Top ADHD Medications

For those of you who do not already know, ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. This psychological disorder causes hyperactivity, inability to concentrate, and impulsive behavior in children and even adults. Various medications are often prescribed to help patients manage the difficult symptoms associated with the disorder. There are generally three types of medicines that cover ADHD. The top five prescribed medicines come from these categories of stimulants, non stimulants, and antidepressants.

Stimulants are the most commonly prescribed medicines for ADHD. This class of medicines work on the central nervous system. They stimulate it and at the same time,  they calm the patient. The two most popular of these psychostimulants are used in treating children and adult ADHD patients. Ritalin is probably the most well known ADHD medication available. Other medications include Adderall, Vyvanse, and Concerta. These drugs work by increasing the amounts of dopamine in the body.

Daytrana is the second top prescribed medicine for ADHD. It is different from the other stimulant medications in that it is not taken orally. Daytrana is the very first FDA approved skin patch that can be prescribed to treat ADHD.

Non stimulant are also a commonly prescribed medication for patients with ADHD.  Atomoxetine was the first of the non stimulants that was FDA approved for treating adult ADHD patients. This non stimulant medicine is effective in increasing the amounts of dopamine and norepinephrine found in a patient’s body.

The final two of the top prescribed medicines for sufferers of ADHD are antidepressants. However, the FDA does not directly approve the use of  antidepressants for ADHD treatment in adults. It is not uncommon for a doctor to prescribe them anyway. Wellbutrin is the top antidepressant medication prescribed to ADHD patients. The other one is a form of tricyclics. Both medications build up the patients’ levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.

Adderall vs Vyvanse

Adderall is a brand name psychostimulant drug. The amphetamine salts-based medication is commonly used for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, legal only in the United States and Canada. The combination of amphetamine – Dextroamphetamine and Levoamphetamine is in a class of medications called central nervous system stimulants. Side effects of Adderall may include: weight loss, insomnia, headaches, irritability, increased muscle tension or anxiety.

Vyvanse is a brand name of Lisdexamfetamine used to treat ADHD as well. Vyvanse is a central nervous system stimulant. It affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control. This drug is only legal in the United States. It is a psychostimulant prodrug of the phenethylamine and amphetamine chemical classes. This medication is normally not used for narcolepsy. Side effects of Vyvanse may include: discomfort, erectile dysfunction, dizziness, restlessness, nausea, dry mouth, anxiety, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, insomnia, weight loss, irritability, euphoria, upper abdominal pain or rapid heartbeat.

Differences:

  • Adderall is used to treat narcolepsy; Vyvanse is not.
  • The active ingredients.
  • Side effects (See Above)
  • Vyvanse is only legal in the U.S, where Adderall is legal in the U.S and Canada.
  • Adderall has a generic alternative; Vyvanse does not.

Similarities:

  • Both used to treat ADHD
  • Both a Schedule II drug
  • Both increase the amount of dopamine and norepinephrine between synapses in the brain.
  • Both a Psychostimulant
  • Same manufacturer: Shire

Considering there is no generic alternative for Vyvanse, you may be forced to pay retail price for this medication. You shouldn’t. Help yourself to a free prescription discount card. You can print one right from the top of this page. The card is pre-activated and ready for use. Just take it to the pharmacy with the prescription to receive discounts up to 75% at point of sale.

Subtypes of ADHD

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is one of three types of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a neurobehavioral developmental disorder primarily characterized by “the co-existence of attentional problems and hyperactivity. ADHD is a common condition that affects children and adolescents and can continue into adulthood for some. The other two types of ADHD are ADHD Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive and ADHD Combined hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive.
ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Type
Most people refer to the predominantly inattentive type of ADHD simply as ADD. Attention deficit disorder (ADD) is a general term frequently used to describe individuals that have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder without the hyperactive and impulsive behaviors. As currently defined, it is a highly subjective description, not a specific disease.
  • make careless mistakes
  • fail to pay attention to detail
  • have difficulty paying attention
  • not seem to listen when spoken to
  • not follow through on instructions
  • fail to complete tasks
  • have trouble organizing tasks and activities
  • avoid or dislike tasks that require sustained mental effort
  • be easily distracted
  • be forgetful

ADHD, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type

Symptoms are primarily related to hyperactivity and impulsivity. Individuals do not display significant attention problems.

