Compare Strattera vs. Kapvay

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



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.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.
Reviews & ratings
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Reviews for Strattera
of people (All ages) say Strattera is worth it
say it works well
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Strattera (atomoxetine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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Have you used Kapvay (clonidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
  • Headache 4%
  • Abdominal pain 8%
  • Decreased appetite 12%
  • Vomiting 5%
  • Drowsiness 7%
  • Changes in heart rate or blood pressure 10%
  • Nausea 5%
  • Fatigue 5%
  • Irritability 3%
  • Dizziness 3%
More Strattera side effects »
  • Sleepiness 34%
  • Headache 4%
  • Fatigue 15%
  • Upper abdominal pain 3%
  • Irritability 5%
  • Dizziness 2%
  • Sleep difficulty 4%
  • Emotional disorder 3%
  • Nightmare 4%
  • Nausea 1%
More Kapvay side effects »
How it works
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.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.
Type of medication
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for
Risk factors for serious side effects
  • 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 »
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Stopping Kapvay (clonidine) suddenly
Detailed Kapvay (clonidine) 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.

No sleep related info.
  • 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.
Upsides and benefits
  • 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.
  • 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.
Downsides and risks
  • 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.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
  • 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.
  • 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.
Learn more
More about StratteraSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Strattera (atomoxetine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about KapvaySide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Kapvay (clonidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it