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ADHD Medication: Top 5 Prescription Drugs

ADHD Medication
Written by:

Rabia Khaliq

MSc in Applied Psychology


Medical Disclaimer
The medications listed on this website are provided for informational purposes only. Their inclusion does not guarantee that they will be prescribed to any individual, as treatment decisions are ultimately at the discretion of healthcare providers. This list is not exhaustive, and healthcare providers may prescribe other medications, including non-stimulant options, based on the patient’s unique health circumstances and needs.Read more

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyper-active Disorder) individuals have to struggle daily due to the debilitating symptoms.

What Is ADHD?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD [1*] ) is a chronic mental health condition associated with hyperactive and impulsive behaviors and a lack of focus and concentration.

Did you know? Untreated ADHD can become a disability!


What Is the Most Effective Treatment for ADHD?

ADHD medication is one of the best treatment options to manage symptoms and reduce the impact of ADHD. Read till the end to learn about the most effective ADHD medication options that are popular for their efficacy to manage ADHD symptoms better and faster. Also, read about the most common side effects associated with these medications.

You can get the best ADHD evaluation test online and can manage your symptoms. Clicking the button below to get professional help.

Let’s dive in!

What Is ADHD Medication Supposed to Do?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can significantly affect a patient’s life by altering normal brain function. ADHD brain is hindered in transferring information from one neuron to another, which impacts both attention and focus. The primary goal of ADHD medication is to decrease the intensity of symptoms by increasing the efficiency of neurotransmitters. The best ADHD medication for adults helps reduce hyperactivity and impulsiveness and enhance focus and concentration.

Types of ADHD Medication

There are two major types of ADHD medication;

  • Stimulant ADHD medication
  • Non-stimulant ADHD medication

Stimulant ADHD Medication:

Stimulants [2*] are controlled substances and are known to be the most effective choice of drugs to treat ADHD symptoms such as; hyperactivity, lack of concentration, and fidgeting. Stimulants boost the level of ‘dopamine’ and ‘norepinephrine’ – two crucial brain chemicals responsible for normal brain functions. Increased levels of dopamine and norepinephrine further enhance focus, energy, and alertness.

Common examples of stimulants include; Ritalin, Concerta, and Adderall.

Non-stimulant ADHD Medication:

Just like stimulant ADHD drugs. Non-stimulant [3*] ADHD medication also works by improving the brain functions to lower the impact of ADHD common symptoms, including hyperactivity, lack of focus, and impulsiveness. The common non-stimulant drugs licensed for treating ADHD include; Strattera, tricyclic antidepressants, and certain blood pressure medications. Both ADHD stimulant and non-stimulant medication affect the brain chemicals and specific brain receptors to increase the span of concentration and lower impulsiveness.


Best ADHD Medication List

The five most-prescribed prescription ADHD medications include;

  • Amphetamines
  • Atomoxetine
  • Methylphenidate
  • Amitriptyline
  • Guanfacine

The right ADHD medication can best manage your symptoms. Click the button below to get professional help.

Let’s begin!


Amphetamines are the stimulant type of drugs that act on the brain to speed up the functions and neurotransmission. Amphetamines are controlled substances, and the drugs must be taken under a doctor’s prescription for ADHD. Amphetamines are known to reverse the symptoms of ADHD starting from childhood by improving brain development and nerve growth. Common ADHD drugs from this group include;

Anxiety and dizziness


Atomoxetine is also a potent drug prescribed as part of the ADHD treatment regimen. The primary effect of this drug is to enhance focus and improve concentration. Atomoxetine is also known to be one of the best ADHD medications for adults with anxiety. The brand name of atomoxetine is Strattera [4*] .

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Methylphenidate is another central nervous system stimulant. The significant impact of this drug is on the brain chemicals, which specifically influence hyperactivity and impulsiveness. Methylphenidate is also a potent prescription drug for ADHD. Common brand names of methylphenidate are;

  • Ritalin
  • Ritalin LA
  • Concerta
  • Methylin
  • Metadate CD


Amitriptyline belongs to the class of tricyclic antidepressants. The role of this medication is to keep a balance of brain chemicals that influence stress management and mood disorders. Common brand names for amitriptyline include;

  • Elavil
  • Endep
  • Vanatrip

Amitriptyline should always be taken under a mental health expert’s strict supervision and proper directions.

Last on the list is,


Guanfacine is also a commonly prescribed ADHD medication. Guanfacine does not belong to the class of stimulant drugs and shows significant effects in lowering the intensity of ADHD symptoms. ADHD individuals using guanfacine are most likely to improve memory, enhance concentration, and control hyperactivity. The common brand names of guanfacine are; Intuniv [5*] and Tenex.

What Is the Most Popular Medication for ADHD?

In general, stimulants are considered to be the most popular ADHD medication; however, the efficacy of each drug varies from person to person, and only a mental health professional can determine the most suitable drug for an individual. There is no over-the-counter ADHD medication; only FDA-approved drugs [6*] should only be taken under a certified doctor’s prescription.

ADHD Medication Side Effects

The common ADHD medication side effects are divided into the following categories;

Side effects of ADHD stimulant medication:

  • Weight loss
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Increased blood pressure

Side effects of ADHD non-stimulant medication:

  • Nausea
  • Stomach issues
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue

The side effects should subside in some days; however, promptly report your mental health expert if the side effects remain for several weeks.


ADHD medication is the best option to manage the debilitating ADHD symptoms and issues. However, different classes of prescription drugs have their side effects. Therefore, any medication should only be taken under the prescription of a mental health expert.

Are you struggling with ADHD? Prescription medication can be the solution for your ADHD complications. MEDvidi offers the services of certified mental health experts. Join MEDvidi right now.


+6 sources
  1. Understanding Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder From Childhood to Adulthood. (2010)
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  2. Stimulant Medications. (1999)
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  3. Non-stimulant medications in the treatment of ADHD. (2004)
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  6. Drugs@FDA: FDA-Approved Drugs
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Written by:

Rabia Khaliq

MSc in Applied Psychology


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Evidence Based

This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by experts.

Our team of experts strive to be objective, unbiased, honest and to present both sides of the argument.

This article contains scientific references. The numbers
in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.