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Alternatives to Ritalin SR: Stimulant Medications for ADHD

Ritalin SR is probably the best-known stimulant medication for ADHD; however, other stimulant medications may be considered as alternatives to Ritalin SR. Stimulants are effective, but they are also controlled substances and have the potential to be abused. Because of this, there are strict rules concerning the prescribing of stimulants (see Ritalin: 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 Ritalin SR, other stimulant medications include:
  • Other methylphenidate products (containing the same active ingredient as Ritalin SR), including:


(Click Methylphenidate Extended Release for information about the differences among these products.)
Provigil® (modafinil) as a stimulant that is sometimes used in an off-label fashion to treat ADHD (it is not approved for this use, however, and has not been adequately studied in people with ADHD). Provigil may be less likely to be abused than other stimulants.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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