  • often fidget or squirm
  • move around frequently
  • be often “on the go”
  • talk too much
ADHD, Combined Type

Both inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity symptoms

  • blurt out answers before the question is finished
  • have trouble waiting for his turn
  • interrupt others

Treatment for ADD or ADHD may include learning organizational skills, seeking therapy or taking prescription medication such as Adderall, Concerta, or Vyvanse. Some health care providers limit their policy holders with certain prescriptions. Some individuals may only be able to fill a stimulant medication several times a year. For the rest of the year, they are on their own with these costs. Our prescription discount card is available to everyone at no cost. You can print on right from the top of this screen. Take this card into your pharmacy with your prescriptions to receive a discount at point of sale.

Top Five Drugs Prescribed for Patients with ADHD

For those of you who do not already know, ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. This psychological disorder causes hyperactivity, inability to concentrate, and impulsive behavior in children and even adults. Various medications are often prescribed to help patients manage the difficult symptoms associated with the disorder. There are generally three types of medicines that cover ADHD. The top five prescribed medicines come from these categories of stimulants, non stimulants, and antidepressants.

Stimulants are the most commonly prescribed medicines for ADHD. This class of medicines work on the central nervous system. They stimulate it and at the same time,  they calm the patient. The two most popular of these psychostimulants are used in treating children and adult ADHD patients. Ritalin is probably the most well known ADHD medication available. Other medications include Adderall, Vyvanse, and Concerta. These drugs work by increasing the amounts of dopamine in the body.

Daytrana is the second top prescribed medicine for ADHD. It is different from the other stimulant medications in that it is not taken orally. Daytrana is the very first FDA approved skin patch that can be prescribed to treat ADHD.

Non stimulant are also a commonly prescribed medication for patients with ADHD.  Atomoxetine was the first of the non stimulants that was FDA approved for treating adult ADHD patients. This non stimulant medicine is effective in increasing the amounts of dopamine and norepinephrine found in a patient’s body.

The final two of the top prescribed medicines for sufferers of ADHD are antidepressants. However, the FDA does not directly approve the use of  antidepressants for ADHD treatment in adults. It is not uncommon for a doctor to prescribe them anyway. Wellbutrin is the top antidepressant medication prescribed to ADHD patients. The other one is a form of tricyclics. Both medications build up the patients’ levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.

Increase in ADHD Prescriptions Written for Children

According to a recent study preformed by the FDA, over the past eight years, the number of children prescribed medication to treat ADHD has increased while the number of children prescribed antibiotics hpain medicines, depression medication and certain cough and as declined.

FDA researchers analyzed prescription drug trends among children 17 and up between 2002 and 2010 using a large national database. The study proved that the overall number of prescriptions for this age bracket decreased by 7 percent. In contrast, there was a 22 percent increase in prescriptions written for adults over the same period. It was not noted whether or not the drugs were actually consumed.

Children medications that significantly decreased include: antibiotics, allergy medicines, cold medications. While there were less of those prescriptions written, there was a 46 percent increase in ADHD prescriptions. Another prescription to skyrocket was the various types of contraceptive prescriptions. The study showed a 93 percent increase in birth control in adolescents.

“Identification of drugs with the highest numbers of patients exposed can help focus research efforts on those drugs that could have a large impact on the pediatric population, ” wrote the authors, led by Grace Chai of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

Although the study did not offer detailed analysis of reasons behind these trends,  the authors did suggest that birth control use can actually be explained by many factors. According to recent surveys, the number of girls using contraceptives to prevent pregnancy does not match the number of teens being prescribed the medications. It is believed the trend may be the result of longer use of these medications for other reasons, such as acne.

The study also found that a considerable amount of infants under 1 year of age were prescribed acid reflux-controlling proton pump inhibitors; specifically Prevacid. As of this writing, these medications are not FDA-approved for use in children of this age.

Why the 14 percent decrease in antibiotic use? It is suggested that the efforts of the American Academy of Pediatrics to decrease antibiotic use “by educating parents about the futility of treating viral infections with antibiotics and about concerns of antibiotic resistance” have been successful.

Ultimately, there has been an increase in ADHD prescriptions because there has been an increase in diagnosis. Adderall and other ADHD drugs like Ritalin, account for most of the ADHD drug prescriptions between 2002 and 2010. Researchers noted use of these medications is becoming stable and being replaced by newer drugs, such as Vyvanse and Focalin.

According to Stein, many children may have been misdiagnosed. “It’s not a slam-dunk diagnosis,” he said. “The most important thing is to get the diagnosis right, and there are very strict criteria that must be met.”