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I started Clonidine a few days ago as an adjunct to everything else I'm taking. It's a blood pressure med being used off label for psych.

  • No more nightmares... what a relief
  • No hot flashes in the last few days... also a relief
  • Blood pressure? Don't know, haven't checked.
  • seems to help with anxiety, also good.

But here's the downside...
  • I am mentally slow compared to other people
  • When people ask me questions, I freeze up and I can't remember and I can't think. Actually this is not a new symptom, but it is worse.
  • I feel fuzzy-headed
  • I wake up with a mild headache

Is anybody else on this drug? How is it going? Will my cognitive impairment lift after a while?

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yeah, no kidding. I am so accustomed to having screaming terrifying nightmares every night that I had no idea what it was like to do without them. I've had these nightmares for years and years. So I am really grateful for this part.

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I took Clonidine, 0.1mg 3x/day for some obsessive tics. It worked really well, but I don't take it regularly anymore. It took about a week, and I was taking half tablets (0.05mg) to titrate up... it really hit me hard at first, then the effects seemed to lessen.

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I take 0.4mg clonidine every night and 2 hours later it's like...

*FWOMP* head-pillow-sleep.

Seems to becoming less effective though, need a higher dose than I did a month ago when I started.

From what I understand (or rather, what was in my CVS prescription leaflet), clonidine is a potent norepinephrine-alpha-2 activator, and the alpha-2 receptor is an "autoreceptor", something that when activated tells your body that there's too much norepinephrine in the brain and that said norepinephrine should STFU/GTFO and let you go back to a nice dreamless sleep. So if cloniine is a potent alpha-2 activator, by that logic it should be very potent at getting the norepinephrine in your brain to STFU/GTFO. If the sentence made any sense to you, you deserve some sort of an award, since that's just two cents from a former biologist, one who's new to clonidine no less. :smartass:

Going back to layman's speech now, I haven't had many SEs from the clonidine. My mom has complained that I "sound a little slow" over the phone, but my hypothesis is that it's helped me calm down and focus my attention (so my speech is more focused and deliberate, not fast, scattered, and tangential like it used to be). My class grades are going up, and I find sitting down and studying/writing essays to be much easier. Given that there are a few studies showing success in AD/HD with clonidine (and that its fellow a2-agonist guanfacine is actually approved in the US for AD/HD!), I am not surprised at any of this.

As far as physical SEs, I am not seeing this fatigue thing that seems to be a very common complaint among clonidine patients (both psych and blood pressure). Probably since I have pulmonary hypertension (excess blood pressure between the lungs and heart), and all blood pressure meds have a mild effect on treating the condition and improving the fatigue that comes with it. Methylphenidate raises the blood pressure and is very bad for patients with PH (my daytime blood pressure on it used to be 160/100 and is now down to 140/90), and I was able to cut my methylphenidate by half since the clonidine let me sleep so restfully. Also, clonidine really gives my cardiovascular system a welcome rest at night, when it drops my blood pressure to about 100/60 or lower (it used to be the same 160/100 24/7).

However the drug hasn't been SE-free for me, but the most frequent SEs have been the milder ones. Dry mouth and lack of sweating (common, actually desirable at night for someone like me who has Parkinson-like syndrome), and an annoying stuffy nose at times. And the fact that after taking the med, I'm "booked" for the next 10-12 hours, since it takes an unpredictable amount of time to knock me out and leaves me knocked out for an unpredictable amount of time.

ADDENDUM: liveoak, I see you're also on Seroquel and recently went up on it. Seroquel is known to profoundly lower the blood pressure in some people (it did to me -- 20 minutes after taking 100mg I wouldn't even be able to keep my knees straight!). Here's some advice coming from a patient: Get a good auto-inflate electronic home blood pressure monitor. If it's showing hypotension (<90/50) before your head even hits the pillow at night, this is not only going to give you more daytime SEs but is also potentially dangerous and it's time to speak with your doctor about reducing Seroquel and/or clonidine ASAP. Sorry to sound all doctorish there, but I just want to make sure you're safe.

