View Full Version : My experience on Clonidine add-pi sct

08-18-08, 05:24 PM
I'm ADD-PI in the unofficial sluggish cognitive tempo subgroup.

I started taking Clonidine 2 months ago (.1-.2mg per day) and recently changed to guanfacine (1mg per day). Can’t really talk about the hyperactive stuff, but my memory is significantly improved. Working memory is also improved. It’s quite nice to remember where I put my keys!

Clonidine is amazing for sleep. I've never had such deep/restorative sleep from a medication before. However its half life is too long and I found taking it immediately before bed made it very hard to wake in the morning.

The rebound effects were nearly the complete opposite taking clonidine too early in the afternoon and I'd become wide wake at 4am. A few times I was able to time the rebound and wake up like a morning person. Unfortunately it seemed very difficult to reproduce this effect consistently (rebound would vary from 1-3 hours).

Clonidine overall seemed beneficial, but increased my appetite significantly. I found myself overeating as the stimulants wore off. However while the stimulants were working my appetite was more normal.

Maybe using clonidine would work better with a longer duration drug like welbutrion/shattera.

Tenex/ guanfacine - I recently switched to. The biggest difference is lack of rebound/appetite effects. Getting same improvements to memory as clonidine. It seems to be a bit more hypnotic then clonidine. As the stimulants fade I become sleepy. Splitting the dose of tenex seemed to decrease this effect. Perhaps taking the entire dose before bed will work, was worried to try that since clonidine was making me oversleep.


08-21-08, 09:54 PM
Cool, thanks for the info, I didn't see this when I made my other post. I am also ADD-Pi along the lines of a sluggish cognitive tempo.

It sounds like you take psychostimulants as well ... may I ask what you take? When do you take your doses of Tenex? Do you find that it reduced the beneficial effects of the stimulants at all?

08-25-08, 12:43 PM
Currently taking Dexedrine 20mg/day - 10/5/5 separated by 4 hours for 12 hours of daily coverage. Previously Iíve taken adderall up to 30mg/day in 3 doses as well.

ADD is well established as a NE + Dopamine disorder.

Tenex decreases NE (nor epinephrine) via alpha-2 feedback. Stimulants also increase alpha-2 stimulation and trigger this feedback. I had problems with adderall vs. Dexedrine and the difference between the two seems to be that adderall increases NE levels more. I was unable to take adderall without clonidine due to muscle tension/pain.

Overall I for me NE affect mood/sleep. Low NE seems to make my mood very flat/serious vs. higher NE and my mood is elevated. At higher levels my sleep is non-restorative vs. lower levels and I find it hard to get going in the morning. I also notice when NE is too low a kind of foggy feeling in my head during the day. It may play a role in perception as well?

I Just started on Tenex ~15 days ago. It seems much stronger in the way it effects NE for me. Taking 1mg daily @ bed pushed my NE levels too low. Currently I am trying 1mg every other day at bedtime now. Tenex seems to only effect the brain vs clonidine was much more physical.

The memory improving effects from alpha-2 feedback are significant. It makes sense to me that adrenal feedback improves memory. Events triggering fight/flight response would need to be remembered keenly for survival.

At this point I am not sure if the improved memory is only for fight/flight events or if it is used continually from normal NE/adrenaline levels.


08-27-08, 04:31 AM
ADD is well established as a NE + Dopamine disorder.

Definitely, I agree. The higher noradrenergic affinity of amphetamine products has been proposed as a reason for what seems to be a higher rate of effectiveness for amphetamine products over methylphenidate products in treating primarily inattentive patients. I have certain doubts about this line of reasoning, but that's for another thread ...

Incidentally, some people here have said they prefer the racemic amphetamine mixture as found in Adderall to dextroamphetamine, for the additional "push". Not I, but we all have different sensitivites.

The mechanisms involved in specific agonists and antagonists of the alpha-2 adrenoreceptor system are still somewhat debated, it seems.

Activation of the fight-or-flight response can improve memory, but past certain bounds can also worsen memory, especially chronically with the effect of stress on hippocampal structures.

Your theory resting on the activation of the alpha-2 feedback mechanism is very interesting.

I have found with high doses of dexedrine, or with most any dose of Adderall, I feel too rushed and can't come up with words, memory seems spotty, etc. This effect seems somewhat congruous in time with the presence of adrenaline-related side effects as I mentioned, like appetite suppression, which personally is not favorable to me since I tend towards being underweight.

Excessive NE transmission also has some evidence of, in tests which purport to measure such a variable, impairing cognitive flexibility and attentional set-shifting. That's another effect I seem to experience with overly high doses and concomitant with adrenaline-related side effects.

I experience a loss of emotions both unmedicated and with the too-high doses described above.

Thanks a lot for listing your experience here. Hopefully Tenex will be helpful for me. I think I will try a very low dose. Perhaps I can time it so it helps with sleep induction and quality, but begins to wear off around the early morning.

08-30-08, 02:01 AM
Now, if guanfacine's MOA indeed actually ends up being an increase in central noradrenaline transmission (reducing peripheral outflow) -- rather than a decrease of both peripheral and central noradrenaline transmission via tying up presynaptic noradrenaline receptors -- I expect it to reduce adrenaline-related peripheral side effects like blood pressure/heart rate increases, but may not do much for my perceived possible decrement in cognitive flexibility/creativity, which would be disappointing. If the MOA is both a peripheral and central noradrenaline decrease, perhaps it will help me to be both more calm and cognitively flexible, e.g. reducing my perseverative behavior.

09-01-08, 04:57 PM
Tenex doesn't seem to be as hypnotic as clonidine for sleep both have half lifes that are not good for 8 hours of sleep. Tenex doesn't seem to effect the peripheral outflow nearly as much as clonidine.

Tenex does strongly reduce central NE levels.

I'm down to .5mg of tenex per day at bed.


09-01-08, 05:14 PM
I take 2mg/day of tenex. It really does a good job of reducing hyperactivity and impulsivity. I take an add-on of wellbutrin at 150 mg/day to help a bit with attention.

I have troubles with ocd and tenex seems to help reduce ocd rituals a bit (I check things) , but does not help obsessive thinking very much. I get a greater reduction in obsessive thinking from taking risperdal.

Me :D

09-29-08, 05:05 AM
Tenex produced an improved working memory effect in me. Its rebound effects were much less pronounced and occured at ~48hours vs clonidine ~18 hours. However I noticed tenex did not stop sympathetic outflow effects. Specificly I began to notice increased muscle tension. Over a week the muscle tension began to build so I switched back to clonidine. While tenex was easier to take and had less side effects being specific to the nervous system. Taking clonidine twice per day to avoid the clonidine rebound effects is well worth the decrease in beta adrenal stimulation.


09-29-08, 06:24 AM
My improved memory effects from alpha-2 stimulation seem to be consistant over the last 3 months.

I have also begun to do more research into the specific action alpha-2 has on working memory and found a lot of interesting information.

by far the best paper i've found is: