Adderall and Ritalin are proven medications for managing attention deficit in adults.
Unfortunately, these two drugs — both stimulants — can also amp up blood pressure, which can be extremely hazardous for many adults who are already at risk from hypertension.
Several non-stimulant meds are available for adult ADHD. Atomoxetine (generic Stratera) is specifically intended for ADHD and is extremely affordable. Guanfacine and Clonidine are anti-hypertension meds that help some adults with hyperactivity and (less so) with attention deficit. Buproprion (generic Wellbutrin) is an anti-depressant that helps some adults with hyperactivity and attention deficit.
“When Ben Franklin gives you some of his Adderall and you write the whole Declaration of Independence in one night.”
Source: adapted from a joke found on the internet. The original joke-writer said the Adderall was from John Locke but that would be anachronistic. Jefferson drafted the Declaration in 1776; John Locke died in 1704.
Depression, anxiety, and other conditions often accompany ADHD in adults.
If you have ADHD, consider screening for common co-morbid traits.
ADHD occurs in 3% to 5% of the US population. The risk for comorbidity is high, and the presence of comorbid disorders warrants special consideration in the treatment of patients with ADHD. For example, a comorbid diagnosis of ADHD and depression occurs in approximately 20% to 30% of patients, and ADHD and anxiety in more than 25% of patients.
It estimated the prevalence of ADHD to be 4.4% in 18- to 44-year-olds. Comorbidity rates were significantly elevated in this group compared to adults without ADHD. Respective rates were: mood disorders 38 and 11% (p < 0.05); anxiety disorders, 47 and 19% (p < 0.05); SUD, 15 and 6% (p <0.05), and intermittent explosive disorder, 29 and 6% (p < 0.05). Among the mood and anxiety disorders, all the individual component disorders were significantly elevated in the ADHD adults. Not so in the case of SUDs – only drug dependence was significantly higher in the adults with ADHD (4.4 vs. 0.6%, p < 0.05). There were no significant differences in alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence, and drug abuse.