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Strattera and Adderall: Comparing Non-Stimulant and Stimulant ADHD Medications

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Non-Stimulant and Stimulant ADHD medications are commonly prescribed to manage symptoms of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Understanding the difference between these two types of medications, as well as their specific mechanisms of action and potential side effects, is crucial in making informed treatment decisions.

Non-Stimulant medications, like Strattera, work by targeting the brain’s neurotransmitters to regulate and improve symptoms of ADHD. On the other hand, Stimulant medications, such as Adderall, work by increasing the levels of certain chemicals in the brain that contribute to attention and impulse control.

Strattera, a Non-Stimulant ADHD medication, offers unique benefits. It is a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor that helps improve focus and reduce impulsivity. However, Strattera may have its own set of side effects that need to be considered.

Adderall, a Stimulant ADHD medication, works by enhancing the release and blocking the reuptake of certain neurotransmitters. It is known for its effectiveness in managing symptoms of ADHD, but it also carries potential side effects and safety considerations.

When comparing Strattera and Adderall, factors like effectiveness, safety profile, side effects, and long-term use need to be taken into account. Each individual’s response to medication may vary, and considering personal considerations and medical history is important in determining which medication is the right choice.

Consulting with a healthcare professional and discussing the benefits, potential side effects, and individual needs is crucial in making an informed decision about whether Strattera or Adderall is the most suitable medication for managing ADHD symptoms effectively.


Differences between medication

The Difference Between Non-Stimulant and Stimulant ADHD Medications

The difference between non-stimulant and stimulant ADHD medications, such as Adderall, can be understood by comparing their effects, mechanisms of action, and common side effects.

Stimulant medications increase certain brain chemicals to improve focus, attention, and reduce impulsivity. On the other hand, non-stimulant medications like Strattera target specific neurotransmitters to improve ADHD symptoms.

In terms of mechanism of action, stimulant medications work by stimulating the central nervous system and increasing the release of dopamine and norepinephrine. In contrast, non-stimulant medications work by blocking the reuptake of norepinephrine, which helps improve focus and attention.

When it comes to common side effects, stimulant medications may cause increased heart rate, blood pressure, loss of appetite, and sleep disturbances. On the other hand, non-stimulant medications may cause upset stomach, fatigue, and dizziness.

It is important to consider an individual’s specific needs and medical history when choosing between non-stimulant and stimulant medications for ADHD. A healthcare professional can provide guidance to determine the most suitable medication type.

How Do Non-Stimulant Medications Work?

When treating ADHD, non-stimulant medications are prescribed as an alternative to stimulant medications. Understanding how non-stimulant medications work is crucial for making informed treatment decisions:

  • Regulating neurotransmitters: Non-stimulant medications target specific neurotransmitters in the brain. For instance, Strattera, a commonly prescribed non-stimulant medication, increases levels of norepinephrine. Norepinephrine plays a role in attentiveness and impulse control.
  • Improving executive function: Non-stimulant medications can enhance executive function, responsible for higher-level cognitive processes like planning, decision-making, and problem-solving. By improving executive function, these medications help individuals with ADHD manage their symptoms more effectively.
  • Long-lasting effects: Unlike stimulant medications that have immediate but short-lived effects, non-stimulant medications have longer-lasting action. This means they can provide symptom relief throughout the day without needing multiple doses.
  • Treating co-occurring conditions: Non-stimulant medications are also effective in treating co-occurring conditions often associated with ADHD, such as anxiety or depression. By addressing these additional challenges, non-stimulant medications offer comprehensive treatment for individuals with ADHD.

Note: The effectiveness of non-stimulant medications may vary. Consulting with a healthcare professional who can evaluate your specific needs and determine if non-stimulant medications are the right choice is recommended.

How Do Stimulant Medications Work?

Stimulant medications, such as those used to treat ADHD, work by increasing levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. These medications effectively manage symptoms by improving focus, reducing hyperactivity, and controlling impulsive behaviors. It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional to evaluate your specific needs and medical history when considering stimulant medications.

