Both Adderall and Ritalin are drugs used to combat the effects of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These are people who have trouble concentrating or controlling their impulses to the point where they may become excitable and fidgety which actually reduces their ability to focus on any particular thing.
Although we mostly associate ADHD with children, adults can suffer from this condition as well which may last the rest of their lives. In fact, 50% of children who have been diagnosed with ADHD will carry the symptoms well into their adult years.
Interestingly enough, both Adderall and Ritalin are stimulants which may seem counterproductive, the actual effect is one that brings people to focus better on tasks and improves their overall concentration. In addition, the use of stimulants also reduces impulse behaviors as well.
Similarities Between Adderall and Ritalin
Both medications are similar in the sense that they affect the central nervous system by speeding up the transmission of chemical and electrical signals which in turn increases brain activity. The result is that the person taking the medications can really focus on the tasks at hand. In addition, both medications have similar side effects as well which include, but are not limited to the following:
- Dry Mouth
- Loss of Appetite
- Loss of Sleep
In addition, both drugs are available in both short and long acting formulas. Plus, both fall under the US Controlled Substance Act which means that they can be addictive as well with a strong potential for abuse if they are not well monitored.
Differences Between Adderall and Ritalin
When it comes to substantial differences between Adderall and Ritalin there are very few. After several studies examining the effectiveness of both drugs, there has not been any conclusive evidence that one works better than the other. In fact, they are both enough alike that many doctors will quickly recommend the drug not prescribed if they one that was originally selected is not working as it should.
However, there are some minor differences which have been noticed over the years that they both have gone into effect. Adderall actually increase the cells ability to pump out neurotransmitters which is something that Ritalin does not do. This means that Adderall is actually effective for longer periods of time which may make it seem more effective. However, Ritalin seems to be the drug of choice for those who want a better, short-term effect because they can control the side effects to a greater extent. This means that a person taking Ritalin is less likely to experience long term side effects such as loss of appetite or not being able to sleep well so that they can eat properly and get a good night’s sleep.
Overall, the drug that works best for the person who has ADHD is the one that offers the greatest positive effect with the least number of side effects. For many adults, Ritalin may be the proper choice because its effects can be better controlled while children who are in school for seven or eight hours a day may benefit from Adderall for its longer-term effects.