In the event that you have undergone rehab and the associated detoxification treatment, then chances are you have heard of clonidine. For those of you whose knowledge of it is only vague, clonidine is a type of drug that acts like an alpha-agonist hypotensive agent and it is often employed in the treatment of high blood pressure. The tablet is also used in the treatment of other conditions, including but not limited to PTSD, Tourette syndrome, neuralgia, attention deficit disorder, insomnia, rosacea, and in dealing with addiction withdrawal symptoms.
Clonidine and PAWS
In order to recover from alcoholism, you will first have to undergo recovery and experience a period of withdrawal. Take note that for most recovering alcoholics, PAWS can manifest relatively mildly and can even be comparable to the flu. Then again, the experience is not so ‘pleasant’ for a relatively low number of people undergoing recovery, especially when they have to face severe symptoms such as:
- Intense nightmares
- Mood swings
- Nausea and vomiting
- Migraines and body aches
- Mental fuzziness
- Excessive sweating
- Mild symptoms of depression
- Delirium tremens
The good news is that the recovering alcoholics who fall under the latter category can employ a number of medications to make the entire experience more comfortable. One of these drugs is clonidine. Although many people claim clonidine is a wonder drug, it is best to have realistic expectations in this case. To put it simply, while it will not make all the unpleasant side effects magically go away, it can help reduce the intensity and severity of the symptoms you are experiencing.
Is Clonidine Efficient in Dealing with Withdrawal?
In spite of its many uses, clonidine has yet to be approved by the FDA for the treatment of the withdrawal symptoms. Nevertheless, independent studies conducted so far suggest that this medication presents several practical advantages compared to other drugs used in addiction treatment, such as methadone. Perhaps the biggest advantage clonidine brings to addiction treatment is that it does not produce the opiate euphoria. In other words, taking clonidine will not intensify the cravings for alcohol or drugs, while reducing the patient’s need to take medication in the long run.
A further noteworthy advantage of clonidine is that its use can be stopped immediately. Therefore, if you are about to undergo a medication-based treatment for a condition, you can simply stop taking the clonidine tablets. After all, let’s not forget that recovery is not only about getting sober, but also implies maintaining sobriety without the proverbial chemical crutch.
Don’t Take Chances With it
Take note that it is highly contraindicated to take clonidine without speaking to a physician first. Despite its numerous benefits, the drug is also known to worsen heart disease and augment the symptoms in patients with kidney diseases. In addition, clonidine presents several side effects, including allergic reactions, which you should thoroughly discuss with your doctor. Last, but not least, clonidine is known to sometimes cause shaking, headaches, and increased blood pressure when you abruptly come off the drug.