ADHD Home > Alternatives to Focalin XR
Stimulant Medications for ADHD
Focalin XR is probably the best-known stimulant medication for ADHD. However, there are many other choices of stimulant medications that may be considered alternatives to Focalin XR.
Stimulants are very effective, but they are also controlled substances and have the potential to be abused. Because of this, there are strict rules for how to prescribe stimulants (see Focalin XR: 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 XR, the other stimulant medication choices include:
- Adderall® (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine)
- Adderall XR® (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine extended release), a long-acting version of Adderall
- Desoxyn® (methamphetamine)
- Dexedrine® (dextroamphetamine) and a longer-acting version, Dexedrine Spansules®
- Focalin® (dexmethylphenidate), a short-acting version of Focalin XR
- Vyvanse™ (lisdexamfetamine)
- 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 to be abused than other stimulants.