Posted: 10/13/2017

Focalin vs Adderall

Adhd_medications_concept

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), almost 11% of American Children aged 7 to 14 have some form of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with nearly 4% of adults also diagnosed with some form of the condition. ADHD diagnoses have increased almost 50% over the last eight years, making it more likely than ever that you know someone personally affected by the disorder.

 

Treating ADHD can be hugely important for academic performance in children and productivity in adults. Children that remain undiagnosed and untreated consistently perform worse in school than their peers who are either treated or do not suffer from ADHD. While, as of now, there is no one-time cure for the disorder, there are several medications that can assist in improving focus and lessening hyperactivity.

 

Two of the most well-known antihypertensive drugs are Focalin and Adderall. While both have shown dramatic improvement of focus for ADHD patients, they have a few differences in terms of effectiveness, depending on the patient.

 

 

Adderall

Focalin

What does it Treat / Who is it for?

Treats ADHD, Narcolepsy

Treats ADHD

Common Side Effects

Upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, irritability, and nervousness.

Upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea

Safety

Can be highly addictive / create a psychological dependency. Not to be taken by people who suffer from thyroid problems, women who are pregnant and children under six.

Can be highly addictive / create a psychological dependency.

Coupons

Helprx Adderall Coupon

Helprx Focalin Coupon

 

Effectiveness and Benefits

 

Focalin and Adderall both work by increasing the presence of two neurotransmitters, dopamine and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters help make the patient feel more focused, alert, and present. Consequently, an individual affected by ADHD, who usually may not be able to complete focus-based tasks, would be able to do so with the increase of these neurotransmitters.

 

Both Adderall and Focalin work for the same duration: 4-6 hours after use of a tablet, or up to 12 hours on an extended-release tablet. Depending on the patient, the amount of Adderall or Focalin per dose may vary. Adderall offers more dosage options than Focalin, which allows for more accurate adjustments in a patient's prescription.

 

Overall, Adderall and Focalin have about the same efficacy, despite different chemical makeups. Though Adderall remains moderately more popular, and different individuals may attest to one’s effectiveness over the other, there is no current study that directly compares the effectiveness of the two. Additionally, it is notable that Adderall can help fight Narcolepsy in addition to ADHD whereas Focalin is prescribed for Adderall exclusively.

 

Side Effects

 

The differences begin to show most clearly when comparing side effects. It is here where the chemical makeup can affect the long-term brain development or habits of the individual. Most notably, Adderall can be classified as an amphetamine, which can make it habit forming or even hazardous to the health of someone who is not taking it under the discretion of a doctor. Even though amphetamines have a reputation as drugs that are commonly abused, those diagnosed

with ADHD who are taking the recommended amount are typically not exposed to an immediate health risk.

 

Adderall and Focalin share their most common side effects, which revolve around abdominal pain, diarrhea, and appetite loss. Additionally, headaches, drowsiness, and dry mouth are possible. Mentally, because the drugs increase the use of certain neurotransmitters, they can increase irritability and nervousness.

 

These side effects almost always appear at the beginning of use, but their appearance depends entirely depends on whether the body responds better to the amphetamine salts in adderall or the higher percentage of dexmethylphenidate in Focalin. Therefore, if severe side effects persist while using one drug, it may be worth considering switching.

 

Drug Safety

 

Both Focalin and Adderall come with a high risk of abuse and therefore it is imperative that those with a history of addiction or alcoholism should seek advice before taking this drug. Additionally, patients with a history of mental illness, especially anxiety and depression, should act cautiously as both affect brain chemistry. Most importantly, those with cardiovascular issues, such as heart disease or risk of stroke, should stay away from both drugs.

 

Adderall specifically cannot be used by those with a thyroid issue or an overactive thyroid. Additionally, women who are pregnant and children under 6 should be cautious about taking adderall - ask your doctor about possible paediatric dosages.

 

How To Switch or Stop

 

Because of their highly addictive nature, both Adderall and Focalin can be extremely difficult to wane off. The longer a patient has been on either drug, the more likely the withdrawal could be painful both mentally and physically. The most common and least severe side effects surrounding initial withdrawal involve drowsiness and lethargy and loss of focus and awareness.

 

Commonly, it can feel as if ADHD has gotten worse once the drug has left the body, but this is often the mind readjusting to the mental state of ADHD. However, the brain can develop a psychological dependency on the drug and withdrawing can actually make the disorder worse as the brain has come to rely on the drug for providing the necessary neurotransmitters.

 

Adderall and Focalin are generally administered in the same amount of potency and therefore one will not be easier to stop or switch to than the other. Generally, the patient waning themselves off the drug should expect a sense of depression and heightened symptoms of ADHD. As time goes on, the brain will attempt to readjust to the dopamine imbalance and the patient will eventually return to normal.

 

Conclusion

 

Focalin and Adderall ultimately differ little in the way they assist those with ADHD. Where they truly differ is in their chemical makeup, and while they both ultimately work similarly in the brain, different bodies may react in different ways. Finally, it is notable that both Focalin and Adderall are Schedule 2 controlled substances, and therefore only legally taken after a diagnosis from a medical professional. Any other use of them is not only illegal, but very possibly dangerous and life-threatening. When taken properly, they can be very effective for assisting those affected by ADHD.

 
By Patrick Vermillon

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About the HelpRx.info Blog

HelpRx.info is staffed by experts in the prescription medication industry. Get the latest health, medical news and pharmaceutical news that can save you money and allow you to take charge of your healthcare. With frequent updates about the prescription drug industry as well as medicine news, you'll gain an insider look into the industry and learn more about how to get the best price on your prescriptions while not sacrificing quality.

About HelpRx

Our discounts provide you access to negotiated prices on your prescription drugs at your local pharmacy. We can provide these because we're partnered with OptumRx, a BIG pharmacy benefit provider that provides prescription coverage for MILLIONS of people like you.

About ScriptRelief

Script Relief, the creator of the NPSN card and HelpRx discounts, helps consumers save an average of 50%, and up to 75%, off their prescriptions.

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