Below we will examine the dangers, side effects and the true long term cost of common prescription stimulant ADHD drug abuse. We will attempt to ranked and review 2018’s best over the counter stimulant and prescription medications alternatives which are truly effective, safe, more natural and legal to buy over the counter in the USA, Canada, Australia, Ireland, Germany (Deutschland) the United Kingdom and other countries from which most of our visitors and readers hail from.
Compare Stimulant vs Non-Stimulant ADHD Drugs
There are two classes of drugs commonly used to treat ADHD and attention deficit disorder with a couple other drug types being more obscure off-label medication treatments. Below you will find a comparison of central nervous system stimulant based medications compared vs antiadrenergic based medicines:
Non Stimulant (Antiadrenergic) ADHD Meds
Medications of this class are commonly called a 3rd line resort for the treatment of of ADHD in people that didn’t respond well, didn’t tolerate or otherwise have reason not to have tried the more common routes of stimulants or depressants for ADHD treatment. This classification of medication is also called alpha-agonist hypotensive agents and there is enough evidence and results to support its use even though the exact mechanism that it relieves ADD / ADHD symptoms is not absolutely agreed upon. There are two common sub categories of prescriptions used for this disorder in guanfacine and clonidine. Find the difference and compare guanfacine vs clonidine and their trade / brand name prescription below:
Guanfacine ADHD Medications
Working as central alpha2a adrenergic receptor agonists, the common guanafacine adhd medications Intuniv and Tenex are assumed to work by affecting brain receptors important to ADHD symptoms such as hyperarousal, social aggression and emotional volatility.
Prescription guanfacine ADHD drugs have proven effective for many and as such has become an important and regular non-stimulant treatment for people that have no or negative reaction to stimulant therapy, or have other reasons for not using more traditional first line treatments.
Intuniv & Tenex
- Intuniv: A brand name of guanafacine, Intuniv is prescribe commonly as a once daily non stimulant adhd drug for children aged 6-12. It is often a complementary treatment alongside more traditional stimulant medications, educational and cognitive therapies – but frequently is used as its own monotherapy.
- Tenex: More commonly prescribed for high blood pressure, the guanfacine based Tenex medication is a non stimulant ADD treatment which is often prescribed for children as an effective off-label adhd treatment.
Clonidine ADHD Medications
The drug Clonidine was originally known to influence and treat persons with high blood pressure, it was found to have a positive beneficial effect on ADHD symptoms such as impulse control, arousal levels, hyperactivity and social aggression and was further tested and approved for ADHD treatment.
Kapvay & Catapres
- Kapvay: Another alpha agonist drug like guanfacine – Kapvay is shown to reduce hyperactivity symptoms in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It’s frequently used as a standalone treatment where stimulant drugs aren’t well received or in combination with stimulant based medicines.
Atomoxetine Based ADHD Drugs
A non CNS stimulant option for patients that for whatever reason don’t go or work with that more traditional therapy, atomoxetine is a selective nor-epinephrine re-uptake inhibitor classified drug. Strattera works on ADHD by influencing the way the nor-epinephrine neurotransmitter acts within your brain chemistry which has various influences on a number of negative ADHD symptoms one would want to medicate.
- Stattera: one of the more common atomoxetine available in 2018, doses include 25mg and 40 of atomoxetine hcl for the treatment of symptoms for in ADD disorder
CNS & Psychostimulant Prescriptions
Why do stimulants get used to treat ADHD? Because they work and they do so by essentially ‘stimulating’ the brain and central nervous system. More of the important chemical messaging “neurotransmitters” are created which are responsible and work towards improving connections, focus, organization, impulse control, etc.
Common stimulant medications include amphetamine, atomoxetine, dexmethylphenidate, methylphenidate, dextroamphetamine, lisdexamfetamine and methamphetamine based generics & brand name prescription medications
Amphetamine Based ADHD Drugs
Common amphetamine based medications that are used or have been approved as adhd frontline treatments include Adzenys, Dyanvel and Evekeo which all are quite similar with minor difference in dosing and mechanism of action.
Adzenys, Dyanavel, Evekeo
- Adzenys XR-ODT: Used for ADHD patients 6 years and above. The acronym stands for “extended-release orally disintegrating tablet”
- Evekeo: 5mg and 10mg tablets marketed as a pediatric amphetamine adhd medication.
