ADHD Home > ADHD Medications

The medications for ADHD that seem to be the most effective for treatment are a class of drugs known as stimulants. Since some children may get better results from one medicine and some from another, it is important to work with your healthcare provider to find the right medicine and the right dosage. These medications don't cure ADHD; they only control symptoms on the day they are taken.

An Introduction to ADHD Medicines

For decades, medications have been used to treat the symptoms of ADHD. Medications that seem to be the most effective are a class of drugs known as stimulants.
 

List of Stimulant Medications for ADHD

The following is a list of the stimulant ADHD medications, their brand names, and their generic names. "Approved age" means that the drug has been tested and found safe and effective in children of that age.
 
Trade Name
Generic Name
Approved Age
3 and older
6 and older
6 and older
6 and older
6 and older
3 and older
Dextrostat®
Dextroamphetamine
3 and older
6 and older
6 and older
Methylphenidate extended release
6 and older
Methylphenidate extended release
6 and older
Methylphenidate chewable tablets and oral solution
6 and older
Methylphenidate
6 and older
Ritalin SR®
Methylphenidate extended release
6 and older
Methylphenidate extended release
6 and older
Vyvanse Lisdexamfetamine 6 and older
 
Stimulant medications used to treat ADHD are effective, but they also have the potential to be abused, especially when used at higher-than-prescribed doses. Hence, all of the medicines listed in this table are controlled substances, meaning there are special rules for prescribing and dispensing them.
 
Of the stimulant ADHD medications, only four are specifically approved for treating adult ADHD. These four medications are:
 
  • Adderall XR
  • Concerta
  • Vyvanse
  • Focalin XR.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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