Catapres 100 Tablets

What Catapres is used for

Catapres lowers high blood pressure, also called hypertension.

Everyone has blood pressure. This pressure helps your blood move around your body. Your blood pressure may be different at different times of the day. You have hypertension when your blood pressure stays higher than normal, even when you are calm or relaxed.

There are usually no signs of hypertension. The only way of knowing that you have hypertension is to have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis. You may feel fine and have no symptoms, but if high blood pressure is not treated, it can lead to serious health problems (such as heart disease).

Catapres works by relaxing and widening blood vessels and so helps to lower your blood pressure.

Catapres is also used to prevent migraine headache and to relieve symptoms of menopausal flushing.

Your doctor may prescribe Catapres for other reasons. Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why Catapres has been prescribed for you.

Before you take Catapres

When you must not take Catapres

Do not take Catapres if you are allergic to clonidine or to any of the other ingredients in Catapres

These ingredients are listed in full at the end of this leaflet.

If you are uncertain as to whether you have these allergies you should raise those concerns with your doctor.

Do not take Catapres if you have the rare hereditary condition of galactose intolerance.

Do not take Catapres if you have certain heart problems, such as irregular / slow heart beat.

Do not take Catapres after the expiry date on the carton or blister strips has passed.

Do not take Catapres if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.

Before you start to take Catapres

Before taking Catapres, you must tell your doctor if you have, or have had, any of the following conditions:

heart failure or any heart or circulation problem
stroke, or transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
mental depression
sugar diabetes
nerve damage, which may lead to weakness in the arms and legs
phaeochromocytoma (a rare tumour of the adrenal gland)
any problems with your kidneys

If you are not sure if you have, or have had, any of these conditions you should ask your doctor.

Taking other medicines

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you get without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.

Some medicines and Catapres may interfere with each other. These include:

  • other medicines for high blood pressure
  • medicines for heart problems
  • alcohol
  • medicines used to control mood swings and some types of depression
  • medicines used to relieve pain, swelling or other symptoms of inflammation

These medicines may be affected by Catapres, or may affect how well it works. You may need different amounts of your medicine, or you may need to take different medicines.

Your doctor or pharmacist will be able to tell you what to do if you are taking Catapres with other medicines.

Pregnancy / breastfeeding

Ask for your doctor's advice if you are pregnant, intend to become pregnant, are breastfeeding or intend to breastfeed during your course of medication.

Your doctor will discuss the possible risks and benefits of using Catapres during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Catapres passes into breast milk.

Children

Catapres is not recommended for use in children and teenagers up to 18 years of age.

Serious side effects have been observed when clonidine, the active ingredient in Catapres, is used with methylphenidate in children with ADHD. Therefore, Catapres in this combination is not recommended.

How to take Catapres

Follow all directions given to you by your doctor carefully.

They may differ from the information contained in this leaflet.

If you do not understand the instructions, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.

Recommended Dose

Your doctor will tell you how much of your medicine you need to take every day. This depends on your condition and whether you are taking other medicines.

The usual starting dose for high blood pressure is 50 micrograms (half a tablet), two or three times a day. Your doctor may increase the daily dosage by half tablet increments, depending on how your blood pressure responds. The recommended long-term dose is 150 micrograms to 300 micrograms, three times a day.

For migraine and menopausal flushing the usual starting dose is 25 micrograms two times a day. If necessary your doctor may increase this to 50 micrograms two times a day.

How to take Catapres

Take Catapres at about the same time each day.

Catapres should be swallowed with a glass of water.

If you forget to take a dose

It is important to take Catapres as directed.

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if you remember when it is almost time for your next dose, take only your usual dose at that time.

Do not take a double dose of Catapres to make up for a dose that you missed.

If you have trouble remembering to take your medicine, ask your pharmacist for some hints.

How long to take Catapres

Catapres helps control your high blood pressure but does not cure it.

Therefore Catapres must be taken every day.

Continue taking Catapres for as long as your doctor prescribes it.

If your doctor tells you to stop taking Catapres, you should reduce the dose of medicine gradually over a period of a week or more.

This is to avoid a sudden increase in your blood pressure.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any concerns.

