The medications listed on this website are provided for informational purposes only. Their inclusion does not guarantee that they will be prescribed to any individual, as treatment decisions are ultimately at the discretion of healthcare providers. This list is not exhaustive, and healthcare providers may prescribe other medications, including non-stimulant options, based on the patient's unique health circumstances and needs.
1. Adderall vs. Ritalin: An OverviewFirst off, let’s look at all the information about Adderall and Ritalin before deciding which of these two medications is better than the other. While these two medications are both stimulants, they are nonetheless different in terms of their active ingredients. Two main molecules are used in the treatment of ADHD. These two molecules are:
What Is Ritalin?Ritalin is a medication containing methylphenidate, which is proven to help in the treatment of ADHD. The FDA approves methylphenidate in the treatment of ADHD in kids aged between six and twelve years. It is also effective in treating ADHD in adolescents and adults, especially those below 65 years. Ritalin comes in tablets that release methylphenidate into the person’s body immediately after ingesting the pill. Ritalin is also available in the form of long-acting capsules. These capsules gradually release methylphenidate into your body after ingestion. Ritalin can help reduce impulsivity, hyperactive behavior and improve focus. Lack of focus, hyperactive behavior, and impulsivity are the three main symptoms of ADHD. Ritalin contains methylphenidate hydrochloride as its main active ingredient. The ingredients work by increasing the amount of dopamine in your brain. Ritalin is a federally controlled product (Schedule II stimulant), according to FDA. Hence, it means that the medication can only be taken through prescription since it is a stimulant with a high possibility of abuse. Moreover, long-term use of Ritalin can lead to physical and psychological dependence.
How Does Ritalin Work?Ritalin works by stimulating the central nervous system (CNS). It activates dopamine, a neurotransmitter that influences:
- Attention span
What Is Adderall?Adderall is a medication that combines dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. These two ingredients are CNS stimulants. They reduce impulsivity and improve focus by increasing the levels of norepinephrine and dopamine in your brain. The FDA approved the use of Adderall for the treatment of narcolepsy and ADHD in 1996. Adderall also belongs to the group of stimulant medications. The medications in this category are first-choice medications for the treatment of ADHD. This medication also comes in tablets, which the FDA has approved for treating ADHD in kids aged above three years. Another formulation of Adderall, known as Adderall XR capsules, is recommended to treat ADHD in kids aged over six years. Adderall is available in two forms:
1. Immediate Release VersionYou have to take this type of Adderall two to three times daily. The FDA recommends that people with ADHD start with a low dosage of about 5 mg once or twice daily. You can then increase your Adderall dosage gradually to about 40 mg daily. Kids aged three years and above can also take this medication for ADHD treatment. Get help improving focus and attention with the help of an ADHD expert- Click the button below.
2. Extended-Release CapsuleA single dosage of the extended-release capsule can deliver a consistent effect throughout the day. The FDA recommends that you should use about 20 mg of this medication a day.
How Does Adderall Work?Just like Ritalin, Adderall also works by stimulating the CNS (central nervous system). The two main ingredients in Adderall are:
2. Adderall and Ritalin: Difference, Price, Dosage and Drug InteractionAlthough Ritalin and Adderall have many things in common, still there is so much debate about which one is better to treat ADHD? Summarizing the difference between both drugs, we can say that; Ritalin works more quickly and reaches peak performance sooner than Adderall. However, Adderall stays active in your body longer than Ritalin. Adderall works for four to six hours. Ritalin is only active for two to three hours. Besides the above difference, the other factors that can influence your decision to choose between both drugs could be their cost, dosage, and interaction. Let’s look at these informative facts about Ritalin and Adderall in detail.
|Compound Name||Methylphenidate||Amphetamine/ Dextroamphetamine|
|Approved for Ages||Children aged 6 and older; Adolescents; Adults||Children aged 6 and older; Adolescents; Adults|
|Covered by Insurance||Yes||Yes|
What Differentiates Ritalin and Adderall?Being stimulants, both Adderall and Ritalin have several things in common. For instance, these two ADHD medications are prescribed in almost equal dosages. Again, the two are used for the long-term treatment of ADHD. They are also classified as controlled substances. Nevertheless, both drugs are a distinct choice because they have identical effects on your brain, although they affect the brain differently. Adderall, for instance, boosts the activity of:
1. Availability and PriceRitalin and Adderall are both brand-name medications that are also sold as generic drugs. The generic forms of these drugs are, however, sold cheaper than their brand-name versions. In general, these ADHD drugs cost almost the same. Further, the cost you will pay for both medicines depends on your health insurance policy. Adderall, for instance, costs about $8 per tablet without insurance. The drug also costs $237.30 monthly for a dosage of a single 5 mg tablet daily. A similar dosage of generic Adderall costs below $25 if you purchase Adderall using a SingleCare coupon. The retail cost of Ritalin is around $168. 99. You can save a significant amount of money if you use your SingleCare Ritalin card, whereby you will pay $32.97. Ritalin and Adderall are available in most pharmacies countrywide. Nonetheless, there can be a shortage of these two ADHD drugs, and hence you might not get them in pharmacies all the time.