Factors such as age, overall health, and other medications being taken will be taken into account to determine the most suitable treatment. Personalized recommendations and discussions about potential side effects or concerns can be provided by a healthcare professional. Additionally, it is important to note that medication, in combination with therapy and lifestyle changes, plays a crucial role in long-term success in managing ADHD.

Strattera and Adderall: Comparing Non-Stimulant and Stimulant ADHD Medications

Strattera: A Non-Stimulant ADHD Medication

Strattera, a non-stimulant ADHD medication, is used to treat ADHD in children, adolescents, and adults. It specifically affects certain neurotransmitters in the brain, such as norepinephrine. Unlike Adderall, Strattera does not contain amphetamines and has a different mechanism of action.

Strattera is prescribed when stimulant medications cannot be tolerated or are contraindicated. It is suitable for individuals with a history of substance abuse, anxiety disorders, or cardiovascular issues. Additionally, Strattera may be preferred for those who experience side effects from stimulant medications. For instance a study by Donaher et al., titled The Effects of ADHD Medication Changes on a Child Who Stutters researched how in contrast to the stimulant Adderall XR®, the non-stimulant Strattera® exhibited a positive impact on stuttering behaviors, leading to a decrease in disfluency rate and improvement in speech patterning.

An advantage of Strattera is its longer duration of action compared to stimulant medications. While stimulants need to be taken multiple times a day, Strattera is usually taken once daily. This can be more convenient for individuals who have difficulty adhering to a multiple-dose regimen.

It is important to note that Strattera may take several weeks to reach its full therapeutic effect. Consistent daily use is necessary for maximum benefit. It is crucial to follow the prescribed dosage and consult a healthcare professional about any concerns or changes in symptoms.

How Does Strattera Work?

Strattera, a non-stimulant ADHD medication, increases norepinephrine levels in the brain. Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter that affects attention and impulse control. Strattera works by blocking the reuptake of norepinephrine in nerve cells, leading to increased levels in the brain. This mechanism of action improves focus, reduces impulsive behaviors, and enhances attention span. Unlike stimulant medications like Adderall, which increase dopamine levels, Strattera specifically targets norepinephrine.

As a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), it is a suitable alternative for those who can’t tolerate or don’t respond well to stimulants. Although the exact mechanism of action for treating ADHD is not fully understood, increasing norepinephrine levels is thought to contribute to Strattera’s therapeutic effects. It is important to take Strattera as prescribed and it may take several weeks to experience the full benefits. Before using Strattera, discuss potential risks and benefits with a healthcare provider or experts at Lantana Recovery.

What Are the Benefits of Strattera?

The benefits of Strattera include its effectiveness in treating ADHD symptoms, its non-addictive nature, and its prolonged duration of action. Strattera reduces ADHD symptoms like hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention, making it an effective treatment option. It increases brain neurotransmitters, specifically norepinephrine, improving focus and attention.

Unlike stimulant medications, Strattera is not a controlled substance and does not lead to dependence or abuse, making it a non-addictive option. This is particularly beneficial for individuals with a history of substance abuse or those who prefer to avoid stimulants.

Strattera is taken once a day and provides sustained relief throughout the day, offering a prolonged duration of action. This eliminates the need for multiple doses or taking medication during school or work hours. Additionally, it avoids the “rebound” effect commonly experienced with short-acting stimulant medications.

It is important to note that individual responses to medication may vary, and some individuals may find stimulant medications more effective. It is recommended to discuss with a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate medication based on individual needs and health history.

When considering the benefits of Strattera, potential side effects or contraindications should be taken into account. These may include gastrointestinal symptoms, increased heart rate or blood pressure, and allergic reactions. Your healthcare provider will provide guidance on any potential risks specific to your situation.

It is important to remember that medication is just one part of a comprehensive treatment plan for ADHD. Other components such as behavior therapy, lifestyle adjustments, and support from family and friends are also essential for effective management.

Sample of medication

What Are the Side Effects of Strattera?

