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ADHD Medication Chart

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    Class
    Drug Name
    Form
    DurationCommon Side Effects
    Amphetamine Stimulants
    Adderall
    Short-acting
    4-6 hours
    Some loss of appetite, weight loss, sleep problems, irritability, tics. Short-acting medicines require frequent dosing.
    Dexedrine
    Short-acting
    4-6 hours
    Dextrostat
    Short-acting
    4-6 hours
    Dexedrine
    Spansule
    Long-acting
    6-8 hours
    Some loss of appetite, weight loss, sleep problems, irritability, tics. Long-acting medicines are convenient but may have greater effects on appetite and sleep.

    Adderall XR

    Long-acting
    8-12 hours
    Vyvanse

    Long-acting

    (prodrug)

    10-12 hours
    Methylphenidate Stimulants
    Focalin
    Short-acting
    4-6 hours
    Some loss of appetite, weight loss, sleep problems, irritability, tics. Short-acting medicines require frequent dosing.
    Methylin
    Short-acting
    3-4 hours
    Ritalin
    Short-acting
    3-4 hours
    Metadate ER
    Intermediate-acting
    6-8 hours
    Some loss of appetite, weight loss, sleep problems, irritability, tics. Longer-acting medicines are convenient but may have greater effects on appetite and sleep.
    Methylin ER
    Intermediate-acting
    6-8 hours
    Ritalin SR
    Intermediate-acting
    4-8 hours
    Metadate CD
    Intermediate-acting
    8-10 hours
    Ritalin LA
    Intermediate-acting
    8-10 hours
    Concerta
    Long-acting
    10-12 hours
    Some loss of appetite, weight loss, sleep problems, irritability, tics. Longer-acting medicines are convenient but may have greater side effects on appetite and sleep.
    Quillivant XR
    Long-acting
    8-12 hours
    Focalin XR
    Long-acting
    6-10 hours
    Daytrana patch
    Long-acting
    10-12 hour
    Skin irritation, some loss of appetite, weight loss, sleep problems, irritability, tics.
    Nonstimulants
    Strattera
    Long-acting (extended release)
    24 hours
    Sleep problems, anxiety, fatigue, upset stomach, dizziness, dry mouth. Rarely, liver damage. There are some concerns about a link between Strattera and suicidal thoughts.
    Intuniv
    Long-acting (extended release)
    24 hours
    Sleepiness, headache, fatigue, abdominal pain. Rarely, Intuniv can cause low blood pressure and heart rhythm changes.
    Antidepressants
    Wellbutrin
    Short-acting
    4-5 hours
    Sleep problems, headaches.  Although rare, Wellbutrin may increase the risk of seizures.
    Wellbutrin SR
    Sustained release
    (long-acting)
    12 hours
    Wellbutrin XL
    Extended release
    (long-acting)
    24 hours
    Tofranil
    NA
    8-24 hours
    Sleep problems, anxiety, fatigue, upset stomach, dizziness, dry mouth, elevated heart rate, risk of heart arrhythmias.
    Pamelor
    NA
    8-24 hours
    Aventyl
    NA
    8-24 hours
    Norpramin
    NA
    8-24 hours
    Not recommended for children. Associated with rare cases of fatal heart problems.
    Blood
    Pressure Medicines

    Clonidine

     

    Catapres or

     

    Kapvay

    NA

    4-6 hours (tablets)

    24 hours (patch)

    24
    hours
    (Tablet taken twice a day)

    Fatigue, dizziness, dry mouth, irritability, behavior problems, low blood pressure. Stopping this medicine suddenly can result in high blood pressure.
    Tenex
    NA
    6-8 hours
    ADHD Medicines and Safety

    The FDA has issued a warning about the risk of drug abuse with amphetamine stimulants. FDA safety advisors are also concerned about the possibility that all amphetamine and methylphenidate stimulants used for ADHD may increase the risk of heart and psychiatric problems.

    The FDA has also issued a warning about a connection between antidepressants (including the non-stimulant Strattera) and an increased risk of suicide in adults aged 18-24, especially in the first one or two months of treatment.

    While these risks may seem alarming, keep in mind that experts generally consider these medicines safe when they are monitored properly by a professional. Serious problems are rare. Still, you should discuss the risks and benefits of these drugs with your doctor.

     

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Patricia Quinn, MD on May 10, 2014

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