Compare Kapvay vs. Adderall

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Kapvay
(clonidine)

Adderall
(dextroamphetamine / amphetamine)

Treats attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Kapvay (clonidine) is one of the few medicines for ADHD that isn't a stimulant and not addictive, but it can lower your blood pressure.Helps you focus and stay alert. Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine) is a first-choice treatment for ADHD that's available as a generic, but it's a stimulant, so it can cause difficulty sleeping and other side effects.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Kapvay (clonidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Adderall
74%
-14% worse vs. Kapvay
53%
+7% better vs. Kapvay
16%
-4% worse vs. Kapvay
1309 reviews
Have you used Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
KapvayAdderall
  • Aggression 3%
  • Nightmares 3%
  • Abnormal sleep related event 3%
  • Nightmare 4%
  • Emotional disorder 3%
  • Nausea 1%
  • Insomnia 4%
  • Dizziness 2%
  • Irritability 5%
More Kapvay side effects »
  • Fatigue 2%
  • Indigestion 1%
  • Dizziness 2%
  • Accidental injury 1%
  • Infection 2%
  • Weight loss 4%
  • Fever 3%
  • Nausea 2%
  • Urinary tract infection 5%
  • Nervousness 4%
More Adderall side effects »
How it works
KapvayAdderall
Kapvay (clonidine) is an alpha-2 agonist. It's not entirely clear how it works for ADHD, but it lowers the activity of certain stress hormones in the brain.Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine) is an amphetamine stimulant. Researchers don't know exactly how it works for ADHD, but it increases the activity of the hormones norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain, which affects attention and behavior.
Type of medication
KapvayAdderall
Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availablePrescription onlyLower-cost generic available
Available as
KapvayAdderall
  • Extended release
  • Pill
Used for
KapvayAdderall
Risk factors for serious side effects
KapvayAdderall
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Stopping Kapvay (clonidine) suddenly
Detailed Kapvay (clonidine) risks & warnings »
  • History of heart problems
  • Misuse of Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine)
  • History of drug abuse
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • History of high blood pressure
Detailed Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy
Alcohol
KapvayAdderall
No alcohol related info.
  • Don't take it with alcohol or illicit drugs.
Sleep
KapvayAdderall
  • People who take Kapvay (clonidine) can feel very sleepy during the day. It can be worse if you're taking other medicines that also make you sleepy, like pain medicines, or medicines for anxiety. Be very careful driving or doing anything that requires your full concentration until you know how your body reacts to it.
  • Can cause drowsiness, headache, dizziness, and dry mouth.
No sleep related info.
Weight
KapvayAdderall
No weight related info.
  • Can cause blurry vision, loss of appetite, weight loss, headache, dry mouth, or anxious feelings.
Upsides and benefits
KapvayAdderall
  • Can be used alone or together with a stimulant-type medicine to treat ADHD.
  • Also treats blood pressure and some nervous system and psychiatric conditions.
  • Kapvay (clonidine) is available in generic.
  • First-choice medication to treat ADHD.
  • Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine) is used in combination with counseling or other non-drug therapies to treat ADHD.
  • Available as a generic medication.
  • Available in both immediate and extended release forms.
  • For the extended release capsule, if you can't swallow the whole capsule, the capsule can be opened, mixed in a spoonful of applesauce, and swallowed.
Downsides and risks
KapvayAdderall
  • Kapvay (clonidine) is not a first choice medicine to treat ADHD.
  • Kapvay (clonidine) can make you feel very dizzy or cause low blood pressure.
  • Stopping Kapvay (clonidine) suddenly can cause your blood pressure to jump and your heart to beat very fast.
  • It can take up to two weeks of taking Kapvay (clonidine) to notice any changes in behavior.
  • Kapvay (clonidine) has to be swallowed whole, which can be hard for some children to do.
  • Has to be taken in the morning and early afternoon, otherwise it can cause difficulty sleeping.
  • It's a controlled medication and should be locked up to prevent potential abuse.
  • Not safe for people with a history of heart problems.
  • For school-aged children, a second dose will likely need to be given at school.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
KapvayAdderall
  • Can cause drowsiness, headache, dizziness, and dry mouth.
  • You might have to take Kapvay (clonidine) for at least two weeks before you notice any changes.
  • Don't stop taking this medicine suddenly without talking to your doctor.
  • Swallow Kapvay (clonidine) whole. Don't chew, cut or crush the pill.
  • If you forget your daily dose of Kapvay (clonidine), skip it for that day. Don't double up the next day.
  • Can cause blurry vision, loss of appetite, weight loss, headache, dry mouth, or anxious feelings.
  • Don't take it with alcohol or illicit drugs.
  • Can cause trouble sleeping, so don't take it close to bedtime.
  • If using the extended-release version, the first dose is best taken right after waking up in the morning.
  • Capsules can be opened and sprinkled on applesauce, which should be consumed immediately, and swallowed without chewing.
Learn more
More about KapvaySide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Kapvay (clonidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about AdderallSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it