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  #1  
Old 04-03-09, 10:02 PM
Wyldkeel Wyldkeel is offline
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Ritalin VS. Adderall. Which one works better?

Hey folks,

I am brand-spanking new to these forums; in fact this is my first post on here, lol.

At any rate, I have just recently been diagnosed with ADHD by my family psychiatrist and so I am here searching for treatment answers.

My first question is, which is better, Ritalin or Adderall? Those are the two primary medicine treatment options for ADHD, right? Or are there more out there that I don't know about yet?

I'm thinking that I will end up going with Ritalin because I have heard good things about it and I heard it is more potent than Adderall, so I figure... okay... the more potent drug will probably be the better one since I apparently have a pretty severe case of ADHD.

But I don't know... I've also heard good things about Adderall too, so I'm confused about which one I should ask him for.

What are the pros and cons of each of them?

What does Ritalin do that Adderall doesn't do and vice-versa?

Which ones have worked for you or are still working for you and why? Also, why did you choose one over the other (if you did)?

Just trying to get some answers here, folks.

Need to find out which one would be better for me to take to help me with my ADHD.

Thanks in advance and it's good to be here among other people with the same problem that I have, lol!!!
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Old 04-03-09, 10:18 PM
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Re: Ritalin VS. Adderall. Which one works better?

one medication is not better than the other. it's a case of what medication is most effective in reducing the symptoms of ADHD. in that sense, the efficacy of a drug depends on the individual.

in addition, medication, if it's required, should be seen not as the sole method of treatment but as one part of a broad treatment plan that includes at least psychoeducation and some type of behaviour therapy.
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Old 04-03-09, 10:40 PM
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Re: Ritalin VS. Adderall. Which one works better?

Welcome to the roller coaster! Please keep arms and legs inside the car until it comes to a full and complete stop. Good luck with all that!

There is no magic answer just as there is no one right drug. Each person will respond to different medications differently. And medication isn't a magic bullet. It is only a tool. You will need more than one to manage your ADHD.

I personally take Addderall IR. The IR means "instant release". All that means is that all of the drug is released into the system at once. I like this one because I have a great deal of flexibility with it. The pill is scored in quarters so I can fine tune a dose when needed.

The other tools that you may want to consider are nutritional supplements, altered diet, exercise, meditation, brain training and coaching. ADHD is a holistic disorder and the best way to approach it is holistically.

Get and read Kate Kelly and Peggy Raimundo's "You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid, Or Crazy." I refer to it as the ADHD owner's manual. Both authors have ADHD and are coaches.

You don't mention if you are male or female. If female, you need to be aware that estrogen fluctuation will mess with your ADHD something fierce. There are a few threads on that in the Women's' forum.

I experienced more general lethargy when on Ritalin but that was back in the 60's. I have only used Adderall as an adult and am generally pleased with the result.

Vyvance is an amphetamine type. It is a newer drug and everything I read on it says that it is quite effective. But again, each person is different and will have different experiences. Other drugs to treat ADHD include Concerta (long acting methylphenidate), Straterra (non stimulant anti-depressant type), Wellbutrin (another anti-depressant), and dextroamphetimine (single rather than combined amphetamine isomer). If depression is co-morbid, your pdoc may choose to use a combination of meds that may include an SSRI. Depending on your sub-type, you may have better luck with one stimulant family over another.

Now that I have completely confused you, I'll end with this- let your pdoc decide where to start you, titrate slowly, and keep a journal of your experience and side effects. If you have questions, you are welcome to post here. You should also be taking questions to your pdoc so that he/she understands your concerns.

I've been riding this Crazy Train (Thanks, Ozzie) since 1967. I'm still waiting for that "full and complete stop".
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Old 04-03-09, 10:51 PM
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Re: Ritalin VS. Adderall. Which one works better?

From all the posts that I have read here, and I've tried Adderall, I can say that what works for one person, may not work for another. It may come down to trial and error to be honest with you.
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Old 04-04-09, 01:05 AM
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Re: Ritalin VS. Adderall. Which one works better?

welcome aboard...now your relationship with your doc is crucial for your health

I personally take Ritalin...that works for ME...

keep us posted we care
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Old 04-04-09, 01:15 AM
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Re: Ritalin VS. Adderall. Which one works better?

Thank you very much for the responses folks!

By the way, I am male.

Sorry, should have mentioned that in the OP, lol.

I will talk to my psychiatrist and see what he thinks is best for me. And then I will go from there and keep a journal as you suggested Tigger; that is a good idea.

I will keep you guys posted on my progress.

Thank you for the solidarity folks. It makes me feel a lot better.
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Old 04-04-09, 09:32 AM
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Re: Ritalin VS. Adderall. Which one works better?

Different people report different preferences. One trend I've noticed on Google Scholar is that side effects are on average more numerous and severe with dexamphetamine than with methylphenidate, at least among children, but that doesn't mean some people won't experience fewer side effects on dexamphetamine than methylphenidate.
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Old 08-30-09, 10:44 AM
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Re: Ritalin VS. Adderall. Which one works better?

You may be interested in this article that compares adderall and ritalin.
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Old 08-30-09, 12:12 PM
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Re: Ritalin VS. Adderall. Which one works better?

As the other posters said, it's not a case of one drug being better than the other. There are essentially two classes of stimulant meds: amphetamine and methylphenidate. Most people will respond better to one over the other. I prefer methylphenidate (I take Focalin), but lots of people prefer Adderall.

