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Clonidine For Anxiety Disorders: Uses, Dosage & Side Effect 2023
Anxiety disorders are a common mental health problem affecting millions of people all over the world. They can manifest in various forms, including Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Social Phobia, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Separation Anxiety Disorder. Panic disorders and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) also fall under this category.
Anxiety comes with feelings of excessive worry, restlessness, and sleep disturbances can interfere with work, school, relationships, and practically every aspect of your life. These symptoms can make it difficult to navigate everyday tasks and responsibilities. Fortunately, there are certain medications that can help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with anxiety.
Clonidine is among the many pharmacological treatment options being studied for its anti-anxiolytic effects. Emerging evidence suggests its efficacy in addressing certain symptoms of anxiety. If you are considering taking this medication, it is important to have a proper understanding of how it could help, the correct Clonidine for anxiety dose, and its potential side effects.
Clonidine For Anxiety: Does It Work?
Clonidine is primarily used for its antihypertensive effects. It has also been prescribed to treat certain symptoms of anxiety such as PTSD-associated nightmares, insomnia, stress, and agitation. There is very little research supporting the effectiveness of this medication in treating other anxiety symptoms.
Due to the lack of evidence and concerns regarding hypotension and sedation, the practical use of Clonidine in treating patients with anxiety disorders is limited. This medication has been found to be more effective in treating high blood pressure. To find the most appropriate treatment for anxiety management, it is most helpful to consult with a licensed mental health professional.
How Does It Work?
Clonidine works by modulating the activity of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter in the brain. Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter that affects blood pressure, heart rate, attention, and arousal. By stabilizing specific brain regions and reducing their excitability, Clonidine can work to decrease feelings of anxiety and improve quality of sleep.
The following strategies can help enhance how Clonidine works for anxiety disorders:
- Discover techniques to deal with stress, like practicing meditation and looking into different types of therapy.
- Prioritize sleep. Find the best sleeping position for anxiety that works for you. If you continue to have trouble sleeping, it is best to speak with your doctor about it.
- Psychotherapy or talk therapy can help reduce anxiety and improve the effectiveness of your medication. Get affordable online therapy.
- Join groups online or offline where people with anxiety problems talk about their experiences and ways to deal with them. Talkspace reviews can help you locate one.
- Exercise frequently and consume a nutritious, well-balanced diet.
What Is Clonidine?
Clonidine is classified as an imidazole or central alpha agonist because of its effect on the central nervous system. Drug companies usually package Clonidine in different forms, such as extended release tablets, immediate release tablets, transdermal patches, and liquid solutions. The medicine is also available as a cream and injection.
Clonidine can be found under several brand names including:
- Nexiclon XR.
In addition to hypertension and anxiety, Clonidine may also have potential benefits for conditions such as:
- Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
- Opioid withdrawal.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Tourette’s syndrome.
- Migraine headaches.
- Diabetic neuropathy.
Clonidine Dosage For Anxiety
It is important to seek guidance from a licensed medical professional to know the appropriate dose of clonidine for anxiety. Dosage will highly depend on each individual’s unique response to the drug. When it comes to finding the right dosage for you, you may require frequent adjustments along the way.
Clonidine Oral Tablets
There are two types: immediate-release and extended-release tablets. Clonidine tablets are available in three strength levels: 0.1mg, 0.2mg, and 0.3mg. The extended release usually comes in 0.1 mg tablets.
It’s common for adults to take a Clonidine dose for anxiety ranging from 0.1mg to 0.4mg, once or twice daily. The usual starting dose of the extended release tablet is 0.1 mg, taken twice daily. If you believe Clonidine might be beneficial in addressing your anxiety symptoms, it’s important to consult with your doctor to ensure that it is a safe and suitable treatment option for you.
Clonidine Transdermal Patches
The transdermal Clonidine patch is typically applied to the skin once a week for continuous medication delivery. Individuals who take multiple oral medications daily may opt for Clonidine patches as an alternative to help reduce their medication load. For the drug to be absorbed the most effectively, place the patch on the chest or upper arm area.
