Concerta vs Adderall is a great debate among those with ADHD. In my clinical experience as a doctor specializing in the treatment of ADHD, I am frequently asked which is better.
Concerta and Adderall are both stimulants that are used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, otherwise known as ADD/ADHD.
They interact with chemicals in the brain that contribute to impulse control and hyperactivity.
Adderall and Concerta begin working in 30-60 minutes and Adderall has an average duration of 4-5 hours. In addition, Adderall is offered in a long-lasting version that can last up to 12 hours.
Concerta, on the other hand, is long-acting for up to 12-15 hours. As a benefit, it can be administered once per day.
Both wear off gradually and are less likely to produce a mid-day gap or rebound since medication is released gradually throughout the day. Rebound is the phenomenon where some experience irritability or depression for up to an hour as the drug wears off.
In my clinical experience, I would say that Concerta typically lasts longer than most other extended or sustained release stimulants. In addition, it is less likely to produce rebound than the others.
On the other hand, one benefit of Adderall is that one may ingest it by swallowing the tablets or by sprinkling the contents of the tablet on a spoonful of applesauce to make it easier to tolerate.
Remember that when comparing Adderall vs Concerta, what works for one person may not work for you. Therefore, it is difficult to compare drug reactions between people because everyone is different.
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. Ask questions. This empowers all of the parties involved and results in optimum treatment for you or your child.
Do not alter doses, skip does, or stop giving medications cold turkey without consulting your prescriber first. If you feel your voice is not heard 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.
Discussing the merits of Concerta vs Adderall is fine, but it is important to remember that medications are not magic fixes. Rather, meds are simply one tool to help manage ADHD. Other important tools that should be considered are exercise, yoga, meditation, and the ADHD diet.
Recommended Treatment For Children
The Total Focus Program is, in my personal and clinical experience, the single most effective resource for children and families struggling with ADHD. It teaches parents how manage and eliminate difficult behaviors.
For adults, the How To Conquer ADHD program is an inspirational treatment guide written and developed by a man who suffers from adult ADHD and learned to overcome it. In his guide, he lists the process by which he became more focused and better able to manage his adult responsibilities (job, money management, relationships, family, etc). This resulted in enabling him to become highly successful.
In the end, through personal experience, you will find whether Concerta or Adderall is right for you. Often, it may take a little trial and error in order to find the best balance for each individual.