2. DosageThe dosage that the doctor will prescribe to you depends on multiple factors. These factors include:
- The severity and type of your condition
- Your age
- Other underlying medical conditions you could be having
- The version of Ritalin and Adderall you take
- 5 mg
- 10 mg
- 20 mg
- 5 mg
- 7.5 mg
- 10 mg
- 15 mg
- 12.5 mg
- 20 mg
- 30 mg
Patient’s Review on Adderall and RitalinThe patient’s reviews for Ritalin can vary from either effective to highly effective. The lowest rating for this drug on a scale of 10 is six. For Adderall, most patients reported that the drug is effective in dealing with their ADHD symptoms. However, a couple of patients said that Adderall wasn’t effective in dealing with their condition.
3. Can You Take Adderall and Ritalin Together for ADHD?Patients usually take several drugs for the same condition since each medication may affect different pathways, leading to faster results. Thus, drug combinations could increase the effectiveness of drugs in improving specific symptoms. Because Adderall and Ritalin effectively treat ADHD, you might be wondering whether combining these two medications can help improve your ADHD symptoms. However, this isn’t a good idea. Doctors don’t prescribe a combination of Adderall and Ritalin for ADHD. Let’s see why it isn’t a great idea to combine Ritalin with Adderall:
Why Doctors Don’t Prescribe a Combination of Adderall and Ritalin TogetherAs we saw in the previous chapter, taking multiple drugs can lead to drug interaction. Such an interaction can lead to adverse side effects. There is sufficient research on the interaction of Adderall and Ritalin. Therefore, doctors don’t usually recommend combining these drugs to ensure the patient is on the safer side. Again, doctors may prescribe you another medication if the initial drug isn’t working for you, especially if the drug isn’t effective in reducing your ADHD symptoms. The doctor may also switch to another medication if they think you are already taking another medicine that could cause an interaction with the drugs you are taking. Switching from one ADHD stimulant to the other can be a straightforward process. Although stimulants are effective in treating ADHD symptoms, these drugs wear off rapidly. They also have a high possibility of being eliminated from the body depending on their dosage. Stimulants get eliminated from your body between eight and twelve hours. Therefore, it is possible to use one ADHD stimulant for one day and then stop using the medication the other day. Dealing with ADHD symptoms is still in your hands- Click below to get professional help.
How to Tell Whether Ritalin or Adderall Is Working for YouThe main indication that a medication is working for you is when the drug starts improving your ADHD symptoms. There is a likelihood that any ADHD medication won’t cure your ADHD symptoms. However, some ADHD medications can make your psychological and physical ADHD problems more manageable. These signs below can indicate that either Adderall or Ritalin is effective in managing your ADHD problems:
- Finishing tedious or small tasks on time
- A general improvement in recalling details from workplaces or conversations
- Ability to complete small tasks at work
- Ability to take proper care of your personal belongings
- Going to sleep on time
- The ability to finish homework assignments if you are a student
- The ability to avoid distractions such as TV and social media while at work
Side Effects of Adderall and RitalinUsing ADHD medications can be an effective way of dealing with ADHD symptoms in both adults and kids. Nonetheless, ADHD medications can lead to serious side effects. This scenario is true for both non-stimulant and stimulant ADHD medications. These side effects may persist even after your body gets used to multiple ADHD medications. Ritalin and Adderall may cause side effects such as appetite loss, which may continue for a long time. The side effects also depend on how you react to medication if you have ADHD. The side effects of ADHD medication don’t last for long. They occur in a few days till you get used to the ADHD medication you are using to treat your ADHD problem. However, some other common side effects of ADHD medications, such as loss of appetite, might persist. There is also a variation in how someone with ADHD experiences side effects. Some persons can experience intense to mild side effects. These side effects can occur whether you are on medication or after the drug is worn off. Side effects of both Ritalin and Adderall can sometimes last for a couple of days. You may find yourself uncomfortable with your medication. This problem could be a result of your dosage of Ritalin or Adderall. Here are some common adverse side effects of Adderall and Ritalin as the most popular ADHD medications:
Common Side Effects Of Ritalin and AdderallHere are the common side effects of both medications:
- Loss of Appetite
- Rebound Hyperactivity
- Dry Mouth
Serious Side Effects of Ritalin and AdderallPeople who take Ritalin or Adderall to deal with their ADHD problems may at times experience severe side effects. However, these severe side effects are rare among people taking Adderall or Ritalin to treat their ADHD. Consult your doctor if you experience any of these severe side effects while taking either Ritalin or Adderall.
