Cancer Home > Duraclon Uses

Duraclon is licensed to treat severe pain in people with cancer. It is given by a continuous epidural infusion and is approved to be used in combination with opiates and only in people who do not respond to opiates alone. Healthcare providers may also occasionally recommend off-label uses of Duraclon, such as for treating pain not related to cancer.

What Is Duraclon Used For?

Duraclon® (clonidine hydrochloride) is a prescription medication approved for treating severe cancer pain.
 
The medicine is given by a continuous epidural infusion. This means that it is administered continuously through a small tube inserted into the epidural space in the spine. It should be used together with opiate medications (such as morphine) and only in people who do not respond adequately to opiates alone.
 
In general, Duraclon is more effective for nerve pain, compared to other types of pain. Because of the significant risks of Duraclon, this treatment is generally not recommended for other types of pain, such as obstetrical or post-surgery pain (see Duraclon Warnings and Precautions for more information).
 

How Does It Work?

The active ingredient in Duraclon (clonidine), which is most commonly used to treat high blood pressure, belongs to a group of medications known as alpha-2 adrenergic agonists. For treating high blood pressure, it works by stimulating alpha-2 receptors in the brain stem. This causes a decrease in both blood pressure and heart rate. There is also some evidence that clonidine may decrease certain substances (such as renin or aldosterone) in the body, an action that might also contribute to decreased blood pressure.
 
When used in an epidural to treat pain, Duraclon works by blocking pain signals from reaching the brain.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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