Kapvay vs Intuniv – Comparison of Uses & Side Effects

Kapvay

It is the brand name of a drug called clonidine, which belongs to a group of drugs called centrally acting alpha-agonist.

The US Food and Drug Administration originally approved it in 1974.

Mechanism of Action

The mechanism of action of this medication in ADHD is not known.

Uses

This prescription medication is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Dosage

The usual recommended dose is 0.2 to 0.6 mg per day given in divided doses.

Side Effects

Common side effects may include:

  • loss of appetite;
  • dizziness;
  • contact lens discomfort;
  • drowsiness;
  • nightmares;
  • feeling tired;
  • sleep problems (insomnia);
  • dry mouth;
  • dry eyes;
  • constipation.

Rare side effects may include:

  • confusion;
  • irregular heartbeats;
  • nosebleeds;
  • shortness of breath;
  • a feeling like you might pass out;
  • severe chest pain;
  • anxiety;
  • a very slow heart rate;
  • blurred vision;
  • pounding in your neck or ears;
  • severe headache.

Precautions

Before taking this medication, tell your healthcare provider if you have:

  • kidney disease;
  • severe coronary artery disease;
  • pheochromocytoma (tumor of the adrenal gland);
  • heart disease;
  • a history of stroke;
  • a history of fainting spells;
  • slow heartbeats;
  • heart rhythm disorder.

Alcoholalcohol

Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while taking this central acting alpha-agonist since alcohol use can substantially increase the risk of side effects.

Drug Interactions

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • methylphenidate;
  • Abilify (aripiprazole);
  • Seroquel (quetiapine);
  • Concerta (methylphenidate);
  • Lunesta (eszopiclone);
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine);
  • Klonopin (clonazepam);
  • Daytrana (methylphenidate);
  • hydroxyzine.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

There’s not enough evidence to determine whether this central acting alpha-agonist is safe to take by pregnant or nursing women.

Intuniv

It is the brand name of a medication called guanfacine which is part of a family of drugs called centrally acting alpha 2A -adrenergic receptor agonists.

Contraindications

To make sure you can safely take this alpha 2A – adrenergic receptor agonist, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • liver disease;
  • coronary artery disease;
  • heart disease;
  • kidney disease;
  • if you have recently had a heart attack;
  • a history of stroke;
  • low blood pressure;
  • heart block.

Uses

This prescription medication is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children who are at least 6 years old. Also, it is used to treat high blood pressure.

Dosage

The usual recommended dosage is 1 to 4 mg a day.

Important notes – it should be used as part of a comprehensive treatment program which includes educational, psychological, and social therapy.

This medication is found in the form of a pill, but, unlike some other ADHD drugs, guanfacine cannot be chewed, crushed, or broken and must be swallowed whole.

Do not give this drug to a child under the age of 6 years since its effectiveness and safety in children younger than 6 years have not been established.

Mechanism of Action

It works by affecting receptors in the brain in a way that helps the sufferer deal with symptoms of ADHD symptoms.

Moreover, this alpha 2A -adrenergic receptor agonist is said to be safer due to the fact that it is not a central nervous system stimulant medication.

Pregnancy & Breastfeedingpregnant

It is not known whether this alpha 2A – adrenergic receptor agonist passes into breast milk or if it could negatively affect a nursing baby.

This medication is not expected to be harmful to a developing fetus.

Alcohol

Avoid consuming alcohol while taking this alpha 2A – adrenergic receptor agonist since alcohol can increase the risk of severe side effects.

Drug Interactions

This drug may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how this alpha 2A – adrenergic receptor agonist. Tell your doctor if you take:

  • sedatives;
  • valproic acid;
  • benzodiazepines;
  • antipsychotics;
  • seroquel;
  • barbiturates;
  • medicines which can affect enzyme metabolism;
  • high blood pressure medicines;
  • dexilant.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • slow heart rate;
  • irritability;
  • mild dizziness;
  • dry mouth;
  • mild drowsiness;
  • vomiting.

Less common side effects may include:

  • constipation;
  • difficulty sleeping;
  • fast heartbeats;
  • weakness;
  • hallucinations;
  • low blood pressure;
  • a light-headed feeling like you might pass out;
  • tiredness;
  • dry mouth;
  • nausea;
  • chest pain;
  • sedation;
  • stomach pain.

Bottom Line – Kapvay vs Intuniv

Kapvay (active ingredient – clonidine) is a medication that is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It belongs to a group of drugs called centrally acting alpha-agonist.

Intuniv (active ingredient – guanfacine) is a non-stimulant treatment for ADHD. It is a long-acting form of guanfacine. In addition, this medication may be helpful to the estimated 25 to 30 percent of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder who do not benefit from stimulant drugs.

Also, Intuniv works somewhat more than the traditional non-stimulants, like– Strattera, and somewhat less than the stimulants, such – Ritalin and Adderall.

Regarding their price, the average retail price for 30 tablets of Kapvay 0.1mg is $230, while the average retail price for 30 tablets of Intuniv 1mg is $320.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3387872/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4347092/
https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1401106