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Great post, Likeminded. You're very good at explaining things. Actually I have hypertension, and I am on a generic form of Lasix for it. I would love it if Clonidine gave me the chance to get off the other blood pressure med or at least cut back.

I am still feeling really slow mentally, especially word retrieval and memory. Like I can't remember the names of the 4 tomato plants I just bought. Even though I researched all of them before I bought them. Since I have depression, I don't need my thoughts to slow down any more than they already are, so I do hope this stupidity is not forever.

Hey, I just realized that I didn't have Cymbalta sweat running down my face at the garden today. However, my digestion is kind of stopped up. That's not good. I've been drinking those Yakult things.

Oh, I do have a question about the nightmares.. does the Clonidine stop all dreams or just harrowing dreams? I mean doesn't a person need REM sleep which involves dreams?

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Now I have a new issue. How to put this delicately... the digestion has been "stopped up" for a couple of days. In a similar vein, my eyes are dry and so is my mouth. So, now, in order to take Clonidine, I have to use eye drops, Biotene for dry mouth, and whatever for the bathroom issue. For Pete's sake.

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Great post, Likeminded. You're very good at explaining things. Actually I have hypertension, and I am on a generic form of Lasix for it. I would love it if Clonidine gave me the chance to get off the other blood pressure med or at least cut back.

I am still feeling really slow mentally, especially word retrieval and memory. Like I can't remember the names of the 4 tomato plants I just bought. Even though I researched all of them before I bought them. Since I have depression, I don't need my thoughts to slow down any more than they already are, so I do hope this stupidity is not forever.

Hey, I just realized that I didn't have Cymbalta sweat running down my face at the garden today. However, my digestion is kind of stopped up. That's not good. I've been drinking those Yakult things.

Oh, I do have a question about the nightmares.. does the Clonidine stop all dreams or just harrowing dreams? I mean doesn't a person need REM sleep which involves dreams?

I'm glad you found my information helpful... like you, I'm new to the med too, so this will be a learning experience for both of us.

Your lowered sweating and uh, stopped up digestion are classic "anticholinergic" issues (I'm speaking from my biology training here, I'm not a doctor... but I think clonidine has mild anticholinergic SEs). IMO a single drug effect (anticholinergicness) is actually helping with your sweating but hurting your digestion.

So for the, uh, Verstopfung (there is always a better way to put things in German, I swear), I'm just going to recommend what I use... although I rarely have the issue and clonidine never worsened it, during the times I did have it, I found that magnesium, particularly in the "citrate" form, really helped (look for magnesium CITRATE laxatives in the digestive aid section of your drugstore). They come in clear glass bottles and taste like salty-sour soda, and then you take a ton of water with them... it basically WILL do the intended job, and magnesium itself is good for your sleep in and of itself anyways from what I've heard.

As far as losing REM sleep, (gosh, now I've got "Losing My Religion" by them on repeat in my head), I was taught in psych 101 that REM sleep was supposed to consolidate long-term memory, although there haven't been any studies so far showing that lack of REM sleep impairs long-term memory.

Best of luck in, uh, safely evacuating... :smartass:

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Likeminded, you are effing funny and a smart dude! Thank you so much for that info! I'll look into the magnesium citrate.

I woke up this morning with uber-dry eyeballs, but I have to admit I like not having sweat rolling down my face like a waterfall.

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Likeminded, you are effing funny and a smart dude! Thank you so much for that info! I'll look into the magnesium citrate.

I woke up this morning with uber-dry eyeballs, but I have to admit I like not having sweat rolling down my face like a waterfall.

*Funny, yes this has been established

*Smart, well, ask the grad schools I've been applying to the past 4 years, they don't seem to agree as much. :smartass:

And as far as the anticholinergic SEs, I guess you have to take the good with the bad. I have to take an additional anticholinergic med (oxybutynin) because of excessive sweating (have had it well before I started Cymbalta, more likely due to a brain disorder) and yeah, I have to put up with the dry mouth side effect. While it hasn't caused me uh, evacuation difficulties, I think it's listed as a potential SE in the leaflet.

