Management of blood pressure instability in severe tetanus: the use of clonidine

Intensive Care Med. 1997 Aug;23(8):893-5. doi: 10.1007/s001340050428.


Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of clonidine in the management of unstable blood pressure in severe tetanus.

Design: Patients with severe tetanus and blood pressure instability were treated with clonidine and the results were compared with those of other patients with severe tetanus who were not treated with clonidine.

Setting: Intensive care unit of the Chest Hospital of Athens.

Patients: We studied 27 patients with severe tetanus and autonomic dysfunction.

Interventions: Patients were managed according to a protocol.

Measurements and results: Clonidine was administered until blood pressure stability was the fully restored and the dose was then gradually reduced. Five patients from the nonclonidine group and 2 from the clonidine group died.

Conclusions: These results suggest that clonidine is effective in the treatment of blood pressure instability in severe tetanus.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic alpha-Agonists / pharmacology
  • Adrenergic alpha-Agonists / therapeutic use*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases / etiology
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Clonidine / pharmacology
  • Clonidine / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Greece / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Survival Rate
  • Tetanus / complications
  • Tetanus / drug therapy*
  • Tetanus / mortality


  • Adrenergic alpha-Agonists
  • Clonidine