Let’s not beat about the bush here – I’ve been round the block a bit. If I haven’t tried a particular medication myself then I’ve known people that have, some for years at a time.
I thought I’d run through some of them, in particular those available on the NHS in the UK.
The purpose – to give you a grounding in what to expect and what you can say to your practitioner.
And if you’ve got any questions about medications then ask away (if it’s not covered below); send emails to
Stimulant or non stimulant?
The majority of ADHD medications are stimulants – not to worry, so are coffee and tea…and sugar and a blast of cold air!
Essentially there are two families of stimulants – those with the active ingredient of methylphenidate hydrochloride…and the others.
The methylphenidate medications include a lot of the household names in ADHD meds – here are a few of them
and there are quite a few names of generics of these eg Ritalina, Rilatine, Attenta, Medikinet, Metadate, Methylin, Penid, Tranquilyn, and Rubifen.
Concerta is only available as an extended release medication – it has an effective ‘life’ of up to 12 hours.
Many of the other have both instant release (last only a few hours) and extended release variants – the extended ones will have something like XL or XR or ER at the end of their names.
The difference is that the instant release ones tend to last less than six hours, the extended ones more than six hours.
If it’s a tablet then you know it’s an immediate release type, if a capsule it’s probably an extended release.
The amount off the active ingredient is given in milligrams (mg) – 5mg is usually the smallest available and, in the UK, you can get a dose up to 54mg (at the moment).
TO BE CONTINUED (what it does, the other types etc)