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Clonidine withdrawal and hypertension

Abstract

Clonidine (Catapres - Boehringer Ingelheim) has been used for the treatment of arterial hypertension for almost 10 years1 and has proved to be as effective as methyldopa2 3 and propranolol.4 However when clonidine is abruptly stopped there is the risk of rebound hypertension. This was first reported in 19695 and since then has become increasingly well recognised. Rebound hypertension has not been observed after stopping diuretics or β-blockers,6 but there are two case reports of it occurring after stopping methyldopa7 8 and three after stopping sympathetic neurone blockers.6

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