Hot flashes are mostly experienced by women during menopause. More than 60% of women in the US report having experienced it during their perimenopause or menopause. It may also show up among women who have had their ovaries surgically removed or those who have attained menopause soon after sittings of chemotherapy. Hot flashes are described as a sensation of heat coupled with spells of sweating as well as reddening or flushing of your face. Can you use clonidine as a treatment option for hot flashes? It becomes essential to know more about the use of this med before you start to use it.

Hot flashes are widely considered to show up when vessels near the surface of your skin dilate. Such widening of vessels can make you sweat, increase your heartbeats, make you chill or witness tremors. These episodes are known to show up during night times; these spells are also known as night-sweats. Often times, you may wake up with a jolt and may find it difficult to fall asleep again. Almost eight in ten women are likely to encounter these night-time sweats. Some have had it only for a short span of time; but, there are instances wherein women have reported hot flashes for more than 6 years.

Your treating doctor may you to take deep breaths (abdominal breathing), working out regularly (pursue activities like swimming, cycling or walking), intake of plant-based estrogen, etc. You can source estrogen from soy-based food products such as tofu. In some cases, black cohosh has been found to reduce spells of hot flashes / night-time sweat. In also likely that some women may wait these hot flashes out; they often go without any treatment.

Treatment plans include replacement of hormones; these therapies can either be offered for a shorter timespan or for a stretched period of time of say, four to five years. Elongated medication plans can help with subsiding hot flashes; in most cases, these hormones may also help reduce mood swings (depression, restlessness, etc.) as well as drying of vagina and a few other common signs of menopause or perimenopause.

Use of clonidine for the treatment of hot flashes

The main function of clonidine is to trigger select receptors in your brain; such activation helps reduce blood pressure levels. These receptors can inhibit the secretion of brain chemicals like norepinephrine or renin. Reduced production of these chemicals is known to lessen resistance / tension build-up in your blood vessels. The drug also helps halt or minimize the activation of a few neurons. Most of these neurons have a direct relationship with the making of norepinephrine. With a reduced production of such transmitting substances, spells of restlessness / confusion or restlessness are known to come down sizably. Due to these benefits, clonidine is widely prescribed to women who experience hot flashes.

Intake of clonidine soon leads to a marked decrease in your blood pressure level. However, it is also likely to cause a few discomforts – these include constipation, rashes, etc. The good news is – many of these discomforts may cease to show up as soon as your system gets used to the active ingredients of this drug. It is customary to start clonidine in very low dosage levels – to start with. The dosage is usually taken before bedtime. The strength of your dosages is influenced by your age, prior medical disorders or ailments and above all, the time your system takes to get used to this drug’s active chemicals. As a safety measure, Women who already have a few conditions like nausea, vomiting, erratic heartbeats, migraines, etc., need to inform their caregiver about all such clinical conditions.

Clonidine is also available as an immediate release variant; such meds may work differently from the normal variant of this med. It is harmful to take these two variants at the same time. While taking this drug, it is equally harmful to consume other meds which have the same active substances as clonidine. In a few rare cases, clonidine is known to have triggered some allergic reactions; the list of allergies includes inflammation, rashes, severe episodes of drowsiness, dizziness, breathing problems – showing up in the form of wheezing, gasping, etc. If you witness any one of several of these discomforts, consult with your caregiving team or your treating physician as soon as you possibly can.

It is important to remember that your doctor has advised the intake of clonidine as its benefits far outsize the risks of discomforts or undesired side effects. The above listing of side effects and discomforts do not constitute a full list. Hence, it is likely to witness unlisted side effects as well as unknown allergic reactions. In such instances, never hesitate to call for medical attention on an emergency basis. Those who live in the US are strongly advised to call 911 and take immediate clinical support. You may also seek support from the helpdesk of food and drug administration (FDA), whose helpline can be dialed in anytime. In this light, it is important to know that FDA has its helpdesk to record allergies / unwanted side effects the drugs it clears cause. On the other hand, women with post-menopause symptoms – who live in any of the provinces of Canada need to reach out to a poison control center located closer to your home. Canadians can also call Health Canada to seek care and attention in a professional healthcare setting – such as a clinic or a hospital.

Last but not least, women who have conditions like extremely low level of blood pressure (frequent spells of hypotension), kidney dysfunction or any recent incidence of strokes must keep away from clonidine. As the drug can make you dizzy or drowsy, never drink alcohol while taking this drug. Those who have a drinking habit must tell their treating doctor about their lifestyle. It is very likely that your doctor will tell you to stop drinking alcohol all through the span of your medication plan. For the same reason, all prior / current spells of substance abuse such as cannabis (marijuana),if any – your doctor needs to be kept aware of.

In sum, clonidine helps trigger some receptors in brain to decrease blood pressure level. This drug also minimizes the stimulation for some neurons which are responsible for the making of chemicals such as norepinephrine. With these processes, spells of hot flashes – marked by sweating, nervousness, etc. are known to decrease in a marked manner. However, you are advised to take clonidine always under the supervision and guidance of a qualified medical practitioner

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