Catapres Ampoules

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.

If you want more information about what Catapres is used for, ask your doctor.

Before being treated with Catapres

When Catapres should not be used

You should not be given 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.

Catapres should not be given to you if you have the rare hereditary condition of galactose intolerance.

Catapres should not be given to you if you have certain heart problems, such as irregular / slow heart beat.

Catapres must not be used after the expiry date on the carton or ampoules.

Before treatment with Catapres

It is important that your doctor knows your medical history before administering Catapres.

Before being treated with Catapres, your doctor should know 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 uncertain as to whether you have, or have had, any of these conditions you should raise those concerns with your doctor.

Taking other medicines

Before Catapres is administered your doctor should know if you are taking any other medicines, obtained with or without a doctor's prescription.

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.

Pregnancy / breastfeeding

Ask for your doctor's advice if you are pregnant, intend to become pregnant, are breastfeeding or intend to breast-feed 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.


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.

Treatment with Catapres

Recommended Dose

The recommended dose is one to two ampoules (150 - 300 micrograms). It may be repeated at intervals of three to six hours if necessary. It can be given as an injection into a muscle or as a slow injection into a vein (over five minutes).

Catapres should only be given to patients in a lying position.

Catapres ampoules should only be used under the supervision of a doctor and in a setting where appropriate equipment is readily available for diagnosis and patient monitoring.


Overdose is unlikely because Catapres ampoules are used under medical supervision.

If you receive too much Catapres signs 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.

Tell your doctor or medical attendant immediately if you experience any signs of overdose.

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 using Catapres against the benefits they expect will have for you.

Ask for the advice of your doctor or pharmacist if you have any concerns about the effects of being treated with 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 treatment with 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 treatment with 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.


Catapres ampoules are stored by a health professional below 30°C. Each ampoule can be used only once and unused contents of opened ampoules must be discarded.

Product Description

What is Catapres

Catapres is the brand name of the ampoules prescribed for you by your doctor. The glass ampoules contain a clear, colourless solution.

Catapres ampoules are sold to pharmacists and hospitals in packs of 5 ampoules.

Each pack is labelled with the Australian Registration number AUST R 17919.


Each Catapres 150 ampoule contains 150 micrograms clonidine hydrochloride in 1 mL of solution. The ampoules also contain sodium chloride, hydrochloric acid and water for injections.


Catapres ampoules are made in Spain and supplied in Australia by:


ABN 52 000 452 308

78 Waterloo Road


This leaflet was updated on 28 January 2010.

Catapres is a registered trademark of Boehringer Ingelheim

© Boehringer Ingelheim Pty Limited 2010