- Raynaud’s Phenomenon and Peripheral Vasculopathy
- Serotonin Syndrome
- Stunted Growth in Kids
Are Adderall and Ritalin Addictive?As mentioned earlier in this guide, Adderall and Ritalin are prescribed or controlled drugs. That means that these two ADHD medications can be highly addictive. That’s why the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) classifies these medications as ‘Schedule II’ substances. The DEA classifies these drugs as addictive substances such as cocaine and oxycodone. Due to their ability to sharpen focus, Adderall and Ritalin have become popular among students and young professionals. Such people use drugs as a way of aiding their productivity and academic progress. Some people with ADHD take these medications along with alcohol for recreational purposes. Moreover, both Adderall and Ritalin have a high possibility of misuse and abuse. You should consider any possible warnings or precautions before taking these drugs.
5. Adderall vs. Ritalin: Precautions for ADHD MedicationsThe benefits of Adderall and Ritalin as ADHD medications outweigh the adverse effects of these medications. However, it is crucial to take into consideration any warnings or precautions before using these two drugs. In most cases, ADHD medications can have a high chance of causing a severe drug interaction. The drug interaction can be more potent if you are taking Adderall or Ritalin together with other medications. Furthermore, taking Adderall and Ritalin with other medications can worsen your condition. Thus, choose the proper ADHD medication to be on the safer side.
General ADHD Treatment from The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics)According to AAP, kids aged between four and five years should go through behavior therapy before starting any ADHD medications. Nonetheless, medication is recommended if behavior therapy fails to improve their ADHD problems. Ritalin and other ADHD medications that contain methylphenidate are great for kids with ADHD. FDA recommends behavior therapy and medications for kids aged between six and eleven years. The FDA further recommends stimulants over other medications such as: The same recommendations apply to adults with ADHD. Furthermore, clinical studies suggest the use of stimulants for adults with ADHD. Adults with ADHD can also benefit from taking non-stimulant medications such as atomoxetine. However, such people should be cautious against signs of misuse of non-stimulant medicines.
Warnings for Adderall and Ritalin From The FDAThe FDA has an obligation to protect public health. The FDA does this by ensuring that medications are safe for humans. Thus, the FDA has issued warnings regarding the use of Adderall and Ritalin. According to the FDA, you should consider these signs below before taking Adderall or Ritalin to treat your ADHD problems:
- Heart-Related Problems
- Mental (Psychiatric) Problems
- Aggressive behavior
- Mood disorder
- Hostility, especially among kids
Specific WarningsApart from the warning issued by the FDA, you should not take Adderall or Ritalin if you have any of the conditions below:
- If you are highly anxious, agitated, or tense
- If you have eye problems such as glaucoma
- If you have Tics or Tourette’s syndrome, or if you have a family history of this condition
- If you are allergic to any active ingredient in Adderall or Ritalin
- Take Adderall in moderation if you are using the medication with other sympathomimetic drugs
- Your doctor should prescribe the lowest dosage possible of Adderall to reduce the likelihood of overdosage.
6. Myths About Adderall and RitalinADHD remains unknown to most people, including people who suffer from this condition. Most health and medical professionals also don’t fully understand this condition. Thus, there are some common myths about Ritalin and Adderall.
Common Myths About Ritalin- Busted!Here are some common myths about these two drugs:
- Ritalin Is a Recent Development
- Ritalin Causes People to Abuse Other Drugs
- Ritalin Can Put Holes in Your Brain
- Ritalin Is So Dangerous to the Extent That Someone Filed a Lawsuit to Stop the Use of This Drug
- Ritalin Has Similar Effects to Cocaine
Dispelling the Common Myths About AdderallHere are some common myths about taking Adderall for treating ADHD:
- It Is Legal to Take Adderall Without a Prescription
- Adderall Can Make You Smarter
- Adderall Is Excellent for Weight Loss