Clonidine Induced Insomnia?

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Steve Says:

Been on this med for quite a while (3+ yrs) for physical symptoms of anxiety. Since day one it still hits me like a ton of bricks and causes severe drowsiness about an hour after taking it. When taken at bedtime it will put me out no problem. BUT, after 3-4 hours, I wake up and have trouble sleeping for the rest of the night. Wondering if anyone else has this similar problem with waking up after a few hours of sleep. It's guaranteed to K.O. me but then wake me right back up after a little while.

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David Says:

Although Clonidine's side effects do not list insomnia as a possible side effect, there are certainly more than a handful of adverse reactions that could inevitably cause insomnia.

This drug may cause lightheadedness, dry mouth, tiredness, weakness, headache, nervousness, decreased sexual ability, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and constipation. Clonidine may also cause hypotension or hypertension. It has peripheral alpha agonist activity which can lead to hypertension. This blood pressure increase is sometimes witnessed in cases of overdose in children. As the clonidine is eliminated by the body, the peripheral effects wear off and its basic hypotensive effect becomes evident. Both the hypertensive and hypotensive effects can be harmful.

Based on your description of what you're experiencing, I can't help but wonder if changes in blood pressure are the cause of it.

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Steve Says:

When I check my BP in the morning it's usually around 117/78. I consider that pretty darn good. Plus, how would it wear off after 3-4 hours. It's suppose to work for 6-8 hours.

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Steve Says:

Finally found out why. For some reason it interferes with your body getting into and staying in REM sleep. After a while your body may get startled, usually 3-4 hours after falling asleep when your dreams really start kicking in, and you wake up and cannot fall back to sleep. Almost as if someone woke you up out of a nightmare.

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Link Says:

I have the same insomnia problems 3 hrs after taking clonidine. i have had relief with taking benadryl.

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pattyann Says:

I'm also experiencing the same sleep patterns on clonidine. I take it around 7 in the morning, and 7 in the evening and always wake up around 3-4 in the morning. I tried Tylanol PM, which contains Benadryl, and it generally works. If I wake up, I seem to go back to sleep within a few minutes, instead of hours!

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Bonnie Says:

I had been up about 17 hours, took the clonidine pill as directed right before bedtime. Usually I sleep decently well thru the night. I woke up within an hour with a headache, made myself go back to sleep, woke up 2nd hour worse headache, 3rd same worse, 4th hour full blown migraine and couldn't get back to sleep. On waking up took my blood pressure, it was 70/40, dangerously low. Waited 20 minutes, got 160/120. Waited 20 minutes, got 180/110, repeat 20 minutes 200/120. On top of that, the feet and legs earlier that had tried to go down bit on swelling have went back to worst and then some. The nausea must be one of those great side effects as well. 45 minutes later, 200/120. I told the dr, before and as he prescribed this crap that I had never been able to take anything except ace inhibitors without my body having drastic side effects such as wanting to pass out, but he claimed this is ace {definitely NOT}, so besides the fact it isn't keeping the blood pressure down, it's taking it too low and then too high plus all the other side effects. I already had swelling in my feet/legs which is why I went to see someone about it, so this was the last thing he should have given me {made that even worse as well}. Don't THEY read the contraindications on medicines like we do?

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pattyann Says:

Steve, that was exactly what I have been thinking. I can't remember having any dreams lately. And as I lay there awake for a couple of hours, my mind is racing, thinking of things over the past, and I wonder if I'm awake or actually dreaming. It's an awlful feeling. I complained to my doctor last week that I'm so tired an hour after taking the med,and about the insomnia, dizziness and dry mouth, so he took me off the morning pill. I'm still taking the 0.1 around 8:00pm and still awake every night! Of course the BP is now going up. The nurse suggested I might want to start taking a sleeping pill, but I'm resisting. 8 pills a day for BP is enough to remember. I go back to the doc this Wed. Let me know if you come up with a better solution. And thank you so much for posting your reply about the REM sleep.

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Link Says:

I posted before asking if there was someone who had experienced insomnia while taking clonidine and I found out that I wasn't alone. I used to take benadryl as a remedy for insomnia and after several months of taking it, I woke up several times with my heart racing and me gasping for breath. Another side effect of benadryl discovered after going in the emergency room, is mucus build-up in the lungs. I had to be hospitalized for fluid in the lungs. Bottom line: I had to find something without side effects to help me sleep and Melatonin 5mg was the perfect answer for me and works like a champ!

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Sheryl Davie Says:

I also am on Clonidine , and am now up to .5mg in patches and pills and have no trouble going to sleep up I wake up at 2am EVERY morning and then proceed to have insomnia. I have never done this before starting the medication. I have been on this med. for 3 months now. Yes, it is causing insomnia after the sedative effect wears off.

It is not a change in

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Sheryl Davie Says:

I am a retired RN with a master's degree and I research everything I take to the inch degree. I am on 5 antihypertensive meds including Clonidine. I had multiple side effects with this drug. With a B/P starting at 210/101 ( usually the diastolic- the lower number- is in the 70's) I was put on Clonidine as a last resort. This drug reacts differently with each person. Some of the adverse effects start with very low doses such as 0.1mg BID ( twice daily.) At this dose, I had extreme sedation within 30 minutes of ingestion. I fell asleep at the wheel at a stop light, while playing cards and while sitting at my computer. For this problem, there were a couple of things I did that helped me. I began taking 1/2 tab. every 4 hours. I had less sedation although I still get sleepy, if I keep moving around, it is better. Some of the sedation problem did become better as time passed and I also found the transdermal patch provided less sedation. By the way, for some people, sedation with this drug always occur. The medical field is, at present, studying the use of Clonidine on patients in ICUs for sedation! I also had insomnia at night about 2am, after the temporary sedation. I have quit awaking in the middle of the night with time and use of the transdermal patch.

I had good luck with using lavender aroma therapy. Buying lavender oil over the internet (cheaper), I would soak several tissues, place it on my nose and breath it deeply for about 5 min. I could go back to sleep with ease. Lavender has been found to be a slumber inducer.
My most recent problem with this drug is extreme edema. Although some of my problem is due to the dose of transdermal med. that I am on... 0.6 mgs. My cardiologist and I have been slowly increasing the transdermal dose each week until I reach a systolic ( top number) of 150s to 160s. As the dose increased, the swelling began. First pedal edema ( feet and ankles), then my calves (very hard) now my knees and thighs and last my hands. I will be calling my cardiologist tomorrow. This is very uncomfortable with pain, especially in my feet as I have some neuropathy in my feet from diabetes.
When I first started this drug, I felt like a "zombie" not even "human". My legs felt like jelly and acted as if they were made of gummy bear candy, wobbly and weak. This has decreased tremendously with time and the switch to the patches.
My mouth is so dry that my lips stick to my gums and my mouth feels like I have been sucking on a persimmon (sp?) I have handled that by chewing on gum, drinking more water and using Biotine mouthwash, toothpaste and lozenges. The Biotine gum isn't as good as reg. gum and is much more expensive. Use of all of these products had helped.
I also bought TED hose (knee socks). These tight leg covers help keep down the peripheral ( feet, ankle and leg) swelling.

Hope this helps those who must stay on the medication and also lets others know to check out more than one side effects sites for Clonidine. Some will list all of these adverse effects and others do not.

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Knilja Says:
via mobile

I started taking this about 5 weeks ago not for blood pressure but for fibro pain.
I felt relief right away it calmed down my smooth muscle. So I continued to take it but now I have a terrible time getting and staying asleep.
I lay awake til 2, 3, or 4 am and am exhausted when I have to get up for work .
I was late every day to work last week.
Today I'm not going to take it and see if it helps.
I also take Lunesta which I've taken nightly for about 2 years and it was working great.

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yesy Says:
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I was wondering the same, my on take this for his adhd at night and after 4 hrs he is up and wired awake, he will not fall back asleep. I wonder if its normal.

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Sleepless on Clonidine Says:
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I also started taking clonidine recently. I am on bystolic, azor, and taking a water pill along wth the clonidine for my blood pressure. At first I just thought I was very tired after a long day at work, but then I started noticing a pattern. Usually an hour or so after taking my second clonidine pill (I take one in the morning and one at night after work), I would get extremely sleepy. To the point where I would fall asleep for hours. My girlfriend also notcied the pattern as she would jokingly send me text messages asking if I fell asleep again. So if I took the pill around 6pm I wouldn't make it that far after 7pm. I would be completely knocked out. Then I would wake up around 11pm or 12am and have trouble going back to sleep (usually finally getting back to sleep after 2am, in the best cases). I will try what Sheryl suggested and see if the lavender will help me get back to sleep. I had a feeling the clonidine was causing this and I am glad I came across this site to confirm it. Also will do what Bonnie talked about and check my pressure after taking the pill a few hours later. I also feel exactly how Knilja feel. I have been late for work as well. I just never feel rested when my alarm clock goes off. The good thing is my job is a little more giving/laxed in terms of start and end times, so going in later is not a problem. It is not a good feeling to get this great sleep for 4 hours and then try the rest of the night/early morning trying to fall back asleep (as I write this after 2am in the morning).

