Drugs For ADHD; Arranged alphabetically by brand name:
What is Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
And What Drugs Are Used To Treat It?  Information for parents and caregivers:


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Most of the medicines used to treat ADD, ADHD are stimulants.  The most commonly used stimulant being methylphenidate.  Various drugs such as  Concerta®, Metadate CD®, Metadate ER®, Ritalin LA®, Ritalin SR® all contain Methylphenidate in an extended release formulation.

Adderall, Adderall XR
Adderall is a pill that contains amphetamine and dextroamphetamine,
sometimes referred to as "Amphetamine Mixed Salts". Adderall comes
in many different strengths, in tablet form and in capsule form.  Adderal XR has been largely replaced by newer products such as Vyvanse.
Prescribing information
Patient information - warnings, directions, picture of the pill, etc
Price comparison; Comparison shop for Adderall products

CONCERTA (methylphenidate HCl) Extended-release Tablets CII
Concerta is one of the many ADHD drugs that has methylphenidate
as its active ingredient. Conderta differentiates itself from other
methylphenidate pills by a special time-release technology.
Concerta.net - Official website; product information, ADHD
information, prescribing information.
Prescribing information
Patient information - warnings, directions, picture of the pill, etc
Price comparison; Comparison shop for Concerta.

Daytrana (methylphenidate HCl) Transdermal Patch
Daytrana differentiates itself from other formulations of methylphenidate in that it is applied to the skin.  This is supposed to improve patient compliance and possibly reduce side effects.
Daytrana.com Official website; product information, ADHD
information, prescribing information.
Prescribing information
Patient information - warnings, directions, etc.
Price comparison

Detxroamphetamine is generic version of Dexadrine, an amphetamine.
Prescribing information
Patient information - warnings, directions, picture of the pill, etc
Price comparison

Focalin XR
(dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride)
extended-release capsule

Prescribing information
Patient information - warnings, directions, picture of the pill, etc

Prescribing information
Patient information - warnings, directions, picture of the pill, etc
Price comparison

Methylin Chewable Tablets
(methylphenidate HCl chewable tablets) 2.5 mg, 5 mg and 10 mg
Methylin is another ADHD drug that has methylphenidate as
its active ingredient.
Prescribing information
Price comparison

Metadate CD
(methylphenidate HCl, USP) Extended-Release Capsules CII
Metadate is another ADHD drug that has methylphenidate as its active
ingredient. There is interesting symbolism in the name "Metadate".
It is no coincidence that "Metadate" sounds like "Meditate". Every
drug name contains hidden meaning but you have to look for it.
Prescribing information
Patient information - warnings, directions, etc
Price comparison

Ritalin, Ritalin LA, Ritalin SR
Ritalin was the first ADHD product to use methylphenidate as its active ingredient. These days, brand name Ritalin is not used very much.
Patients take generic methylphenidate or they take one of the new
methylphenidate formulations such as Concerta or Metadate.
Prescribing information
Patient information - warnings, directions, picture of the pill, etc
Price Comparison - comparison shop for Ritalin on the internet to get
the best possible prices

Strattera is the only drug for ADHD that is not a stimulant of some sort.
Since it is not a narcotic like all the others, refills are easier and the
doctor can prescribe it over the phone.

Strattera Price Comparison 50 of the top internet pharmacies compete
for your business.
Pharmacist Review of Strattera entire page devoted to Strattera;
explains in detail how Strattera works, doses, side effects, effect on
the liver, etc.
Strattera Prescribing information
Patient information - warnings, directions, picture of the pill, etc
Strattera.com - official web site. Lots of Adult ADHD information,
prescribing information; warnings, dosage, side effects.

Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine)
Vyvanse is a pro-drug.  A pro-drug has no physiologic activity in and of itself.  However once it is metabolized by the body, it is transformed into an active drug. 

Vyvanse's is unique in that the stimulant is released in a controlled fashion intrinsically rather than having to have the active ingredient engineered into a time released tablet.

Vyvanse is available as capsules in  20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg, 50 mg, 60 mg, 70 mg strengths.
Vyvanse.com - official website; prescribing information, medication guide, information for healthcare professionals.
Vyvanse prescribing information
Vyvanse patient information
Picture of Vyvanse capsules (70mg)
Vyvanse Price Comparison

Explanation of ADD/ADHD and how the drugs work:

ADHD is one of the most common behavioral disorders of childhood. Many adults also suffer from ADHD.

