Adderall vs Ritalin – Benefits, Problems

One Ritalin Pill


Adderall vs Ritalin:

By the time you’re done reading this article, you will know how Adderall and Ritalin compare. Is one better than the other?

If you want to know what Ritalin actually is and how it works, see here.

And are you confused by all your medication options?  (Ritalin, Adderall, Focalin, Vyvanse, Intuniv, Metadate, Pemoline – and that’s just getting started!)  Figure things out – a Full List of ADHD Medications tells you what you need to know.

The Chemical difference

Ritalin goes to brain cells and stops them from taking up dopamine and norepinephrine, which are chemicals associated with focus, motivation and pleasure. That increases the amount of them in the general space between cells.

Adderall does the exact same thing. It also, however, goes inside cells and makes them pump out dopamine. It not only blocks the reuptake of the substance but also acts to increase its levels directly.

It is this mechanism that may explain itsslightly higher strength in some ways.

More about Ritalin

Ritalin is the most commonly prescribed stimulant for ADHD, far outselling Adderall, but this doesn’t mean it’s better. It’s just been out a lot longer. Ritalin and ADHD are pretty much synonyms, and that association makes a big difference in doctors’ prescribing habits.

Chemically, Ritalin is derived from an amphetamine and has very similar biochemical behavior.

It is a very effective treatment for ADHD. Roughly 55% of those who use Ritalin experience benefit. Combined with therapy, however, that number goes up to 70% or even 80%.

The reason for this difference is likely that Ritalin, at the right dose, enables you to perform in a less “ADHD” style, but you still have to learn how to do so.

You can get Ritalin in an instant release (IR) and extended release (XR) form.  On the one hand, extended release means more consistency and more convenience.  On the other hand, instant release might provide more of a “punch” so to speak.

Clinicians we’ve spoken to tend to highly prefer the extended release form as it is less variable and makes life a lot easier than instant release.

More on Adderall

Adderall is a mix of amphetamine salts, and it works about as well as Ritalin. It too is available in IR and XR form. It’s become increasingly popular since its introduction in the 90s. And it might just be a little stronger than Ritalin.

Some studies show that kids need to take 2 instant release pills of Ritalin to cover a day at school, while 1 IR of Adderall works similarly well. It is possible that an instant release of Adderall works for 5-6 hours, although officially, it is supposed to work 3-4 hours.  Molecule for molecule Adderall is more potent. But that might just mean you take less of it than Ritalin.

Some other studies show that Adderall produces a slight advantage over Ritalin in treating certain symptoms. One study showed that Adderall had significant advantage in keeping people on task and helping stay focused. But please take that study in context. It wasn’t a rigorous clinical trial, and only examined 37 patients.

Larger, more scientific studies have also shown a slight advantage of Adderall over Ritalin. The difference is so small that in any one given study it might not mean anything. What makes it significant is that the slight advantage of Adderall seems to occur in multiple studies.

More interesting is that people who start Adderall might be more likely to keep on using it than Ritalin.

And in a summer school study at SUNY Buffalo, Adderall was viewed to be slightly more effective. Staff clinicians especially liked it, favoring it 3 to 1 over Ritalin, but of course they weren’t the ones taking it.


Dr. Tuckman, a clinician who has treated hundreds, if not thousands, of adults with ADHD has this to say: Roughly 1/3 of people with ADHD respond best to a Ritalin type medication, 1/3 to an amphetamine type such as Adderall and Vyvanse, and 1/3 respond equally well to both.

So Adderall and Ritalin are about as effective for treating ADHD, and some people respond better to one or the other.

Side Effects:

Adderall may be slightly stronger than Ritalin. It may also have slightly different side effects. One clinician’s study showed that Adderall was less likely to cause anxiety and agitation, while being more likely to cause insomnia.

Adult ADHD:

ADHD can be a lot different in adults than in children. If you are concerned that you have ADHD and are over 18, see an ADHD Test Made for Adults.

Learn what the 4 Secrets To Success with ADHD are – it could really help you understand what’s going on in your life.

