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Difference Between Adderall and Ritalin

Adderall vs Ritalin

The CDCP (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) said that ADHD, completely known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, has been evident in over 4 million children back in 2006 and this number has already grown up today. Once diagnosed in your child, he or she may have some difficulties doing his or her normal activities of daily living. Fortunately, they can now take medications like Adderall and Ritalin to help them control the symptoms of ADHD. The drawback however is that the two drugs have been known to lead to some side-effects that pretty much distinguish the two drugs.

Foremost, Adderall has both amphetamine and dextroamphetamine which are stimulating chemical compounds to the CNS (central nervous sytem). Once stimulated, symptoms of ADHD are reduced and to some degree prevented.

However, using Adderall contributes to some side effects like urinary frequency, irregular heartbeat, urinary difficulty, stomach pain, bladder pain and even the presence of blood in the urine (hematuria). These side-effects are more common than the rest like cough, fever, confusion, chest pain or tightness, difficulty in speech, blistering or rashes, vision problems, hallucinations, fatigue or body weakness, nausea and vomiting among many others.

When using Adderall for your child, you must think of it as something that prevents episodes of hyperactivity rather than something that causes the plethora of side effects mentioned above. This drug, according to Mayo Clinic, is good in heightening the degree of concentration in your child. For the children with a known active history of ADHD, Adderall lowers restlessness and helps stabilize emotions.

Ritalin is similar to Adderall in the sense that it also contains an active stimulant but this time it is methylphenidate and not amphetamine. Although there’s no solid proof yet, this drug is said to lead to symptoms that are more pronounced than what is seen in Adderall. The most common of which is tachycardia (increased heart rate). The other less frequently seen side effects are confusion, chest pain, extreme depression, convulsions, blood in both stool and urine, depersonalization and many other more.

According to the Mayo Clinic, Ritalin is ideal for ADHD kids with pronounced symptoms of concentration difficulty, easy distractibility, impulsivity and hyperactivity. Also, Ritalin is more commonly used than Adderall. It sells far better than its counterpart. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that Ritalin is the better drug than Adderall. The reason for their sales difference is the popularity if Ritalin and its presence in the medical industry for quite a longer time compared to the newer ADHD drug Adderall. And so, there are still no clear findings yet as to which of the two is the best ADHD medication. Either one may have its own slight advantage over the other, but this leverage is too little to be called significant.

  1. Adderall contains amphetamine and dextroamphetamine while Ritalin has methylphenidate as its stimulant.
  2. Ritalin is the better seller and is more popularly prescribed by doctors compared to Adderall.


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