A dextrorotary form of the most popular ADHD treatment methylphenidate (Ritalin) – Dexmethylphenidate and its brand name products Focalin & Focalin XR are norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs) and psychostimulants used for ADHD symptom relief.
Focalin & Focalin XR
- Focalin: prescribed in blue 2.5mg, yellow 5mg and white 10mg dexmethylphenidate tablets
- Focalin XR: dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride 5mg, 10mg, 15mg, 20mg, 25mg, 30mg, 35mg, 40mg dose extended release capsules
One of the most common and oldest forms of psychostimulants alongside methylphenidate – dextroamphetamine based brand name medications Dexedrine, Dextrostat, Liquadd, Procentra and Zenzedi are frequently prescribed front line ADHD & ADD treatments.
Dexedrine, Dextrostat, Liquadd, Procentra, Zenzedi
- Dexedrine: available in 5mg increment instant release tablets
- Dexedrine Spansule: Controlled release spansuales available in 5mg, 10mg and 15mg dosage sizes.
- Dextrostat: comes in 5mg increments of instant release dextroamphetamine tablets
- Liquadd: Manufactured by Auriga Laboratories, Liquadd is a mgl dextroamphetamine sulfate oral solution ADHD liquid treatment.
- ProCentra: dextroamphetamine sulfate liquid from FSC Laboratories, Inc is a 5mg oral solution for ADHD & ADD
- Zenzedi: Manufacturer Arbor Pharmaceuticals offering of 2.5 mg, 7.5 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, and 30 mg immediate-release dextroamphetamine tablet dosages
A prodrug offering of the CNS stimulant dextroamphetamine, lisdexamfetamine and its brand product Vyvanse, is one of the fastest growing and popular newer ADHD treatments quickly becoming the goto choice over older popular psychostimulants like Adderall and Ritalin thanks to its prodrug nature
Vyvanse is a once daily version of lisdexamfetamine manufactured by New River Pharmaceuticals and available in 10mg, 20mg, 30mg, 40mg, 50mg, 60mg and 70mg capsules as well as chewable tablets except for the 70 mg size.
A very strong choice of central nervous stimulant for ADHD and ADD treatment, methamphetamine drugs Desoxyn and Desoxyn Gradumet are often prescribed where methylphenidate or other amphetamines haven’t had the best results for patients for whatever reason.
Desoxyn & Desoxyn Gradumet
- Desoxyn tablet quick release methamphetamine in 5mg dosage increments
- Desoxyn Gradumet extended and controlled release offering of methamphetamine for ADHD patients
One of the most common ADHD prescription drug choices, methylphenidate popular brand name products include Ritalin, Concerta, Aptensio, Cotempla, Metadate, Methylin, Quillivant and Quillichew which are all offered in various dosage sizes and vary by type of administration essentially.
Aptensio, Concerta, Cotempla, Metadate, Methylin, Quillichew, Quillivant & Ritalin
- Aptensio XR once daily controlled release methylphenidate marketed to work for up to 12 hours.
- Concerta: extended release methylphenidate from manufacturer Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc is available in 18mg, 27mg, 36mg and 54mg dosage tablets.
- Cotempla XR-ODT: 25% immediate release and 75% extended release disintegrating tablets available in 8.6mg, 17.3mg and 25.9mg doses from NEOS Therapeutics, Inc.
- Metadate CD: once daily methylphenidate HCL extended-release capsules in six dosage sizes: 10mg (3mg IR + 7mg ER), 20mg (6mg IR + 14mg ER), 30mg (9mg IR + 21mg ER), 40mg (12mg IR + 28mg ER), 50mg (15mg IR + 35mg ER) and 60mg (18mg IR + 42mg ER)
- Metadate ER: 20mg METHYLPHENIDATE HYDROCHLORIDE extended release capsules
- Methylin: available in 5mg/5ml and 10mg/5ml liquid methylphenidate HCL oral solution from manufacturer Mallinckrodt Inc.
- QuilliChew ER: extended-release chewable tablets in 20mg, 30mg, and 40mg Methylphenidate HCL doses from sponsor Pfizer Inc.
