ADHD Medication and Treatment Reviews


Generic Name: clonidine

What is Kapvay? What Is Clonidine?

Kapvay (Generic Name: clonidine) is an alpha agonist medication used to treat hypertension. It may also reduce the hyperactivity associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children ages 6-12, adolescents, and adults. Kapvay is sometimes used in conjunction with stimulant medications.

Kapvay has not been studied in children younger than 6. Kapvay does not have a high risk of abuse or dependence. It is not a controlled substance.

Kapvay is also used off label to treat hot flashes that occur from menopause, and sometimes withdrawal from narcotic drugs or nicotine.

How to Use Kapvay or Clonidine

Before starting or refilling a Kapvay prescription, read the medication guide included with your pills, as it may be updated with new information.

This guide should not replace a conversation with your doctor, who has a holistic view of your or your child’s medical history, other diagnoses, and other prescriptions. If you have questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist before you begin taking the medication.

Dosage for Kapvay

As with all medications, follow your Kapvay prescription instructions exactly.  Kapvay is an extended-release tablet, taken orally once or twice daily with or without food, in the morning or at bedtime. Each dose can last up to 24 hours. Tablets are available in 0.1mg and 0.2mg dosages. The time-release formulation is designed to maintain a steady level of medication in your body throughout the day. Tablets should never be crushed, broken, or chewed.

The optimal dosage varies patient by patient. Your doctor may adjust your daily dosage by 0.1mg increments until you or your child experiences the best response — that is, the lowest dosage at which you experience the greatest improvement in symptoms without side effects.

Do not drink alcohol while taking this drug.

When discontinuing treatment, or decreasing dosage, patients should work with a doctor to gradually taper the level of medication by no more than 0.1mg every 3 to 7 days. Stopping Kapvay suddenly can create withdrawal symptoms including nausea, flushing, anxiety, agitation, headache, tremor, or tightness in chest.

Some patients report developing a tolerance to Kapvay after long-term usage. If you notice that your dosage is no longer controlling your symptoms, talk to your doctor to plan a course of action.

Side Effects Associated with Kapvay

The most common side effects of Kapvay are as follows: sedation, tiredness, cough, runny nose, sneezing, irritability, sore throat, nightmares, change in mood, constipation, increased body temperature, dry mouth, and ear pain.

Kapvay can temporarily raise levels of growth hormone for children and adults, but this effect generally wears off with time.

Other serious side effects include low blood pressure or heart rate, sleepiness, or withdrawal symptoms. Taking Kapvay may impair your or your teenager’s ability to drive, operate machinery, or perform other potentially dangerous tasks. If side effects are bothersome, or do not go away, talk to your doctor. Most people taking this medication do not experience any of these side effects.

Report to your doctor any heart-related problems or a family history of heart and blood pressure problems. Patients with structural cardiac abnormalities, renal failure, and serious heart problems could experience complications while taking Kapvay. Physicians should monitor these vital signs closely during treatment. Call your doctor immediately if you or your child experience warning signs such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting while taking Kapvay.

The above is not a complete list of potential side effects. If you notice any health changes not listed above, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions Associated with Kapvay

Store Kapvay in a secure place out of the reach of children, and at room temperature. Do not share your Kapvay prescription with anyone, even another person with ADHD. Sharing prescription medication is illegal, and can cause harm.

You should not take Kapvay if you have an allergy to Kapvay hydrochloride or any of the other ingredients. You should use caution taking Kapvay if you have kidney problems, a history of fainting, heart problems, a history of stroke, or developed a rash from using the transdermal form of Kapvay.

Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated while taking Kapvay.

If you’re thinking of becoming pregnant, discuss the use of Kapvay with your doctor. Animal studies indicate a potential risk of fetal harm. Kapvay is passed through breastmilk, so it is recommended that mothers do not nurse while taking it.

Interactions Associated with Kapvay

Before taking Kapvay, discuss all other active prescription medications with your doctor. Kapvay can exacerbate the drowsiness created by depressants including alcohol, barbiturates, antihistamines, or other sedatives. Taking Kapvay with tricyclic antidepressants can limit the drug’s ability to lower blood pressure.

Share a list of all vitamin or herbal supplements, and prescription and non-prescription medications you take with the pharmacist when you fill your prescription, and let all doctors and physicians know you are taking Kapvay before having any surgery or laboratory tests. The above is not a complete list of all possible drug interactions.

Kapvay and Other ADHD Medications: More Information