Medications for Adult ADHD

A look at some of the medications used to treat adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Currently, only two drugs have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating ADHD in adults: Strattera (atomoxetine), a nonstimulant medication, and the stimulant Adderall (mixed amphetamine salts). Another stimulant, Ritalin (methylphenidate), the most commonly used drug for treating childhood ADHD, has not yet been approved for use in adults. However, both Ritalin and extended-release, or long-acting, methylphenidate (Concerta) appear to be safe and effective for treating ADHD in adults, according to several randomized controlled trials. A transdermal (skin patch) version of methylphenidate is also being developed and appears safe and effective in preliminary studies. There is also increasing evidence that the nonstimulant drug guanfacine can ameliorate the symptoms of ADHD in some patients. Other medications currently being studied for possible use in adult ADHD include: Bupropion (presently approved for depression and smoking cessation). Tricyclic antidepressants. Various cholinergic, catecholaminergic, and nicotinic agents. Timothy Wilens, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, says all medications (both stimulants and nonstimulants) now used to treat ADHD are generally well tolerated by most subjects, with dry mouth, reduced appetite, and mild increases in blood pressure the most common side effects.

adhd, adult, attention, deficit, hyperactivity disorder, medication, drug, pharmacology, amphetamine, strattera, atomoxetine, adderall stimulant, ritalin, methylphenidate, concerta, bupropion, choline, catecholamine, nicotine, dana, foundation

  • ID: 1290
  • Source: DNALC.G2C

Related Content

2166. Ritalin, Adderall, Strattera - ADHD medications

Professor Philip Shaw discusses some medications use to treat ADHD, which lead to improvements in up to 90% of children.

  • ID: 2166
  • Source: G2C

879. Background to ADHD

All children have occasional trouble paying attention or suppressing their impulses. ADHD is a chronic condition, however, and its main symptoms have a larger effect on people’s lives.

  • ID: 879
  • Source: G2C

1149. Noradrenaline (Norepinephrine) and ADHD

Professor Trevor Robbins discusses whether ADHD is a disorder of the noradrenaline system.

  • ID: 1149
  • Source: G2C

1199. ADHD - Noradrenaline and Dopamine

Professor Trevor Robbins discusses ADHD in relation to noradrenaline and dopamine, both of which are enhanced by ADHD medications such as Ritalin.

  • ID: 1199
  • Source: G2C

2224. ADHD

An overview of ADHD-related content on Genes to Cognition Online.

  • ID: 2224
  • Source: G2C

836. Ethics of Enhancement (1)

As drugs for cognitive disorders improve, so does the temptation to use them even when one does not have a cognitive disorder?

  • ID: 836
  • Source: G2C

2170. Clinical/behavioral treatments for ADHD

Professor Philip Shaw discusses some clinical and behavioral treatments for ADHD, which may work best when combined with medication.

  • ID: 2170
  • Source: G2C

1294. Ethics of Enhancement (2)

The Dana review examines the ethical issues relating to 'smart' drugs that may enhance brain function.

  • ID: 1294
  • Source: G2C

1144. Drugs to Improve Cognition?

Professor Trevor Robbins discusses whether or not drugs have the potential to improve cognition.

  • ID: 1144
  • Source: G2C

2399. New Perspectives on Neurotransmitter Malfunction

Doctor Randy Blakely speculates that the traditional view that drugs though to increase serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain may work by preventing a backward-running state.

  • ID: 2399
  • Source: G2C