Low-dose oral clonidine. A simple and reliable growth hormone screening test for children

Am J Dis Child. 1985 Jan;139(1):87-8. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.1985.02140030093040.


We evaluated the efficacy and side effects of a low dose of oral clonidine hydrochloride on growth hormone release in 24 healthy short children; ten received 100 micrograms (group A) and 14 received 50 micrograms (group B). The mean +/- SD growth hormone peak at 60 minutes was 14.5 +/- 6.3 mg/mL in group A v 11.6 +/- 6.1 mg/mL in group B. Failure rate (growth hormone less than 10 mg/mL) was 10% in group A and 36% in group B. The drop in cortisol levels was similar in both groups. Blood pressure did not change significantly, and only mild somnolence was noted in all. A single dose of oral clonidine hydrochloride approximating 100 micrograms/sq m, followed by one blood sample after 60 minutes seems to be an effective and safe screening test for growth hormone deficiency in short children.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clonidine / administration & dosage
  • Clonidine / pharmacology*
  • Growth Hormone / blood*
  • Humans


  • Growth Hormone
  • Clonidine