Related Articles:

  1. Long Term Effects of Adderall
  2. Adderall vs Vyvanse
  3. What’s the Story with Intuniv?
  4. Is There a Physical Test for ADHD?

105 thoughts on “Adderall vs Ritalin – Benefits, Problems

  1. Darren… I’m a little late to your question… Lol.  Your issue is basically that the dose of that methylphenidate is TOO HIGH. It’s not high in the normal sense, but you, my friend, might be sensitive to it. Try taking 1/2 tablet (10mg) twice daily… You may find that sweet spot where you’re stimulated enough but not to the point where your heart is running a marathon. Maybe a 5mg tablet twice or 3 times daily. Good luck!

  2. I have been put on concerta 36 mg because I had a huge problem with sleeping if my brain was not stimulated 100% of the time. I have noticed a huge change in the sleeping problem but I still have all of the attention problems then I did before, I find myself starting my homework, and then getting distracted alot. Take now for instance…I’m supposed to be doing homework. I have to go over things neumerous times before I can get them done because I’m reading but not paying attention to what I’m reading if that makes any since. Someone can tell me something that I think I heard and then 5 mins later I’ll ask what did you say….I was wondering if they could put me on another drug while I’m on Concerta for more attention but that doesn’t have a stimunlant, because I feel alot better energy/motivation wise, but I still can not focus.

  3. I have been diagnosed with Narcolepsy, and been dealing with it for about the last 5.5 years. I have been prescribed different meds: 1. Provigil 2. Nuvigil 3. METHYLPHENIDATE

    The Nuvigil left me feeling strung out like on drugs, and I discontinued it after the 7 day trial. The Provigil had no effect even when increased from 10-30mg. Now I am taking ritalin/METHYLPHENIDATE(20 mg 2x a day). The ritalin is racing my heart and has me worried. My pulse when I went to my GP the other day was 93 (BP was normal 120/80). Since I am a otherwise healthy 44yo M, 6 ft 175lbs, this has me concerned. Is this a side effect of the ritalin, and what other recommendations might I try to bring up to my doctor? I still sleep 12-14 hours, but I do not have nap/sleep demands from 8am-2pm, but from that time on, some days I nap, some days I SLEEP, what I mean is 20 min-2 hours. Thank you for and feedback and insight, Darrin.

  4. Hi ritalin was a absolute disaster for me,adult add,we tryed ir and concerta but horrible side effects and i wiegh 90kgs,so this is one dangerous drug to be given to children,would never expose my children to this gutter drug.numbness-face,hands,feet-red face and hot to touch,tingling down arms intence ahrtralgia like pain,lower back radiating into hips,and hamstrings,never had these problems before ritalin.i lasted 2 months on this poison and whent cold turkey because i wanted that crap out of my system asap even thoug i suffered 10 days of very uncomftable withdrawal it was worth it.Be careful if you are new to this drug,i was on 40mg max per day,a very low oral dose over 2 short months and i am a well built man,if it could do this to me,god help our children long term on this garbage,its child abuse dont put your kid on it.we are starting a trail of dexamphetermine now so fingers crossed other adders have told me i should have been prescribed this first up,because ritalin is better suited to kids with adhd-and dex is much more better for adult add,dex is the only alternative in australia so had to give it a go.cheers from melbourne.

