Compare Kapvay vs. Strattera

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



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. Strattera (Atomoxetine) isn't considered a first-line medication for ADHD, but since it isn't a stimulant, it's still highly recommended.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Kapvay (clonidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Strattera
+14% better vs. Kapvay
+28% better vs. Kapvay
+4% better vs. Kapvay
Have you used Strattera (Atomoxetine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
  • 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 »
  • Therapeutic response unexpected 1%
  • Rash 1%
  • Any side effect 2%
  • Weight loss 3%
  • Anorexia 2%
  • Dizziness 3%
  • Irritability 3%
  • Fatigue 5%
  • Changes in heart rate or blood pressure 10%
  • Nausea 5%
More Strattera side effects »
How it works
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.Strattera (Atomoxetine) is a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (non-stimulant). Researchers don't know exactly how it works for ADHD, but it increases norepinephrine activity in the brain, which affects attention and behavior.
Type of medication
Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availablePrescription onlyLower-cost generic available
Available as
  • Extended release
  • Pill
Used for
Risk factors for serious side effects
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Stopping Kapvay (clonidine) suddenly
Detailed Kapvay (clonidine) risks & warnings »
  • Age below 18
  • History of heart problems
  • History of psychotic episodes
  • History of Bipolar Disorder
  • Starting Strattera (Atomoxetine) before puberty
Detailed Strattera (Atomoxetine) risks & warnings »

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

  • 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.
Upsides and benefits
  • 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.
  • One of the few medications used to treat ADHD that's not a stimulant.
  • It isn't a controlled substance.
  • Strattera (Atomoxetine) is used in combination with counseling or other non-drug therapies to treat ADHD.
  • You usually only need to take it once a day.
Downsides and risks
  • 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.
  • It's a second-line medication used to treat ADHD. Other medications are usually tried first.
  • It's only available as a brand name medication, so it can be expensive.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
  • 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.
  • It can cause changes in sex drive.
  • Can raise your blood pressure and pulse, so it's not safe for people with heart problems.
  • It can also cause changes in your mood.
  • Take it at the same time every day.
  • Common side effects include decreased appetite, nausea, and constipation.
  • The capsules can't be opened and need to be swallowed whole.
Learn more
More about KapvaySide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Kapvay (clonidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about StratteraSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Strattera (Atomoxetine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it