Clonidine Withdrawal Symptoms, Signs, and Detoxification

Clonidine Withdrawal Symptoms and Signs, and Detoxification

Clonidine is a medication given to those suffering through drug withdrawal from benzodiazepines and opiates. Here's what you need to know about withdrawal.

Clonidine is a medication given to those suffering through drug withdrawal from benzodiazepines and opiates. It’s also commonly prescribed as an antihypertensive for high blood pressure. For withdrawal sufferers, clonidine reduces some of the symptoms of withdrawal, easing the withdrawal process.

For hypertension patients, clonidine lowers blood pressure. Clonidine withdrawal can result from the extended use of clonidine followed by the sudden cessation of the drug’s ingestion. As a method of avoiding clonidine withdrawal side effects, patients on the drug are tapered down from the full dosage in steps at the end of the treatment process.

Withdrawal from clonidine is considered a serious medical issue due to the possibility of the patient experiencing a hypertensive crisis. This crisis results from clonidine rebound or rebound hypertension, a condition in which the lowered blood pressure caused by clonidine use suddenly rises. Other clonidine withdrawal symptoms may include hallucinations, nausea, and vomiting or rapid changes in the patient’s mood.

Are you seeking treatment for Clonidine Withdrawal?

If you or someone you love is struggling with Clonidine withdrawal,  please consider calling us at American Addiction Centers. With facilities across the United States and trained advisors ready to answer your call, we are equipped and ready to help you get the treatment you deserve. We can be reached at 1-888-935-1318.

Withdrawing from Clonidine: Treatment Methods and Options for Help

Clonidine withdrawal treatment in a facility begins with an initial medical exam to determine the patient’s physical condition upon entry into the treatment program. This pre-detox period can last up to 24 hours, as medical personnel determines both the patient’s general medical condition and drug history.

Detoxification of the patient’s body begins after the pre-detox period ends. Detoxification using the tapering process can take up to a few weeks to complete. The process consists of lowering the dosage of clonidine given to the patient in daily steps until dosage levels reach zero.

The initial dosage level determines the likely length of treatment, with higher dosages requiring more steps for completion. The detox period can be extended, though, if the patient begins to display withdrawal symptoms during the process.

Lowering the doses daily allows the patient to readjust continuously to the lower levels of clonidine in the body without beginning withdrawal from the drug’s sudden removal. If at any time during the process withdrawal symptoms begin to appear, the medical personnel overseeing the process may decide to return to earlier higher dosage levels to provide symptom relief before continuing to lower the doses.

When the doses stop entirely, the patient’s body should have adjusted enough that any withdrawal symptoms experienced are only mild compared to those possible from a stoppage at the former dosage level.

Detoxing, Addiction Treatment Rehab, and Recovery

Detoxing within a treatment facility ensures that the patient cannot access greater doses of clonidine than those given by facility personnel. Going through detox in a facility also guarantees medical help if it’s needed during the treatment process. Clonidine rebound is a significant danger during withdrawal, though the tapering process lowers the chances of patients experiencing the condition tremendously. Having medical personnel present 24-hours a day can mean an instant response to any hypertensive crisis that may occur.

During the detoxification process, patients undergo a series of counseling sessions intended to provide them with the tools necessary to live a clean and sober lifestyle. These tools include methods for resisting the psychological dependence caused by the use of the drug. Counseling isn’t limited to the detox period alone. After detox, counseling sessions are often continued to deal with any drug-related issues that may crop up soon after patients leave the facility.

For those patients suffering from a previous medical condition that led to the prescribing of clonidine by their physician, a full medical checkup is required to help determine the best treatment available for the preexisting condition to replace the clonidine medication. The presence of medical personnel is important at this stage to make certain the preexisting condition is under control while tapering off from the clonidine.

Until the dosage levels reach zero and the clonidine is out of the patient’s system, starting new medication may be difficult unless it’s compatible with the clonidine use.

It’s important that a patient begins treatment for clonidine withdrawal as early as possible. Locating a treatment facility when time is short can be difficult without help. Help is available, though, by calling our national toll-free hotline at American Addiction Centers.

The number for the hotline is 1-888-935-1318. Once connected, you can speak with a knowledgeable operator who can answer your questions concerning clonidine withdrawal. The call will be kept confidential, and the line is staffed 24 hours a day for your convenience.

Clonidine Information at a Glance
Medication Name, Costs Class of Medicine
  • Generic Name: Clonidine
  • Generic Name Variations: N/A
  • Chemical Name: N-(2,6-dichlorophenyl)-4,5-dihydro-1H-imidazole-2-amine
  • Brand Name: Catapres, Kapvay, Nexiclon
  • Brand Name Variations: N/A
  • Cost/Price: Varies
  • Used to Treat Addiction? Sometimes used to treat heroin addictions, and lessen the effects of opiate or alcohol withdrawals
  • Function or Use at Low Dose: varies
  • Function or Use at High Dose: varies
  • Chemical Makeup: C9H9Cl2N3
  • System: Sympatholytic
  • Duration of Action: Varies
Form, Intake, and Dosage Interactions and Complications
  • Drug Forms: Liquid and tablet
  • Administration Routes: Oral injection or transdermal
  • Dosage: Varies based on body weight
  • Overdose: Varies- generally over .6mg per day
  • Alcohol Interaction: Intensifies effects of alcohol
  • Illicit Drugs: Used as a withdrawal aid
  • Prescription Medications: Combined with other prescriptions as a pain reliever
  • Contraindications: Varies
Effects and Adverse Reactions Substance Abuse
  • Short-Term: Ataxia, drowsiness, abnormal coordination, dizziness, memory loss, fatigue
  • Long-Term: depression, behavioral problems, a fatal overdose is possible
  • Risk of Substance Abuse: High
  • Signs of Abuse: Drowsiness, confusion, coma
Physiological Problem Signs and Symptoms Dependence and Addiction Issues
  • Short-Term: Dry mouth, tiredness, weakness, nausea, insomnia, severe headaches
  • Long-Term: Possible respiratory and heart dysfunction
  • Risk of Substance Abuse: Low, transfer of addiction moderate risk
  • Signs of Abuse: Depression, anxiety, insomnia
Legal Schedules and Ratings
  • Controlled Substances Act Rating: Schedule IV


Questions and Answers (FAQ)

How Long Do Clonidine Withdrawals Last?

The timeline for clonidine detox is different from other drugs since you need to withdrawal slowly. Because of this, the duration and length of detox can last several weeks.

Do You Have a List Popular Slang or Street Names for Clonidine?


Are There any Home Remedies for Getting Clean Safely?

Generally, most people who have been using clonidine will be able to detox at home in a natural way. This is not some sort of home remedy. If the user has been using higher doses or has been using for a long time, however, they will need to seek help from a professional detox center. With clonidine detox, it is important to ease into withdrawal from clonidine to relieve the intensity of the symptoms.

If you are not able to detox at home, seek alternative help from a detox center. It’s always best to consult with a professional before attempting to get clean from clonidine. Get in touch with addiction specialists by calling 1-888-935-1318 or visiting our locator page.

How Long Does it Take to Detox from Clonidine?

The timeline for detox from Clonidine is different than other medications. It is important that one does not stop cold turkey taking clonidine but reduce your dosage over time. For this reason, detox can take several weeks if the user is taking a higher dosage. After the body is significantly detoxed, the user has the option to seek a program for addiction recovery.