- Quillivant XR: extended-release oral suspension offering 25mg per 5mL liquid by manufacturer NextWave Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
- Ritalin: Manufactured by Novartis pharmaceuticals, Ritalin dosages are prescribed in 5mg increments and gradually increased to find the effective minimum dose and to combat growing tolerance.
Mixed amphetamine salts
The mixed amphetamine salt drugs Adderall, Mydayis & Adderall XR (extended release) are composed of four salts of the two enantiomers of amphetamine. The breakdown of these are 75% dextroamphetamine (dextrorotatory or right-handed) salts and 25% levoamphetamine (levorotatory or left-handed) salts.
Adderall, Adderall XR & Mydayis
- Adderall: Manufactured by Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc – Adderall is available in 5mg, 7.5mg, 10mg, 12.5mg, 15mg, 20mg and 30mg instant release table dosages as of 2018.
- Adderall XR: The controlled release version of the abovbe Teva Pharmaceutical’s Adderall XR is available in the following extended release capsule dosages: 5mg, 10mg, 15mg, 20mg, 25mg and 30mg.
- Mydayis: Mydayis from Shire Pharmaceuticals is another alternative quite similar to Adderall which is available in 12.5mg, 25mg, 37.5mg and 50mg extended release capsules.
Popular ADHD Drugs & Adderall Replacements
The majority of adhd medication handed out are of the CNS stimulant variety. Ritalin (methylphenidate), Adderall, Adderall XR, Vyvanse, Dexedrine and others are handed out to children and adults alike at alarming rates.
Side Effects of Drugs similar to Adderall and ADHD Prescriptions
Possible side effects of ADHD medications are numerous and potentially serious and it is important that you watch your health alongside taking of these drugs. Common side effects include but are not limited to cardiovascular disturbances, extreme weight loss due to appetite suppression and increased metabolism, insomnia, dizziness, nausea, headaches and more. If you are struggling with the symptoms of adhd we recommend trying a more natural supplement such as the ones recommended before to see if they help clear up your symptoms. We believe these strong medications should only be used in accordance with a doctor and if other options have proven ineffective.
Over the counter Adderall Alternatives & Substitutes
Adderall and Adderall XR (time released) are perhaps the most popular and well known adhd med prescribed today. They are extreme amphetamine based psychostimulants and many people have poor tolerance and reactions to them. Below you will find the best over the counter adderall alternatives and natural supplements we have found and reviewed to be effective as an over the counter adderall replacement. If you are currently taking this medication please consult your doctor before stopping medication as withdrawal symptoms often present with this strong drug.
OTC Ritalin Alternatives & Substitutes
Perhaps the best known ADHD medication, Ritalin or methylphenidate and its time released counterpart Concerta is still a very commonly prescribed stimulant based therapy for attention deficit disorder. It is also a central nervous system stimulant that present many of the same side effects as adderall although it is considered less of a risk to be abused due to addiction. Again below are some natural over the counter alternatives to Ritalin, Concerta and Methylphenidate (generic name).
Over The Counter Vyvanse Replacements
Vyvanse is a medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder that is gaining in popularity quickly. It is very similar in effect to Adderall XR and works slightly different breaking down in the body to convert to very similar core ingredients. It is considered a pro-drug with a lower abuse profile although common side effects are shared with its cousin medication. The supplements below serve well as top over the counter vyvanse alternatives just like the other popular stimulant medications.
Herbal Natural Attention Deficit Disorder Supplements & Products
While a natural and herbal based product will no doubt be less strong in noticeable effect to the hardcore stimulants listed above, many people vastly prefer them due to their gentler approach and lacking the feeling of being overstimulated, jittery, complete loss of appetite and dry mouth. Finding the best adhd supplement alternative products can be hard with so many on the market but we believe the below to be highly effective natural adhd remedies and products worth a try.
Top Recommend ADHD and Adderall Alternative
Below is our top reviewed and favorite otc adderall substitute. It has received rave reviews all over the web for its ability to increase concentration, focus, attention, memory and other cognitive factors whilst being much healthier on the body and brain the psychostimulant medications. If you decide to give it a try please come back and leave your own personal review and experience to help our future visitors