Ask the Experts

Will Switching Medications Help My ADHD Symptoms?

Many ADHD patients wonder if switching medications, perhaps from a methylphenidate to an amphetamine, will help with their symptoms. An expert answers.

pharmacy shelves full of ADHD medications - should you switch to a different ADD medication?
illustration of pharmacy shelves full of ADHD medication options

“My doctor prescribed methylphenidate for my ADHD, and it didn’t do much for my most problematic symptoms. Would it make sense for me to try switching medications, perhaps to an amphetamine?”

This is a common experience, and switching medications may help. The statistics on medication response are:

That means that about 12 percent of people with ADHD do not get a positive response to either.

There is universal agreement among all of the standards of care for ADHD:

1) medication is the treatment of choic.

2) an amphetamine and a methylphenidate delivery system should be tried before going to second-line agents, such as Strattera, Intuniv, or clonidine.

3) the optimal medication and dose must be fine-tuned to the individual patient.

Talk to your clinician about trying an amphetamine medication to see if it helps.

1 Comments & Reviews

  1. I’d like to know the statistic for not having a positive response to either stimulant, Straterra, or chlonidine? Intuniv (actually generic guanfacine SR) helped me lose objects less, but I developed scary neuromotor symptoms, similar to tardive dyskinesia or Huntington’s Chorea. Those side effects are not even in the literature, but I definitely had them, and they mostly resolved after I quit the guanfacine. I still take chlonidine because it helps me sleep, but does nothing for core ADHD symptoms.
    There just doesn’t seem to be a med that can help me, and non-medication strategies haven’t done much better. I’ve been chasing solutions for over 20 years now.

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