WHAT IS IT?
Clonidine is a blood pressure medication that relaxes the blood vessels.
OUR BOTTOM LINE, DOES IT HELP?
YES. Clonidine decreases the frequency and severity of hot flashes and night sweats. However, it is rarely used for this purpose.
HOT FLASHES AND NIGHT SWEATS
Clonidine decreases the frequency and severity of hot flashes and night sweats. However, it is rarely used for this purpose.
POTENTIAL RISKS & SIDE EFFECTS
Clonidine is rarely used to treat symptoms in the perimenopause because of its risks and side effects. These include low blood pressure, lightheadedness, headache, dry mouth, dizziness, trouble sleeping, sedation, and constipation. Stopping it suddenly can lead to large increases in blood pressure.
QUALITY OF LIFE EXPECTATIONS
IF I WANT TO TRY THIS TREATMENT WHAT ARE MY NEXT STEPS?
You should talk with your doctor about your symptoms and about whether clonidine is right for you.
Nelson HD, Vesco KK, Haney E, et al. Nonhormonal therapies for menopausal hot flashes: systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA 2006;295:2057-2071.
North American Menopause Society. Nonhormonal management of menopause-associated vasomotor symptoms: 2015 position statement of the North American Menopause Society. Menopause 2015;22:1155-1174
Pandya KJ, Raubertas RF, Flynn PJ, Hynes HE, Rosenbluth RJ, Kirshner JJ, Pierce HI, Dragalin V, Morrow GR. Oral clonidinein postmenopausal patients with breast cancer experiencing tamoxifen-induced hot flashes: a University of Rochester Cancer Center Community Clinical Oncology Program study. Ann Intern Med. 2000 May 16;132(10):788-93.
Rada G, Capurro D, Pantoja T, et al. Non-hormonal interventions for hot flushes in women with a history of breast cancer. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2010;CD004923.
Loibl, K. Schwedler, G. von Minckwitz, R. Strohmeier, K. M. Mehta, M. Kaufmann. Venlafaxine is superior to clonidine as treatment of hot flashes in breast cancer patients—a double-blind, randomized study. Annals of Oncology 18: 689–693, 2007
Authors: Dr. Katherine Newton, & Dr. Leslie Snyder. Last reviewed February 15, 2021