How To Use Clonidine For Anxiety
Clonidine is typically taken by mouth twice daily in the morning and before bed. You can take the tablet with or without food. To take the extended-release tablet, swallow it whole without chewing or crushing.
Clonidine extended-release work in a different way than Clonidine immediate-release tablets. So, unless your doctor tells you to, don’t switch between these types of pills. If you have questions about how to take a medication for the first time, it’s always best to reach out to your doctor or pharmacist.
Do not stop using Clonidine even when you start to feel better. Sudden cessation can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms that could be life-threatening. It is crucial to seek guidance from a trusted healthcare provider and closely monitor for any potential side effects that may occur upon discontinuation of Clonidine.
Side Effects Of Clonidine
Clonidine may cause some side effects. However, most of these side effects often disappear after a few doses. If they continue or become worse, make sure to contact your doctor. They might change the Clonidine dosage for anxiety or suggest a different medication.
Some common adverse effects of Clonidine include:
- Low blood pressure.
- Dry eyes.
- Dry mouth.
Call your doctor immediately or get immediate medical treatment if you have any of these severe symptoms:
- Sore throat.
- Trouble breathing.
You can cope with common side effects in the following ways:
- If you experience nausea, vomiting or stomach upset, eat something before you take Clonidine.
- You can try drinking more liquids, engaging in physical activities, or eating fiber-rich foods to avoid constipation.
- Chew sugar-free gum, candies, popsicles, or ice chips if your mouth starts feeling dry.
- Clonidine can make you feel sleepy. Don’t drive or use heavy machinery until you understand how this medicine can impact you.
Clonidine Interaction With Other Drugs
To avoid adverse drug interactions, inform your healthcare provider about other medications before starting Clonidine for anxiety. Some drugs that may cause adverse effects when taken with Clonidine include:
- Sleeping pills.
- Antipsychotic drugs.
- Sedating drugs.
- Herbal supplements.
If you’re struggling with anxiety, Clonidine could potentially provide some relief. This medication can address certain symptoms of anxiety including sleep disturbances, stress, and agitation. To cater to your different needs, Clonidine is available in various forms such as oral tablets, transdermal patches, and oral suspension forms.
Consult with your healthcare provider before taking any new medicine for anxiety. Working together with a healthcare professional can help determine if Clonidine is right for you. They will help you develop a personalized treatment plan based on severity of anxiety symptoms, co-occurring conditions, and personal preferences.
Frequently Asked Questions
Most people start seeing relief from anxiety symptoms within a few hours to one week of taking clonidine for anxiety.
If you wish to stop taking Clonidine, it is crucial to gradually reduce the dosage under the guidance of your doctor. They can provide you with the safest and most effective tapering plan to minimize any potential withdrawal effects.
Mixing prescription medications with alcohol can cause harmful reactions.Thus, it’s generally better to avoid drinking any alcohol when using Clonidine.
No, it is necessary to continue clonidine medication before surgery and as soon as possible afterwards. However, inform your physician about it.
Clonidine does not interfere with any form of contraception.
+ 4 sources
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- Chiu, S. and Campbell, K. (2018). Clonidine for the Treatment of Psychiatric Conditions and Symptoms: A Review of Clinical Effectiveness, Safety, and Guidelines. [online] Nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK531717/.
- Rama Yasaei and Abdolreza Saadabadi (2022). Clonidine. [online] Nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459124/.
- Romantsik, O., Maria Grazia Calevo, Norman, E. and Matteo Bruschettini (2020). Clonidine for pain in non-ventilated infants. [online] 2020(4). doi:https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.cd013104.pub2.
- Clonidine for menopausal symptoms. (n.d.). Available at: https://www.kemh.health.wa.gov.au/~/media/HSPs/NMHS/Hospitals/WNHS/Documents/Patients-resources/Menopausal-Symptoms—Clonidine.pdf?thn=0#:~:text=Clonidine%20is%20a%20non%2Dhormonal.