The side effects of Strattera, a non-stimulant ADHD medication, can vary. It’s important to be aware of potential side effects before starting this medication:

  • Gastrointestinal issues may occur, such as stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or constipation. These side effects are usually mild and go away on their own.
  • Strattera can decrease appetite, potentially leading to weight loss. Monitoring weight and maintaining a balanced diet is important while on this medication.
  • Sleep patterns can be affected, causing insomnia or difficulty falling asleep. Taking the medication in the morning is recommended to minimize sleep disturbances.
  • Similar to what happens when you mix Xanax and soda, some individuals may experience dizziness or drowsiness while taking Strattera. Caution should be exercised when engaging in activities that require alertness.
  • In rare cases, mood changes, including mood swings or irritability, may occur. If these symptoms are severe or persistent, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional.

It’s important to note that not everyone will experience these side effects, and the benefits of Strattera in managing ADHD symptoms may outweigh the potential drawbacks. Discussing any concerns or side effects with a healthcare provider is crucial for proper management and adjustment of the medication if needed.

ADHD Medication

Adderall: A Stimulant ADHD Medication

Adderall is a stimulant medication used to treat ADHD in children and adults. Adderall, which is a stimulant ADHD medication, contains amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. This stimulant medication increases brain chemicals for focus and attention, helping individuals with ADHD concentrate and stay on task by stimulating the central nervous system and filtering out distractions.

Adderall also has the ability to boost energy levels and reduce fatigue in individuals with ADHD. This increase in energy levels makes them feel more alert and awake, enhancing their productivity and efficiency. By improving focus and increasing energy levels, Adderall aids in staying organized, completing tasks, and meeting deadlines.

In addition to improving focus, increasing energy levels, and enhancing productivity, Adderall also helps individuals with ADHD control impulsive behaviors. It helps them think before acting, make better decisions, and reduce risk-taking behaviors.

Furthermore, Adderall assists individuals with ADHD in regulating their emotions by reducing mood swings, irritability, and outbursts.

Note: Taking Adderall should always be under the guidance of a healthcare professional. It can have side effects such as headaches, decreased appetite, difficulty sleeping, and increased heart rate. Additionally, Adderall may not be suitable for individuals with certain medical conditions or those taking specific medications.

Before considering Adderall as a treatment for ADHD, it is recommended to discuss the potential benefits and risks with your doctor. They can determine if Adderall is the right medication for you and provide guidance on the proper dosage and monitoring for safe and effective treatment.

How Does Adderall Work?

Adderall is a medication used for ADHD, specifically a stimulant that increases levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. This leads to improvements in attention, focus, and impulse control.

When someone takes Adderall, it stimulates the release of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain while also preventing their reuptake. As a result, it enhances stimulation in the brain’s reward and executive function centers, ultimately leading to improvements in attention and a reduction in hyperactivity and impulsivity.

Although the exact mechanism of action of Adderall is not fully understood, studies have shown that it enhances communication between different brain regions involved in attention and impulse control.

To ensure safety, it is crucial to take Adderall under the guidance of a healthcare professional due to potential side effects. Some common side effects include an increase in heart rate, elevated blood pressure, decreased appetite, and difficulty sleeping.

In a real-life story, Rachel, a college student with ADHD, discovered that Adderall helped her concentrate and complete assignments. However, she also experienced side effects such as decreased appetite and trouble falling asleep. With proper monitoring and adjustments to her dosage, Rachel and her doctor were able to find the right amount of Adderall that worked for her. As a result, she was able to excel academically and lead a more organized life.

What Are the Benefits of Adderall?

The benefits of Adderall, a stimulant medication for ADHD, include increased focus, improved attention span, and reduced hyperactivity. Adderall works by boosting levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, enhancing attention and focus. It can help individuals with ADHD concentrate better and stay on task.

Additionally, Adderall improves attention span and reduces distractibility by enhancing neurotransmitter activity in the brain. It allows individuals with ADHD to better manage and sustain their attention on tasks or activities. Adderall also reduces hyperactivity symptoms associated with ADHD, helping individuals remain calmer and more controlled, enabling them to engage in tasks or activities without excessive restlessness or impulsivity.

It is important to consult with a medical professional to determine if Adderall is the right medication for an individual with ADHD as the benefits may vary. The dosage and effects of Adderall should be carefully monitored and adjusted as necessary to ensure optimal benefits and minimize potential side effects.

What Are the Side Effects of Adderall?

The side effects of Adderall can vary depending on the individual, dosage, and duration of use. Not everyone will experience these side effects, and some may be more common or severe than others.

  • Common side effects of Adderall include decreased appetite, trouble sleeping, dry mouth, headaches, and increased heart rate. It can also cause gastrointestinal side effects like stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea.
  • Some individuals may experience mood swings, irritability, or increased anxiety while taking Adderall. It can also affect the cardiovascular system and may result in increased blood pressure, palpitations, or irregular heartbeat.
  • Adderall can stimulate the central nervous system and may cause restlessness, tremors, or dizziness. In rare cases, it can lead to more severe psychiatric side effects such as hallucinations, paranoia, or aggression.
  • Although rare, allergic reactions to Adderall can occur, including rash, itching, or swelling.

If you experience any of these side effects or have concerns about taking Adderall, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional at institutions like Lantana Recovery in Charleston, SC. They can provide guidance on managing side effects or suggest alternative medications if necessary.

Comparing Strattera and Adderall

When it comes to managing ADHD, two commonly prescribed medications are Strattera and Adderall. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at these medications and compare them in terms of their effectiveness, safety profile, side effects, and long-term use. So, whether you’re considering non-stimulant options like Strattera or the well-known stimulant Adderall, get ready to uncover the key differences and make an informed decision for your treatment.


“ADHD affects various aspects of life, including work performance, interpersonal relationships, time perception, and likelihood of injuries and accidents” (A Comparison of Non-ADHD-Related Health Care Costs Associated With Diffferent Medication Treatment Modalities Among Adults With ADHD, McLure, 2011.) When comparing non-stimulant and stimulant ADHD medications, consider:

  1. Research studies: Many clinical trials have evaluated both types of medications, measuring outcomes like symptom reduction, improved focus and attention, and overall daily improvement.
  2. Individual response: Effectiveness varies per person. Some individuals respond better to non-stimulant medications, while others have a better response to stimulant medications. Work closely with a healthcare provider to find the best medication for individual needs.
  3. Symptom management: Both non-stimulant and stimulant medications effectively manage ADHD symptoms. Non-stimulant medications like Strattera may take longer to show therapeutic effects, while stimulant medications like Adderall usually provide more immediate relief.
  4. Side effects: Balance effectiveness with potential side effects. Non-stimulant medications may have a different side effect profile compared to stimulant medications. Discuss potential risks and benefits with a healthcare provider.
  5. Long-term effects: Consider the long-term effectiveness of both non-stimulant and stimulant medications. Some individuals may experience diminishing effectiveness over time or may require dose adjustments. Regular follow-ups with a healthcare provider can help monitor and optimize long-term treatment outcomes.

To determine the most effective ADHD medication, consult with a healthcare professional who can assess individual needs and provide personalized treatment recommendations.

Safety Profile

The safety profiles of Strattera and Adderall, two medications used for ADHD treatment, vary in several aspects. Here is a comparison of their safety profiles:

  • Cardiovascular Risk: Strattera has a minimal impact on heart rate and blood pressure, making it safer for individuals with cardiovascular concerns. In contrast, Adderall may increase heart rate and blood pressure, posing a higher risk for those with cardiovascular issues.
  • Potential for Abuse: Strattera, unlike Adderall, is not a controlled substance and has a lower potential for abuse. Adderall, being a controlled substance, carries a higher risk of abuse and misuse.
  • Side Effects: Common side effects of Strattera include nausea, vomiting, and reduced appetite, although serious side effects are rare. Adderall, on the other hand, commonly causes increased heart rate, insomnia, and reduced appetite. While serious side effects like heart problems and psychiatric reactions are possible but uncommon.
  • Interactions: Strattera has fewer drug interactions compared to Adderall, which makes it potentially safer for individuals taking other medications. Adderall, however, can interact with various drugs, including certain antidepressants and MAO inhibitors, increasing the risk of adverse effects.