  5. David, thanks for the info. I’ve also finally found an answer, in my 40’s, to some confusing struggles in my past once I suggested an ADHD trial to my psychiatrist. I had an immediate calming affect from just 5mg methylphenidate (generic Ritalin). Over time increased to 10mg 3x’s day but this was causing some sleep difficulty. Long story short… MD was able to identify a long time auto immune disease and secondary to this I have severe Raynoids Syndrome which causes arterial spasm in extremities. This is so severe in me an artery in my foot collapsed…let’s just say I keep a heated booty near by for my foot so I dont lose it. Anyway, MD wants me off all stimulants…..tried it and hated it, could not function. Depression and hopelessness returned. Total loss of direction and motivation……it was actually worse then before I began ADHD meds. It scared me. I am ignoring MD direction and taking ADHD med again but have been told that long acting will negatively impact my disorder less so then fast acting. Was taking 30mg Adderall XR in a.m and then would need 15mg Adderall IR around 3pm. This was not enough. Bumped up to 60mg Adderall XR which worked great but my co-pay was rediculous each month ($60+) and talked my NP into letting me try Concerta, which a pharmacist told me “lasts longer and is less expensive then Adderall”. I don’t know what the hell happened but I spent over $100 for my co-pay, I feel like shit while my heart rate is sky high on 36mg in a.m. on day 2 and I am terrified I made a terrible mistake. I also am jittery, moody and anxious. Can’t make a decision on this sunday of what I want to do and my appetite is rediculous—-eating like my very large Brother in law…..
    Would really love some STABLE and KNOWLEDGEABLE direction, not just comments please. This is a big decision for all of us, I know, but for me…if I am not careful I can lose my feet, my hands and increase my chances of a heart attack d/t hyperthyroidism as well. THank you so much for this site and I look forward to hearing from you. Debra.

  6. I’m 25, and started 5mg of Adderall XR twice a day about a week ago. The first couple days I felt really sharp and alert, maybe to the point of feeling a little cracked out towards bedtime, but the last few days I’ve been dragging, more tired that usual. Is this just my body getting used to it? My doctor mentioned something about an extra 5mg a day, but I spaced out while she was talking and can’t quite remember what she said (go pre-medicated me! always distracted, lol). Should I up my dosage, or maybe consider switching to Ritalin? I’ve never taken any other long-term prescriptions or been treated for ADD, so I’m not sure how much of an effect 5mg should have on me. Any insight?

  7. Great to read everyones posts, maybe not so great ,
    but helps knowing I’m not the only one with same the same focus issues. Finally age 48 checking many Dr.s they think you are just a druggy
    One of the pages
    saying I was a Polysubstance abuser. ..A What? I Had to check that definition out…. duhhhhhhh I asked for copy of my records Wow.!
    I finally went to a great Doctor after all these years Cymbalta, with Generic Adderall (20mg 3/day)
    I have felt so normal 3yrs now…… as if normal is the worst feeling – IT WAS

    For Insurance reasons and costs checking info on Ritilan . ? Is buying online cheaper than Dr Visit and Script? Thanks for all your comments

  8. Hi–I wanted to add that although i have never tried adderall, like Kirstin I was on cylert for a long time, then switched to Ritalin when it was canceled. Based on this experience, I would not say Ritalin makes you lose weight per se–maybe a very little. I gained about 5-10 lbs after the switch, and am basically at what would be an average weight (comparable to my weight prior to taking meds at all, maybe a little lighter). I do experience tics though.

    Also, i think maybe the “breakouts” people are referring to might have to do with an immune response? i’m no doctor either, but i once came across shingles due to some crappy Walgreens supplement i bought on sale that made me break out. maybe there is some kind of connection to an immune response, i don’t know.

  9. PS: in my very unprofessional and (pemoline-) biased opinion, you are all wasting your time and money on any form of concerta or XR version of Ritalin and it’s generic forms…they don’t work. they are more annoying than anything…

  10. thanks, David, and everyone for this very helpful feedback. I am considering taking adderall (as possible alternative to Ritalin 10 mg 6x per day). I agree TSheldon about Ritalin if I understand him correctly regarding “psychotropic,” and also about the heart issues…in fact, these tremors occur as it starts to wear off (for me), so you kind of have to keep taking it.

    I don’t like the sound of how Adderall works. But if it works longer than Ritalin (which lasts for maybe an hour 1/2 per tablet), then i may give it a try. Anyone know how my dosage might convert to one for Adderall? Then there is the issue of cost–how much is Adderall compared to Ritalin?

    I don’t know that I agree re: Provigil–I tried this years ago. it does something, almost like Wellbutrin with guarana, but i can’t say it improved attention and/or disorientation symptoms for me. I kind of felt like uber-relaxed. Why work? let’s hit the beach…

    Pemoline was hands-down the best! I’m checking that blog next. Never had to alter my prescription much for like 13+ years. They need to do us all a favor, change what was dangerous about it (liver-related), and re-release it…

    Until then, we should all form a support group…is there one?

