Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Tenex Alternatives

(Guanfacine)

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Compare Tenex (Guanfacine) to alternatives

These medications are comparable to Tenex (Guanfacine) or used for similar purposes.

Tenex
(Guanfacine)

Kapvay
(Clonidine)

Treats ADHD and lowers blood pressure. Tenex (Guanfacine) can be used to treat both blood pressure and ADHD, but it's not recommended as a first-line treatment for either problem.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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Side effects
TenexKapvay
  • Drowsiness 31%
  • Fatigue 8%
  • Dizziness 7%
  • Headache 5%
More Tenex 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
TenexKapvay
Tenex (Guanfacine) is a centrally-acting alpha agonist medication. It lowers blood pressure by slowing down the heart rate and relaxing the blood vessels. It's not clear how Tenex (Guanfacine) works in ADHD, but it's used when stimulants haven't worked or can't be used in people.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
TenexKapvay
Antihypertensive
Alpha agonist
Prescription only
Antihypertensive
Alpha agonist
Prescription only
Available as
TenexKapvay
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Extended release
Used for (click to learn more)
TenexKapvay
Risk factors for serious side effects
TenexKapvay
  • Taking other medications that cause sedation or sleepiness
  • Stopping Tenex (Guanfacine) suddenly to treat high blood pressure
Detailed Tenex (Guanfacine) risks & warnings »
Coming soon.
Pregnancy category
TenexKapvay
BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

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
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink while taking this.
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
No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
Sleep
No specific sleep-related info.
  • Can cause drowsiness, headache, dizziness, and dry mouth.
Weight
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
TenexKapvay
  • The same medication treats two different things, high blood pressure and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • It's not a "controlled medication".
  • Used to control ADHD when stimulant medications haven't worked or can't be used due to other medical problems.
  • Available as a generic medication, so it should be more affordable than other options.
  • 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
TenexKapvay
  • Doesn't control ADHD as well as stimulants do, so it's used as a second-line medication.
  • Not a preferred drug to control blood pressure.
  • Can't be stopped suddenly, especially for blood pressure, since the blood pressure can dramatically increase.
  • 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
TenexKapvay
  • Don't stop taking Tenex (Guanfacine) without talking to your doctor first.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink while taking this.
  • Drink plenty of liquids and don't get overheated while taking Tenex (Guanfacine).
  • You can feel sleepy the first few times you take it, or when your dose is increased. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how the medication affects your body.
  • Can take up to 2 weeks for the maximum effect.
  • 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 TenexSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about KapvaySide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert