A Helpful Guide on the Difference Between Adderall and Ritalin : Did you know that there has been a 42% increase in ADHD diagnoses over the last 8 years? If you or someone you love is currently suffering from ADHD you’re not alone.
In this article, you’ll learn the difference between Adderall and Ritalin for ADHD treatment. Read on to discover which treatment is right for you or your loved one.
What Is ADHD?
It’s important to understand the differences between ADHD and ADD before proceeding. ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and ADD stands for attention deficit disorder.
ADD is actually considered an outdated term for someone who had trouble concentrating but without the hyperactivity.
Many adults can have ADHD since childhood and never had it diagnosed. The symptoms can differ in adults because of maturity and energy levels. Adderall and Ritalin are considered stimulant medications for the treatment of ADHD symptoms.
Are Adderall and Ritalin the Same?
Ritalin and Adderall are both central nervous system stimulants that are used to treat ADHD. Some patients have stated a more improved cognitive function when they took Ritalin instead of Adderall.
There are potential side effects of both such as withdrawal and addiction. You could also experience an increased heart rate, reduced appetite, nausea, and irritability. If you take Adderall or Concerta, you should avoid caffeine. For more information about Ritalin vs Adderall, read on here.
What Is Adderall?
Adderall is used for the treatment of ADHD and might help increase your attention and lower your hyperactivity. Adderall is the brand name of the 2 stimulants amphetamine-dextroamphetamine. It’s considered a central nervous stimulant. You should use Adderall combined with counseling or other therapy. People who suffer from narcolepsy can also take Adderall as well.
If you experience withdrawal or addiction symptoms, tell your doctor immediately. If you have a family history of drug or alcohol abuse, let your doctor know before taking Adderall.
What Is Ritalin?
Ritalin is a central nervous system stimulant as well that’s used for the treatment of ADHD symptoms. Ritalin is the brand name of the stimulant methylphenidate. It might help increase attention and decrease hyperactivity as well. Ritalin can also be used to help treat narcolepsy.
Ritalin works quicker than Adderall, but Adderall stays in your body longer. Some prefer Ritalin over Adderall since they can have more control of possible side effects like loss of appetite.
Cost and Availability
Adderall and Ritalin are available as generic drugs which are less than brand-name. Adderall and Ritalin cost about the same as each other. Check with your insurance to see what they cover.
There could always be a shortage of a certain medication, so always call ahead to your pharmacy.
There are certain medical conditions you’ll want to speak with your doctor about. Before taking Adderall, you’ll want to speak to your doctor if you have:
- Agitated states
- Drug abuse history
- High blood pressure
- Heart Disease
- Advanced arteriosclerosis
Before taking Ritalin, talk to your doctor if you have:
- Tourette’s syndrome or other tics
- Anxiety or agitation
These medications might cause side effects, so it’s important to discuss them with your doctor before beginning these medications.
Possible Side Effects
Possible and common side effects for both Ritalin and Adderall are:
- Increased heart rate
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Having trouble sleeping
Some possible serious side effects are:
- Slowed growth for children
- Raynaud’s syndrome
- Psychosis (seeing things that aren’t real or feeling bugs crawl that isn’t there)
- Heart rhythm problems
Speak with your doctor about these symptoms and side effects before beginning treatment.
Drug Interactions with Ritalin
Let your doctor know about all vitamins, supplements, and medications you take before starting Ritalin. If you’re currently taking or took Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAO) within the last couple of weeks, you won’t want to take Ritalin.
If you’re taking pressor agents, you’ll need to be cautious when taking Ritalin. Ritalin could decrease the effects of medication for hypertension.
Drug Interactions with Adderall
Any medications that you or your child currently take, discuss with your doctor before beginning Adderall. Some medications can interact with Adderall or cause side effects.
If you’re currently taking or took Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAO) within the last couple of weeks, you won’t want to take Adderall.
Some medications you definitely want to make sure to let your doctor know are:
- Anti-depression medication
- Stomach acid
- Allergy or cold medications that have decongestants
- Blood thinners
- Seizure medications
- Blood pressure
Create a list in advance of all medications, supplements, and vitamins you take. You might not think it’s serious, but it’s vital to let your doctor know in case they have to adjust your dose.
How They Should Be Taken
You should take both Adderall and Ritalin exactly as you’re prescribed. Your doctor can always adjust the dose until it’s the right amount. Adderall is usually taken 2-3 times a day. The first dose is normally for the morning, and the other doses taken 4-6 hours apart.
You can take Adderall with or without food. Ritalin you can take 2-3 times a day as well, but you’ll want to take it 30-45 minutes before a meal.
Learning the Difference Between Adderall and Ritalin
Learning the difference between Adderall and Ritalin can be overwhelming, but with this guide, you should have a better understanding of them. Remember to speak with your doctor about medications, and past medical history before beginning.
Anything you’re not sure whether to share or not, you’ll want to disclose to your doctor. Would you like to read more about health and wellbeing? Check out our other articles.
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