  11. In reference to insurance. If a physican contacts your insurance to report they have tried other drugs which did not work well for you, the insurance company might approve the prescription. I know of several people who had the doctors office make a call and then they were approved. It’s worth a try.
    I would like to know why some people lose weight on adderall. I have been on it for over a year and have not lost any weight, although that would be a nice side effect for me:). It does help me focus and get things done which is why I keep taking it. I have never tried ritalin.

  12. Hi,

    For the Veterans who are attempting to get the MD to prescribe Adderall (which is not available at the VA). If you are taking Ritalin and have taken it for several months with no success, the MD may request a non-formulary drug. Your response to the Ritalin must be documented and if is not working you qualify for a non-formulary drug which the VA will pay for. Many times you are not told this, but you can qualify for any drug if the present one is not working. It just takes a little paper work on the MD’s part. Hope this helps.

  13. Randy, I had the same problems with the Ritalin and the Zoloft. I think the Zoloft is robbing the effectiveness of the stimulant’s job. The Ritalin, with me, seemed to have a “flash-in-the pan” effect. The extended-release version of Rit may help ya. I am 52 years old and do two 20mg. Adderall IR a day. Adderall, for me, is much better. You may not need ANY anti-depressant at all.Or, you can ask your doc about Wellbutrin. Less wierd side-effects. On Zoloft,I TOTALLY lost interest in sex. Do not start “ramping-up” the Adderall till you rule out the other. This stuff you and I take can kill us if not used wisely.And THAT burden is on us, not our doctors. Hope this helps some.

  14. I feel your pain Randy. I am thirty years old and just started taking ritalin. It worked great at first but then I required higher doses weekly in order to get any effect. The effect then would subside within two hours and I felt the crash. My doc has now started me on Adderal generic form yesterday at 10 mg 4 times a day but so far it has had no effect. One thing that I might suggest though is the possiblity that the zoloft may be unnecessary, as in my case, I found that the depression was brought on by my ADD. I was depressed because I had no energy everyday, I could not do the things I wanted to do, enjoy doing things with my family, ect ect. I had zero drive but with the desire to be in the drivers seat and I was miserable. All I need now is a better drug than ritalin and hopefully adderal is it.

  15. Hello, My input is as follows. I am an adult male , 46 years of age and have fought with the inability to focus much of my life. Unable to finish what I started, starting to many tasks at one time. At some point in my life , depression also came into play. I never sought clinical help until I was in my early forties. The only reason I finally sought help was because the problems held at bay for so many years simply became the monsters that eventually over powered me and were ruining my life.
    Once I was finally diagnosed, the first meds I was prescribed were Adderall standard release along with Zoloft. This combination was absolutely fantastic, literally making me feel as if I had stepped into a new and much better life. After some time, the physician I was seeing for the meds moved away. Physician number two steps in and feels I should be changed to Adderall XL because the effects of what I had been taking were wearing off before the days end. I was then switched to Adderall XL and things went down hill quickly taking me right along on the downhill slide. I promptly returned to Physician number 2 and explained the situation and of how the XL was not working near as well as the standard release. To my surprise the doc , a board certified psychiatrist tells me that the reason the standard adderall was probably working so well was that it was giving me a high. I had to ask him to repeat this and he did. He then said that that is why he preferred not to use the standard adderall. I perosnally felt that no matter what it was doing, more importantly it was working for me very very well. My work was all being completed to perfection, on time everytime. My energy was renewed, I was happy and simply enjoying what I felt to be a normal life. Physician number two was not concerned with these things he was simply not prescribing the Adderall standard release pills. After our conversation the doc then switched me to Straterra which was about equal to the Adderall XL, neither doing much for me at all. Through all of this I spent over $6000 out of pocket for this medical matter only to end up back at square one in the end.
    I left doc number two and moved all of my medical care over to the local Veterans Hospital. The VA Hospital Psych. Department evaluated me and decided to up my dose of Zoloft. I advised Doc numbe 3 at the VA that the Straterra was not working at all. He then asked me what worked the best. I told him that up to about one year prior I had been taking standard adderall and could not have asked for a better life. Sadly doc number three tells me that Adderall is not in the VA Hospital formulary (meaning Veteran Hospital do not have Adderall available to dispense). This being the case I was given my first ever RX of Ritalin which I have taken for about 8 months now. I take it because it is my only option. Ritalin takes the edge off some which makes things bearable but beyond that nothing more. Focus is not as sharp and not near as consistent as it was with the Adderall Standard Release.The latter truly had me looking forward to the start of each day as for the Ritalin I’m back to hoping for each day to finally end.

  16. Wyatt — I am not a medical professional but I can offer my own experience. Have you tried Provigil? It is a medication that is meant to improve wakefulness in shift workers — people who work the graveyard shift and others who need it, such as narcoleptics. I have used it and it works well.

  17. Would a benign neart murmur be considered a heart condition precluding the use of Adderall? I have just been prescribed Adderall at 20 mg twice a day and I am astounded at its efficacy. My OCD is greatly reduced if not gone. My cravings are gone. My anxiety is greatly reduced if not gone. And my mood is positive and stable. I feel sad that I have led my life – I’m 37 – with so much anxiety and struggling with moderate depression when there was a medication out there that could have improved my life dramatically. The only side effect I have noticed is appetite suppression and that is a huge bonus for me since I am over weight.

  18. I have been on adderall 30 mg for about 9 months. When I first started it my thighs down to my knees broke out so bad I thought it was poison ivy rash at first, but after the poison ivy preps did nothing to make it better I deduced that the adderall was the cause. I stopped it for a couple weeks and then started it up again to be sure that was the problem. I didn’t notice any more breakouts of that sort but my eyes would water for no apparent reason then they would itch so bad I wanted to dig them out. I finally decided it was the adderall that was causing the problem so I stopped it and the symptoms went away. I am going to try the ritalin 30 mg and see how that works. I don’t have ADD or ADHD, I’m using it to stay awake more during the day due to depression. I would appreciate any feedback from anyone who may be using it for the same reason.

  19. I was just diagnosed with Adult Severe ADHD. My doctor started me on Ritalin 10mg and is increasing up to 40mg. 20mg in the am and 20mg at 12 noon. I’ve taken 2 doses so far and no change. How long does it take to get in your system. Some people told me to switch to Adderall. I’m not working, and the Ritalin is on the $4 plan. How do I know which one is better? I don’t want to keep switching medications.

    1. If you are taking it in an instant release form, it should typically have some effect within an hour of taking. The problem is that you might not realize it is doing something – sometimes ADHD medications work but the person taking them isn’t 100% aware of the difference. Additionally, you might just respond better to Adderall or an amphetamine type drug than Ritalin.

      Please remember I am not a doctor and this is purely informational for discussing with your doctor.

  20. Adderall is much better for me than Concerta or Ridlin…the later both race my heft and do not work for ADHD. PERIOD.

  21. I am 36 y/o female, and was diagnosed with ADD two years ago. I was on a gradual increase dosage of Vyvanse XR for about 9 months. Then felt like it wasn’t working anymore, so my doctor put me on 20mg of Adderall XR. After 6 months we increased it to 30mg because it wasn’t lasting as long as I needed it to.

    Though my focus and concentration was really good on this dosage, I was having a lot of side effects. My blood pressure was through the roof, I started having muscle twitches in my neck and shoulder, and just felt like it was causing me to be anxiety-ridden.

    I recently went back to school and moved to a different state. I am on a student health insurance plan that is awful. They don’t cover any ADD treatment or medications. So I end up having to pay $135 for the Adderall XR (generic even!), and the doctor’s visit for every monthly refill, out of my own pocket. Really hard to do on a student budget.

