doses and cannot take tablets.
Compounding pharmacies may also make liquid forms of clonidine, these may have
different amounts of clonidine to the RCH liquid. Patients should use the
tablet form where possible to prevent dosing mistakes.
Clonidine patches are not registered in Australia but may be
imported for some patients. Always remove the old patch before applying a new
one. Fold the used patch in half with the sticky sides together and put it in
the bin out of the reach of children and pets.
For sleep disorders:
clonidine is best given about an hour before bedtime.
For ADHD and tic disorders
(e.g. Tourette’s syndrome): your doctor will tell you the time of
day to give your child clonidine based on their needs.
For pain relief or when weaning
strong pain medication: give your child clonidine as advised
by your doctor/pharmacist or hospital pain team staff.
Medicines sometimes have side effects.
Some side effects will go away with time, or come back after the dose has been
changed. Speak to your child’s doctor if you are worried about any of the following
possible side effects of clonidine:
Take care with some activities
like bike riding or climbing, or, for teenagers, driving or operating heavy
You should call an ambulance immediately if your child:
There may be other side effects that are not listed in this fact
sheet. If you notice anything unusual or are worried about your child, contact
your doctor or pharmacist.
Skip the missed dose and continue giving
the clonidine at normal times.
If your child takes clonidine every day and wants to stop taking
clonidine, talk with a doctor in case the dose needs to be reduced slowly. If
your child takes clonidine each day for a long time and stops taking it suddenly,
it may cause high blood pressure or agitation.
If you think you
may have given your child too much clonidine, call the Poisons Information
Centre on 13 11 26 as soon as possible, even if your child shows no symptoms. In the case of an emergency, call an ambulance (000) or take
your child to the nearest hospital emergency department. Have the
medicine container or packaging with you, even if it is empty, as this
information is useful.
other medicines be given at the same time as clonidine?
Check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving any
other medicines to your child. This includes prescription medicine, medicine
purchased from a pharmacy or supermarket without a prescription and herbal or
Can I stop giving my child clonidine
If you or your child want to stop
taking clonidine, discuss this with your doctor. They can explain how to reduce
the dose slowly over time.
by The Royal Children's Hospital Quality and Improvement, General Paediatrics
and Anaesthesia and Pain Management Departments. We
acknowledge the input of RCH consumers and carers.
Health Info is supported by The Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation. To
donate, visit www.rchfoundation.org.au.
This information is intended to support, not replace, discussion with your doctor or healthcare professionals. The authors of these consumer health information handouts have made a considerable effort to ensure the information is accurate, up to date and easy to understand. The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies, information perceived as misleading, or the success of any treatment regimen detailed in these handouts. Information contained in the handouts is updated regularly and therefore you should always check you are referring to the most recent version of the handout. The onus is on you, the user, to ensure that you have downloaded the most up-to-date version of a consumer health information handout.