Clonidine

Clonidine is an a2-adrenergic receptor agonist which acts both centrally and on a 2-adrenergic receptors on enterocytes. Stimulation of the enterocyte receptors decreases sodium secretion and increases sodium and water absorption; a2-adrenergic stimulation slows gastrointestinal transit.

Clonidine has been used in the treatment of diarrhea associated with diabetic neuropathy in a dose of up to 0.3 mg/day. It has also been used in cryptosporidosis and appears to be useful in diarrhea associated with drug withdrawal syndromes. Side-effects include hypotension, sedation, and depression. The tendency to induce hypotension limits its usefulness in critically ill patients.

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