Clonidine and Xanax both belong to the same class of drugs called alpha-2 agonists. The mechanism of action in both these drugs is based on the antagonistic effect on alpha-2 receptors in different sites within the brain. These two medications are generally used as first-line agents for hypertension, but they also have several other uses.

However, combining clonidine with Xanax has its risks and should be done only after consulting a doctor and getting their approval. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you shouldn’t combine clonidine and Xanax together.

What is clonidine?

Clonidine is an alpha-2 agonist that is used to treat hypertension, anxiety, and insomnia. It works by decreasing the activity of the sympathetic nervous system, which is involved in the regulation of blood pressure. It has been used to treat people with Tourette’s syndrome, nocturnal leg cramps, and for the withdrawal symptoms of alcohol.

Clonidine is also used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and restless legs syndrome. It is used to prevent blood clots after certain knee or hip replacement surgeries. It is also used to decrease the itching associated with shingles and treat opioid withdrawal. Clonidine is taken by mouth.

Clonidine is not an opioid, but it is helpful in the management of opioid withdrawal. It is also a helpful adjunct in treating pain associated with fibromyalgia and diabetic neuropathy, or nerve damage that occurs in people with diabetes. Clonidine acts on certain receptors in the brain, called alpha-2 receptors. These receptors are linked to the regulation of certain body systems, such as blood pressure, heart rate, and mood.

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Clonidine is available as a generic drug in the United States.

What is Xanax?

Xanax is a prescription drug that is used for treating anxiety, panic disorders, and insomnia. It belongs to the benzodiazepine class of drugs and is generally used for short-term relief from anxiety disorders.

Xanax helps in the management of anxiety disorders by increasing the amount of the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain. Increasing GABA levels results in a reduction in the excitability of the neurons in the brain. This in turn helps in reducing anxiety, as well as other related symptoms like restlessness, insomnia, etc.

Xanax has also been used to treat depression and certain types of chronic pain. It is usually taken under the tongue, once or twice a day with or without food.
Xanax is available as a generic drug in the United States.

Why shouldn’t you take clonidine with Xanax?

There are many reasons why you shouldn’t take clonidine with Xanax. The first and the most important reason is that clonidine and Xanax have similar mechanisms of action and may lead to dangerous interactions. Clonidine is an alpha-2 agonist and Xanax is a benzodiazepine drug.

Both of these drugs act on the same receptor and hence may lead to dangerously low blood pressure. Both these drugs are used primarily for cardiovascular diseases, and their combination may cause serious problems like sudden death, stroke, cardiac arrhythmia, or seizures.

These drugs may also lead to an increase in the level of certain enzymes like creatinine kinase and serum alkaline phosphatase, which are related to liver impairment.

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Besides, they may also lead to certain metabolic changes like hypokalemia (low level of potassium in the blood), hyperglycemia, hypernatremia (high sodium level in the blood), and hyperlipidemia (high level of cholesterol in the blood).

Other reasons why you shouldn’t take clonidine and Xanax together

  • Increased risk of side effects: The adverse effects of these two drugs are more likely to occur when they are used together.
  • Increased risk of seizures: Both clonidine and Xanax may increase the risk of seizures. This risk is even higher when these drugs are used together.
  • Greater risk of drug dependence: The risk of drug dependence is greater when these drugs are used together.
  • Greater risk of withdrawal: It may be difficult to withdraw from these drugs when they are used together. So, you may have to take them for a longer time.
  • Greater risk of overdose: Combining these drugs may increase the risk of overdose.
  • Greater risk of serotonin syndrome: This is a rare but very serious condition that may lead to fatal complications.
  • Greater risk of abnormal heart rhythms: Combining these drugs may increase the risk of abnormal heart rhythms.
  • Greater risk of low blood pressure: Combining these drugs may lead to dangerously low blood pressure.

Bottom line

Clonidine and Xanax belong to the same class of drugs and are used for treating different conditions.

However, combining these two drugs together may lead to serious and dangerous side effects. It is important to consult a doctor before using clonidine with Xanax to avoid any harmful interactions.

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If you are currently taking clonidine and Xanax, you may want to consult a doctor about the risks of taking these two drugs together. If you have been prescribed clonidine for a condition like high blood pressure, you can always discuss with your doctor about taking Xanax for anxiety.

David Warren

David Warren is a pharmaceutical specialist that dispenses prescription medication on a daily basis. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy from the University of Tennessee in 1991. With over 50 publications on medication-related and pharmacy topics, David has been able to share his experiences and knowledge with others. David with lots of experience and knowledge in medications that are utilized to treat a wide range of medical conditions. Before David dispenses a medication to a patient, he will go over the side effects, dosage recommendation and contraindications.