Kapvay (clonidine extended-release)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

What is clonidine (Kapvay extended-release), and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Kapvay is an oral medication used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents. This drug has been used to reduce blood pressure in adults for many years but has been approved for another indication by the FDA. Kapvay works by stimulating alpha-2 receptors in the brain. This may reduce hyperactivity symptoms by acting on parts of the brain that control emotion, attention and behavior. However the exact mechanism in treating ADHD is not known. The FDA approved Kapvay for pediatric patients aged 6–17 years in September 2010.

What brand names are available for clonidine (Kapvay extended-release)?

Kapvay (extended release)

Is clonidine (Kapvay extended-release) available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for clonidine (Kapvay extended-release)?


What are the side effects of clonidine (Kapvay extended-release)?

The most common side effects associated with Kapvay are drowsiness, fatigue, cough, runny nose, and sore throat. Kapvay can also cause dry mouth, hallucinations, constipation and insomnia. Reductions in blood pressure and heart rate, which can be severe, have also been reported.

Quick GuideADHD Symptoms in Children

ADHD Symptoms in Children
FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

RxList Logo

Need help identifying pills and medications?

Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Children's Health & Parenting Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors