Generic name: Clonidine hydrochloride.

Other brand name: Catapres-TTS.

Catapres is an antih/pertensive agent. It works to reduce blood pressure. 

Quick Facts About Catapres


Used to treat high blood pressure. Also used to treat alcohol, nicotine, or tranquilizer withdrawa migraine headaches; smoking cessation; Tourette; syndrome; premenstrual tension; and diabetic diarrhea.

Catapres Dosage

Take exactly as prescribed, even if you feel well. Follow schedule closely; if not taken consistently, condition may get worse.

  • Usual adult dose: 0.1 milligram 2 times per day (morning and night) initially. Regular, ongoing dose ranges from 0.2 milligrams to 0.6 milligrams per day divided into smaller doses, not to exceed 2.4 miligrams per day. Transdermal patch — dose determine: based on your blood pressure response.
  • Usual child dose: not generally prescribed for children under 12 years.
  • Missed dose: take as soon as possible, then go back to regular schedule. If 2 or more doses in a row are missed, or if you forget to change the patch for days, contact your doctor.

Catapres Side Effects

Overdose symptoms:

changes in heart function, con-M striction of pupils in the eye, high blood pressure irritability, low blood pressure, reduced rate of breathing, seizures, sleepiness, slow heartbeat, slowed reflexes, sluggishness, temporary failure to breathe vomiting, weakness. If you suspect an overdose, immediately seek medical attention.

More common side effects: constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, sedation, skin reactions.

Less common Catapres side effects: agitation, breast development in males, changes in heartbeat, changes in taste, decreased sexual activity, difficulty sleeping, difficulty urinating, dizziness on standing up, excessive nighttime urination, fatigue, fluid retention, hair loss, headache, hives, impotence, itching, joint pain, leg cramps, loss of appetite, loss of sexual drive, mental depression, muscle pain, nausea, nervousness, rash, retention of urine, sluggishness, vague bodily discomfort, vomiting, weakness, weight gain. Rare side effects: anxiety, behavior changes, blurred vision, burning eyes, congestive heart failure, delirium, dry eyes, dry nasal passages, fever, greater sensitivity to alcohol, hallucinations, hepatitis, pallor, restlessness, vivid dreams or nightmares.


Inform your doctor before combining Catapres with:

barbiturates such as Nembutal and Seconal; sedatives such as Valium, Xanax, and Halcion; tricyclic antidepressants such as Elavil and Tofranil. If taking beta-blockers with Catapres, stop the beta-blockers before the gradual withdrawal of Catapres.

Do not drink alcohol while taking this medicine; may enhance the side effects of Catapres. 

Special Cautions

If pregnant or planning to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Appears in breast milk; could affect a nursing baby.

Initial dose for seniors may be lower.

Not generally prescribed for children under 12 years.

  • Do not take if sensitive to or allergic reaction to Catapres or any components of the transdermal patch.
  • Medication should not be abruptly discontinued; severe reactions such as disruption of brain function and death have been reported.
  • May cause drowsiness and impair your ability to drive a car or operate machinery. Do not take part in any activity that requires alertness.
  • If you have an allergic reaction to the patch, your doctor may switch you to tablets. May have similar allergic reaction to the tablet
  • Take with caution if you have: disease of the blood vessels of the brain, severe heart disease, severe kidney disease, or if recovering from a heart attack.

Note: provides accurate and independent information prescription pills, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have questions about  dosage, or Catapres side effects, please contact your healthcare provider.