Catapres

Catapres

Catapres is used either in combination with other medications or alone to treat the symptoms of high blood pressure in various patients. This substance can help to lower high blood pressure and therefore prevent serious conditions caused by excessive blood pressure or hypertension, such as heart attacks, high risk of strokes, and kidney problems. More information

A doctor will review your order and write you a prescription, if appropriate. This prescription is then forwarded to a pharmacy. The pharmacy will have your medicine delivered to you within one to three working days. Read more about this process here.

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Catapres is a branded name for the generic medication Clonidine. This prescription medication is available as a tablet, extended release pill, and a patch, depending on the reason for the prescription. Clonidine may also come in other drugs with different names.  

What is Catapres? 

Catapres is used either in combination with other medications or alone to treat the symptoms of high blood pressure in various patients. This substance can help to lower high blood pressure and therefore prevent serious conditions caused by excessive blood pressure or hypertension, such as heart attacks, high risk of strokes, and kidney problems. Catapres is the brand name for Clonidine, which belongs to a family of medications called Central Alpha Agonists. These substances react with the brain to reduce blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels and allowing blood to flow more smoothly.  

When is Catapres used? 

Catapres is typically used for the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure). In some cases, it may also be used to support women experiencing challenging symptoms as a result of the menopause, such as excessive sweating or hot flushes. Catapres may also be used in some cases to prevent migraines and reduce the symptoms of withdrawal caused by drug addiction. Clonidine, the drug in Catapres can be suitable for treating people with ADHD.

How do you use Catapres? 

It is important to follow the instructions provided by your doctor when taking Catapres. This substance can be taken with or without food and is swallowed orally with a glass of water. Usually, you will need to take Catapres twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.  

It is best to take Catapres regularly to get the most out of it. To ensure that you remember to take this medication it may be helpful to take an alarm to take it at the same time each day. Do not stop taking this medication unless you contact your doctor first. Some people may experience slight withdrawal symptoms when not using Catapres, such as shaking, headaches and agitation. The risk of withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking Catapres will be higher if you have been using this drug for an extended period of time, or you are taking higher than usual doses. If you are also taking beta blockers, then you might be more likely to experience a fatal reaction such as a stroke if you stop taking Catapres too quickly. Make sure you take your doctor or pharmacist immediately if you cannot take Catapres due to vomiting.  

What dosages are available? 

Unless your doctor advises otherwise, the most common dose of Catapres is one tablet twice a day. This is the common treatment for adults treating menopausal symptoms or hypertension may be given either 50 mcg or 100 mcg 2 or 3 times a day. Your doctor may decide to increase your dose depending on your response to the medication.  

Catapres is not suitable for children and is not always suitable for long term use. If you use Catapres for longer periods of time this may lead to an increased risk that the drug will not work well.  

What are the side effects of Catapres? 

Catapres can cause side effects like any medication. Drowsiness is a common side effect when you first begin taking the medication. Most other common side effects will go away within a few days or weeks of using the drug.

Some side effects include: 

  • Tiredness 
  • Dizziness 
  • Stomach pain or upset 
  • Constipation 
  • Feelings of irritability 
  • Upper respiratory tract infection 
  • Dry eyes and mouth 
  • Headaches  
  • Trouble sleeping or nightmares  

It is possible to experience more serious side effects when taking Catapres. If you notice these side effects, you should contact a doctor straight away or seek emergency medical help. These more severe side effects include a changing heart-rate, increased or decreased blood pressure, dizziness when you stand, blacking out, slowed or troubled breathing, or chest pain. Hallucinations may also occur with Catapres.  

This is not a complete list of side effects. If you notice any other strange responses when you begin taking Catapres, consider talking to your doctor as soon as possible. Do not simply stop taking Catapres if you feel that you are suffering from side effects. It is important to wean yourself off the tablets with the guidance of your doctor or pharmacist. 

Be aware of any signs that you may be having an allergic reaction when you first start taking Catapres. This may include a rash or itchy skin, as well as swelling in the tongue, mouth or throat. Call emergency help if you notice trouble breathing or pain in your chest.  

When shouldn't you use Catapres? 

