The topic of Focalin vs Adderall is a great debate among doctors and those with ADHD. As a doctor who treats Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, I am frequently asked which ADHD medication is superior.
They are both stimulants that work by interacting with the chemicals in the brain that are believed to contribute to impulse control and hyperactivity.
In addition, they both tend to attract loyal followers who find one medication much more effective than the other.
The regular versions of each medication begin working in 30-60 minutes and can last for up to 4 or 5 hours. In addition, they are both offered in long-lasting versions that can last up to 15 hours.
In my clinical experience, I would say that Focalin typically lasts longer than Adderall and most other extended or sustained release stimulants. Further, Focalin is less likely to produce rebound.
Rebound is the phenomenon where some experience irritability or depression for up to an hour as the drug wears off.
Focalin is essentially an improved, cleaner version of Methyphenidate (Ritalin) that typically lasts a bit longer with slightly decreased side effects. Compared to Ritalin, it appears to be less prone to causing sleep or appetite disturbance.
Remember, it is very difficult to compare medications because what works for one person may not work for you. Therefore, it is difficult to compare drug reactions between people because everyone is different.
Rather, find whatever ADHD medications or ADHD treatments works best for you and stick with it.
It is essential to have open, two-way communication with the prescribing doctor. Report any noticeable side effects. Some people find it helpful to keep a medication journal in order to track progress or side effects.
Remember to ask questions. Become as informed as possible. This empowers all of the parties involved and results in optimum treatment for you or your child.
If you feel your voice is not heard by your current doctor, then seek one who will listen. Also, it is preferable to find a doctor or psychiatrist who specializes in treating ADHD rather than rely on a primary care physician.
Only take Focalin or Adderall as prescribed by your doctor. Never crush and snort ADHD medications, as doing this dangerously releases the medication’s full affect all at once.
Never share your medications with others, or sell your medications to others.
It is important not to make any wholesale changes to your treatment regimen without first discussing it with your doctor. Stimulant based ADHD medications such as Focalin and Adderall must be gradually reduced over time in order to avoid withdrawal and other complications.
Do not alter doses, skip does, or stop giving medications cold turkey without first consulting your prescribing doctor. Report any severe or unusual physical, emotional, or psychological side effects to your doctor right away.
In the end, through personal experience, you will find whether Focalin or Adderall is right for you. It often takes a little trial and error, patience, and time, but finding a healthy effective balance can be achieved.
Over time, if you find little success with these medications, discuss your options with your doctor. You may wish to consider ADD natural remedies and other alternatives to see if they are effective.
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