ADD Medications

Chart Comparing Popular Medications Used to Treat ADHD

What’s the difference between Adderall and Concerta? Ritalin and Vyvanse? Strattera and Intuniv? All of these medications can be used to treat ADHD in children and adults, but they vary widely in dosage, method of delivery, and duration of effects. Use this straightforward chart to learn the facts about stimulants and nonstimulants used to treat ADD.

Treatment for attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD) has advanced by leaps and bounds over the last few decades. This means parents and adults have more options than ever when it comes to medication — but it also means that the plethora of medication choices can be confusing, overwhelming, and time-consuming to sort through when you’re trying to design your ideal treatment plan.

If you’re considering — or already taking — medication to treat your or your child’s ADHD, use this simple, easy-to-follow chart to learn the dosages, formulations, and special considerations for all the major medication players, including stimulants like Adderall, Vyvanse, Ritalin, and Concerta, as well as nonstimulants like Strattera, Intuniv, and Wellbutrin. Click on each brand name for an in-depth breakdown of that particular medication, including side effects, precautions, interactions, and more. Please note that this chart is best viewed on a wide screen; you can also download this chart here.

For more information on savings programs, go to this chart.

MEDICATION FORMULATION COMPOUND DURATION DOSING CONSIDERATIONS SAVINGS PROGRAM
METHYLPHENIDATE
Aptensio XR®
(Rhodes Pharmaceuticals)
Extended-release capsule
10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg, 50 mg, 60 mg
Capsule with multilayer beads; 40% of dose in the immediate-release layer and 60% in the extended-release layer (2nd peak at 7–8 hrs) 12 hours Capsule may be opened and contents swallowed completely with applesauce YES
Concerta® or generic
(Janssen and others)
Extended-release tablet
18 mg, 27 mg, 36 mg, 54 mg
Tablet with OROS osmotic pump technology; biphasic release with initial peak at 1 hr (22% of dose) and 78% gradual release over 9 hrs 12 hours Must be swallowed whole; non-absorbable shell may be passed in stool YES
Cotempla XRODT™
(NEOS Therapeutics)
Extended-release orally disintegrating tablet
8.6 mg, 17.3 mg, 25.9 mg
Dissolving tablet with 25% immediate-release microparticles and 75% extended-release 12-13 hours Grape-flavored, allow to dissolve in saliva YES
Daytrana®
(Noven Therapeutics)
Transdermal patch
10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg
Drug dispersed in adhesive layer; applied daily 10 hours with 9 hour wear-time The time worn can be varied to control the duration of effects; monitor for skin rash or sensitivity. Discard patches appropriately YES
JORNAY PM™
(Ironshore Pharmaceuticals)
Delayed release – Extended release capsule
20mg, 40mg, 60mg, 80mg, 100mg
Dual-layer delexis delivery: outer layer delays release for up to 10 hours, inner layer controls daytime release 12 – 14 hours Taken before going to sleep to provide early morning symptom control
Metadate CD®
(UCB, Inc.)
Extended-release capsule
10 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg 40 mg, 50 mg, 60 mg
Diffucaps capsule with 30% immediate-release beads and 70% delayed-release beads* 8-10 hours Capsule may be opened and contents swallowed completely with applesauce
Methylphenidate HCI
(Lupin)
Chewable tablet
2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg
Methylphenidate HCl 3-4 hours Grape-flavored chewable tablet
Methylphenidate HCl
(Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals)
Extended-release tablet*
10 mg, 20 mg
Methylphenidate HCl 6-8 hours Swallow whole; do not crush or chew
Methylin™ Liquid or generic
(Shionogi Pharma and others)
Oral solution
5 mg/5 mL, 10 mg/5 mL
Methylphenidate HCl 3-4 hours Colorless, grape-flavored liquid; store at room temperature
Quillichew ER™
(Pfizer)
Extended-release chewable tablet
20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg
30% of the dose is immediate-release and 70% extended-release 12-13 hours Cherry-flavored; may be taken with or without food YES
Quillivant XR®
(Pfizer)
Extended-release oral suspension
25 mg/5 mL
20% of the dose is immediate-release and 80% extended-release 12-13 hours Fruit-flavored; may be taken with or without food. Shake bottle for at least 10 seconds. May be stored at room temperature YES
Ritalin® or generic
(Novartis and others)
Short-acting, immediate-
release tablet
5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg
Methylphenidate HCl 3-4 hours Abrupt onset and offset increase the number and severity of side effects
Ritalin LA®
(Novartis)
Extended-release capsule
10 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg, 60 mg
Capsule with Spheroidal Oral Drug Absorption System (SODA S) technology; 50% immediate-release beads and 50% delayed-release (2nd peak 4 hrs later)* 8-12 hours Capsule may be opened and contents swallowed completely with applesauce
Ritalin SR®
(Novartis)
Sustained-release tablet
20 mg
Methylphenidate HCl 8 hours Tablets should be swallowed whole, never crushed or chewed
