Alternatives to Methylin
Whether or not ADHD medications are used, several steps can be taken to help children with ADHD. Helping the child develop a routine is often useful, as is developing systems to keep the child organized (such as using notebooks or binders for homework). Be sure to talk to your child's school about a 504 plan. This plan (named after the law that requires public schools to accommodate children with disabilities) outlines the steps the school will take to help your child do his or her best at school. The 504 plan also addresses how your child will receive medication at school.
Any behavioral change involves a well-balanced ADHD treatment plan, including social, educational, and mental therapy. There are several different types of therapy for ADHD, including:
- Behavior therapy
- Social skills training
- Support groups
- Parenting skill training
- Behavioral interventions.
Sometimes, only the child with ADHD needs counseling support. In many cases, however (because the problem affects the family as a whole), the entire family may need help. If lifestyle changes alone are not effective in improving ADHD symptoms, medications (such as Methylin) may be necessary.
(Click Behavior Therapy for ADHD for more information.)
Methylin is probably the best-known stimulant medication for ADHD; however, other stimulant medications can be considered as alternatives to Methylin. 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 and use of stimulants (see Methylin: A Controlled Substance).
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 Methylin, other stimulant medications include:
- Other methylphenidate products (containing the same active ingredient as Methylin), including:
- Daytrana®, a methylphenidate patch
- Ritalin®, the original short-acting version of methylphenidate
- 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)
- Adderall® (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine) and a longer-acting version, Adderall XR®
- Desoxyn® (methamphetamine)
- Dexedrine® (dextroamphetamine) and a longer-acting version, Dexedrine Spansules®
- Vyvanse™ (lisdexamfetamine)
- Focalin® (dexmethylphenidate) and a longer-acting version, Focalin XR®.
Provigil® (modafinil) is a stimulant that is sometimes used off-label to treat ADHD. However, 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.