ADHD medications improve symptoms of hyperactivity, poor impulse control, poor concentration, and poor attention. These medications achieve these effects by helping the neurotransmitters to work properly. ADHD medications are generally easily accessible and you can even find them in discounted prices e.g. Strattera coupon, etc.
Types of ADHD Medications
There are two main types of medications for managing ADHD, stimulants and non-stimulants. These medications work by controlling the actions of neurotransmitters. For instance, Stimulants such as lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse), methylphenidate (Ritalin), etc. are thought to act primarily through the regulation of dopamine and norepinephrine – the chemicals in the brain. Non-stimulants such as atomoxetine (Strattera) on the other hand, work by enhancing the effects of norepinephrine in the brain.
There are many key differences between these medications. Not all children respond equally well to both and it is also quite common for children to switch from one type of medication to another.
Stimulants vs. Non-Stimulants for ADHD
As compared to non-stimulant medications for managing ADHD, stimulants have been around for much longer. They are the most effective type of medication for most children and they have been used to treat ADHD since the 1960s. Brands in this category include Adderall, Focalin, Ritalin, Vyvanse, and more.
Non-stimulants on the other hand, are a relatively newer option to treat ADHD. Atomoxetine is one of the most common non-stimulant medication for managing ADHD. It is commonly known by its brand name Strattera. These medications are also easily accessible and often with discounts e.g. Strattera coupon.
How They Work
The main difference between both medications is the chemicals they target in the brain. Stimulants target dopamine and help to reduce impulsivity and hyperactivity and improve attention. Non-stimulants on the other hand, target norepinephrine. They are also effective when it comes to reducing impulsivity and hyperactivity and improving attention.
How Quickly They Start/Stop Working
Stimulants are fast acting. The patient will feel effects within 30-90 minutes of the first dose, depending on the individual sensitivity and the drug. The effects of these drugs leave the system within 3-12 hours, depending on whether they are long-acting or short-acting. Non-stimulants on the other hand, can take 2-4 weeks for the drug to have full effect.
Dosing frequency can vary depending on several factors. However, the general dosing frequency for stimulants is about 2-3 times a day as the extended-release pills can last 6-12 hours. Non-stimulants don’t need to be taken that frequently and generally twice a day is enough.
Side effects for both types of medications are roughly the same. Trouble sleeping and loss of appetite are two common side effects of stimulant medications for ADHD. Uncommon effects may include psychosis, tics, headaches, agitation, increased anxiety, etc. On the other hand, moodiness is the most common side effect of non-stimulant medications for ADHD. Uncommon side effects may include sluggishness, loss of appetite, and nausea.
When Doctors Might Prescribe These Drugs
Stimulants like Vyvanse are generally prescribed as the first line of treatment for kids with ADD and ADHD. Non-stimulants like Strattera may be prescribed if the child cannot tolerate the side effects of stimulant medications. It could also be a relatively inexpensive alternative (due to Strattera coupon availability) and suitable for young adults and teens who might benefit from 24-hour coverage.