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ADD/ADHD drugs: Medicine for ADHD

Abstract: While stimulants (methylphenidate, amphetamine, dexamphetamine) are the treatment of choice, methylphenidate is the most commonly used medication for the psychopharmacotherapy of ADHD. However, even some antidepressant medication have shown positive effects for the treatment of ADHD.

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ADD/ADHD drugs: Medicine for ADHD

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Written by: Martin Winkler
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 06 Mar 2017.

What are the best medicines for ADD/ADHD? Do you recommend Methylphenidate (Ritalin/Ritalina/Concerta) or other drugs?


Ritalin pills

Pharmacotherapy is one option of a multimodal treatment approach of ADHD. While stimulants (methylphenidate, amphetamine, dexamphetamine) are the treatment of choice some antidepressant medication has also positive effects for the treatment of ADHD.

Methylphenidate is the name of the most commonly used medication for the psychopharmacotherapy of ADHD. Brandnames of drugs with Methylphenidate are Ritalin, , Ritalina, Ritaline, Ritalin-SR, Ritalin LA, Concerta, Attenta, Penid, Rubifen, Focalin, Daytrana and Metadate. There are also some generic medication with Methylphenidate (Equasym, Medikinet). Methylphenidate is a central nervous system stimulant, or a CNS stimulant.

To achieve positive effects for ADHD patients the main target of the medication is the dopamine system of the brain. The most relevant neurobiological problem of ADHD can be explained as a malfunction of the dopamine transporter system. These transporters are responsible for the reuptake of dopamine from the synaptic gap into the nerve cells. If the activity (or number of transporters) is too high, the available dopamine is too low.

Atomoxetin (Strattera) is another drug which has been found to have effect against ADHD. It is the primarily recommende medicin for ADHD in some special cases, such as drug addicts, difficult cases of ticss(involuntary jerks) and serious sleeping problems.

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