Clonidine For Sleep: Uses, Side Effects, Drug Interaction & Anxiety Dosage

    clonidine for sleep
    clonidine for sleep

    Clonidine For Sleep – Clonidine is a non-selective alpha-2 adrenergic agonist that has been used in the treatment of high blood pressure, Clonidine work’s by decreasing heart rate & relaxing the blood vessels so that blood can flow more easily through various body organs.

    Because of relaxing properties of Clonidine, its use in Insomnia is in the discussion. Insomnia is a condition in which patient feels difficulty in falling asleep or there is feeling of restlessness throughout day.

    Clonidine is only approved in high blood pressure & certain psychiatric conditions but not in Insomnia. Studies have also shown safety of tolerability of clonidine.

    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental health disorder in which clonidine is used for management of its symptoms. A person with ADHD may find trouble in focusing their attention on a single task or sitting still for long periods of time. (reference)

    Research shows, at night-time when clonidine taken in dosage of 50–800 μg it improves sleep regardless of gender, comorbidity, or concurrent pharmacotherapy. However, 31% suffered from mild adverse effects.


    Other Clonidine Uses

    Clonidine For Sleep: Uses, Side Effects, Drug Interaction & Anxiety Dosage
    Clonidine For Sleep

    Prophylaxis of migraine – Research has shown low doses of clonidine useful in preventing migraine headaches in about 30%-50% of patients.

    Menopausal flushing – Clonidine, has shown to ameliorate hot flushes by decreasing noradrenergic activity in the blood vessels.

    In a study, The 15 menopausal women took one 25-μg tablet of clonidine twice daily for 3 weeks & 10 menopausal women took no medication. The frequency, duration, and intensity of hot flushes were significantly decreased after the second week in a group of clonidine treatment.

    Clonidine can be used in Prophylaxis of Childhood Migraine and Other Vascular Headache. in an small study on patient with vascular headache, clonidine was found to be 57% effective in decreasing vascular headache. (Reference)

    Clonidine given in a “loading” dose is safe and effective in the management of patients with hypertensive emergencies, and it may have an advantage over other antihypertensive drugs administered parenterally.


    In a study, 38 patients were treated with clonidine, Each patient received a “loading” dose of 0.2 mg clonidine, followed by 0.1 mg hourly until the blood pressure was substantially reduced, or until a total dose of 0.8 mg has been administered. Thirty-five (82.1%) patients responded favourably, with a reduction in the systolic blood pressure & diastolic blood pressure in 6 hours.

    Clonidine in Opiate Detoxification – Clonidine Non-selective alpha-2 adrenergic agonist  Clonidine can be used to treat & facilitate opioid withdrawal patient, only in over 25 years old patient. (Reference)

    Clonidine is commonly used off-label in paediatric anaesthesia and intensive care medicine. Its use is recommended for the sedation of critically ill children in PICUs by the UK and German consensus guidelines. (Reference)

    On administration of naltrexone Especially in first 4 months. Nausea, headache, and dysphonia have been commonly reported problem side effects. Such adverse effects can be treated with administration of clonidine.

    Side Effects Of Clonidine

    • Gastrointestinal disorders: Constipation, nausea, salivary gland pain, vomiting.
    • Significant Side Effects: Hypotension, bradycardia, CNS depression, respiratory depression, xerostomia, skin rash (transdermal).
    • Nervous system disorders: Drowsiness, dizziness, sedation, headache, paraesthesia.
    • Psychiatric disorders: Sleep disorder, depression, hallucination, delusional perception, nightmare.
    • Reproductive system and breast disorders: Erectile dysfunction.
    • Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders: Pruritus, rash, urticaria.
    • Vascular disorders: Orthostatic hypotension (1st dose), Raynaud’s phenomenon.

    Clonidine Drug Interactions

    • Clonidine may increase hypotensive effect of narcotic analgesic & antihypertensive agents (e.g. diuretics, β-blockers, vasodilators, Ca antagonists, ACE inhibitors)
    • It may potentiate CNS depressant effect of barbiturates or other sedative drugs.
    • It reduces antihypertensive effect and induce orthostatic hypotension with TCAs or neuroleptics with α-receptor blocking properties.
    • It may potentiate AV-blocking effect of cardiac glycosides. May increase arrhythmogenic potential (e.g. QT prolongation, ventricular fibrillation) of high doses of IV haloperidol.

    Prescription medications for insomnia

    Clonidine For Sleep: Uses, Side Effects, Drug Interaction & Anxiety Dosage
    Clonidine For Sleep

    There are many Prescription medications available for insomnia, which will help you to fall asleep. However you should also consider their side effects before using them.


    Following are Prescription medications for insomnia

    1. Eszopiclone
    2. Ramelteon
    3. Zaleplon
    4. Zolpidem

    Home remedies & Lifestyle changes for insomnia

    • It is 100% possible to treat insomnia with some lifestyle changes & home remedies, but this change will only occur if you are 100% willing & dedicated to change your lifestyle for a good reason.
    • Staying active: keep yourself active in daytime, instead of seating on sofa or chair & thinking about depressing things what you should do is go and do some sport activities like, swimming, cycling, workout or do some social activities. This will distract you from depressing things & bring your head in relaxing status. Also avoid stimulating activities before going to bed.
    • Avoid caffeine and alcohol: these drugs can keep you awake for longer time hence drinks with caffeine or alcohol should be avoided.
    • Eat smaller meals: larger meals before sleep are associated with many gastric problems while smaller meals will avoid heartburn, avoiding plenty of water before sleep will reduce urination problem in night.
    • Avoid using phone before bedtime: Nowadays, there is plenty of addicting content on internet, using phone at might keep you awake for longer time.
    • Live a healthy life: eat clean avoid junk food & treat any conditions which causing problems in falling sleep.
    • Yoga or tai chi: Some studies suggest that the regular practice of yoga or tai chi can help improve sleep quality. 
    • Meditation: Several small studies suggest that meditation, along with conventional treatment, may help improve sleep and reduce stress.

    Summary (Clonidine For Sleep)

    Clonidine has some analgesic properties which may help you in falling sleep, But clonidine is not approved by FDA for its use in insomnia. Lifestyle changes or some prescription medications can help you treat Insomnia.