Clonidine Hydrochloride (Page 4 of 7)

8.6 Renal Impairment

The impact of renal impairment on the pharmacokinetics of clonidine in children has not been assessed. The initial dosage of clonidine hydrochloride extended-release tablets should be based on degree of impairment. Monitor patients carefully for hypotension and bradycardia, and titrate to higher doses cautiously. Since only a minimal amount of clonidine is removed during routine hemodialysis, there is no need to give supplemental clonidine hydrochloride extended-release tablets following dialysis.


9.1 Controlled Substance

Clonidine hydrochloride extended-release tablets is not a controlled substance and has no known potential for abuse or dependence.



Clonidine overdose: hypertension may develop early and may be followed by hypotension, bradycardia, respiratory depression, hypothermia, drowsiness, decreased or absent reflexes, weakness, irritability and miosis. The frequency of CNS depression may be higher in children than adults. Large overdoses may result in reversible cardiac conduction defects or dysrhythmias, apnea, coma and seizures. Signs and symptoms of overdose generally occur within 30 minutes to two hours after exposure.


Consult with a Certified Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) for up-to-date guidance and advice.


Clonidine hydrochloride extended-release is a centrally acting alpha2 -adrenergic agonist available as 0.1 mg extended-release tablets for oral administration. Each 0.1 mg tablet is equivalent to 0.087 mg, respectively, of the free base. The inactive ingredients are sodium lauryl sulfate, microcrystalline cellulose, hypromellose, colloidal silicon dioxide, and magnesium stearate. The formulation is designed to delay the absorption of active drug in order to decrease peak to trough plasma concentration differences. Clonidine hydrochloride, USP is an imidazoline derivative and exists as a mesomeric compound. The chemical name is 2-(2,6-dichlorophenylamino)2-imidazoline hydrochloride. The following is the structural formula:

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C9 H9 Cl2 N3 •HCl Mol. Wt. 266.56 Clonidine hydrochloride, USP is an odorless, bitter, white, crystalline substance soluble in water and alcohol.


12.1 Mechanism of Action

Clonidine stimulates alpha2 -adrenergic receptors in the brain. Clonidine is not a central nervous system stimulant. The mechanism of action of clonidine in ADHD is not known.

12.2 Pharmacodynamics

Clonidine is a known antihypertensive agent. By stimulating alpha2 -adrenergic receptors in the brain stem, clonidine reduces sympathetic outflow from the central nervous system and decreases peripheral resistance, renal vascular resistance, heart rate, and blood pressure.

12.3 Pharmacokinetics

Single-dose Pharmacokinetics in Adults

Immediate-release clonidine hydrochloride and clonidine hydrochloride extended-release tablets have different pharmacokinetic characteristics; dose substitution on a milligram for milligram basis will result in differences in exposure. A comparison across studies suggests that the Cmax is 50% lower for clonidine hydrochloride extended-release tablets compared to immediate-release clonidine hydrochloride.

Following oral administration of an immediate release formulation, plasma clonidine concentration peaks in approximately 3 to 5 hours and the plasma half-life ranges from 12 to 16 hours. The half-life increases up to 41 hours in patients with severe impairment of renal function. Following oral administration about 40%-60% of the absorbed dose is recovered in the urine as unchanged drug in 24 hours.

About 50% of the absorbed dose is metabolized in the liver. Although studies of the effect of renal impairment and studies of clonidine excretion have not been performed with clonidine hydrochloride extended-release tablets, results are likely to be similar to those of the immediate release formulation.

The pharmacokinetic profile of clonidine hydrochloride extended-release tablets administration was evaluated in an open-label, three-period, randomized, crossover study of 15 healthy adult subjects who received three single-dose regimens of clonidine: 0.1 mg of clonidine hydrochloride extended-release tablets under fasted conditions, 0.1 mg of clonidine hydrochloride extended-release tablets following a high fat meal, and 0.1 mg of clonidine immediate-release (Catapres®) under fasted conditions. Treatments were separated by one-week washout periods.

Mean concentration-time data from the 3 treatments are shown in Table 7 and Figure 1. After administration of clonidine hydrochloride extended-release tablets, maximum clonidine concentrations were approximately 50% of the Catapres maximum concentrations and occurred approximately 5 hours later relative to Catapres. Similar elimination half-lives were observed and total systemic bioavailability following clonidine hydrochloride extended-release tablets was approximately 89% of that following Catapres.

Food had no effect on plasma concentrations, bioavailability, or elimination half-life.

Table 7: Pharmacokinetic Parameters of Clonidine in Healthy Adult Volunteers
Clonidine Hydrochloride Immediate-Release — Fasted n=15 Clonidine Hydrochloride Extended-Release Tablets -Fed n=15 Clonidine Hydrochloride Extended-Release Tablets -Fasted n=14
Parameter Mean SD Mean SD MEAN SD
Cmax (pg/mL) 44359.623534.725833.3
AUCinf (hr*pg/mL) 731318126505172867291650
hTmax (hr)
T1/2 (hr)12.573.1112.673.7612.653.56

Figure 1 Mean Clonidine Concentration-Time Profiles after Single Dose Administration

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Multiple-dose Pharmacokinetics in Children and Adolescents

Plasma clonidine concentrations in children and adolescents (0.1 mg bid and 0.2 mg bid) with ADHD are greater than those of adults with hypertension with children and adolescents receiving higher doses on a mg/kg basis. Body weight normalized clearance (CL/F) in children and adolescents was higher than CL/F observed in adults with hypertension. Clonidine concentrations in plasma increased with increases in dose over the dose range of 0.2 to 0.4 mg/day.

Clonidine CL/F was independent of dose administered over the 0.2 to 0.4 mg/day dose range. Clonidine CL/F appeared to decrease slightly with increases in age over the range of 6 to 17 years, and females had a 23% lower CL/F than males. The incidence of “sedation-like” AEs (somnolence and fatigue) appeared to be independent of clonidine dose or concentration within the studied dose range in the titration study. Results from the add-on study showed that clonidine CL/F was 11% higher in patients who were receiving methylphenidate and 44% lower in those receiving amphetamine compared to subjects not on adjunctive therapy.

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