Also, I've never heard of Ritalin being more "potent" than Adderall. Adderall seemed more powerful to me, but not more effective.
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Old 08-30-09, 09:24 PM
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Re: Ritalin VS. Adderall. Which one works better?

There is very little research on the comparative effectiveness of ADD medications. I have no idea why. It's quite annoying from a consumer point of view. It would be nice to know which medicine is more effective or which one is safer over the long-run.

Ritalin and Adderall are very similar, but they are not identical. Like the article cited above mentions, Adderall is more powerful at the same dosage. Of course, that's pretty much meaningless as a practical matter because you just take 2 Ritalin pills and get the same effect.

There is also some suggestion (again as mentioned in that article cited above) that Adderall may be harder on the brain than Ritalin. Now, I'm not sure that such claims have been scientifically proven to happen at the low doses usually given to ADD patients. But it is worrisome. Apparently Ritalin is actually "neuroprotective" -- meaning it can help protect brain cells. If Adderall kills them, and Ritalin saves them, I'd be for Ritalin. But there really isn't any good evidence of that.

Unfortunately, the only answer you're likely to get on a site like this is that "it depends on how your body responds to the medications." Maybe that's true, but it is a very unsatisfactory answer. These sorts of questions should have more scientific answers.

For what it's worth, I'll give you my experience. Personally, I found them both to work. Ritalin (Concerta) seemed to make me more calm and focused. Adderall also made me more calm and focused, but it made me feel more energetic too. I'm honestly not sure which one works better. Both medications made me feel more anxious than usual. Ritalin seemed to cause more anxiety than Adderall. On the other hand, Adderall is much more likely to cause insomnia. I could sleep on Ritalin (although not easily). There's no way I can sleep until all of the Adderall is out of my system. Also, Adderall XR seems to cause more of a crash than Concerta. Although, Adderall XR is not a very good time-release medicine. It would probably be better to compare Vyvance with Concerta, as they are both very well-designed time-release medications.
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Old 08-30-09, 10:02 PM
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Re: Ritalin VS. Adderall. Which one works better?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Childe Roland View Post
Ritalin and Adderall are very similar, but they are not identical. Like the article cited above mentions, Adderall is more powerful at the same dosage. Of course, that's pretty much meaningless as a practical matter because you just take 2 Ritalin pills and get the same effect.
Adderall is moderately more powerful at the same dosage, but not 2:1. That's Focalin. Focalin is precisely twice the strength of Ritalin, so if you switch from Ritalin to Focalin, you would start with half the dosage of you had with Ritalin. i.e. if you were at 20 mg / day with Ritalin, you would take 10 mg / day of Focalin.

I have also read that Adderall is supposed to be smoother than Ritalin, but there doesn't seem to be any evidence to support this, and I did not find this to be the case in my personal experience.
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Old 04-23-11, 02:38 PM
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Re: Ritalin VS. Adderall. Which one works better?

I personally use adderall XR. I find it awesome. but for ME PERSONALLY I find many factors effect the medicine (like many others). like (and I might just be imagining things)

If/what/what time I eat with it (eat before, after, not at all, if I have a high protein breakfast, big breakfast, small breakfast, empty stomach etc)

If/what time I have coffee with it

the amount of sleep I get

If I make myself eat during the day (I find that it lasts longer/gets stronger. If I forget to eat I feel like the second release never kicks in and I just get zoned out/cranky/tired)

sometimes I feel like I'm focused and speedy but I can't like. FOCUS. on one thing. I'm just all over the place (and I think thats from the caffeine from the coffee)

but thats just my two cents. I'm personally a fan though. I've raised my math grade 9% within a month. and actually enjoy school, and have quit binging&purging. so It's pretty much a godsend in my eyes.
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Old 01-05-12, 06:23 PM
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Re: Ritalin VS. Adderall. Which one works better?

First off, as everyone is saying, Both of these pills react to everyone differently. That being said, I'll tell you my personal experience:

I've taken both Ritalin and Adderall, my personal preference? Adderall hands down, but again keep in mind everyones body is different. With Ritalin, I felt agitated constantly and VERY twitchy, (More so than Adderall) And it was a different kind of focus for me. My concentration was very shotty, almost confused. It's not as powerful as Adderall, so I'm a lot calmer, (Not a good thing for me, especially for a stimulant) but not a good calm, more like borderline paranoia. As for the Spike/Crashes it feels like it works maybe 45 minutes, and the effect slowly drops.

For Adderall, I notice that I am ALOT more social, and just positively enthused. Definitely a big difference in concentration and focus to Ritalin. The only negative things to me about it are the occasional crash (Worse than Ritalin), Insomnia, and Urinary Retention/Frequency, but thankfully those go away after about a week or 2.

I've been off of Ritalin for about a week now, and going back to Adderall tomorrow.

Again just my personal preference, hope this was relevant and helpful to those that are still indecisive or just don't know too much about them! Hope this helped!
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Old 01-05-12, 07:07 PM
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Re: Ritalin VS. Adderall. Which one works better?

^
I'm a 22 Male just fyi.
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Old 01-07-12, 01:57 AM
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Re: Ritalin VS. Adderall. Which one works better?

I am actually prescribed both Adderall IR and Ritalin SR (the latter I take more regularly than the former). I tend to try my best to minimize my Adderall intake because of the side-effects I experience. Not sure if this is helpful any, but I find that my Ritalin SR is more helpful for everyday focus and reading-studying, whereas Adderall is more helpful for when I am tackling, say, a difficult proof or writing code - the more math-y stuff?
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