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Sheryl Davie Says:

I am the RN who posted the long history of my use of clonidine.
Since my post, I have decreased the mg. dose that I was taking ( 0.6mg) to 0.4mg transdermal patches and an occasional 1/2 of the 0.1 tab. (0.05mg). My edema has gone so it was dosage related, be careful if you start to have swelling.

My sedation has almost gone. Be persistent with taking the med. The sedation does lessen over time. The patches also help lessen the sedation as it provides a more consistent dosage without the ups and downs of a tablet dosage. I know that the transdermal (skin) patches are a lot more expensive, but if you are having tremendous sedation problems, this may be the answer.
I still get the insomnia, however, I use Ambien ( prescription sleep aid - 1/2 tab only) on some nights and then I alternate the lavender aroma therapy every 3 nights so that I will not become "dependent" on the Ambien for sleep ( one of the side effects of using a sleeping aid such as that.) I have had great luck with this regime.
If you use the lavender, you must place a small amt. of the oil on tissue then place it very near or right in front of your nose. Every few seconds, deeply breath in the lavender aroma. It may seem very strong, even pungent, and if you need to, move it away from you nose for a few seconds. Do this for about 3 to 5 minutes then try to bed down to sleep. I have had very good luck with this.

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Alexander Says:
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I have the same symptoms also I can only sleep about 3 to 4 hours a night. And then can't fall back to sleep. But when I take the medicine in the morning I sleep all day

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Sheryl Davie RNC MEd Says:

The insominia and the sedation are both side effects that occur in only a % of people that take Clonidine. It is not the effect that the drug was designed for. It was originally developed for hypertension ( high B/P and is an older generation drug. The sedation and insomnia are not what it was made for, therefore, the drug may act very differently when it comes to these uses, for insomnia and sedation.
Physicians are ordering it for some patients due to it's "off market purpose." One cannot rely it's efficacy or half life (how long it will last.) when not being used for B/P. So it was act differently with different patients that are taking it.

Even when I started taking in P.O. (by mouth), I found that by taking only 1/2 of a 0.1mg tab, I could obtain the same B/P drop, but not for quite as long a period and I could handle 1/2 dose without becoming sedated. I took this 1/2 tab at breakfast and then again at lunch with a whole dose at bedtime, which still put me to sleep.
If I wake up at 2am, I take only 1/2 of an Ambien. Sometimes I take 1/2 Clonidine and 1/2 Ambien at bedtime and sleep through the night!

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Knilja Says:
via mobile

Yes it does the same to me.
I take it for myofascial pain syndrome it is sup to calm the smooth muscles
I don't take it everyday honestly I worry about what it may be doing to me long term
I take it out of desperation when my pain is too much
It gives me suoer dry mouth
I take half and the sedation isn't as bad but if I take it at bedtime ill wake up at 230am and can't go back to sleep
I do take 3mg melatonin every night I get vivid dreams but a good sleep

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whiteknight Says:

I have been on this med for 40 days and suffer the very same effects and I cannot go to sleep at my usual noon nap.

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Nancy G Says:

I am so glad I found this site. I took Losartan for my blood pressure, but it wasn't doing the job, so my doctor added 2 Clonidine (0.1 mg) in the am, afternoon and pm, depending on what my blood pressure was at the time. It has helped with that. Sometimes I just take 1 in the am, but always take 2 in the afternoon and usually 2 at bedtime. But at times my blood pressure was fine at bedtime and I didn't take any.

I have had problems sleeping since January. I had surgery and thought the problem was caused by the fact I had stopped taking pain pills in January after my recovery. Then I had a follow up surgery on Feb. 10 and had to take pain pills again. Both times I would take a very strong pill just at bedtime that knocked me out. After stopping the pain pills again in March, the sleep problems resumed. Again I thought it was from stopping the pain pills, but then realized after several weeks that couldn't be it.

My family doctor tried me on several different meds, including muscle relaxants and Ambien, but nothing has helped. Sometimes I fall asleep fairly quickly but then always wake up by at least 3 to 4 hour later and cannot go back to sleep. Other times I can't fall asleep for hours. It's been horrible, especially with going back to work.

I've tried exercising more, and that didn't help. I felt like people thought this was just in mind.

Then when I found this site, I put 2 and 2 together. I realized on the nights I didn't take the clonidine before bed, I got more sleep. I would still wake up, but after awhile could go back to sleep after awhile. I called my pharmacist and asked him when I started taking the clonidine. It was in the beginning of January!

I called my family doctor this morning and left a message that I wanted to stop this medication and gave him details of what others had experienced. Hopefully he can put me on something else and my sleep will improve.

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Joey Says:
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Yes I have the exact same problem bro

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