    Last week I went to my new doctor here and he switched me to Methylin 10mg, 2x day. Much cheaper cost wise which is a plus. I’ve been on it over a week and I don’t feel like it’s doing anything for my concentration and other ADD symptoms. I definitely don’t feel like I’m as anxiety ridden, and my heart rate and bp are better. But I feel like my ADD symptoms are not benefiting from it at all. Also, it makes me incredibly dizzy! I’ve been taking it as directed – half hour before eating – and within 1-2 hours my head is swooning. Is this normal? I’m a healthy, I exercise regularly, eat right, and meditate. I’m not overweight, and have no other health conditions other than hypothryoidism due to thyroidectomy.

    I’m considering going back to the Adderall or Vyvanse IR since it’s cheaper than the XR, and maybe doing 20mg a day (10mg, 2x day) instead of 30mg total. I’m worried about causing heart damage from the high bp and heart rate. I lived with Graves Disease for 7 years, so my heart has been through enough already. I hate taking these meds, but they do what I need them to do – they help me function better. And right now it’s a crucial time since I’m in school.

    Any advise appreciated.

  22. Any thoughts on combining adderall and ritalin. My current therapy is adderall xr in the a.m. And ritalin ir in the p.m. I’m not really sure why this would be beneficial when both drugs are available in extended and instant release formulas.

  23. Hi I found your article very informative and helpful however I have a question. My doctor prescribed me Ritalin the other day and I’m scared to take it because I’ve had friends that have broken out from taking Adderall. Since they are so similar I figured the ritalin would do the same. I can not concentrate in class at all and it’s extremely hard for me to study. I just don’t want to take it and breakout. I tend to break out easily with blackheads and whiteheads, if I don’t wash my face or care for my skin properly. Do you know if it does and if so what are the alternatives?

    1. Dear Amber,

      I just checked some medical databases and could not find a single result when I searched for “Ritalin acne” or “amphetamine acne” or “methylphenidate acne.” I’m not saying that it’s impossible, just that I couldn’t find any scientific research indicating it is a common problem.

      Best wishes,

  24. I am reading this article because I have taken Adderall for almost 5 years for narcolepsy. Just this past month I switched to Ritalin because I was experiencing several health related issues and I wanted to rule out Adderall. Given the fact that I take this medication to stay awake, I always smirk when people discuss the amphetamine / speed issue because I don’t experience any of that “speed” because I am so tired to begin with…however, my reason for adding to this blog is because my insurance co-pay for adderall is $30 for brand and $70 for Ritalin. I am trying not to pay double for something. I have (surprisingly)preferred the Ritalin as I don’t have the heart palpatations I had on Adderall.I am trying to compare the 25mg extended release of Adderall to the 20mg extended release of Ritalin. Any suggestions out there? I am willing to look into the “krill oil” only because I do believe that long term use of either stimulant is not great plus maybe I would save tons of money…

  25. The effectiveness of both these classes of medications for treating ADHD has been proven to be about the same with the exception of the treatment of inattention where the Adderall class gets a bigger ‘thumb up’.

    The documented side effect profile of both these classes of medication lookd about the same but two case control studies that I found indicated that the Dexamphetamine class of medications were slightly more likely to have the side effects of irritability and depression as compared to the Ritalin class of medication.

    The Adderall class was also more likely to cause tics though both classes had tics as a potential side effect.

    Tess //

  26. My son is 8 years old and I couldn’t imagine dealing with him without his meds. Lots of kids start at age 5 depending what his dignosis is. Without meds my son would never get through 1 hour of school and he is very smart. I didn’t put my son on meds until he was over 6. He has ADHD/OCD/ODD/Axiety/ADHD Tics/ADHD Insomia he is on Metadate CD which is Ritalin. We just increased him but the stress level in my house has escaluated very high. He is taking temper tantrums galore. He is screaming and pushing all my buttons. could this be from the Ritalin? Everything is an arguement here. he is on the 8 hour one which i don’t think lasts 8 hours. Although the meds do help and i couldn’t imagine not using them. Do you think Adderall will work better for him?

  27. Having taken both I can say that adderall is much more mood altering in a positive way, Ritalin seemed to just give me a lot of negative side effects and I needed a higher dosage to focus at all. I could also feel the change in heartbeat when I took ritalin; usually I’m fine when I have coffee while I’m taking adderall, however, with the ritalin I would feel like I was going to have a heart attack.
    This is just my experience.

