When is inpatient care indicated for the treatment of clonidine toxicity?

Updated: May 30, 2020
  • Author: David Riley, MD, MSc, RDMS, RDCS, RVT, RMSK; Chief Editor: Michael A Miller, MD  more...
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Admit significantly symptomatic patients with clonidine toxicity to the intensive care unit (ICU). A ward admission on a monitor is probably reasonable for minimal symptoms if the patient has been observed for several hours with improvement or without worsening. Remember that patients demonstrating clonidine toxicity, secondary to transdermal exposure, may experience a prolonged period of symptoms from a prolonged half-life secondary to a "depot" effect in the subdermal tissues.

Transfer patients with clonidine toxicity if the potential benefits outweigh the risks.

Patients with suspected clonidine ingestion may be discharged if they remain asymptomatic for 4-6 hours and have normal vital signs. Obtain a psychiatric evaluation before discharge for patients with suspected intentional ingestion.

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