Ritalin vs Adderall Uses, Side-Effects, Dosage - Medsol.info

Ritalin vs Adderall: Uses, Side-Effects, Dosage

Here in this blog, you are going to know all the necessary information about Ritalin and Adderall. Adderall and Ritalin are stimulant medications approved to treat the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Although they achieve similar symptom control, these medications have different main ingredients.

But some of the questions in people’s minds come that they are the same or not. Here you will get to know the major differences between “Ritalin vs Adderall”. Well, you will definitely find answers to all your queries in this blog

Let’s look at both of them a little closer so we can figure out the difference between them:

What is Adderall? 

Adderall medication is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Adderall tablets contain a combination of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. Both amphetamine and dextroamphetamine are central nervous system stimulants that act on chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control.

Adderall can also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide. 

Uses: How should Adderall be taken?

  • Take Adderall exactly as it is prescribed. Your doctor may adjust the dose until it is appropriate for you or your child.
  • The tablets of Adderall are usually taken two to three times a day. The first dose of Adderall is usually taken in the morning. During the day, you can take one or two more doses at intervals of 4 to 6 hours.
  • You can also take this medicine with or without food.
  • From time to time, the doctor may stop treatment with Adderall for a while to check the symptoms of ADHD.
  • The doctor may do regular checks of the blood, heart, and blood pressure while taking Adderall. The height and weight of children should be checked frequently while taking Adderall. Adderall treatment may be stopped if there is a sign of any problem found during these check-ups.
  • Call your doctor or Poison Control Center immediately, or get emergency treatment quickly. If too much a dose of Adderall has been taken by you or your child.

Side Effects Of Adderall

Below are some common side effects of Adderall:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nervousness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain

Dosage Of Adderall 

Adderall is approved by the FDA for the treatment of hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive symptoms in adults and children 3 years and older with clinically significant disorders caused by the diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

  • Adults and children 6 years and older: 5–40 mg by mouth divided into one to three daily doses taken every 4 to 6 hours
  • Child 3–5 years old: 2.5–40 mg by mouth divided into 1 to 3 daily doses taken every four to 6 hours
  • Really impaired patient: Not defined
  • Hepatically impaired patient: Not defined

The first dose of Adderall should be taken in the morning.

What is Ritalin? 

This drug is used to treat (ADHD) attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. This medicine works by changing the amount of certain natural substances in the brain. Methylphenidate belongs to a class of drugs which is known as stimulants. It can’t help increase your ability to pay attention, stay focused on any activity, and control behavior problems. It can also help you organize your tasks and improve your listening skills as well. This medicine is used to treat a certain sleep disorders (narcolepsy).  

Uses: How should Ritalin be taken

  • Take Ritalin by your mouth as prescribed by the doctor. This medicine is usually taken 2 or 3 times a day. For the best result of this medicine take it 30 to 45 minutes before your meal. In case you have a bad stomach then you can take this medicine after a meal or snacks 
  • If you take this medication late in the day can cause sleeping problems (insomnia).
  • The dosage of the medicine is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Your doctor may advise you to gradually increase or decrease the dose. 
  • If you are taking this medicine for a very long time, do not stop suddenly without consulting with your doctor 
  • In case you suddenly stop this medication, you may have withdrawal symptoms such as depression, suicidal thoughts, or other mental illnesses. To prevents these withdrawals, your doctor may lower your medicine dose slowly. 
  • Although this medicine helps many people. But, this medicine can sometimes be addictive. This risk may be higher if you have a substance use disorder (for example, drug/alcohol abuse or addiction to them).

Tell your doctor about your conditions if it is not improving or getting worse.

Side Effects Of Ritalin

Below are some common side effects of Ritalin:

  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss

Dosage Of Ritalin

  • Adults: Take 2 or 3 times a day 30-45 minutes before meals. The average dose of the medicine is 20 to 30 milligrams (mg) per day
  • Children 6 years of age and older: At first, 5 mg 2 times a day, take before breakfast and lunch. The doctor can adjust your dose as needed.
  • Children younger than 6 years of age: The use and dose should be determined by the doctor.

Differences between Ritalin vs. Adderall

Drug classCNS StimulantCNS Stimulant
Brand/Generic statusBrand and generic availableBrand and generic available
Generic NameMethylphenidateDextroamphetamine/amphetamine salts
What form(s) does the drug come in?Oral tablet and extended-release tabletOral tablet and extended-release tablet
What is the standard dosage?20 to 30 mg, two or three times daily as directed by the doctor5 to 40 mg one time in the morning and then every 4 to 6 hours as directed by a doctor
How long are the typical treatment?Short-term or long-term use may be appropriate depending on the doctor’s prescriptionShort-term or long-term use may be appropriate depending on the doctor’s prescription
Who typically uses the medication?Adult and 6 years of age children and olderAdult and 3 years of age children and older


As shown in this blog, Ritalin and Adderall have some notable differences. Both drugs are very similar in their mode of action and effects.

If you suffer from a disorder for which you may be prescribed Ritalin or Adderall and want to learn more about treatment options, please consult your doctor.


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