View Full Version : Kapvay???

02-24-11, 09:27 PM
My daughter has been taking Kapvay for a little over a week, and it has made a huge difference in her behavior. I could not be happier with the way things are going with her being on this. The only thing is it is very new and it seems that not many people have even heard of it. Has any one out there used this before or heard anything about it??

02-24-11, 10:57 PM
Never heard of it thought it was a new brand of Russian vodka:D lol sorry wish I could tell ya.

02-24-11, 11:07 PM
It's a brand name for clonidine. This medication is sometimes prescribed for people with ADHD who also have tic disorders and/or to help with high levels of impulsivity and aggression (but these don't necessarily have to be present).

(Sorry, no personal experience with it, though!)

02-24-11, 11:11 PM

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of the non-stimulant medication Kapvay (clonidine hydrochloride) extended-release tablets, an extended-release oral formulation for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents ages 6-17 years. Kapvay is the only formulation of clonidine hydrochloride approved by the FDA for the treatment of ADHD, and is the first and only FDA-approved ADHD treatment indicated for use as add-on therapy to stimulant medication. Kapvay can also be used as monotherapy when treating ADHD.

An oral, non-stimulant, twice-daily therapy, Kapvay is a centrally acting alpha2-adrenergic receptor agonist. While the mechanism of action of alpha2 agonists in ADHD is not known, it is believed to involve the pre-frontal cortex (PFC) of the brain. Studies suggest that the PFC regulates attention and plays a critical role in impulse control, working memory and executive function.

Edit - namazu beat me to it!

03-09-11, 02:45 AM
This thread came up when I searched for Kapvay.
@CKLG88 I'm glad it's working for your daughter. I hope it will do the same for me! I am an adult and started this med today. I've tried quite a few stimulants and haven't found the right-for-me med yet. Fingers crossed.

03-09-11, 09:43 AM
It's a brand name for clonidine. This medication is sometimes prescribed for people with ADHD who also have tic disorders and/or to help with high levels of impulsivity and aggression (but these don't necessarily have to be present).

(Sorry, no personal experience with it, though!)

Looks promising for ds. We tried Intuitiv as an add on to help with his tics but it caused irritability, aggression, and insomnia.

03-15-11, 12:07 PM
You can also find out more about Kapvay at This website also has coupons and full prescribing info (which tells you about warnings and precautions, drug interactions, and describes the studies that were done before this medication was given approval by FDA). Good luck!

03-17-11, 12:24 AM son's psychiatrist just gave us a starter kit today for my son to try it. clonidine and intuniv also made my son more aggressive.

the psychiatrist said that it's only been out a couple of months, and for her kids who typically get really sleepy and more irritable, thus more aggressive, on clonidine and parents have reported similar side effects with the kapvay.

we'll have to keep each other in touch with how things are going.

Good luck to you!

03-17-11, 03:12 PM
We are in the middle of switching from intuniv to kapvay. (Gotta titrate down the intuniv before we start the kapvay.) The intuniv worked reasonably well for a few months, but eventually the effects started to wear off. Given that our six year old son has the aggression/lack of control pieces, as well as some tics, we are very hopeful. . . . But based on past experiences with various meds I know being hopeful can lead to disappointment. We'll see. . . .

03-23-11, 08:52 PM
We are also in the middle of tapering off of Intuniv and will start Kapvay next week. My son who is twelve has Tourette's, OCD, and ADHD. We are attempting to find something to help with his attention and mood problems. Those create the most difficulties for him. I didn't see much improvement with Intuniv during the two months he was on it, but it did cause weight gain. He gained five pounds during those two months, so I wasn't happy about that. He's not heavy, but not thin either, so weight gain is not acceptable. Would love to hear how things are going with you and I'll post again once we get started.

03-26-11, 12:43 AM
Well, my son has done fairly well on kapvay for the past week and a half.

The first week, he took a bedtime dose. then, he started taking a morning dose as well.

The first week, he was still very rude and sassy, but I have to admit, he had not gone a whole week without hitting, spitting, biting or kicking for a very, very long.

So, I was very pleased. The first day he took two doses, he did get very rude and physical, so I did worry.

anyway, i'm hoping that two doses a day won't be too much for him. and i do hope it helps his anxiety and obsessiveness. he gets too frantic still.

But overall, i am pretty pleased.

04-06-11, 12:43 PM
(Sorry, no personal experience with it, though!)

Update: I will soon have personal experience! My doctor just prescribed this for me, in combination with methylphenidate (Concerta/Ritalin). I will start taking it tonight and taper up slowly.

Although I don't have problems with aggression or severe impulsivity, and I don't have Tourette's, I do have problems with sleep, restlessness, and some OC-spectrum issues. Also, we've tried a lot of other meds with limited success (or problematic side effects), so figured it was worth a shot!

Since clonidine has been prescribed to help with ADHD and tic disorders for a long time, just under different names (Catapres, etc.), it is something my doctor felt very comfortable prescribing.

I hope it has continued to help to the OP's daughter and the others who've replied. Check in! How are you/your kids doing with it?

Happy spring/fall (depending on hemisphere!),

04-24-11, 10:52 PM
Well, after several weeks, the psychiatrist has now upped my seven year old's dose of kapvay.

he now takes 2 mg in the mornings.

Still 1 mg at night.

I don't see see any difference between adding the extra 1 mg in the mornings. He's taken that dose for one week now. Psychiatrist said that kapvay is being prescribed for odd and aggression.

The psychiatrist did say that it can take up to twelve weeks for blood levels and meds to show improvement in behavior. So even if we don't change the dose anymore, we can still see an improvement.

Teacher is saying he is doing really well. Not rude or sassy.

Son is still situationally rude and sassy at home, still whiny. But definitely his impulse control has increased, where he doesn't have such a quick trigger to anger. We notice him getting angry more in the mornings and after dinner. During the day at home, he'll get really bossy and argumentative, but doesn't lash out physically.

So, I'd say the med definitely has helped impulse control and triggered aggression. However, he is still definitely hyperactive. Definitely. Definitely argumentative. Obsessive. Defiant. And Rude. But, I have to admit he is definitely trying more than he used to.

At least we are not walking on egg shells that we are going to be spit at or bitten.

HTH someone.

04-24-11, 10:58 PM

I do want to add that my son attends an "anger management" group once a week. The therapist has group with several boys his same age. No parents attend. So we sit outside and wait.

Also, my son attends mental health sessoins with the individual therapist once a week. The therapist will get a fifteen minute update from me or my husband, then meet individually with our son for the remainder of the time.

My son also attends equine therapy once a week with two mental health therapists. They are not with the county mental services, but they have worked with a lot of children and teens from reform schools and residential treatment centers. I actually feel that the equine therapy is just as if not more effective than the individual and group therapy. All three therapies seem to really be helping our son at this time, as well as provide our family with much needed support.

Therapy three times a week might seem excessive, and it actually is very time consuming, but we feel that with our son's severe behavior issues and outbreak aggressoins that we need to help him therapeutically, not just medically.

04-27-11, 10:33 AM
Rampage -- so glad to hear things are looking up some for your son and your family. Any benefits to self-control are a good thing. I hope that the meds will help him gain enough self-control at a basic level to be able to practice the skills he learns in anger management. I'm also glad he has access to the equine therapy and that it seems to be helping.

I've been taking clonidine (in the form of Kapvay) for about 3 weeks now (3 days of 0.1mg, 2+ weeks of 0.2mg, and a day of 0.3mg). I also take Concerta/Ritalin, and have been taking that for a while. So far my experience with the clonidine/methylphenidate combo has been pretty good.

It has helped with physical restlessness. I notice this most at night when I'm lying in bed -- ordinarily I toss and turn a great deal, which makes it hard to sleep and disturbs my spouse. (We have sometimes wondered if I had "Restless Legs Syndrome" or if it was just my ADHD.) My head is still "busy", but at least I can lie still in bed without feeling like I want to jump out of my skin! It's nice.

The Kapvay has also appeared to help markedly with comorbid trichotillomania (a hair-pulling problem currently classified as an "impulse-control" disorder, but thought to be related in some ways to tic disorders and OCD). I still experience some "urges" to pull, but I can resist them entirely now, whereas before I couldn't resist at all. I'm not sure whether the Kapvay is helping this problem directly, or tamping down some of the unwanted effect of the stimulants, which can make trichotillomania worse. I have not seen much info in the scientific literature about clonidine and trichotillomania, and the little bit there is doesn't make it sound especially promising, but in my case it seems to help, so I won't argue!

As far as inattentive symptoms go, I have recently had more success working. However, there have been some changes at work (new project with short deadlines) that may account for this, and it may have nothing to do with the Kapvay.

Other than noticing I need to stand up a little more slowly (because of the hypotensive effects of the medication), I haven't noticed any side effects. It hasn't made me feel sleepy/sedated, which I understand is a common side effect.

So far, so good.

I will also note that I was diagnosed with the Predominantly Inattentive flavor of ADHD (though I do have some physical hyperactivity/restlessness and self-control issues, just not enough for the Combined Type dx). It is not so common to give clonidine to people like me, as it is thought not to help with inattentive symptoms as much as hyperactive-impulsive symptoms, aggression, and tics. But I have found it to be beneficial so far. So score one for taking a chance on an unconventional medication choice!

05-11-11, 12:29 PM
My son went back for a check-up today.

Currently, in addition to dexedrine spansules, he is at .1 Kapvay in the mornings and then .2 mg Kapvay at nite.

Dr. told me to increase dosage to .2 in the mornings in a few weeks. So, goal is .2 in mornings and then .2 at nite.

HTH, Rampage

06-01-11, 01:01 AM
Another update:

My 7-year old is now at .2 in the mornings and .2 in the evenings.

Each time there is a dose increase, I notice that the first few days my son gets somewhat irritable. I'm guessing from being tired. So each time, I wondered if the dose increase was actually hindering, not helping.

However, after a few days, it seems as though my son leveled out.

So, I would say, I am EXTREMELY happy with Kapvay.
My son has only spit at us once in the past few weeks.
Maybe headbutt us twice in the past few weeks.
And it is so much easier to redirect him or get him to accept
a change in plans.

Like, tomorrow, I take him in for some genetic testing, and
he is so tired of testing. He cried when I told him, and I
tried very hard to use "Beyond Consequences" methods to
empathize with him.

"Beyond Consequences" emphasizes
connecting through relationship and feelings and not focus
so much on consequences. Basically, anger is the secondary
emotion and there is something behind the anger that we
need to address. Not just tell them their behavior is inappropriate
and we should count to ten.

I tried a totally different approach for over a year (When Love is Not Enough) and it DID NOT work for my child. We were consistent. We
had consequences. We were firm. We did extra chores. And there
was absolutely no improvement in behavior for over a year. Just a lot
of stress and contention.

When my son cried about the testing, I tried to empathize rather than
reprimand him for voicing his frustratoins. I tried things like "I know that it's hard to keep going to these appointments...How about we go to the appt and then meet daddy for lunch afterwards?" When he tore several pieces of toilet paper up in frustratoin, I didn't reprimand him. I actually let him do it, because I felt it was harmless. When he had calmed down, I just said, "Hey, I have an idea. Let's pick up the toilet paper and stick it up on the toilet so that we don't waste it. Other people can use it." I didn't yell at him or reprimand him that he was destroying anything. Or he needed to pick up the tp or else.

His little tantrum (and I say "little" cuz it was seriously "little" compared to past tantrums) lasted just ten minutes. It took ten minutes of emphathizing rather than an hour or more of "disciplining."

And, yes, he did pick up the toilet paper. All by himself. Without being mad.

06-01-11, 10:00 AM

I'm so glad to hear things are going well, both with the Kapvay and with the behavior-management strategies.

I'm also up to 0.2mg twice a day.

It has been very helpful in reducing restlessness, especially in the evenings, so it is easier for me to lie in bed without tossing and turning and moving my legs constantly. It has also almost eliminated a tic/compulsion-like problem. It hasn't done much for distractibility/staying on task, but I'm really pleased with what it does do for me.

I'm curious: Can you get 0.2mg pills? My doctor wrote a script for them, but the pharmacy claimed they only came in 0.1mg pills. (The official prescribing info suggests a 0.2mg pill does exist.)

06-18-11, 02:16 AM
Kind of a bummer.

Kapvay worked really well for a while but my son seems to
be regressing again.

He is again extremely emotional. Easily triggered by minute things. Self injures like with remotes or objects nearby.

very physical again. dr. said that .2 in am and pm is highest we should go for him. so i am saddened that he didn't have longer relief.


06-19-11, 05:03 PM

Sorry to hear that your little guy's not doing as well as he was. Does he have any comorbid condition(s) at work, too?

