Adderall vs Ritalin

Is One Better Than The Other?

Adderall vs Ritalin is a great debate among those suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and treating professionals.

The answer depends on the individual because medications affect everyone differently. In other words, what works for your neighbor may not be as effective for you.

First, a little history. As many of you know, Ritalin predates Adderall; it was developed first and was considered the big kid on the block when Adderall was released.

Adderall, on the other hand, was essentially an attempt to create a new and improved Ritalin.

Similarities Of Adderall vs Ritalin

They are both stimulants that work by interacting with the chemicals in the brain that contribute to the symptoms of ADHD. Also, they both begin working in about 30-60 minutes and are both available in long-acting versions that can last up to 12 hours.

One On One Comparison

In my clinical experience Adderall typically lasts a bit longer than most other long-acting ADHD medications.

adderall vs ritalin

In addition, Adderall is less likely to produce rebound, which is the phenomenon where some users experience temporary irritability or depression as their medication wear off.

Furthermore, they are both available in tablet form but Adderall can also be sprinkled on food such as applesauce which makes it more tolerable for those who dislike swallowing pills.

I find that these benefits often make Adderall the more preferable medication option over Ritalin, but your mileage may vary.

Safety Tips

Only take medications as prescribed by your doctor. Never crush and snort Adderall or Ritalin. Keep your medications stored securely, and never share your ADHD medications with others.

Report any adverse side effects to your doctor, especially note any severe or life-threatening reactions such as difficulty breathing or swallowing.


At the end of the day, the best you can do is to try one of these ADHD medications and see how your body adapts. Pay close attention to your mental acuity, focus, appetite, heart rate, weight, etc. and make a mental note of any sudden or peculiar changes, benefits, drawbacks, etc.

Medications affect every individual differently. It may take several weeks for your body to adjust to the medication, so it helps to remain patient as the medication gradually settles into your system.

Work with your doctor to find the best dosage with fewest side effects. If one ADHD medication does not work for you, your doctor may try a different ADHD medication.

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