In order to be diagnosed with ADHD, someone must show symptoms
of ADHD and these symptoms must be a genuine handicap to everyday
life in multiple settings such as in school and at home, at home and
at work, socially, etc.

If you are a kid with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD), you have a hard time sitting still, paying attention or controlling your

You could be the smartest kid in the class but you are always getting
into trouble. The teacher is talking about one thing, but your mind is somewhere else. ADD and ADHD are more common in boys than in

To Medicate Or Not To Medicate:

Many parents are unsure of whether or not they should give their
children medicines to treat their ADD/ADHD.  They are not sure why
they are opposed to it but they just don't feel it is the right thing to do. 

Some parents feel that the potential side effects of giving stimulants to kids outweigh the benefits. 

You need to realize that your child is suffering.  These medicines can
help dramatically.  It is unfair to your child to not at least try the drugs. 

It is no fun having ADHD.  Kids with ADHD know that they are different.
They might not understand what exactly is going on, but they know that
they are always getting into trouble at school. 

They know when they are irritating their parents or teachers.  They know
that every night homework time brings a battle of wills between the kid and the parent - an uncomfortable feeling.

The trouble is that your child may start to believe he is defective
because of the friction he is constantly involved in.  These feelings
can cause a child to become frustrated and angry.

Many times children with ADHD will act out.  They hate going to school.
Sometimes they get into fights with other children or behave disruptively in the classroom.  How would you like being in that situation?

Don't make your child suffer just because you are philosophically
opposed to giving them drugs. 

You should not go into this with your mind already made up.  Keep
an open mind.  Try the drugs for a couple of weeks.  If your children
get side effects you can always discontinue the drug. 

But if they work your child's life (and yours too) will run much
smoother - less crying, less yelling, less frustration.

There are 3 types of ADHD

Inattentive Only
: This type  of patient is able to sit still.  He does not
show signs of hyperactivity  nor does he interrupt the class.  In
Inattentive ADHD, the main symptom is that the patient cannot pay
attention.  In the past, this condition was known as ADD.

Hyperactive/Impulsive: These patients are able to pay attention,
but they are unable to sit still.  They may blurt out answers without
raising their hand.  They may make animal sounds or tap on their
desk while the class is in session.  (This is the type of ADHD I had as a child).

They may show impulsive behavior such as throwing books out of the
window or running out into the street.  These patients  cannot play
quietly and seem to be in constant motion.

Combined Inattentive/Hyperactive/Impulsive: Kids with this
condition show all three symptoms; the inability to pay attention,
hyperactivity and impulsive behavior.  This is the most common

My son has ADD.  What is ADD and how Is ADD Different From ADHD?

ADD & ADHD are the same disorder!  Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
was the old name for ADHD.  In 1994, due to increased research, the
American Psychiatric Association officially renamed ADD to ADHD
because they wanted the name of the disorder to accurately depict
hyperactivity as an important component of this condition and its

Many doctors still refer to this condition as ADD.  Sometimes they use
the term ADD to indicate that the patient is not "bouncing off the walls"
but he is unable to pay attention, daydreams all the time easily
distracted and forgetful.

If you are an adult with ADHD, your personal life and your work life
appear disorderly. You are always loosing things. You can't sit still at
meetings. You start many projects but seldom follow through, you
miss appointments, etc.

If They Are Hyper, Why Give Them Amphetamines?

For some reason when you give stimulants to people with ADHD,
instead of speeding them up, the stimulant gets them on the right
track. Their brain seems to shift into a different gear. Their attention
span increases and they seem more focused.

You would expect that if you gave a hyperactive kid amphetamines or
methylphenidate (the active ingredient in Ritalin, Concerta and
Metadate) he would start bouncing off the walls.

But instead of making them more hyperactive, the stimulants improve
their ability to absorb and integrate information and they appear more
focused and attentive.

The response to the medications varies from patient to patient. When
they work, ADHD drugs produce a result rapidly, usually within a week
or so.

The difference in behavior before and after drug therapy can be
dramatic. For instance, school and homework habits may improve

Adult patients who respond to the medicines often notice an increase
in their productivity. They begin doing things that they had
procrastinated over before such as balancing their checkbooks or
putting away their laundry or returning library books.

Proper medication combined with talking therapy is highly effective in
treating ADHD.

The medicines are most effective when they are combined with some
type of talking therapy.

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