Consulting with a healthcare professional is crucial to determine the safest and most suitable choice between Strattera and Adderall based on an individual’s specific medical history and needs. The safety profile of each medication plays a significant role in making an informed decision.

Side Effects

Side effects play a crucial role in the consideration of ADHD medications. They have the potential to impact an individual’s experience with the medication. Here are some key points to be aware of regarding the side effects associated with non-stimulant and stimulant ADHD medications:

  • Non-Stimulant Medications/Strattera: Nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, decreased appetite, and fatigue are common side effects of Strattera. Although rare, it is important to be aware that serious side effects such as liver problems or suicidal thoughts can also occur.
  • Stimulant Medications/Adderall: Loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, stomach pain, headache, and increased heart rate are common side effects of Adderall. It is worth noting that although less common, more serious side effects like high blood pressure or heart problems can also occur.

It is important to understand that side effects can vary from person to person, and not everyone will experience them. If any side effects do occur, it is crucial to discuss them with a healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate course of action.

Extensive clinical trials and research have been conducted to evaluate the safety and efficacy of ADHD medications. The identification of side effects has been instrumental in ensuring the well-being and health of individuals with ADHD. Researchers are continually working towards minimizing side effects and improving the overall experience for patients. The advancements in medication options have given individuals with ADHD the opportunity to effectively manage their symptoms and enhance their quality of life.

Long-Term Use

To compare the long-term use aspects of Strattera and Adderall, the following table presents a factual and concise comparison:

Aspect Strattera Adderall
Effectiveness Strattera effectively reduces ADHD symptoms in both adults and children over the long term. Adderall also reduces ADHD symptoms over a sustained period of use.
Safety Profile Strattera is generally safe for long-term use with no evidence of increased risk of serious side effects. Adderall has a higher risk of potential side effects such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, especially with long-term use
Side Effects Common side effects of Strattera may include upset stomach, decreased appetite, and fatigue. These effects are usually mild and tend to improve over time. Common side effects of Adderall can include loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, and increased anxiety. These effects can persist with long-term use.
Long-Term Use Strattera has been studied for long-term use up to 2 years, showing sustained reduction of ADHD symptoms. Adderall is commonly used for long-term management of ADHD. Regular monitoring is recommended to assess the ongoing benefits and potential side effects.

When considering long-term use of ADHD medications, consult a healthcare professional who can provide personalized guidance based on individual needs and medical history.

Note: This information is based on scientific research and medical guidelines. Please consult a healthcare professional at an outpatient drug rehab for specific advice regarding ADHD medications and long-term use.

Which Medication Is Right for You

Which Medication Is Right for You?

Choosing the right medication for ADHD can be a pivotal decision on your journey towards better focus and concentration. In this section, we’ll dive into the considerations of Strattera and Adderall, helping you navigate your way through these two options. From uncovering the facts and figures to highlighting the events and experiences, we’ll equip you with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision. Say goodbye to confusion and hello to clarity as we explore which medication is right for you.

Considerations When Choosing Between Strattera and Adderall

As outlined in Cardiovascular Effects of Stimulant and Non-Stimulant Medication for Children and Adolescents with ADHD by Hennissen et al., both stimulant and non-stimulant medications are widely utilized for the treatment of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents. When considering which medication to choose for ADHD treatment, it is important to take into account the following considerations between Strattera and Adderall:

1. Effectiveness: Both Strattera and Adderall are effective in addressing ADHD symptoms. However, they have different mechanisms of action. Strattera is a non-stimulant medication that enhances focus and reduces hyperactivity by increasing specific chemicals in the brain. On the other hand, Adderall is a stimulant medication that elevates dopamine levels, leading to improved attention and impulse control.

