ADHD and ADD Long Acting ADHD Medications

The main symptoms of ADHD include inattention, distractibility, and impulsivity. In most cases of adult ADHD, these symptoms are present in childhood but don’t become problematic until adulthood. ADHD affects 4.4% of adults.

Long acting ADHD medications generally refer to ADHD medications that last longer than six or seven hours. The ADHD medications that last less than 6 to 7 hours are classed as short acting ADHD medications. The advantages of long acting ADHD medications are the convenience of having to take fewer doses per day (ideally only once a day) and more consistent help with attention throughout the day.

Short Acting ADHD Medications

Short acting ADHD medications are drugs that usually last less than six hours. The advantages are they tend to be much cheaper because most all of them have gone generic now, they last only a few hours if you want the effects to go away quickly, and are especially useful for assisting attention in the evening to study and then be able to go to sleep. These short acting ADHD medication treatments are Adderall, dextroamphetamine, Ritalin, and Focalin.

Long Acting ADHD Medications – Stimulants

Long-acting ADHD medications that are stimulants include…

  • Vyvanse (8-18 hours)
  • Concerta (10-12 hours)
  • Daytrana patch (9-10 hours)
  • Adderall Xr (7-10 hours)
  • Dexedrine Spansule (6-8 hours)
  • Focalin Xr (6-8 hours)
  • [Metadate ER, Methylin ER, Ritalin-SR] 6-8 hours
  • [Metadate CD and Ritalin LA] 8 hours.

Long Acting ADHD Medications – Non Stimulants

A long acting ADHD medication that is not a stimulant is Intuniv. It is used mostly as an adjuvant (assistant) to a stimulant medication. It is more helpful for hyperactivity and impulsiveness than for attention.

Very long acting ADHD medications are non-stimulants that last more than 24 hours. The most popular of these include Strattera and Wellbutrin. 70% of patients respond to Strattera and 57% respond to Wellbutrin. These medications have to be taken daily for at least a month to get much improvement. They need to be taken 2 to 3 months to get the full benefit. Once they are working well, they work around the clock and may continue to work fairly well for days to weeks after they have been stopped.

If you would like to read a detailed medication guide to each of these ADHD medications and even more detailed medical information usually reserved for physicians, follow this link .

If you would like to be evaluated for a long acting ADHD medication, or a short acting option, you may call Dr. Hege’s office for a appointment today at 770-458-0007.