Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Medications

These medications are used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).


  • Methylphenidate
    • Concerta; Usual Daily Dosage Range: 18-54 mg (Children), 18-72 mg (Adolescents or Adults)
    • Metadate CD, Metadate ER; Usual Daily Dosage Range: 20-60 mg
    • Ritalin; Usual Daily Dosage Range: 0.3-2 mg/kg/day (Children), 10-45 mg (Adults)
    • Ritalin LA; Usual Daily Dosage Range: 20-40 mg
    • Daytrana; Usual Daily Dosage Range: 10 mg/9 hour- 30 mg/9 hour patch
    • Quillivant XR; Usual Daily Dosage Range: 20-60 mg
    • QuilliChew ER; Usual Daily Dosage Range: 20-60 mg
  • Dexmethylphenidate (Focalin, Focalin XR); Usual Daily Dosage Range: 2.5-10 mg twice per day
  • Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine); Usual Daily Dosage Range: 5-40 mg
  • Lisdexamphetamine (Vyvanse); Usual Daily Dosage Range: 30 mg
  • Amphetamine (Adderall, Adderall XR); Usual Daily Dosage Range: 5-40 mg

Possible side effects include insomnia, headache, exacerbation of tics, nervousness, irritability, over-stimulation, tremor, dizziness, anorexia, nausea, dry mouth, constipation, diarrhea, weight loss, can temporarily slow growth in children, sexual dysfunction, psychotic episodes, seizures, palpitations, tachycardia, hypertension, cardiovascular adverse effects, sudden death in patients with preexisting cardiac structural abnormalities; andrare activation of hypomania, mania or suicidal ideation.

Selective Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor (NRI)

  • Atomoxetine (Strattera); Usual Daily Dosage Range: 0.5-1.2 mg/kg/day in children up to 70 kg

Possible side effects include sedation, fatigue, decreased appetite, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, insomnia, dizziness, anxiety, agitation, aggression, irritability, dry mouth, constipation, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dyspepsia, urinary hesitancy, urinary retention, dysmenorrhea, sweating, sexual dysfunction, increased heart rate and hypertension, orthostatic hypotension, severe liver damage, hypomania, rare induction of mania, and rare activation of suicidal ideation and behavior.

Centrally Acting Alpha 2A Adrenergic Receptor Agonist

  • Guanfacine (Tenex, Intuniv); Usual Daily Dosage Range: 1-2 mg (Tenex), 1-4 mg (Intuniv)
  • Clonidine (Kapvay); Usual Daily Dosage Range: 0.1-0.4 mg

Possible side effects include dry mouth, dizziness, constipation, sedation, weakness, fatigue, impotence, loss of libido, insomnia, headache, major depression, dermatologic reactions, hypotension, occasional syncope, tachycardia, nervousness, agitation, nausea, vomiting, sinus bradycardia, atrioventricular block, hypertensive encephalopathy, cerebrovascular accidents, and death.

The above information is meant as a general reference only and should not be used as a guideline for prescribing of medications or medical advice.  Please check the manufacturer’s product information sheet or the P.D.R. for the most accurate information, including dosage schedule, side effect profile and contraindications.  Please consult a physician for medical advice.  Brand names are registered trademarks. Disclaimer