Catapres Side Effects
Dry mouth, dizziness, and drowsiness are the most common side effects reported with Catapres. Side effects of the medication are often mild and do not require medical attention. However, certain negative reactions are potentially serious and should be reported to your healthcare provider right away, including lightheadedness or fainting, chest pain, or a fast heart rate.
As with any medicine, side effects are possible with Catapres® (clonidine hydrochloride). However, not everyone who takes the medication will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider.
Catapres comes in the form of tablets or skin patches. This article applies to the tablet form only (see Catapres-TTS for information about the patch form).
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Catapres. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of Catapres side effects with you.)
Catapres has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occur in a group of people taking the drug are documented and are then compared to side effects that occur in another group of people not taking the medicine. This way, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine.
In these studies, the most common Catapres side effects included:
- Dry mouth -- in up to 40 percent of people (see Clonidine and Dry Mouth)
- Drowsiness -- up to 33 percent
- Dizziness -- up to 16 percent
- Constipation -- up to 10 percent
- Sedation (a sleepy, "out of it" state) -- up to 10 percent.
Other side effects that occurred less frequently (and may or may not be truly related to Catapres) included but were not limited to:
- Hair loss
- Loss of appetite
- Malaise (a general ill feeling)
- Elevated liver enzymes (found using a blood test)
- Sexual problems (see Clonidine Sexual Side Effects)
- Frequent nighttime urination
- Weight gain
- Dry eyes and dry nose