ADHD Medication Comparison

Medication Clipart 1Adderall and Ritalin are the two common FDA approved medications to treat symptoms of ADHD, but what are truly the differences between them?

Both medications are central nervous system stimulants that are approved by the FDA to treat symptoms of ADHD and can be used on individuals six years of age and older. As reported on WebMd, they also have similar side effects include; possibility of slowing childhood growth, loss of appetite, nervousness, trouble sleeping, dizziness, drowsiness, headaches, nausea and stomach pain. The main differences lie in what the medication is made of and how quickly it works.

Adderall delivers amphetamine and dextroamphetamine and Ritalin delivers methylphenidate.  Ritalin works quickly and reaches peak performance earlier than does Adderall, which stays in the system longer. Meaning Ritalin allows for better control of side effects and provides the ability to take the medication during school hours without any noticeable impact on appetite or drowsiness at night. However, Adderall last longer which means it controls symptoms without the need for as many doses.

A recent article from Additude provided a chart of the medications’ efficacy in percentage of patients who experienced three common side effects.


Extremely or Very Effective

Not Very or Not at All Effective

Irritability or Moodiness

Sleep Problems

Dampened Personality













The article goes on to give examples from individuals who at first found both medications useful as well as individuals also found it useful to later suffer the side-effects thus making it difficult to continue use.

Medication is a common treatment available and can used as a stand-alone option as well as in conjunction with other treatments which include;

  • Behavioral Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Mindfulness
  • Nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Sleep
  • Cognitive training

FriendcirclePlay Attention incorporates many of the suggested interventions above including behavior shaping, cognitive training, and mindfulness training.  We also provide you with weekly exercise and nutrition guidance through our social media. Our NASA inspired BodyWave technology has been proven to improve executive function and self-regulation.

Play Attention can be used with or without medication.  Although medication can control ADHD symptoms, it cannot teach skills or change behaviors.  Play Attention can teach the skills that medication alone cannot.

Call now for your free professional consultation, 800-788-6786.