ADHD Home > Kapvay

If your child has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a healthcare provider may prescribe Kapvay. This medication comes in the form of an extended-release tablet and is taken once or twice a day. It is the first ADHD medication that is approved for use with stimulants. Some of the possible side effects include drowsiness, fatigue, and irritability.

What Is Kapvay?

Kapvay™ (clonidine ER) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents. Unlike many other ADHD treatments, this medication is not a stimulant and is not a controlled substance. Kapvay is the first ADHD medication approved for use in combination with stimulants, although it can be used alone as well.
(Click Kapvay Uses for more information on what the medication is used for, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes This Medication?

Kapvay is made by Shionogi Pharma, Inc.

How Does It Work?

Kapvay is a long-acting form of clonidine, a medication that has been used for decades to treat high blood pressure. It belongs to a class of medications known as alpha-2 adrenergic receptor agonists. At this time, it is unknown exactly how Kapvay works for treating ADHD.

Clinical Effects

In short-term studies (lasting up to nine weeks), this medication was shown to be superior to a placebo (a "sugar pill" that does not contain any active ingredients) for treating ADHD symptoms. Studies have also shown that adding Kapvay to a stimulant is more effective than adding a placebo to a stimulant.
It should be noted that long-term, placebo-controlled studies have not yet been performed with this medication.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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