02-04-2021 General

Adderall, Vyvanse, or Ritalin: Which is Right for Me?

Adderall, Vyvanse, or Ritalin: Which is Right for Me? | America’s Pharmacy

Receiving an ADHD diagnosis is often unsettling news. Even if you’ve lived with the symptoms for years, having a true diagnosis from a medical professional is the first step in finding treatment options. If you’re open to taking medication, then there are quite a few options you’ll want to research before discovering what works best for you. As always, consult your doctor before using any prescription medications.

Stimulants vs. Non-stimulants

ADHD medication is broadly characterized into two categories: stimulants and non-stimulants.1 Stimulants are often considered the first-line treatment for ADHD, and both amphetamines and methylphenidates fall into this category. This includes all of the most-well-known ADHD medications (AdderallVyvanseRitalin, etc.). However, not all patients tolerate stimulants well or even see benefits from them. If you’re in this group (up to 30 percent of patients!), then your doctor may recommend a non-stimulant alternative, such as atomoxetine, guanfacine, and clonidine.1 If a stimulant treats only some of your symptoms, then a non-stimulant may be used as part of your treatment.

How do stimulants treat ADHD?

Stimulants are the most popular ADHD medications, and they help to treat ADHD by stimulating specific cells within the brain to produce more of a deficient neurotransmitter. All brand-name stimulants are variations of two main classes of stimulant medications: methylphenidate and dextro-amphetamine.1 So, Adderall, for example, is a modification of dextro-amphetamine. Methylphenidates come in a variety of forms and each has been given its own name.

What’s the difference between medications?

While Adderall, Vyvanse, and Ritalin are all stimulants, they differ from each other in a few ways. Below, we’ll provide a general profile of each. This allows you to see the distinctions between them and why one may suit you best.

1. Adderall1

  • Dextro-Amphetamine/Modified Amphetamine Mixture
  • Brand name
  • Tablet
  • Immediate release
  • Lasts 4 hours
  • Comes in 5, 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15, 20, 30 mg dosages


2. Vyvanse1

  • Dextro-Amphetamine/Modified Amphetamine Mixture
  • Brand name
  • Capsule and chewable tablet
  • Lasts 10 to 12 hours
  • Comes in 20, 30, 60, 70 mg dosages


3. Ritalin1

  • Methylphenidate
  • Brand name
  • Tablet
  • Immediate release
  • Lasts about 4 hours
  • Comes in 5, 10, 15 mg dosages


What are the side effects of these medications?

When discussing the side effects of these medications, they’re once again grouped into stimulants and non-stimulants. Stimulants often share similar side effects. These include:2

  • Decreased appetite
  • Stomach pain
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Headaches

How do I know which ADHD medication is right for me?

The only way to know which medication is right for you is by speaking with your doctor. ADHD is a developmental condition that affects concentration and attention, and only by understanding your personal information, the symptoms you’re experiencing, and the side effects that could impact your daily life, will your doctor recommend what they feel is best for you.

Save on ADHD medications

ADHD medication costs continue to rise, but there are financial resources to help you treat this condition. America’s Pharmacy works on your behalf to lower the prices of these medications. Find free ADHD medication coupons, download the prescription savings app, or get a prescription discount card to start saving today.

RELATED ARTICLE: How to Save on Vyvanse for ADHD


  1. https://www.additudemag.com/adhd-medication-for-adults-and-children/
  2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325201#stimulants