The fittest medication for a person depends on many factors, including its side effects, how long it lasts, and an individual’s personal choices. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medications are generic drugs.
Medications can have short, medium, or long-acting effects.
A doctor can recommend which type is best, but it is helpful to know each type’s benefits and side effects.
In this post, we will study various medications that people can take to control ADHD symptoms.
I have already shared a post related to this topic All about ADHD Iceberg and Body Doubling Adhd I hope you read this post.
Table of Contents
I also wrote a tutorial on Is Autism An Intellectual Disability? that you can follow.
For example, children with ADHD can stim in the form of fidgeting.
It can entail a child squirming in their seat but can include noticeable and disruptive behaviors, including speaking, humming loudly, picking at skin or hair.
All these behaviors are used to solicit a form of sensory input. They can help people with ADHD quiet down the sensory systems prohibiting focus or creating sensations in the body.
I recommend you to read following posts that will help you: Disruptive Behavior Disorder
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List of ADHD medications
Doctors prescribe two main types of drugs to treat the symptoms of ADHD:
- Non stimulants
Stimulants are more effective than non-stimulants in adults. However, there is a risk of drug abuse with stimulants, and they can cause rebound symptoms. For this purpose, many people use non-stimulants alternately. Using long-acting versions of stimulants can also reduce the potential for misuse.
The following table lists the stimulant and non-stimulant drugs that people can take to treat ADHD symptoms.
amphetamine (Adderall XR)
dexmethylphenidate (Focalin XR)
methylphenidate (Ritalin LA)
Short- and intermediary-acting stimulants
dextro-amphetamine (Dexedrine and Dexedrine Spansules)
methylphenidate (Ritalin, Ritalin SR, and generics)
guanfacine (Intuniv XR)
According to the doctor’s prescription stimulants are the first line of treatment for adults with ADHD. Stimulants have norepinephrine and dopamine, two brain chemicals that play a curial part in ADHD.
Stimulants called amphetamines are more powerful and produce fewer side effects in adults.
The side effect of stimulants:
The most common side effects of stimulants medication for ADHD are:
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Reduced appetite
- Difficulty sleeping
Heart-related severe complications are rare. Nevertheless, doctors should closely monitor people with heart problems who are taking stimulants.
Here are a few articles to check out:
- When To Go To The Hospital For Rapid Heart Rate?
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Stimulants can interact with several medications. For example, various people have both ADHD and depression or anxiety. For this reason, doctors may prescribe an antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication with a stimulant for ADHD treatment.
You must read this article: Can Covid Cause Depression?
Other antidepressants that interact with stimulants include:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
- Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors
- Tricyclic antidepressants
Methylphenidate works by boosting the levels of dopamine in the brain. Long-term studies have explained that methylphenidate is safe and effective.
Methylphenidate is present in five different medications. In addition, long-acting and short- and intermediary-acting forms are available.
Long-acting Methylphenidate medications:
10 mg, , 5 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg, 50 mg, 60 mg, 80 mg
18 mg, 27 mg, 36 mg, 54 mg
18 mg, 27 mg, 36 mg, 54 mg
10 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg
10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg
Short-acting methylphenidate medications:
5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg
5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg
The following section will help you to learn more about methylphenidate drugs in-depth:
Biphentin capsules deliver 40% of the methylphenidate at once and the remaining 60% gradually, which means that the effect lasts for 10–12 hours, covering the day’s central part. People can crack the capsule of Biphentin and sprinkle it into meals if they have trouble swallowing pills.
Concerta capsules have osmotic-controlled release oral delivery system (OROS) technology. The effect of Concerta methylphenidate is also long-acting, as it releases 22% immediately and the remaining 78% gradually. Similar to Biphentin, the medicine lasts for 10 to 12 hours. At the end of the result of the medicine, people can use short-acting methylphenidate if needed.
Novo-methylphenidate ER-C does not use the OROS technology for releasing the medication. The primary reason why people favor the generic form instead of Concerta is its lower price. However, no clinical researches have proved that this generic gives the same result as Concerta.
Ritalin LA is an extended-release capsule that delivers half of the medication at once and the other half slowly during the day. Doctors can prescribe Ritalin LA to adults with ADHD. However, people should not split, crush, or chew this tablet.
Daytrana is a methylphenidate piece that a person puts on their hip. Researchers have analyzed its effects in kids aged 6–12 and those aged 13–17. A person uses this patch on their skin for 2 hours before they need the effects of the medicine. The person should exclude the patch after a maximum of 9 hours.
Ritalin, Ritalin SR, and generics
Methylphenidate is also available in short-acting formulations. For example, Ritalin, Ritalin SR, and their generic equivalents release methylphenidate immediately, but the effect does not last long. Therefore, people must take multiple doses per day of these short-acting medicines to achieve the desired effect.
Stimulants: Focalin and Focalin XR
Dextro-methylphenidate is a modification of methylphenidate present in Focalin and Focalin XR. This variety of methylphenidate is more effective than its typical equivalent.
A person can crack these capsules and spatter them into food. Doctors can prescribe Focalin and Focalin XR to all generations. It is available in both a short- and long-acting formulation. Focalin and Focalin XR are available in the following strengths:
2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg
5 mg, 30 mg, 35 mg, 40 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 25 mg
Amphetamines are also available in both long-acting as well as short-acting formulations. We will learn each amphetamine stimulant in more detail below.
Dextro-amphetamine is the superior functional element in Adderall XR. Therefore, doctors can recommend this medicine to adults with ADHD. As a long-acting medication, it provides a symptom controller for 10–12 hours. Sometimes, doctors will need to recommend a short-acting amphetamine prescription for symptom restraint later in the afternoon.
Vyvanse holds lisdexamfetamine, which is an inactive form of amphetamine. When a person takes Vyvanse, their body converts the inactive medicine into dextroamphetamine. Vyvanse has comparable effects to Adderall XR. Adults who take Vyvanse can obtain 14 hours of symptom control.
Non-stimulant medicines act on a set of various pathways that offer different treatment options. For example, doctors may prescribe non-stimulant medicines in combination with stimulants or solely. In addition, some people cannot tolerate the side effects of stimulant medicines and can only take non-stimulants.
There are two non-stimulant medications for ADHD available, and their strengths are classified in the following table:
10 mg, 40 mg, 60 mg, 80 mg, 100 mg, 18 mg, 25 mg,
1 mg, 2 mg, 3 mg, 4 mg
Strattera might be beneficial for people with ADHD who also have anxiety, as stimulants can worsen anxiety. Doctors can prescribe Strattera to adults as. People can take both stimulant medications as well as Strattera if needed.
The most unusual side effects of Strattera include nausea and stomach upset. In addition, people should not open Strattera pills because the medication may irritate the eyes. Instead, they must consume Strattera capsules, which might be defying for some people.
Doctors prescribe Intuniv XR to treat ADHD symptoms in children aged 6–12. The significant benefit of this medication is that its effect can last into the evening and early morning.
People should not crush, break, or chew the tablets. Instead, people should only consume them whole. People should also avoid eating grapefruit or taking grapefruit juice during Intuniv XR medication.
Some research has shown that combining prescription and psychosocial invasions is an effective strategy for maintaining ADHD symptoms.
There are five major types of invasions:
- Behavioral invasions
- Social invasions
- Psycho therapy
- Educational and vocational services
Must read: Is Psychotherapy Effective?
Psychoeducation is effective for children over eight years old. This invasion teaches children and their caregivers about ADHD and its impacts.
To learn more, you can read: What Is Individual Psychotherapy And How It Works?
Healthcare professionals design behavioral invasions such as coaching and lifestyle changes for all age groups with ADHD. In addition, they use rewards and outgrowths to improve behavior.
Educational and vocational institutes cover particular education schedules and workplace invasions to help people with ADHD.
I recommend you to read following posts that will help you: Which Of The Following Is A Benefit of Group Therapy?
Long-acting stimulant formulations are the superior choice of medications for people with ADHD. They empower people to benefit from the effect of the medication throughout the school or workday. Doctors also favor longer-acting medications due to the lower risk of misuse. In addition, healthcare professionals should recommend a combination of medication and psychosocial interventions to improve people’s lives with ADHD.
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