About This Medicine
Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine.
The information provided here is general. So be sure to read the information that came with your medicine. If you have any questions or concerns, talk to your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor.
What are some examples?
Here are some examples of medicines for ADHD. For each item in the list, the generic name is first, followed by any brand names.
- dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine)
- lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse)
- methylphenidate (Concerta, Ritalin)
- mixed salts amphetamine (Adderall)
- atomoxetine (Strattera)
- guanfacine (Intuniv)
These are not complete lists of medicines for ADHD.
Why are medicines for ADHD used?
Medicines are used to help control the symptoms of ADHD. Symptoms include:
- Trouble paying attention or trouble sitting still for even a short time. This is called hyperactivity.
- Acting before thinking. Teens and adults may make quick decisions that have a long-term impact on their lives.
Most often, stimulant medicines are used to treat ADHD. Non-stimulants may also be used to help control symptoms.
How do they work?
Medicines for ADHD affect certain chemicals in the brain. This can help with symptoms of ADHD.
What should you know about side effects?
All medicines can cause side effects. Many people don't have side effects from medicines for ADHD. And minor side effects often go away after 1 to 2 weeks. For a full list of side effects, check the information that came with the medicine you're using.
Sometimes, side effects can be a problem or can be serious. So always be sure you get specific information on the medicine you're taking.
If you're having problems with side effects or have questions, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or nurse before stopping or adjusting your medicine. They may be able to offer suggestions to manage side effects, lower your dose or change to a different medicine.
What are some general cautions for all medicines?
- Allergic reactions.
- All medicines can cause a reaction. This can sometimes be an emergency. Before you take any new medicine, tell the doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about any past allergic reactions you've had.
- Drug interactions.
- Sometimes one medicine may keep another medicine from working well. Or you may get a side effect you didn't expect. Medicines may also interact with certain foods or drinks, like grapefruit juice and alcohol. Some interactions can be dangerous. Tell your healthcare providers about the medicines you take and ask questions about how they interact.
- Harm during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
- If you are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding, ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if all the medicines you take are safe.
- Other health problems.
- Before taking a medicine, be sure your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist knows about all your health problems. The medicine for one health problem may affect another health problem.
Always tell your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about all the medicines you take. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines and natural health products. That information will help prevent serious problems.
Always be sure you get specific information on the medicine you're taking. For a full list of warnings, check the information that came with the medicine you're using. If you have questions, talk to your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor.