clonidine (extended-release)

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.

What is the dosage for clonidine (Kapvay extended-release)?

Kapvay tablets should be swallowed whole, and should not be broken, chewed or crushed before swallowing. Kapvay tablets can be taken with or without food.

The recommended starting dose is 0.1 mg tablet once a day at bedtime. Doses may be increased by 0.1 mg per day every 7 days. In this case, doses should be given twice a day (either split equally, or the higher dose given at bedtime). The maximum daily dose of Kapvay is 0.4 mg per day.

Which drugs or supplements interact with clonidine (Kapvay extended-release)?

: Kapvay should not be used with alcohol or other sedating drugs such as lorazepam (Ativan) due to increased risk of drowsiness.

Combining Kapvay with medications that can affect heart rate such as diltiazem and atenolol (Tenormin) can lead to a severe decrease in heart rate.

Tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Endep) can reduce the antihypertensive effects of Kapvay by blocking its receptors.

Kapvay should not be combined with other clonidine containing medications such as Catapres. Kapvay should be used carefully in patients taking other medications that reduce blood pressure due to risk of excessive blood pressure reduction.


What Are the Symptoms of ADHD in Kids? Tests, Medication See Slideshow

Is clonidine (Kapvay extended-release) safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

Kapvay is secreted into breast milk and should be used cautiously in women who are breastfeeding.

What else should I know about clonidine (Kapvay extended-release)?

What preparations of clonidine (Kapvay extended-release) are available?

Tablets: 0.1, 0.2 mg (extended release)

How should I keep clonidine (Kapvay extended-release) stored?

Kapvay tablets should be stored at room temperature 20 C to 25 C (68 F to 77 F) and protected from light.


Clonidine extended-release (Kapvay extended-release) is a medication prescribed to treat ADHD in children and adolescents. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, storage, warning, precautions, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.

Treatment & Diagnosis

Medications & Supplements

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

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.

Medically reviewed by John cunha, DO

REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information.