ADHD medication is an important part of ADHD management strategy along with the non-medicine strategies. ADHD medication has been around for more than fifty years and there are many published research papers on their safety and efficacy.
First-line treatment guidelines for ADHD medication are stimulant medication either a Methylphenidate or Amphetamine product. There are many different options within these two categories. ADHD stimulants work by blocking the reuptake of norepinephrine and dopamine within the brain. While Amphetamine also promotes the release of norepinephrine and dopamine.
The medication, doses and possible side effects listed here are for educational purposes only. You should talk to your healthcare provider about the medication options available, their benefit and possible side effects. Medication should only be started/changed/adjusted by a patient’s physician or nurse practitioner.
Methylphenidate (Ritalin) Based
25, 35, 45, 55, 70, 85, 100mg
13 -16 hrs
18, 27, 36, 54mg
10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 80mg
Amphetamine (Dexedrine) Based
10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70mg
5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30mg
Possible Medication Side Effects:
Medication management is usually effective with minimal side effects, some side effects may go away in time. It is always important to discuss with your doctor the benefits and side effects when starting any medication.
Increased heart rate
Irregular heart rhythm
Increased blood pressure
Increased anxiety/ irritability
ADHD Medications Usually Help to:
Ability to Complete Tasks
Quality & Quantity of Work
Please see CADDRA guide to ADHD pharmacological treatments in Canada – November 2022