Compare Vyvanse vs. Kapvay

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



Helps you focus and stay alert. Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine) is a first-choice treatment for ADHD and you only have to take it once a day. However, it's only available as brand name drug, so it can be expensive.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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Reviews for Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine)
of people (All ages) say Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine) is worth it
say it works well
say it's a big hassle
449 reviews
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Have you used Kapvay (Clonidine)?
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Side effects
  • Decreased appetite 35%
  • Dry mouth 23%
  • Sleep difficulty 19%
  • Any side effect 8%
  • Abdominal pain upper 6%
  • Vomiting 5%
  • Drowsiness 1%
  • Fever 1%
More Vyvanse 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
Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine) is an amphetamine 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
StimulantPrescription only
Alpha agonist
Prescription only
Available as
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for (click to learn more)
Risk factors for serious side effects
  • Taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI) 14 days before starting
  • History of drug abuse
  • History of heart problems
  • History of psychotic episodes
  • History of Bipolar Disorder
  • Children ages 6 to 12
    Detailed Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine) 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
      • Don't take it with alcohol or drugs.
      No specific alcohol related info.
      No specific food related info.
      • Can cause drowsiness, headache, dizziness, and dry mouth.
      • Appetite suppression may occur. In clinical studies, long-term treatment with stimulants similar to Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine) caused a temporary slowing of growth rate (both height and weight) in children ages six to twelve years. Doctors should monitor children's growth during treatment.
      No specific weight related info.
      Upsides and benefits
      • First-choice medication to treat ADHD.
      • Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine) is used in combination with counseling or other non-drug therapies to treat ADHD.
      • Usually dosed once a day, so parents don't need to send the medication with their children to school.
      • The capsule can be taken whole, or opened into a glass of water or orange juice, or swallowed in a spoonful of yogurt.
      • 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
      • Has to be taken in the morning, otherwise it can cause insomnia later that night.
      • Not available as a generic medication, so it can be expensive.
      • It's a controlled medication and should be locked up to prevent potential abuse.
      • Not safe for people with a history of heart problems.
      • 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
      • Take Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine) early in the morning to prevent insomnia later that night.
      • Avoid driving the first few days that you take Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine) until you know how your body reacts to it.
      • Don't take it with alcohol or drugs.
      • Store it in a locked area to prevent abuse.
      • It can cause changes in your mood.
      • Can raise your blood pressure and pulse, so it's not safe for people with heart problems.
      • 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 VyvanseSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      Have you used Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it
      More about KapvaySide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      Have you used Kapvay (Clonidine)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it