In any case, I hope you'll all have some (longer-lasting) success with whatever comes next.

Hang in there!

- Namazu

06-21-11, 05:54 PM
I am just curious...could it possibly be that the Kapvay isn't what is the problem? So, maybe he hasn't developed a tolerance for Kapvay?

Maybe he has developed a tolerance for dexedrine?

He has a history of taking dexedrine for months and then it seems to lose its effectiveness. At that time, the dr. would switch his stim.

Concerta is the only stimulant which had the same effect as dexedrine. My only issue with it was that the rebound meltdown at 4 p.m. everyday was HUGE! Since it was so bad, dr. switched back to dex after a while.

Voila the dex was fine again. But then petered out after a few months.

Son has also been on vyvance and adderall, but saw no improvements.

Back to dex last fall. Seemed to help tremendously at school.
But since son was so oppositional and aggressive at home, dr. put him on kapvay as well for past few months. Until last month I was happy with kapvay.

Maybe I'll ask dr. about going back on concerta, but asking for a tag-on in the afternoon to prevent rebound meltdown? No kidding, it's BAD.

I'd rather change stimulants than take him off kapvay completely.

What do you think?

07-18-11, 08:01 PM
Glad to see others with little ones on this. My son (5) has just started taking this and is on day 3 of the PM does. I'm not noticing anything but as all parents I'm concerned about his personality. I don't want a drug to mask it, but I know its a sad side effect.

What have y'all noticed with this medication?

10-23-11, 11:58 PM
I stumbled across this site, mainly this thread while searching for new meds for my son who has ADHD, Bipolar disorder, Aspergers, ODD. He has also recently started self inflicting pain in the past two weeks. His recent meds were:

I am trying to find a new Psych to manage his meds because although for months I have told them that my son is extremely hyper in school and can't sit still, they will not increase nor change his ADHD meds. I have also expressed concern about the amount of meds he is on. At first they put him on Intuniv and Lithium. Intuniv was horrible, so they switched to Kapvay. .2 AM/ .2 PM....because he is on so many meds, I honestly don't know if it works or not.

I have been taking him to my PCP and she is managing his meds until we find a new psych. She has taken him off of Zyprexa and put him on Cymbalta. (I weaned him off the Lithium myself and he did much better off of it)...the old psych also would not check his blood levels as you need to do with such meds such as depakote and lithium.

My sons symptoms are extreme hyperness (manic), depression, impulsivity, disrespctfullness, lying, and agitation. He gets very agitated at anything. I am trying to find a combination that will control his ADHD as well as his agitation. With the Zyprexa he gained 35 pounds within 3 months, which was fine. He was up to 102 pounds. Now that he is off of it, he has lost 15...I need something that will help with his appetite but mostly I want a new ADHD medication. I don't like the vyvanse. It makes my 3rd son extremely irritable. to the point he rages out of no where and he's a happy go lucky kinda guy.

Anyway, I just wanted to give my input. I think the Kapvay along with another ADHD med will work for most kids/adults. But finding the right med is a long process. We've been on all of them. Concerta, the patch, ritalin, Abilify, Adderall, you name it, we've tried it. Adderall works well, and so does Vyvanse. But what works for one may not work for another. Don't give up, you tell your dr what you want to try. they need to listen to you and should. do your research and don't back down.

10-24-11, 10:43 AM
I stumbled across this site, mainly this thread while searching for new meds for my son who has ADHD, Bipolar disorder, Aspergers, ODD. He has also recently started self inflicting pain in the past two weeks. His recent meds were:

I am trying to find a new Psych to manage his meds because although for months I have told them that my son is extremely hyper in school and can't sit still, they will not increase nor change his ADHD meds. I have also expressed concern about the amount of meds he is on.

Was his bipolar stabilized before the ADHD was diagnosed and medicated? Children with BPD who are given stimulants and antidepressants may have their behavior worsen, and they may cause a mixed or manic episode in patients who have both ADHD and bipolar disorder.

ADHD Parent Medication Guide -- by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and American Psychiatric Association
This is one place in SA to consider for child psychiatric services-- The Psychiatry Service at the UT Health Science Center-- .

