Clonidine Withdrawal: Timeline, Symptoms, and Treatment

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Clonidine is a medication used primarily in the treatment of hypertension but may also be used to treat other medical conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, opioid, alcohol, and nicotine dependence, anxiety and panic disorders, and certain pain conditions. A dependency on Clonidine may develop through long-term use, or when it is misused in conjunction with other substances.

Related post: What Happens During Klonopin Withdrawal?

Timeline and Symptoms of Clonidine Withdrawal

Onset of Withdrawal Symptoms

During the Clonidine withdrawal period, it is imperative for a medical professional to regularly monitor the person’s blood pressure, as rebound hypertension can be swift and severe. However, detoxing in a professional setting with medical personnel greatly reduces the occurrence of a major hypertensive incident.

Tapering off the Clonidine dosage within a detox treatment facility ensures that the patient will not have access to greater doses of clonidine than those given by facility personnel. Going through detox in a treatment facility also guarantees medical help is available if it’s needed during the treatment process. Because Clonidine rebound is a significant danger during the withdrawal period, having medical personnel present at all times of day can mean an instant response to any medical needs that may arise.

Clonidine Withdrawal Symptoms

The severity and duration of symptoms of Clonidine withdrawal will vary from person to person, with some experiencing only mild discomfort over a short period of time, while others may experience severe, long-lasting symptoms requiring the care of a medical professional. Common symptoms include[1]:

  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Hypertension, sometimes including a rapid rise in blood pressure that necessitates immediate emergency medical treatment.[2]
  • Headache, including chronic migraines
  • Dizziness
  • Nervousness or agitation
  • Tremor
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Increased heartrate
  • Anxiety or depression

Length of Detox and Treatment

The initial dosage level of the person taking Clonidine will determine the likely length of treatment, with higher dosages requiring more time for completion. Detoxification using the tapering process can take up to a few weeks to complete. The process consists of lowering the dosage of clonidine given to the patient in daily steps until dosage levels reach zero. However, the detox period may need to be extended if the patient begins to display withdrawal symptoms during the process.

Lowering the doses daily allows a person to readjust to the lower levels of Clonidine in the body without beginning withdrawal from the drug’s sudden removal. If at any time during the process withdrawal symptoms begin to appear, the medical staff overseeing the process may decide to return to earlier higher dosage levels to provide symptom relief before continuing to lower the doses.

When the Clonidine doses are stopped entirely, the person’s body should have adjusted enough that any withdrawal symptoms experienced are only mild compared to those possible from stopping completely at the former dosage level.

Related post: Anxiety and Addiction: Treatment Strategies and Recovery

Clonidine Withdrawal Treatment is Possible

If you or a loved one are experiencing withdrawal symptoms related to stopping Clonidine, the expert staff at Briarwood Detox Center will work with you to develop a tapering plan and treatment program that is best suited to you or your loved one’s needs in order to recover safely. Please call us today at (512) 262-4426 or contact us online.


  1. Clonidine Withdrawal Syndrome: Symptoms & Treatment
  2. Clonidine withdrawal. Mechanism and frequency of rebound hypertension.
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