What Is Clonidine ER Used For?
Clonidine ER is prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is specifically approved for treating ADHD in children and adolescents age 6 to 17 years old. Clonidine ER can be used alone or in combination with stimulants. Treating ADHD in adults or children younger than six years old is considered an off-label (unapproved) use of this medicine.
Clonidine ER (Kapvay™) is a prescription medicine licensed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents age 6 to 17 years old. Unlike most other ADHD medications, clonidine ER is not a stimulant and is not a controlled substance. It is approved to be used alone or in combination with a stimulant.
This article refers only to Kapvay, the clonidine ER version approved to treat ADHD. There is another clonidine ER medication (Nexiclon™ XR) approved for treating high blood pressure.
ADHD is a condition that involves difficulty paying attention, sitting still, and controlling behavior. With ADHD, these problems are worse than expected for a typical child of the same age. Usually, the ADHD symptoms must be present before the age of seven to qualify as ADHD. The symptoms must also affect the school, work, or social life in a negative way to qualify as ADHD (see ADHD and School and Relationships and ADHD for more information).
Although ADHD is generally thought of as a problem in children, teenagers and adults can also have ADHD. Diagnosing ADHD in adults is different than diagnosing this disorder in children. It should be noted that clonidine ER is not yet approved for treating adult ADHD.
Any meaningful behavioral change usually requires a well-balanced ADHD treatment plan, including social, educational, and mental therapy (see Behavior Therapy for ADHD). If lifestyle changes are not effective alone in changing ADHD behavior, medications like clonidine ER may be necessary.