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Arkamin (clonidine) is an adrenergic agonist first available in the 1960s to help lower high blood pressure. It has since expanded its use considerably, used on- and off-label to treat a wide variety of conditions, some of the more common of which include:

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Insomnia
  • Tourette's syndrome (to reduce tics)
  • Withdrawal symptoms from opioids, nicotine, benzodiazepines, and alcohol
  • Perimenopause/menopause
  • Anxiety and numerous related disorders
  • Migraine headaches (reduces frequency and severity)
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and other psychiatric disorders.
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Mild sedative

With modified dosing, Arkamin can be used in patients as young as 6 years old.

How It Works

Arkamin works, at least in part, by inhibiting the body's production of adrenaline. This action relaxes blood vessels, lowers blood pressure, and reduces strain on the heart. Aside from reducing blood pressure, this action is likely why it is beneficial in reducing migraine frequency.

The medication's reduction of blood pressure and heart strain, possibly among other effects, also helps alleviate many of the physical symptoms of stress and anxiety, such as sweating, pounding heart, trembling voice, and so forth. It is probably for similar, though not precisely the same, reasons that it helps ease tics in Tourette's syndrome, reduces menopause symptoms, and so forth.

For reasons not fully understood Arkamin also has some mental influence; patients find they have improved impulse control, more stable moods, and improved focus and clarity of thought. While it may not be the only---or even the primary---medication administered for psychiatric disorders, it can still help a patient improve or maintain a higher quality of life.

Taking Arkamin

Arkamin is a very potent medication; note that it is measured in micrograms (mcg) instead of the usual milligrams (mg).

Treatment is similar in all cases, though the ultimate dosage and duration of treatment will vary according to individual response. In otherwise healthy adults:

  • Start with 200 mcg per day, divided into two smaller doses of 100 mcg taken in morning and 100 mcg taken in the evening.
  • Dosage may be increased weekly in increments of 100 mcg if needed.
  • Most patients find daily doses of 200 mcg to 600 mcg sufficient; it is rare for dosage to exceed 600 mcg.
  • Treatment may continue for as long as it provides benefit.
  • If Arkamin has been taken for more than a few weeks treatment should not end suddenly; dosage should be gradually reduced. Abruptly ending treatment can cause cardiovascular side effects.

Assuming no serious side effects develop, Arkamin treatment should continue for at least one week before results are evaluated and dosage adjustments made. It may take up to a month for full effects to be seen, though most patients notice some improvements before then.

Potential Side Effects

Like all medications, Arkamin does carry risk of side effects and interactions with other medications. The risk of side effects is greater when other medical conditions are present; of particular concern are:

  • Any cardiovascular conditions, such as heart rhythm disorders or heart disease
  • Any history of heart attack or stroke
  • Kidney disorders
  • High risk factors for the above, including family history of cardiovascular issues, obesity, smoking, and so forth

The above conditions do not necessarily mean Arkamin cannot be used, but risks and warning signs should be discussed carefully with a doctor before starting treatment.

Likewise a number of medications can cause complications if used with Arkamin; double-check with a doctor or pharmacist about safety if taking:

  • Medications that induce drowsiness, including the recreational variety
  • Any antipsychotic or antidepressant medications
  • Any medications that influence blood pressure
  • Any medications that influence heart beat

If Arkamin has been used for more than a few weeks treatment should not stop abruptly; there is a risk of cardiovascular complications due to the medication's effect on blood pressure. Dosage should be gradually reduced over several weeks.

Arkamin can cause mild to moderate drowsiness; exercise caution until effects are known.

This product is associated with birth defects and should not be used while pregnant. Patients planning to breastfeed should discuss the issue with a doctor.

Catapres/Arkamin

100mcg clonidine  Buy Catapres 100 Tablets - $19.99
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Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional.

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