10-24-11, 11:00 PM
Thank you for your reply. Yes, he was dx at age 5, he's now 13. I have noticed now that he has gotten older, the rages and agitation have significantly subsided. I am also adament on getting him off of some of these medications. He's been on soooo many for so long and the atomsophere around the house is like walking on eggshells. It's like his main goal in life is to make everyone around him as miserable as possible.

I do believe that the Vyvanse is causing a lot of his agitation and rages now. I will tell you that he ran out of the Kapvay last week and we went a whole 5 days without it and it made a HUGE difference. It was really bad. Once he got back on it, he was a different kid.

We all have our "hope" that once we put our kids on a new med, this new med will be the miracle drug to cure them. It's a lifelong challenge, unfortunately. And with these drugs, they may work for several months to years, then all the sudden stop working. It's because their little bodies work up a so called immunity to the drug and it will no longer work effectively.

The Daytrana Patch was our "miracle drug". But it gave my son a very bad rash. If you keep the patch on through the night, the mornings are like a "normal" household should be without all the screaming and fighting.

We go back to the DR tomorrow. Right now our problem is weight loss, lethargy, hyperness, and lack of respect. I'm glad i found this forum. :)

End of Rope
12-20-11, 12:56 AM
After reading the whole thread Im not sure if I should laugh or cry. Mostly I have been crying lately. My son is 6 and has very recently been diagnosed ADHD. He cant sit still, be quiet, is sassy and disrespectful, messy beyond belief with everything he owns. I am constantly scolding him which is making his self esteem in the toilet and I am at the "end of my rope". I thought Id have a stroke in the doctors office today...she didnt come see us until an hour and a half after the appointed time. AND I had a 3 yr old with me too. We have a very unhappy house hold and my heart is breaking. Doc gave a sample of KAPVAy that we started today. He had taken Ritalin for a month and I feel like it made him worse. Kind of aggressive. WAY too rough and he doesnt really get the sincere apology thing. I can see this is going to be a very long road. Im praying this stuff works. Also he needs a blood draw but it took 3 of us to hold him down to prick his finger. The lab I have to go to is a joke and not equipped to deal with this kind of blood draw from a wildcat. Im glad to be here and see I am not alone. Thanks for letting me vent. Im in such agony for my baby. (and the rest of us too) Im terrified he will become depressed seriously....he says things through tears about how there is nothing "cool" about him, no one likes him, he cant do anything well. He so smart, very clever, great artist...but he just doesn't hear that part. Anyone else deal with that? Does KAPVAY manage any of this?

12-20-11, 09:47 PM
End of Rope - my 5 year old has been on Kapvay since August. I didn't notice a lot of change the first week since it was just the pm dose. When we added the am dose he was completely exhausted for a few weeks. Once he got a bit more regulated and more awake, we started seeing a whole new child. We've had to add a small dose of a stimulant on school days because he still has issues with being tired.

Our son is smart too but kept hearing how bad he was. Now he is hearing the positive statements too!

Good luck and feel free to message me if you want to talk.

End of Rope
12-24-11, 09:57 AM
Well this sucks. My boy has been on this pm dose for 5 days. I was praying for it to work. I woke in the middle of the night with the thought that my insurance wont cover up and looked on line AND THEY DONT!!!! So now it is Christmas Eve and I dont fee like it is fair to give him even one more, doctor is closed til Tuesday. There is a very short list of drugs covered for ADHD.

End of Rope
12-31-11, 10:09 AM
update from my last post...Doc has been on vacation and wont get back til the 3rd. So I went ahead with the samples. He is a new kid. Tired in the late afternoon since we started the second dose but...WOW. I asked the pharmacist if I could get teh regular old Colonodine which is not slow release and give it more often...which will only cost me about $15 a month. She didnt see why not so Im just waiting for the doc to get back. So my sweet little 6 yr old was asking what I was reading and talking about to the pharmacist and he was able to sum up the problem with the health care system in about 30 seconds. I explained about insurance and the meds. He says "they aren't my doctor! Why would THEY get to choose my medicine?"

09-22-12, 10:08 AM
My daughter has been taking Kapvay for a little over a week, and it has made a huge difference in her behavior. I could not be happier with the way things are going with her being on this. The only thing is it is very new and it seems that not many people have even heard of it. Has any one out there used this before or heard anything about it??

we have just recently switched my son to Kapvay from Intuniv. I have also seen a great improvement in him. Im happy to have made rto switch over to Kapvay. good luck!