The Catapres patch (Catapres TTS, Clonidine) is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure), smoking cessation, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and other conditions.
It decreases the heart rate by relaxing the blood vessels so blood can flow more easily throughout the body.
For those with ADHD, it is used as an ancillary medication in addition to Amphetamine based ADHD medications such as Ritalin. It is usually taken once daily at bedtime as a sleep aid.
The patch is available in different sizes: 0.1, 0.2, or 0.3 mg. For children, a typical starting dose is smaller, 0.05 mg. See this helpful guide to help you find the best Catapres dosage.
Your doctor or treating physician can gradually increase the dosage usually at weekly intervals as necessary in order to find the maximum benefit.
Depending on the individual, the Catapres patch has certain advantages over tablets. For example, it is useful for those who may not be able to tolerate swallowing tablets.
Compared to taking pills every day, the patch is typically applied to the skin every 7 days. One can engage in normal activities such as bathing, swimming and showering while wearing the patch. Keep in mind that it may take 2-3 days before the full effect occurs.
The patch should always be applied to clean, dry skin on a hairless area on the upper, outer arm or upper chest. Try to ensure a location where it will not be rubbed by tight clothing. Do not apply it to irritated skin.
Catapres side effects may include dry mouth, fatigue, headache, and nausea. More severe side effects may include skin irritation, hoarseness, or swelling in different body parts. See your doctor immediately if these occur.
If you experience dry mouth, you can chew gum or suck on some hard candy. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. But if it is almost time for your next dose take it at the next scheduled medication time. Never double up doses; always take any medication as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
Medications affect everyone differently. Many medications are a matter of trial and error in order to find the proper level for each individual. Report any negative side effects to your treating doctor.
Inform your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following serious side effects: racing heartbeat, a heart rate of less than 60 per minute, shortness of breath, swelling, weight gain, confusion, hallucinations, or fever.
You may be required to regularly monitor your heart rate and blood pressure while taking this medication.
Abruptly stopping Catapres may result in potentially dangerous Catapres withdrawal. When discontinuing this medication it is important to work with your doctor to gradually reduce your dosage.
It is important to attend regular medication monitoring appointments with your doctor in order to monitor your progress. As always, relay any questions or concerns to your doctor.