Catapres is not suitable for everyone, although it may be a useful medication for many people. Before you begin taking Catapres, speak to your doctor or pharmacist about any allergies you have, even if you're not sure whether those allergies are relevant to this medication. This product may contain ingredients that can cause allergic reactions and other issues. Before you begin taking Catapres, it's important to have a full medical review with your doctor where you can share your full medical history and the history of your family. Make sure that your doctor is aware if you have any history of kidney disease, as this may mean that Catapres isn't appropriate for you. Additionally, this medication will not be suitable for people with heart rhythm issues, such as an irregular or slow heartbeat.  

In some cases, Catapres can make people feel drowsy or dizzy, particularly in the first few weeks when you begin taking it. If you don't feel yourself when you're using this medication, do not do anything that would require you to be active and alert at all times, such as operating machinery or driving a car. It's also worth avoiding alcohol, as this can make your feelings of drowsiness worse.  

This medication can sometimes cause dry eyes, so if you use contact lenses you might find it harder to wear them when taking Catapres. Speak to your doctor about getting eye wetting drops. Additionally, bear in mind that older adults are more likely to be sensitive to the side effects of Catapres than others. Catapres should only be used during pregnancy when it is absolutely necessary. You will need to discuss the risks and benefits carefully with your doctor.  

Does Catapres interact with any other medications? 

Catapres and the Clonidine active ingredient in this medication may interact with other substances that you are taking to manage other medical conditions. It's important to speak to your doctor about any medications you are taking besides this one, including items that you might have purchased over the counter or got on a prescription. Make sure your doctor knows about any herbal medications or supplements you are taking and avoid any new medications when taking Catapres until you get your doctor's advice.  

Avoid taking drugs that increase drowsiness with Catapres, such as barbiturates like pentobarbital, or phenothiazines like thioridazine and chlorpromazine. Drugs like lorazepam and diazepam will increase drowsiness when taking Catapres, and drugs for pain like oxycodone and hydrocodone may not react well with this medication. Your doctor may avoid prescribing Catapres if you are taking tricyclic antidepressants, as this can increase your blood pressure. Speak to your doctor if you are taking protriptyline, clomipramine, or doxepin. Any other TCAs should be assessed carefully before taking them with Catapres.  

Combining this medication with drugs intended to support the heart may also slow your heart rate. This can be extremely dangerous. Make sure that you speak to your doctor and assess the risks of taking Catapres with heart medications. If you are taking drugs like digoxin, beta blockers, or channel blockers for calcium, then Catapres may not be the right choice for you. Your doctor will avoid prescribing Catapres if you are taking antipsychotic drugs, as you are more likely to get dizzy and have problems with your balance. Examples of drugs not to take with Catapres include  Aripiprazole, Clozapine and Quetiapine. Additionally, make sure that you assess your options carefully with your doctor if you are taking any blood pressure drugs alongside Catapres. Combining additional drugs with this medication may lower your blood pressure to a dangerous level. Avoid any angiotensin II receptor blockers, ACE inhibitors or diuretics without guidance from your doctors. 

Where can you buy Catapres? 

Catapres is available to purchase online and from in-store pharmacies only after you have had a complete medical review with your doctor. Your medical expert will need to ensure that you aren't taking any other medications that would make it dangerous for you to use Catapres as well. This medication can interact negatively with a lot of different drugs.  

Can you get Catapres without a prescription?  

It is not possible to buy Catapres in the UK without a prescription from your doctor. You should never attempt to take blood pressure medication without speaking to your doctor first as this could lead to dangerous interactions and side effects. Avoid any pharmacy that offers to give you Catapres without a prescription and a full review from your doctor.  

 

 

References

BNF Group, NICE National Institute for Health and Care Excellence [Accessed 21st of June 2019], Available on: https://bnf.nice.org.uk/drug/clonidine-hydrochloride.html  

Catapres- clonidine hydrochloride tablet. (2012, June) [Accessed 21st of June 2019] Available on: https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=d7f569dc-6bed-42dc-9bec-940a9e6b090d

Everyday Health, Clonidine, online, Everyday Health Group [Accessed 21st of June 2019], Available on: https://www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/clonidine