DEXMETHYLPHENIDATE
Focalin® or generic
(Novartis and others)
Short-acting, immediate-
release tablet*
2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg
Dexmethylphenidate Hydrochloride 4-6 hours Isolated active dextroisomer; give approximately 1/2 methylphenidate dose
Focalin XR® or generic
(Novartis and others)
Extended-release capsule
5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 25 mg, 30 mg, 35 mg, 40 mg
Capsule with SODA S technology; 50% of the beads contained in the capsule are immediate-release and 50% are delayed-release* 8-12 hours Capsule may be opened and beads swallowed completely with applesauce YES
AMPHETAMINE
Adzenys ER™
(Neos Therapeutics)
Extended-release oral suspension
1.25 mg/ml
50% immediate-release and 50% delayed-release particles 10-12 hours Orange-flavored; may be taken with or without food. Shake bottle vigorously before dispensing the dose. YES
Adzenys XR-ODT™
(Neos Therapeutics)
Extended-release orally disintegrating tablet
3.1 mg, 6.3 mg, 9.4 mg, 12.5 mg, 15.7 mg, 18.8 mg
Dissolving tablet with 50% immediate-release and 50% delayed-release particles 10-12 hours Allow tablet to dissolve in saliva. YES
Dyanavel® XR
(Tris Pharma)
Extended-release oral suspension
2.5 mg/ml
Oral solution with bubblegum flavor 13 hours Bubblegum flavor; may be taken with or without food. Shake bottle before preparing the dose. May be stored at room temperature YES
DEXTROAMPHETAMINE
Dexedrine®
(Amedra Pharmaceuticals and others)
Short-acting tablet
5 mg, 10 mg
Dextroamphetamine Sulfate 3-4 hours Take first dose on awakening
Dexedrine ER®
(Amedra Pharmaceuticals and others)
Extended-release spansule
5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg
Dextroamphetamine Sulfate delivered in a sustained-release spansule. Initial dose released immediately, remaining medication released gradually. 5-10 hours
ProCentra® and generic
(Independence Pharma, Tris Pharma, and others)
Oral solution
5 mg/5 mL
Dextroamphetamine Sulfate 3-6 hours Bubblegum flavor; may be taken with or without food. Shake bottle before preparing the dose. May be stored at room temperature YES
Zenzedi®
(Arbor Pharmaceuticals)
Immediate-release tablet
2.5 mg, 5 mg, 7.5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg
Dextroamphetamine Sulfate 4-6 hours Take first dose on awakening YES
METHAMPHETAMINE
Desoxyn®
(Recordati Rare Diseases and others)
Immediate-release tablet
5 mg
Methamphetamine 4-6 hours
MIXED AMPHETAMINE SALTS
Adderall® or generic
(CorePharma and others)
Short-acting, immediate-release tablet
5 mg, 7.5 mg, 10 mg, 12.5 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg
Dextroamphetamine Saccharate, Amphetamine Aspartate, Dextroamphetamine Sulfate and Amphetamine Sulfate 4-6 hours May be taken with or without food
Adderall® XR or generic
(Shire and others)
Extended-release capsule
5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 25 mg, 30 mg
Capsule with Microtrol delivery system: 50% immediate-release and 50% delayed-release beads* 10-12 hours Capsule may be opened and beads swallowed whole with applesauce
Mydayis®
(Shire Pharmaceuticals)
Long-acting capsule
12.5 mg, 25 mg, 37.5 mg, 50 mg
Long-acting, triple-bead, mixed amphetamine salts formulation 14-16 hours Capsule may be opened and beads swallowed whole with applesauce YES
AMPHETAMINE SULFATE
Evekeo®
(Arbor Pharmaceuticals)
Immediate-release tablet
5 mg, 10 mg
50 percent dextroamphetamine and 50 percent levoamphetamine 4-6 hours YES
LISDEXAMFETAMINE
Vyvanse®
(Shire Pharmaceuticals)
Long-acting capsule
10 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg, 50 mg, 60 mg, 70 mg
Lisdexamfetamine Dimesylate; peaks in 3.5 hrs* 10-13 hours Capsule may be opened and contents dissolved in water, yogurt, or orange juice; use immediately after dissolving YES
Vyvanse®
(Shire Pharmaceuticals)
Chewable tablet
10 mg, 20 mg, 30mg, 40 mg, 50 mg, and 60 mg
Lisdexamfetamine Dimesylate; peaks in 3.5 hrs* 10-13 hours Strawberry flavored; may be taken with or without food
ATOMOXETINE
Strattera®
(Lilly)
Long-acting capsule
10 mg, 18 mg, 25 mg, 40 mg, 60 mg, 80 mg, 100 mg
All day atomoxetine 24 hours Selective norepinephrine inhibitor. Starts working in a few days to one week, but may take several weeks to achieve full effect. Swallow capsule whole; powder is irritating. Dose is commonly divided in two to lower side effects YES
CLONIDINE
Kapvay®
(Concordia Pharmaceuticals)
Extended-release tablet
0.1 mg, 0.2 mg
Clonidine Hydrochloride 24 hours Swallow tablet whole
GUANFACINE
Intuniv™ or generic
(Shire and others)
Extended-release tablet
1 mg, 2 mg, 3 mg, 4 mg
Guanfacine 24 hours Swallow tablet whole; a high-fat meal may increase absorption and lead to toxicity. FDA -approved for doses up to 7 mg  YES
BUPROPION
Wellbutrin XL®
(Valeant Pharmaceuticals)
Extended-release tablet
150mg, 300mg
Bupropion HCL 24 hours Low efficacy; takes 8 weeks to fully develop benefits. YES

Administration with a high-fat meal may affect the rate of absorption of some medications, but has no significant effect on the total amount of the medication that is absorbed.

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