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Nonstimulant Therapy and Other ADHD Drugs

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What Are the Side Effects of Nonstimulants? continued...

Intuniv Side Effects include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal pain
  • Sleepiness and sedation

Since Intuniv can cause drowsiness, make sure you know how it affects you before you try driving or operating heavy machinery.

Rarer and more serious side effects include:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Heart rhythm changes

Kapvay contains the same active ingredients seen in some types of blood pressure medications known as clonidine. 

Kapvay's common side effects include sleepiness, tiredness, trouble sleeping (insomnia), and nightmares. Side effects may also include symptoms of upper respiratory infection, such as:

  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Irritability
  • Sore throat

Who Shouldn't Take Nonstimulants?

Nonstimulants are not the right medication for everybody with ADHD. You should probably not take Strattera if you:

  • Have been diagnosed with narrow angle glaucoma (a condition that causes increased pressure in the eyes and can lead to blindness)
  • Use a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) for depression,  like Nardil or Parnate
  • Have an allergy to any of the ingredients in Strattera
  • Have jaundice or liver problems

You should probably not take Intuniv if you:

  • Have an allergy to any of the ingredients in Intuniv
  • Take other products containing guanfacine, like the blood pressure medicine Tenex

Do not take Kapvay if you are allergic to clonidine in Kapvay.

Before starting treatment with a nonstimulant medication, talk to your doctor about your medical history and go over all the risks.

Nonstimulants: Tips and Precautions

If you've been prescribed a nonstimulant for ADHD, be sure to tell your doctor:

  • If you are nursing, pregnant, or plan to become pregnant
  • If you take any prescription medications for other conditions, like blood pressure drugs, antidepressants, sedatives, or antipsychotics
  • If you take any dietary supplements, herbal medicines, or over-the-counter medications
  • If you have any medical problems, including high or low blood pressure, seizures, heart disease, glaucoma, mental health issues, liver disease or jaundice, or kidney problems
  • If you have had an allergic reaction to any medications in the past
  • If you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse or dependency
  • If you become agitated or irritable, or develop suicidal thoughts

Like any medication, Strattera  Intuniv, and Kapvay should always be taken exactly as prescribed. Strattera is usually taken once or twice a day and Kapvay is taken twice a day. Intuniv is a once-a-day drug. Your doctor will probably want you to check in periodically. He or she may order some lab tests to make sure that the drug is working and not causing any problems.

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