Alternatives to Ritalin
Stimulant Medications for ADHD
Ritalin is probably the best known stimulant medication for ADHD; however, other choices in stimulant medications may be considered as alternatives to Ritalin. 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, the other stimulant medication choices include:
- Other methylphenidate products (containing the same active ingredient as Ritalin), including:
- Daytrana®, a methylphenidate patch
- 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 more information)
- Adderall XR® (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine extended-release), a long-acting version of Adderall
Provigil® (modafinil) is a stimulant that is sometimes used in an off-label fashion to treat ADHD (meaning it is not approved for this use and has not been adequately studied in people with ADHD). This drug may be less likely to be abused than other stimulants.