ADHD Medication Chart

Short-Acting Stimulants

Side effects of these medications include some loss of appetite, weight loss, sleep problems, irritability, tics. They require frequent dosing.

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.

Drug Name
Generic
Duration
Dextroamphetamine Sulf-Saccharate
4-6 hours
Dextroamphetamine Sulfate
4-6 hours
Dexmethylphenidate HCL
4-6 hours
Methylphenidate HCL
3-4 hours
Methylphenidate HCL
3-4 hours

Intermediate and Long-Acting Stimulants

Side effects of these medications include loss of appetite, weight loss, sleep problems, irritability, and tics. Long-acting medicines may have greater effects on appetite and sleep.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.

Drug Name
Generic
Duration
Notes
Adderall XR Dextroamphetamine Sulf-Saccharate 8-12 hours  
Aptensio XR Methylphenidate HCL 10-12 hours  
Daytrana Transdermal patch Methylphenidate 10-12 hours This medication may cause also skin irritation or discoloration.
Dextroamphetamine Sulfate
6-8 hours
 
Amphetamine Sulfate
6 hours
 
Focalin XR Dexmethylophenidate HCL 6-10 hours   
Metadate CD Methylphenidate HCL 8-10 hours  
Metadate ER Methylphenidate HCL 6-8 hours  
Methylin ER Methylphenidate HCL 6-8 hours  
Ritalin LA Methylphenidate HCL 8-10 hours  
Ritalin SR Methylphenidate HCL 4-8 hours  
Quillivant XR Methylphenidate HCL 12 hours   
Vyvanse Lisdexamfetamine Dimesylate 10-12 hours  

Nonstimulants

Drug Name
Generic
Duration
Notes
Clonidine HCL
4-6 hours 
Fatigue, dizziness, dry mouth, irritability, behavior problems, low blood pressure. Stopping this medicine suddenly can result in high blood pressure.
Clonidine 
24 hours 
Fatigue, dizziness, dry mouth, irritability, behavior problems, low blood pressure. Stopping this medicine suddenly can result in high blood pressure.
Guanfacine HCL
24 hours 
Sleepiness, headache, fatigue, abdominal pain. Although rare, can cause low blood pressure and heart rhythm changes.
Clonidine HCL
12 hours 
Fatigue, dizziness, dry mouth, irritability, behavior problems, low blood pressure. Stopping this medicine suddenly can result in high blood pressure.
Atomoxetine HCL
24 hours
Sleep problems, anxiety, fatigue, upset stomach, dizziness, dry mouth. Although rare, can cause liver damage. Increased risk of suicide in adults aged 18-24.
Tenex  Guanfacine HCL 6-8 hours Sleepiness, headache, fatigue, abdominal pain. Although rare, can cause low blood pressure and heart rhythm changes.

Continued

Antidepressants

Side effects include sleep problems. The FDA has also issued a warning about a connection between antidepressants and an increased risk of suicide in adults ages 18-24, especially in the first one or two months.

Drug Name
Generic
Duration
Notes
Nortriptyline HCL
8-24 hours 
Anxiety, fatigue, upset stomach, dizziness, dry mouth, elevated heart rate, risk of heart arrhythmias.
Desipramine HCL
8-24 hours
Not recommended for children. Associated with rare cases of fatal heart problems.
Nortriptyline HCL
8-24 hours
Anxiety, fatigue, upset stomach, dizziness, dry mouth, elevated heart rate, risk of heart arrhythmias.
Imipramine HCL
8-24 hours 
Anxiety, fatigue, upset stomach, dizziness, dry mouth, elevated heart rate, risk of heart arrhythmias.
Bupropion HCL
4-5 hours
Headaches. Although rare, may increase risk of seizures.
Wellbutrin SR Bupropion HCL 12 hours Headaches. Although rare, may increase risk of seizures.
Wellbutrin XL Bupropion HCL 24 hours Headaches. Although rare, may increase risk of seizures.

ADHD Medicines and Safety

Experts generally consider these medicines safe when they are monitored properly by a professional. Serious problems are rare. Discuss the risks and benefits of these drugs with your doctor.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari, MD on May 24, 2016

Sources

SOURCES:

FDA: “FDA Directs ADHD Drug Manufacturers to Notify Patients about Cardiovascular Adverse Events and Psychiatric Adverse Events.” 

FDA: “FDA Proposes New Warnings about Suicidal Thinking, Behavior in Young Adults Who Take Antidepressant Medications.”

National Resource Center on ADHD: “Managing Medication for Adults with ADHD.” 

National Resource Center on ADHD: “Medications Used in the Treatment of ADHD.”

Pliszka, S. and the AACAP Study Group, Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, July 2007.

Medscape: “Once-Daily Guanfacine Approved to Treat ADHD.”

Intuniv website.

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