Alternatives to Focalin
Stimulant Medications for ADHD
Focalin is probably the best-known stimulant medication for ADHD. However, there are many other choices of stimulant medications that may be considered Focalin alternatives.
Stimulants are very effective, but they are also controlled substances and have the potential to be abused. Because of this, there are strict rules concerning how a stimulant is prescribed (see Focalin: A Controlled Substance for more information).
Many of the stimulant medications for ADHD contain similar ingredients, but differ in how long the medication lasts or how the medication is released (immediate-release versus extended-release). In addition to Focalin, the other stimulant medication choices can include:
- Adderall® (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine)
- Adderall XR® (amphetamine-dextroamphetamine extended release), a long-acting version of Adderall
- Desoxyn® (methamphetamine)
- Vyvanse™ (lisdexamfetamine)
- Dexedrine® (dextroamphetamine) and a longer-acting version, Dexedrine Spansules®
- Focalin XR® (dexmethylphenidate extended-release), a long-acting version of Focalin
- Methylphenidate products, including:
- Daytrana®, a methylphenidate patch
- Ritalin, the original short-acting version of methylphenidate
- Methylin®, which is short-acting like Ritalin, but comes in chewable tablets and a liquid form
- Long-acting methylphenidate products, such as Concerta®, Metadate CD®, Metadate ER®, Ritalin LA®, and Ritalin SR® (see Methylphenidate Extended Release for information about the differences among these products).
Provigil® (modafinil) is a stimulant that is sometimes used off-label to treat ADHD (it is not approved for this use and has not been adequately studied in people with ADHD). Provigil may be less likely than other stimulants to be abused.