If you or your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, your doctor may choose to prescribe one of many popular ADHD medications. Adderall XR, Strattera, Ritalin, and Concerta are all commonly prescribed medications. The choice of medication will depend on the dosage amount needed, the side effects of the drug, and any other risk factors, including drug abuse or suicide.
Adderall XR is available in capsules with dosages ranging from 5 mg to 30 mg. Typical side effects of this drug include stomach pain, appetite loss, and insomnia. Because it is a type of amphetamine, there is risk of developing a tolerance and dependence, so anyone with a history of drug abuse should be cautious about using this drug. Patients going through withdrawal may exhibit symptoms including fatigue and depression.
Strattera is available in pill form in dosages ranging from 10 mg to 60 mg. Typical side effects of this drug include stomach pain, appetite loss, and headaches. The drug also carries a warning of an increased risk of suicide so patients should be closely monitored. Patients already at risk for suicide may want to avoid this drug. However, Strattera is not associated with tolerance or dependence, so it may be a better choice for a patient with a history of drug abuse.
Ritalin is available in pill form in dosages ranging from 5 mg to 20 mg and in a patch in dosages ranging from 10 mg to 30 mg. Typical side effects of this drug include appetite loss, stomach pain, and weight loss. Ritalin users are at an increased risk for developing a tolerance and dependence.
Those with a history of drug abuse should consider a different drug. Withdrawal symptoms include severe depression.
Concerta is a controlled released form of Ritalin available in capsules with dosages ranging from 18 mg to 54 mg. Typical side effects of this drug include appetite loss, headache, and dry mouth. Concerta also carries a risk of tolerance and dependence as with Ritalin and has similar withdrawal symptoms. As with Ritalin, those with a history of drug abuse should be cautious using this drug and should consider using a different drug.