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Clonidine Use and Overdose in Adults and Children

Author: Kellie Wilson, PharmD
(Click author's name for bio)

CE: 2 hours Pharmacology: 2 hours
Rated 4.7 out of 5.0 based on 6649 reviews

Course Summary

Clonidine is approved for the treatment of hypertension, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and for the treatment of opioid use and alcohol use. There are other uses for clonidine, including the treatment of anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder. Although clonidine has a proven antihypertensive effect, it is no longer considered a primary drug for hypertension. The Eighth Joint National Committee (JNC-8) guidelines for the treatment of hypertension recommends against using clonidine as initial therapy for the treatment of hypertension. Withdrawal syndrome and overdose can occur with clonidine use and there is an increasing concern about the rise in cases of pediatric accidental overdose. The prevention of clonidine withdrawal syndrome and toxicity is important for health clinicians to understand in order to be able to quickly diagnose and intervene when an adverse event is suspected.

Course Format


Course Syllabus

I.    Introduction

II.    Pharmacological Profile

1.      Mechanism of Action
2.      Dosing and Dosing Adjustments
3.      Adverse Reactions
4.      Adverse Effects: Epidural
5.      US Box Warning, Contraindications, and Warnings
6.      Disease-Related Concerns
7.      Medication-Related Issues
8.      Administration Issues
9.      Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
10.   Dietary Recommendations
11.   Treatment Resistant Hypertension
12.   Pressor Response

III.    Clonidine Withdrawal Syndrome

IV.    Clonidine Overdose and Accidental Exposure


V.    Case Study: Clonidine Overdose

1. Accidental Overdose in a Toddler
2. Adult with Clonidine Overdose

VI.    Summary


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