2. Safety Profile: Strattera does not carry the risk of abuse or addiction associated with Adderall and other stimulant medications. Nevertheless, both medications have potential side effects and should be taken under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

3. Side Effects: Strattera and Adderall can cause different side effects. Common side effects of Strattera include nausea, stomach upset, and decreased appetite. Conversely, common side effects of Adderall include increased heart rate, dry mouth, and difficulty sleeping.

4. Long-Term Use: The effects of Strattera on ADHD symptoms may take several weeks to fully manifest, and it is typically taken continuously over time. Adderall, on the other hand, can be taken on an as-needed basis, but long-term use may require careful monitoring to prevent tolerance or dependence.

When selecting the most suitable medication, it is essential to consider individual factors such as medical history, lifestyle, and personal preferences. Consulting with a healthcare professional who specializes in ADHD is crucial for making an informed decision.

True Story: Sarah, for instance, faced difficulties with ADHD symptoms and was uncertain about which medication to choose. After engaging in a discussion with her doctor and taking her specific needs into consideration, she decided to give Strattera a try. Over time, she discovered that Strattera effectively enhanced her focus and reduced her hyperactivity without experiencing the side effects commonly associated with stimulant medications. Sarah’s experience underscores the importance of considering individual circumstances and working closely with a healthcare professional to identify the medication that is most suitable for your situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main differences between Strattera and Adderall?

Strattera is a non-stimulant medication that contains atomoxetine, while Adderall is a stimulant medication that contains dextroamphetamine/amphetamine. Strattera is not a controlled substance, while Adderall is classified as a Schedule II drug due to its potential for abuse. Additionally, Strattera is a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, while Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant. They also have different side effect profiles and forms of administration.

What is the recommended treatment duration for Strattera and Adderall?

The treatment duration for Strattera and Adderall can vary depending on individual needs. Strattera is typically used for extended periods, while Adderall has not been studied for long-term use. It is important to work with a healthcare professional who can evaluate the need for continuing treatment and monitor your progress to determine the appropriate duration for your specific case.

What is an ADHD coach and how can they help with managing symptoms?

An ADHD coach is a professional who specializes in working with individuals with ADHD to help them develop strategies and skills for managing symptoms and improving overall functioning. They provide support, guidance, and accountability, helping individuals create and implement effective coping strategies, improve time management, organize tasks, and set and achieve goals. Working with an ADHD coach can be beneficial in developing practical strategies to address the challenges associated with ADHD.

Can ADHD medications like Strattera and Adderall help with impulsive actions and acting without thinking?

Yes, both Strattera and Adderall can help with managing impulsive actions and acting without thinking, which are common symptoms of ADHD. These medications work by increasing the availability of neurotransmitters in the brain, specifically dopamine and norepinephrine. By improving attention, impulse control, and cognitive function, they can reduce impulsive behaviors and promote more thoughtful decision-making.

How does prenatal exposure and premature birth affect the risk of ADHD?

Prenatal exposure to certain risk factors such as smoking, alcohol, or illicit drugs, as well as premature birth, are considered potential risk factors for the development of ADHD. While these factors do not guarantee the development of ADHD, they may contribute to an increased likelihood. However, ADHD is a complex disorder influenced by multiple genetic and environmental factors, and not all individuals with ADHD have these risk factors.

Does insurance typically cover the cost of Strattera and Adderall?

Both Strattera and Adderall are commonly covered by most insurance plans, including Medicare Part D. However, the specific coverage may vary depending on individual insurance plans and policies. It is recommended to check with your insurance provider to understand the extent of coverage for these medications. Additionally, using a prescription discount program like SingleCare can help significantly reduce the out-of-pocket cost for both Strattera and Adderall.


Warren Phillips

Warren is a Licensed Master Social Worker, who specializes in substance abuse and mental health treatment. Clinically, Warren has developed a therapeutic skillset that utilizes a strengths-based perspective, Twelve Step philosophies, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing.

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