Alternatives to Ritalin LA
Ritalin LA is probably the best-known stimulant medication for ADHD; however, other stimulant medications can be used as alternatives to Ritalin LA. 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 prescription 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 LA, other stimulant medication choices include:
- Other methylphenidate products (containing the same active ingredient as Ritalin LA), such as:
- 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®, and Ritalin SR® (see Methylphenidate Extended Release for information about the differences among these products)
Provigil® (modafinil) is a stimulant that is sometimes used in an off-label fashion to treat ADHD. However, it is not approved for this use and has not been adequately studied in people with the condition. This medication may be less likely to be abused than other stimulants.