By Tammy Preston, MS Brand Name: Catapres® (KAT-uh-press) Generic Name: clonidine (KLAHN-eh-deen) hydrochloride (HCL for short) Manufacturer: Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Catapres® is the brand name for an anti-hypertensive medication FDA approved for the treatment of mild to moderate high blood pressure. Its generic equivalent is called clonidine hydrochloride. Although not FDA indicated for the treatment adult ADHD, Catapres® (clonidine hydrochloride) is generally well accepted as an alternative to the use of stimulants in treating adult ADHD. Catapres® Dosage Catapres® is available in doses of 0.1 mg (colored tan), 0.2 mg (colored orange) and 0.3 mg (colored peach). An extended-release trans-dermal skin patch, called Catapres-TSS® (the generic is called clonidine transdermal) is an alternative to taking the drug orally. A trans-dermal patch is medication in an adhesive patch that sticks to your skin and is slowly released into your system. This is a convenient delivery system that can be applied just once weekly. This content has not been reviewed within the past year and may not represent Web MD's most up-to-date information. To find the most current information, please enter your topic of interest into our search box. have ADHD, a behavioral disorder marked by impulsiveness, hyperactivity, and inattention. " May 11, 2011 -- Combining an extended-release version of the blood pressure pill clonidine with a stimulant may benefit children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who are not getting adequate relief from stimulants alone, according to a new study. Stimulants are often the first-line therapy, but they can have side effects that include poor appetite and sleeplessness. Extended-release clonidine is FDA-approved for use alone or with stimulants for children ages 6 to 17 with ADHD. The drug helps boost levels of the brain chemical norepinephrine. “This combination can benefit those kids who are not showing the best response to stimulants alone or kids who have otherwise intolerable side effects from stimulants and require a lower dose,” says study researcher Scott H. Kollins, Ph D, director of the Duke ADHD Program in Durham, N. “Kids who don’t respond as well to front-line treatment with stimulants have the potential to get a lot of benefit if we add extended-release clonidine.” In the eight-week study of 198 adolescents with ADHD, those who received extended-release clonidine in addition to stimulant therapy showed greater reductions in symptoms, compared to those who received a placebo with their stimulant medication.
In reality, clonidine is now a frequently prescribed medication in children under age 12. It has indications for use in a wide variety of conditions such as high blood pressure, as a second-line medication in ADHD, treatment for Tourette syndrome, and treatment in some of the disruptive behavioral disorders, to name a few. This information explains the evidence summary about the off-label use of clonidine to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD in.