If you take too much (overdose)

Immediately telephone your doctor or Poisons Information Centre (telephone 13 11 26) for advice, or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital, if you have taken more than the recommended or prescribed dose of Catapres. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need urgent medical attention. Keep these telephone numbers handy.

Signs of overdose may include slow heart beat, drowsiness, temporarily stopping breathing and coma. Other signs include dizziness, weakness, lethargy, feeling cold, vomiting, looking pale, or having an irregular heart beat.

While you are taking Catapres

Things you must do

Tell all doctors and pharmacists who are treating you that you are taking Catapres.

Have your blood pressure checked as instructed by your doctor, to make sure Catapres is working.

Tell your doctor if, for any reason, you have not used Catapres exactly as prescribed.

Otherwise, your doctor may think that it was not effective and change your treatment unnecessarily.

If you feel light-headed, dizzy or faint, get up slowly when getting out of bed or standing up.

You may feel light-headed or dizzy when you begin to take Catapres or if the dose is increased. This is because your blood pressure is falling suddenly. Standing up slowly will help your body get used to the change in position and blood pressure. The problem usually goes away after the first few days.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you begin taking any other medicine while you are taking Catapres.

Things you must not do

Do not give Catapres to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as yours.

Do not stop taking your medicine or lower the dosage without checking with your doctor.

Effects on Ability to Drive or Operate Machinery

You should not drive or operate machinery until you know how Catapres affects you.

It is possible that Catapres, like other medicines used to treat high blood pressure, may cause dizziness or drowsiness in some people.

Side effects

You should be aware that all prescription medicines carry some risks and that all possible risks may not be known at this stage despite thorough testing. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you taking Catapres against the expected benefits.

Ask for the advice of your doctor or pharmacist if you have any concerns about the effects of taking this medicine.

The more frequently reported side effects of Catapres are drowsiness, dryness of the mouth, nausea and vomiting.

Less frequently reported side effects of Catapres include the following:

  • blurred vision
  • lightheadedness when you stand up suddenly
  • dizziness
  • confusion
  • headache
  • sleep disturbances
  • mental depression
  • irrational or abnormal thoughts
  • irritability
  • decreased sexual drive / impotence
  • generally feeling unwell
  • thinning of hair
  • rash / hives / itching
  • constipation
  • dryness of the nose and eyes
  • pain in the salivary glands
  • tingling or numbness of the hands or feet
  • larger breasts than normal, in men
  • slow or irregular heart beat
  • blood glucose increased

Occasional reports of abnormal liver function tests and cases of hepatitis have also been reported.

Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you experience any side effects during or after taking Catapres, so that these may be properly treated.

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice anything unusual, during or after using Catapres.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you don't understand anything in this list.

Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects.

You may not experience any of them.

After taking Catapres

Storage

Leave the tablets in the blister strip until it is time to take a dose.

The blister strip protects the tablets.

Keep your medicine in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 30°C.

Do not store in direct sunlight or heat.

Do not leave your medicine in the car or on the window sill.

Keep your Catapres where young children cannot reach it.

Disposal

If your doctor tells you to stop taking Catapres or it has passed its expiry date, the unused medicine should be returned to your pharmacist so that it can be disposed of safely.

Product Description

What is Catapres

Catapres is the brand name of your medicine. Catapres 100 tablets are scored, white tablets, marked with the Boehringer Ingelheim logo on one side and O1C / O1C on the reverse side.

Catapres 100 tablets are available in boxes of 100 tablets.

Each pack is labelled with the Australian Registration number AUST R 17921.

Ingredients

Each Catapres 100 tablet contains 100 micrograms clonidine hydrochloride. The other ingredients are maize starch, colloidal anhydrous silica, povidone, stearic acid, calcium hydrogen phosphate, and lactose.

Manufacturer

Catapres 100 tablets are made in Germany and supplied in Australia by:

BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM PTY LIMITED

ABN 52 000 452 308

78 Waterloo Road

NORTH RYDE NSW 2113

This leaflet was updated on

28 January 2010.

Catapres is a registered trademark of Boehringer Ingelheim

© Boehringer Ingelheim Pty Limited 2010