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Addiction Treatment

Using clonidine for treating opiate withdrawal

Wayne Whitehurst July 31, 2021

Clonidine is a fragment of a category of drugs known as centrally acting alpha-agonists or anti hypertensives. It functions in the part of the brain that aids control attention, behaviour, and how we express feelings.

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Medical professionals usually recommend clonidine to reduce blood pressure, and it does that by lowering the levels of some chemicals in your blood. As the chemicals are reduced, it lets your blood vessels ease and your heartbeat more easily and gradually. Due to its soothing effect on the body, clonidine is used for curing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is not a controlled drug; therefore, it does not have a DEA drug rating.

However, every state has its rules and regulations prohibiting the possession of a prescription drug with no prescription. Relying on a state, having clonidine with no genuine prescription can bring a charge of a misdemeanour or a crime. Let us now learn about the use of clonidine for opiate withdrawal.

Clonidine dose for opiate withdrawal

Medically assisted detox entails providing medicines to the patients to relieve the harshness of withdrawal signs. The medicines used during the cure of withdrawal signs encompass opioid agonists like methadone and buprenorphine. This type of detox uses alpha agonists, too, such as clonidine and lofexidine.

The use of clonidine for detox has confirmed that it can rapidly suppress the signs associated with opiate withdrawal. Moreover, the latest reports show that clonidine is effective for withdrawal from methadone maintenance. It can aid in detoxifying the patient in less than 2 weeks rather than the typical 3 to 6 months on methadone.

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What are some physical signs of opioid withdrawal?

Following are a few physical signs of opioid withdrawal:

  1. Vomiting
  2. Sweating
  3. Tremors
  4. Chills
  5. Aids you fall asleep and stay asleep
  6. Abdominal cramps
  7. Diarrhoea

The core reason for supervised withdrawal is to securely and successfully relieve the patient into medically assisted treatment for opioid addiction.

Always remember that detox is only the starting of the treatment, an ongoing therapy program, tapering off medicines, and peer support are essential for lasting abstinence.

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Emergency side effects of clonidine

  1. Trouble breathing
  2. Swelling of your throat, face, tongue, and lips
  3. Hives