Blood Pressure Home > Catapres Uses

Catapres is a medication that treats high blood pressure. It belongs to a class of drugs known as alpha-2 adrenergic agonists, which work to lower both blood pressure and heart rate by stimulating alpha-2 receptors in the brain stem. Healthcare providers may also occasionally recommend off-label uses of Catapres, such as for treating glaucoma, heroine withdrawal, or ADHD.

What Is Catapres Used For?

Catapres® (clonidine hydrochloride) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension).
By lowering blood pressure, blood pressure medications (like Catapres) are thought to decrease the risks that occur with long-term high blood pressure (see Effects of High Blood Pressure). Catapres does not, however, cure high blood pressure. It can be used alone or in combination with other blood pressure medications. Catapres should not be stopped suddenly, as dangerous problems may result (see Catapres Warnings and Precautions for more information).

How Does It Work?

Catapres belongs to a group of medications known as alpha-2 adrenergic agonists. It works by stimulating alpha-2 receptors in the brain stem. This causes a decrease in both blood pressure and heart rate. There is also some evidence that Catapres may decrease certain substances (such as renin or aldosterone) in the body, an action that might also contribute to decreased blood pressure.

Catapres Use in Children or Teens

This medication is not approved for use in children. Talk with your child's healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of using Catapres in children. It is important to keep in mind that children often have stomach illnesses that cause nausea and vomiting (which can make taking medications impossible). This could lead to serious problems if Catapres is stopped suddenly.
Previous versions of the prescribing information for Catapres stated that the medication was approved for use in children as young as 12 years old. The current prescribing information states that Catapres is not approved for use in children.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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