Compare Focalin vs. Kapvay

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


Kapvay (clonidine)

Prescription only
Treats attention deficit disorder.

Focalin (dexmethylphenidate) effectively treats ADHD, and is usually recommended if first-line ADHD medications don't work for you.

3.3/ 5 average rating with 141 reviewsforFocalin
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.

  • Effectively treats ADHD in children and adults.
  • Extended release capsules can be opened and sprinkled in applesauce for people who don't like swallowing pills.
  • The extended release pill is available in many strengths and allows for personalized dosing.
  • Available as a generic, so it should be reasonably priced.
  • 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.
  • Not carried by all pharmacies and may need to be special ordered for you.
  • Decreased appetite in children may affect their growth.
  • Requires a new prescription from your doctor every month so it may be a hassle for some people.
  • Has the potential for abuse, misuse, and dependence.
  • 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Extended release
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141 reviews so far
saidit'sworth it
saiditworked well
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Focalin (dexmethylphenidate)?

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Side effects
The Focalin (dexmethylphenidate) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
12possible side effects
  • Sleepiness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Decreased appetite 
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Aggression
  • Mood changes
  • Emotional disorders
  • Irritability
  • Stuffy nose
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Abuse and dependence
    • History of substance abuse
  • Serious or life-threatening cardiovascular events
    • History of heart problems
  • Aggressive behavior and psychosis
    • History of psychotic episodes
    • History of bipolar Disorder
  • Long-term growth suppression
  • Seizures
    • History of seizures
  • Blood circulation problems
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Low blood pressure and low heart rate
  • Sleepiness
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • High blood pressure
    • Stopping Kapvay (clonidine) suddenly
See more detailed risks and warnings