The side effects of combining alcohol with your prescription medication can be serious. This explains why you should never mix clonidine and alcohol. Unfortunately, it is one of the medicines commonly abused along with alcoholic beverages for an intoxicating effect.
What is clonidine and why shouldn’t you be taking it with alcohol? How will your body react when you combine an alcoholic drink and clonidine?
Find out what happens to your body when you take liquor and clonidine together. Also, learn about clonidine and liquor withdrawal and how to get over such an addiction.
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Understanding clonidine and its properties
Clonidine is a popular medicine used to treat hypertension. It decreases the blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels. This puts less pressure on the heart and has a relaxing effect on the patient. If your BP is higher than normal, your doctor may ask you to take clonidine. It is available in various dosages: 0.1 mg, 0.2 mg, and 0.3 mg.
If you have any of the following conditions, you must tell your doctor beforehand:
- Kidney disease
- Trying to conceive, breastfeeding, or waiting for the arrival of your baby
- An allergic reaction to certain foods, preservatives, or clonidine
The best way to use clonidine is to take it orally at a specific time daily. If the medicine upsets your stomach, taking it with food will resolve this issue.
Is there any side effect of clonidine when taken alone?
The ill effects of mixing alcohol and clonidine are not unknown. But will there be any reactions in your body if you take clonidine as a prescription drug?
According to the National Institute of Health, 10 out of 100 people may experience some symptoms after taking it.
People who rely on clonidine to lower their BP report feeling weak immediately after they take the medicine.
4 out of 100 patients have admitted feeling fatigued and 1 out of 100 complained of having temporary headaches.
1 out of 100 individuals deal with withdrawal symptoms while some notice an increased sensitivity to liquor.
Side effects of clonidine
There are other common side effects of blood pressure medications like clonidine:
- Joint and muscle pain
- Dry mouth
- Vomiting and nausea
- Palpitations, bradycardia, and tachycardia
- Decreased libido
All of the side effects mentioned above are mild and need not be a serious concern. However, if you give clonidine and alcohol to your body, some of the symptoms might be enhanced. These include depression, reluctance to do sexual activities, vomiting, and nausea.
Clonidine overdose has been linked with hypotension as well. If you take an excess of clonidine, you may experience respiratory depression, hypothermia, irritability, weakness, absence of reflexes, and miosis.
Coma, apnea, and dysrhythmia can happen if you take clonidine in larger doses.
How long do clonidine symptoms take time to appear?
In cases of clonidine overdoses, the symptoms start showing within 30 minutes to 2 hours after taking the medication. However, for some people, the symptoms are visible in less than 30 minutes.
It happens due to clonidine and alcohol interaction in their body.
Is it safe to take clonidine without a doctor’s prescription?
Increased blood pressure is a medical condition that requires immediate treatment. You can try home remedies to lower your BP naturally, but consulting a doctor is mandatory.
Do not take clonidine or any other medicine unless your physician prescribes it. He will measure your blood pressure and suggest the right dosage.
Even when you are taking clonidine dedicatedly, you should visit your doctor for regular check-ups. This will let you know how effective the medicine is.
You can also monitor your blood pressure and heart rate at home to track your progress.
How should you address clonidine overdose?
When you have missed a dose of clonidine, the best thing to do is take it as soon as possible. But if it is time for your next dose, don’t take two doses one after another. Note that taking double doses at once won’t be wise.
Do you feel you have consumed too much clonidine?
In this situation, do not wait for the symptoms to appear. You should get in touch with an emergency room or poison control center at once. To avoid clonidine overdose in children, keep it out of the reach of kids.
Alcoholism and health issues resulting from it
Reliance on alcohol is known as alcoholism. People tend to depend on alcohol for several reasons like loneliness, relationship issues, job-related stress, etc.
Family history can also play a role in it. Chronic abuse of alcohol leads to a range of health problems such as:
- Sleep disturbances
- Weight gain
- More risks of developing several cancers
- Poor concentration
- Poor nutrition
- High BP
- Difficulty maintaining personal equations
Why do people mix alcohol with clonidine?
Individuals who abuse clonidine generally take it with other substances to amplify the effects of the other substance. If they take it with some drug or alcohol, it can increase the intoxicating effect.
It means when you take clonidine with liquor, the effects of alcohol will last longer. Some people abusing liquor and clonidine say that it helps them fall asleep quickly.
Taking clonidine with opioids is not as common as taking it with liquor as opioids are strong painkillers. When taken with clonidine, even a limited amount of an opioid will generate the euphoric feeling you seek.
While some people experience hallucinations, others enjoy the lightheadedness it gives. Liquor and clonidine abuse is more common in teenagers and college students as they are easily available.
Obtaining illicit drugs or opioids won’t be that easy if someone does not have a doctor’s prescription. Medicine stores should not give opioids to people without a prescription.
Hence, if you know someone who takes clonidine with alcoholic drinks, you should talk to that person. Explaining the side effects will be helpful.
The outcomes of clonidine and alcohol abuse
How can your health be affected when you expose your body to clonidine and liquor at the same time? When people take clonidine and alcohol after mixing them, it can be detrimental to their health. That’s because this combination ends up altering the chemistry of their blood.
A sudden alteration in an individual’s blood pressure is not the only adverse effect. In some cases, the person has lost consciousness. Taking alcohol with clonidine has the potential to cause a heart attack, stroke, coma, or demise. Additionally, someone who uses these two frequently can suffer from seizures.
There’s no denying that alcohol shrouds an individual’s judgment. Under the influence of liquor, you may end up doing things you will regret when sober.
You can even unwittingly take more clonidine than you are supposed to. Then it becomes more difficult for you to manage yourself.
Should you stop drinking alcohol when having clonidine?
Have you been diagnosed with hypertension? Then your healthcare provider may have prescribed clonidine to you. For the best results, you should take the medicine regularly. Your doctor will also advise you to limit the consumption of alcohol for the time being.
Clonidine is a blood pressure medicine that impacts your central nervous system. So, having alcohol after taking your daily dose of clonidine will make you drowsy.
Studies have revealed that when mixed with liquor, clonidine may cause fainting. Therefore, clonidine users are at a greater risk of falling sick after fainting once they booze.
Abusing clonidine and liquor for a long time will inevitably lead to liver problems. Even without clonidine, alcohol will metabolize in your liver and damage the liver if you don’t consume alcohol in moderation.
So, people who take drugs are bound to have some abnormalities in their liver function tests. You will also notice a change in the heart and pulse rate. Hence, to keep such complications at bay and lead a healthy life, stay away from alcohol.
Can you get addicted to clonidine and alcohol?
Doctors do not consider clonidine a strong habit-forming drug. However, that does not mean someone cannot develop a dependence on after prolonged use. Note that developing an addiction to one thing makes an individual more prone to become addicted to other substances.
In many cases, people end up being addicted to liquor and clonidine. The synergistic effects can be powerful and enticing once you take alcohol with clonidine. The longer someone abuses alcohol with blood pressure tablets, the greater the risks of addiction.
Liquor and clonidine withdrawal
A mistake that most addicts commit is forcing themselves to withdraw suddenly. This won’t be easy and will have more devastating consequences than one can imagine.
Clonidine and alcohol withdrawal symptoms are not uncommon in people suffering from a polydrug addiction. The symptoms are similar to the ones resulting from alcohol withdrawal.
They may experience tremors, agitation, confusion, sleeplessness, headaches, irritability, and anxiety. If a person suddenly stops taking clonidine, changes in mood can occur. Nausea, hallucinations, and hypertension are three other common withdrawal outcomes. Alcohol withdrawal can be responsible demise and seizures.
So, you must not dare to break a dependence on liquor and clonidine abruptly. First, you must seek professional support and assistance. An inpatient care facility is compulsory to deal with the severe withdrawal symptoms of alcohol. Doctors prescribe excellent medicines to lessen the symptoms of withdrawal and decrease the craving.
Recovery from any addiction is a self-care journey. The drugs may leave your body quickly, but you need time for psychological healing. As far as clonidine withdrawal is concerned, gradually stopping it is the best option.
Treatment is necessary to overcome clonidine and liquor addiction
There are several treatment centers that help people overcome their addictions to a variety of drugs and prescribed medications. Getting rid of dependence on alcohol, clonidine, or both won’t be hard in a well-equipped and healing recovery center.
So, if a family member or friends are addicted to clonidine and liquor, recommend comprehensive addiction treatment at the earliest.
Constant monitoring in a medical facility is necessary to help someone with a substance abuse disorder. Anti-depressant medications and cognitive-behavioral therapy are two ways of restoring equilibrium.
While medicines play a key role in recovery and detox, do not underestimate the power of therapy. It is the backbone of substance abuse treatment and gives the most long-term results.
In therapy, the healer arrives at the root of the issue and addresses the underlying problems of the patient. Knowing about the initial stage of addiction will be useful to prevent a relapse.
Initially, it is challenging for anybody to stop being an addict. They require the support of family members and competent doctors. Therapy will show a new path of fulfilment and regaining confidence. Soon, the person will be keen on returning to normal life with renewed energy and enthusiasm.
The bottom line is to remember that clonidine is a powerful medicine suitable for people with high BP. Only a licensed medical professional or a certified pharmacist should dispense it. Now you are also aware of the severe outcomes of mixing clonidine and alcohol.
If yours is a case of clonidine overdose, you must not take the matter lightly. It is an emergency that will need instant medical attention.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What happens if you drink alcohol while taking blood pressure medicine?
Drinking alcohol when taking blood pressure medicines can be dangerous. As alcohol lowers a person’s blood pressure, it will lead to rapid heartbeat and dizziness. So, your risk of passing out or falling will increase.
2. How does clonidine react to alcohol?
Mixing clonidine and alcohol can have long-term health implications for any individual. Doctors are strictly against it as your heart rhythm may change. This condition is called arrhythmia.
3. What cannot be taken with clonidine?
Other than alcohol, clonidine may react with some medicines that treat heart ailments and BP. Your doctor will warn you against taking clonidine with certain medications for anxiety, psychotic disturbances, and depression. Talking clonidine with calcium channel blockers or beta blockers will slow a person’s heartbeat and lower blood pressure.