  28. I’m researching the differences between Adderall and Ritalin. I’m currently taking 10 1/4mg of Adderall IR a day. My doses very on how I feel in the mornings “I have Bruxism so taking Adderall in the morning makes the symptoms worsen throughout the day”. I’ve used Adderall XR in the past but, I prefer Adderall IR. I have been on Adderall for about a year. Adderall helps me obtain the focus I need at work and in training classes. Lately I have been crashing and feeling a little dazzed at the end of the day. The Adderall lasts up to 7 hours before I start feeling warn down. I asked my Dr. about switching to a different ADD/ADHD medication. She had mentioned Ritalin as an option. I have heard of the medication before but, there was always a horrible story about a child that was taking Ritalin. From what I understand Ritalin does not effect adults the same as children. A concern of mine is the side effect from Ritalin, Anorexia. I have lost a lot of weight from Adderall but, not so much that would be a concern. The other side effects of Ritalin do not concern me. So from experienced users of Ritalin and Adderall was there a big difference in weight loss between the two.

    I just don’t want that run down dazzed feeling at the end of the day. I’m very OCD when it comes to taking my Adderall. I wont even take 1/4 of a pill after 1pm, even if it will help me that one hour I need it for. Your feedback will be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  29. Maybe you have ever previously taken into consideration using additional video clips to any writings posts which can maintain the readers more entertained? As i mean I recently scan along the whole blog of yours and even it was initially very good except due to the fact that I

  30. “Ritalin is derived from an amphetamine and is distantly related to cocaine. But that doesn’t mean too much. After all, coffee is also related to cocaine.”

    Lol. Careful, you might scare away your readers. If you’re going to mention illicit drugs, why not mention speed? If anything it’s the closest relationship.

    “Adderall is a straight up amphetamine”

    Straight up? Gangsta.

    I’m starting to believe whoever wrote this article gets this stuff off the streets rather than by the means of a law abiding citizen :p

  31. sorry zan but i disagree with you. Unless you live with a child with severe ADHD you cannot say that medication is not necessary. Yes there are concerns about developement but like with all medications, I would hope that the doctor is monitoring and very involved with communicating with the school or pre-school to be able to actually make the diagnosis. We have to remember that the teachers see our children almost as much as we do during the day and should have a lime of communication withthe physician.

  32. I have a son who is 6 and has been taking adderall for almost a year. I am sorry to say for the mother whose son developed a tic on ritalin but my son also develped a tic on adderall. I think that your chances are about the same on either medication.

  33. Dear Melly,

    thanks for sharing. Your experience certainly sounds extremely difficult, frustrating and unfortunate. That said, all clinicians I’ve spoken to and read their research say that most of the time, once a theraputic dose of medication is reached – it stays there.

    But stories like yours absolutely need to be looked into and understood if that is a common occurence. This is a topic I will address much further in my upcoming book, which I would be honored if you obtain when it becomes available here.

    best wishes,

  34. all amphetamines are horable drugs. I’ve been taking adderall for 9yrs. it’s the greatest med for ADD untill you grow up and have to live like people without ADD. I metabolize it so quick now and have such a tolorance from long term treatment that I have to continue treatment at the highest dose(as directed by my MD) possible just to get out of bed and take care of my baby or go to work. many great times of concentration and produc

    1. Allie – thanks for writing. As hard as it may sound, patience! From what I recall, 18mg is the lowest dose, and it’s entirely possible that you’ll get a full theraputic benefit from something just a little higher. Additionally, you may not notice the drug working – consider asking a close friend or someone you know – and this is important – who doesn’t have add what they think. (Sometimes family members can also have it, so not notice the difference).

      Actually, from what I’ve read, you may consider thinking asking your doctor about Vyvanse if you want an amphetamine type stimulant. Many people say that it is a quite smooth drug and fairly long lasting. This blog is somewhat concerned about the mixture of amphetamines inside Adderall, as they may contribute to certain side effects.

