Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

ADHD in Children Health Center

Font Size

Drug Combinations to Treat ADHD in Children

Alpha-2 Agonists

Two drugs called alpha-2 agonists, in extended release form, are now formally approved to treat kids with ADHD:

  • Clonidine ER (Kapvay)
  • Guanfacine ER (Intuniv)

These medicines can be used alone or together with a stimulant medicine. They are extended-release medicines that can last for 12 to 24 hours.

Kapvay and Intuniv were originally made to treat high blood pressure. However, they also affect certain chemical receptors in the brain that help to treat ADHD. In children with ADHD, they improve:

  • Memory
  • Attention
  • Impulse control
  • Hyperactivity
  • Agitation
  • Aggression

Research shows Kapvay and Intuniv also can help kids with ADHD who have tics. But they have not been approved by the FDA for that purpose.

Side effects of these drugs in children and teens can include:


For children and teens who also have mood issues, doctors may prescribe antidepressant drugs along with a stimulant.

These drugs aren't specifically approved for ADHD, but studies show they help control symptoms such as hyperactivity and aggression. These antidepressants include:

Bupropion (Wellbutrin). This medication can help improve mood in children and teens with ADHD and depression.

Side effects can include irritability and trouble sleeping.

Imipramine ( Tofranil ) and nortriptyline ( Pamelor ). These are called tricyclic antidepressants.

Side effects of these drugs can include:


Venlafaxine (Effexor). This drug, in its extended-release form, can also be used for children with ADHD and mood or anxiety issues.

Children who already take a MAO inhibitor antidepressant should not take these medications.

Your doctor might try different medicines to find the ones that work best for your child. During treatment the doctor will regularly monitor your child's progress, as well as check your child's height, weight, pulse, and blood pressure.

Let your doctor know if a medicine isn't working or if it's causing side effects. But don't stop the medicine without first talking to your doctor.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari, MD on November 13, 2015
1 | 2

Today on WebMD

doctor writing on clipboard
mother with child
disciplining a boy
daughter with her unhappy parents
preschool age girl sitting at desk
Child with adhd
father helping son with homework
children in sack race