One of the most common uses of clonidine is to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. It is usually only used if stimulants, which are more commonly used for treatment, do not work. Most people use clonidine for ADHD symptoms like impulsivity and hyperactivity. On the other hand, it can also be used to reduce secondary symptoms that only some patients get, such as insomnia, irritability, aggression, and fidgeting. Since these are often also side effects of stimulants, such as methylphenidate or dextroamphetamine, most patients need to use both stimulants and clonidine for ADHD.
A common symptom of ADHD is hyperactivity, which can interfere with the daily routine of most patients. For example, children who have trouble sitting still often do not do well in the classroom, while adults with the same issue may not be able to work at the typical desk job. Therefore, they may opt to use clonidine for ADHD, as it can help them calm down. Impulsivity is another common symptom that usually needs to be treated in order for patients to lead a normal life, as making rash decisions can negatively affect them. Clonidine, however, does not usually have an effect on inattention or short attention spans, which is why stimulants also often need to be taken simultaneously.
Most people with ADHD are prescribed stimulants to relieve most of the symptoms of this condition. Unfortunately, this type of drug usually comes with side effects that need to be addressed with other medications. For example, most people taking stimulants experience insomnia, which often leads them to either discontinuing the drug, or suffering from lack of sleep. For this reason, many doctors also prescribe clonidine for ADHD, as it is known for helping patients sleep. In fact, sleepiness is one of its main side effects, which may bother those taking it to relieve high blood pressure while helping those taking it for ADHD.
Those not suffering from insomnia may be hesitant to take clonidine for ADHD symptoms like hyperactivity and impulsivity, but the good news is that this side effect can be tempered. For instance, taking the drug at bedtime is a good way to avoid drowsiness during the day while relieving hyperactivity. This drug should also be taken in small, frequent doses in order to reduce the chances of drowsiness. It should be noted by those opting to take clonidine for ADHD that the drug typically takes about a month to have any effect on impulsivity and hyperactivity.