Re: Has anyone taken or take clonidine hcl???
I am the poster girl for clonidine. I sing its praises all the time. It is one of the few meds I've tried that lowers my blood pressure, and I do not have horrible side effects from it. I've tried meds that not only didn't work, but raised my bp and gave me bad side effects. I am on 180 mg tiazac (cardizem, a ccb) and .1 mg clonidine 3 X a day. These normally keep me around 116/65, pulse about 65. Sometimes I go as low as 105/61, pulse 55 and a couple of times I've been 92/50 and pulse of 45.
Clonidine side effects I have experienced are minor and are less common now. I sometimes have some dry mouth, some constipation and sleepiness. Getting really sleepy still happens fairly often, but I am constantly sleep deprived, so maybe if I slept better/longer that wouldn't happen, lol!
As mentioned in another post, clonidine is fast acting, lowering bp in 30-60 minutes. Unfortunately it only lasts 12-16 hours, so unless you use it just occasionally, you have to take it 2 or 3 times a day. I find better control if I take it 3 X a day, but last weekend I tried 2 X day and still got low readings. I'm considering trying to go to 2 X dosing. Sometimes I feel a bit jittery and some increased pulse at about 7 hours (just before my afternoon dose), which tells me I'm coming up on my next dose. There is some withdrawal if you take it regularly and just stop, so this is not reccommended. IMHO, this is not nearly as bad as beta blocker withdrawal.
The limited time in your system is both good and bad. On the bad side, you have to remember to take the dang pill more often! On the good side, I can micromanage my blood pressure. When I come up on time for my next dose, I take my bp. If it is low, I put off taking it or decrease the dose. If for some reason my bp is higher than I want, I increase the dose.
It also comes in a weekly patch called Catapress. I had some minor skin irritation from the patch, and I did not get as good a control as with the pills.
Clonidine is an old drug, so it is also fairly cheap.