As far as the magnesium citrate goes, I recommend you be pretty careful with the stuff. No matter how bad your Verstopfung ist, it WILL do the trick, and in a very harsh way. I understand it's a "cathartic", meaning that it forces more water posthaste into your digestive system (which is why you have to drink plenty of water after downing the 12 oz. of funky tasting soda), so make sure you have access to das Klo for the 24 hours after taking the stuff. I also don't know if your body can get "used to" the stuff (i.e. if you'll have rebound symptoms after stopping).

Alternately, you could try magnesium citrate pills, which are actually more used as a dietary supplement by those with sleeping issues. I'm not sure how well they work on stopped-up innards though. There is also milk of magnesia (I think it's a suspension of magnesium oxide in water), but I don't know how effective it is firsthand.

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ok the first one sounds scary now, but you reminded me of "milk of magnesia!" I wonder if they still make that stuff. oh, I also remembered All Bran cereal. Thanks for the prompt my brain needed. :)

p.s. I earned a graduate degree, but I am too MI to deal with the stress of the job. What kind of graduate degree are you looking at?

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ok the first one sounds scary now, but you reminded me of "milk of magnesia!" I wonder if they still make that stuff. oh, I also remembered All Bran cereal. Thanks for the prompt my brain needed. :)

Yes, they do - I've seen commercials for it on TV. If that or bran cereal don't do the trick, there's always senna to get things moving again.

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I just ate a bowl of All Bran.

I definitely can't claim to be a GI expert here, but at the advice of my GP the last time I had a 3-day bout of disbowelmovement, I went straight for the "magnesium sh*trate" stuff, since I was told bulk such as bran can slow the intestines and basically would be the equivalent of taking a puff from a cyanide inhaler in an attempt to treat an asthma attack.

Honestly, if you're going on more than a few days without any motion in the ocean, it's time to either try a drastic measure (yes, magnesium citrate can be unpleasant for 24 hours, but at least it'll keep you out of trouble) or go to the ER.

Grad schools?

I applied for an in-state program in industrial engineering in 2006, didn't get in, spent a few years with relapsing meningitis with no apps being sent out due to having a 24/7 fever, then applied in 2009 to an in-state PhD program for general biomedical sciences (I did my undergraduate major in biology) and got rejected due to the sheer volume of applicants, then applied to the same program again and got rejected again in 2010 since the volume of applicants was double that in 2009, and am about to get rejected by multiple business schools in 2011.

Later this year, I plan on being rejected by in-state programs in informatics and economics. :smartass:

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Likeminded, Er, um, I was trying not to get too detailed here, but um.. it already worked a couple days ago.. so I'm going to continue with the fiber and the yogurt. Good information to have though.

Re: grad degree, yep, you are a Mr. Smartypants. :) Clearly your brain isn't impaired by your MI, which is great.

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Likeminded, Er, um, I was trying not to get too detailed here, but um.. it already worked a couple days ago.. so I'm going to continue with the fiber and the yogurt. Good information to have though.

Re: grad degree, yep, you are a Mr. Smartypants. :) Clearly your brain isn't impaired by your MI, which is great.

LOL.

I'm glad that a safe evacuation occurred. :smartass:

Whatever works, works, anyways.

My brain isn't that impaired by MI (or the meds)... in fact, I realized this very piercingly when I was filling out a business school application transcript form last night and realized that when I was an undergraduate, how my GPA "magically" went up by 0.5 points when I finally stopped listening to my parents and sought therapy and meds :brooding:

And hopefully one day may you find yourself on a grad school admissions committee.. :)

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I have a question. I hope you don't mind I hijacked your thread instead of starting a new one. I've been on .1mgs of clonidine for sleep. I've been having some sleeping issues and my insurance provider is being a DICK and requiring a 90 prescription. My p-doc wrote me a 90 rx to take 2-3 as needed for sleep. I've been taking 3 because I'm still having sleep issues. I was at the store last night buying food and they had a blood pressure machine, so I checked mine and it was something like 83/40. How low is too low? When I normally get my vitals checked its already in the 90's

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