Compare Ritalin vs. Kapvay

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

Concerta
(Methylphenidate)

Kapvay
(Clonidine)

Helps you focus and stay alert. Concerta (Methylphenidate) is a first-choice treatment for ADHD. It comes in many different forms and is also available as a generic. That said, the immediate-release form needs to be taken more frequently than other alternatives.Treats ADHD and lowers blood pressure. Clonidine is a non-stimulant option to manage ADHD symptoms and behaviors, but it can lower your blood pressure.
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Reviews & ratings
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4.770873786407767Ritalin
Reviews for Concerta (Methylphenidate)
59%
of people say Concerta (Methylphenidate) is worth it
41%
say it works well
19%
say it's a big hassle

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Side effects
RitalinKapvay

The Ritalin FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Ritalin side effects »
  • Drowsiness 34%
  • Any side effect 19%
  • Fatigue 15%
  • Irritability 5%
  • Sleep difficulty 5%
  • Headache 4%
  • Dry mouth 4%
  • Upper abdominal pain 3%
  • Emotional disorder 3%
  • Dizziness 2%
More Kapvay side effects »
How it works
RitalinKapvay
Concerta (Methylphenidate) is a stimulant. Researchers don't know exactly how it works for ADHD, but it increases norepinephrine and dopamine activity in the brain, which affects attention and behavior.Clonidine is an alpha-2 agonist. Researchers don't know exactly how it works for ADHD. It works in the brain and lowers the activity of certain stress hormones, but it's not a stimulant like many ADHD medicines.
Type of medication
RitalinKapvay
StimulantPrescription only
Antihypertensive
Alpha agonist
Prescription only
Available as
RitalinKapvay
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Oral solution
  • Liquid
  • Patch
  • Extended release
Used for (click to learn more)
RitalinKapvay
Risk factors for serious side effects
RitalinKapvay
  • History of heart problems
  • History of psychotic episodes
  • History of Bipolar Disorder
  • Children ages 7 to 10
  • History of drug abuse
  • History of seizures
      Detailed Concerta (Methylphenidate) risks & warnings »
      • Sudden discontinuation of medicine
      • Taking with alcohol
      • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
      • Age 65 years or older
      • Using other medicine(s) that slows the heart
        Detailed Kapvay (Clonidine) risks & warnings »
        Pregnancy category
        RitalinKapvay
        CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

        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.

        See the FDA package insert
        CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

        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.

        See the FDA package insert
        Alcohol
        • Patients should avoid alcohol since it'll cause worse side effects from Concerta (Methylphenidate).
        • Don't take it with alcohol or drugs.
        No specific alcohol-related info.
        Food
        No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
        Kidneys and liver
        No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
        Sex
        • There have been reports of men having an erection lasting more than 4 hours while on Concerta (Methylphenidate). This has been rare and usually happened after a person's dose of Concerta (Methylphenidate) was increased. If not treated in time, this can cause permanent damage to your penis, including impotence. Talk to your doctor immediately or go to the emergency room if this happens.
        No specific sex-related info.
        Sleep
        No specific sleep-related info.
        • Can cause drowsiness, headache, dizziness, and dry mouth.
        Weight
        • Appetite suppression may occur. In clinical studies, long-term treatment with stimulants similar to Concerta (Methylphenidate) caused a temporary slowing of growth rate (both height and weight) in children ages seven to ten years. Doctors should monitor children's growth during treatment.
        No specific weight-related info.
        Upsides and benefits
        RitalinKapvay
        • First-choice medication to treat ADHD.
        • Concerta (Methylphenidate) is used in combination with counseling or other non-drug therapies to treat ADHD.
        • Available as a generic medication.
        • Available in many different forms: extended-release and immediate-release oral tablets, chewable immediate-release tablets, liquid, suspension, and skin patches.
        • Capsules can be opened and sprinkled in water or applesauce for people who don't like swallowing pills.
        • Can be used alone or together with a stimulant-type medicine to treat ADHD.
        • In studies, it improved attention span and lowered hyperactivity and impulsivity in children and adolescents ages 6 to 17.
        • Also treats blood pressure and some nervous system and psychiatric conditions.
        Downsides and risks
        RitalinKapvay
        • The immediate-release form needs to be taken two or three times a day.
        • After taking Concerta, the tablet shell can be seen in your stool, but don't be concerned since the medication was still absorbed by your body.
        • The second or third dose needs be taken by early afternoon, otherwise insomnia can affect you that night.
        • Patients should avoid alcohol since it'll cause worse side effects from Concerta (Methylphenidate).
        • It's a controlled medication and should be locked up to prevent potential abuse.
        • Can lower blood pressure.
        • The pill form can make some people sleepy, dizzy, and have dry mouth.
        • You can't miss doses. Stopping Clonidine suddenly can cause your blood pressure to go up suddenly, which raises the risk of heart attack and stroke.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        RitalinKapvay
        • Since it comes in many different forms, there are different requirements for how to take or use each type. Make sure you know how to take the one you have.
        • Store Concerta (Methylphenidate) in a locked area to prevent abuse.
        • Take it early in the morning to prevent insomnia later that night.
        • It can cause changes in your mood.
        • Can raise your blood pressure and pulse, so it's not safe for people with heart problems.
        • Don't take it with alcohol or drugs.
        • Can cause drowsiness, headache, dizziness, and dry mouth.
        • For ADHD: Might take up to 2 weeks to see effects.
        • For high blood pressure: Check your blood pressure 1 week after starting this medicine, and tell your doctor if it hasn't improved.
        • If side effects don't go away, talk to your doctor about alternatives.
        • Don't stop taking this medicine suddenly.
        Learn more
        More about RitalinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        More about KapvaySide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert