Clonidine was originally developed as a form of treatment for high blood pressure and migraine: but it has been used to treat other conditions which include neuralgia and ulcerative colitis.

Clonidine is now being used to treat symptoms of the menopause.

It is available as a tablet or a skin patch and is useful for treating hot flushes. The patch needs to be changed on a weekly basis.

It is a non-hormonal form of treatment which means that it can be used by women who have a history of breast cancer.

Risks of clonidine

Clonidine is not recommended for the following conditions:

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Severe coronary artery disease
  • History of heart attack/s
  • History of stroke
  • Kidney disease
  • Allergic reaction to a ‘transdermal skin patch’

If you have experienced any of these then mention them to your GP. Also mention if you are taking any prescription or over the counter medicines.

Do not use clonidine if you are suffering from insomnia or depression as it can worsen these conditions.

Side effects of clonidine

All medicines have side effects and the severity of these varies from one person to another.

It is difficult to predict how someone’s body will react to a drug or medicine which means that there is a degree of uncertainty when prescribing a drug.

Side effects include:

  • Water retention
  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Nausea
  • Tiredness
  • Skin rash as a reaction to the patch

Avoid alcohol as it can worsen these side effects.

Your GP will monitor your use of this drug over a 2 to 4 week period to determine its effectiveness or not. If you notice any untoward effects or there is no change in your menopausal symptoms then speak to your GP.

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