  35. I just started Concetta 18 mg today and really felt no difference so I decided to look up online to see if it takes a while to kick in. I then saw an article that said you shouldn’t take it if you have anxiety…well anxiety is one of the reasons along with ADHD that my doctor prescribed it to me. I am seventeen years old and was wondering if I should ask her about adderall or not. Please help and thank you=)

  36. April, I really wouldn’t recommend having a child as young as FIVE on any sort of behavioural medication. It could seriously tamper with his development, and I strongly advise you to see a range of doctors, and I’m certain they will tell you the same thing. A five year old child shouldn’t display ADHD symptoms for many more years, and even then it would be unwise to put him on medication until he enters his later adolescent years. He’s at a crucial developmental stage which should be allowed to take its natural course.

  37. my son is 5. he was recently on ritalin la for one day…he started having “tics” that very same day…with that he is off of the ritalin and is going to be starting adderall 5mg soon….my question is how likely is it that he will develop a tic from the adderall?

  38. =) Just give it time, and hopefully it’ll work well for you. You may find that the medication helps immediately to let you pay better attention/work harder on stuff you find boring, but you still have to decide to do it.

    That’s why it’s so important to also be getting counseling on the side.

  39. I just started taking ridalin one week ago. Its 56 mg xr.I take it in the morning and i am told its good for eight hours.My question is since it last eight hours does it still have to build up in my body before i can notice the effect,or should i notice the effect right away? The artical was very nice to read Thanks Charlie

    1. From what I know, you should feel the effects within an hour after taking the medication. Of course, be sure to take it with the appropriate diet/cup of water combination, which your doctor should know more about. (For extended release medications like Ritalin, it’s important to eat the right food when taking it so that it lasts the maximum amount of time.)

      That said, it can be a matter of days/weeks before you start to really react to the medication and perhaps change the way you do things.

      And, as always, I am still not a doctor =)

  40. I would say that I spent an amount of time on rialin when recently my doctor started prescribing me adderall because he thinks that it would help a little more with my anxiety.Well I think that its doing its job. I mean I like it more than ritalin because it makes me more focused. More normal and thats all I wanted growing up. No matter how much it would take.and this, oh this is really helping. I would say adderall is more effective. makes me more like ready for things. I can now start going to class on a daily basis thanks to it. SO I hope my doctor doesn NOT put me back on ritalin. I mean that did ookkay to but just not as good(: Thanks.


  41. I used to use Ritalin and other ADD meds. Now I don’t use them anymore since I have found an alternative. I now take 10-15 capsules of krill oil a day. It works even stronger then dexedrine and you can buy it OTC from vitamin stores (don’t need doctor’s prescription).

  42. I have spent considerable time prescribed to both meds, I feel that Ritalin is more “psychotropic” by far and caused alot of mood swings ih me. I also think Ritalin for some may be more dangerous to the heart in that I felt it constricted blood circulation in my extremities making them cold far worse than Adderall did at therapeutic doses. But the remark in the blog about Adderall being more neurotoxic seems very accurate…. Adderall gives me that physio-neuro sensations such as a tiny tingle here and there kind of like wellbutrin, and a very slight stinging in the eyes sometimes… whereas Ritalin makes my skin clammy and moist feeling but not “neuro-active.” That said, with the millions and millions of people prescribed to both and the public freaking out on but only having like 10 or 20 cases total to dwell on when it comes to kids dying, these are NOT dangerous drugs when taken properly as long as the patient is screened well for heart irregularities.

  43. ann –

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

    I edited the article to reference the article which talks about the specific advantages of Adderall over Ritalin. I’m not sure if there are any studies that show Ritalin is more effective than Adderall, however.

    I’ll try to find more about people choosing to continue on Adderall Vs Ritalin.

    And if there’re any topics you’d like to see covered, please let me know! =)


  44. Could you comment more (or suggest an article) about Adderall having an advantage over Ritalin for certain symptoms? What symptoms are those and likewise is Ritalin better than Adderall for other symptoms? I am also interested in knowing more about the comment that people continue taking Adderall more than Ritalin.


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