Adult ADHD Medication
One other drug, Strattera (atomoxetine), is an FDA-approved medicine for adult ADHD. It can also be used in adolescents and children ages 6 and older. Strattera is not classified as a stimulant and does not seem to have a potential for abuse. This medication is not classified as a controlled substance, so it can be prescribed with refills.
Strattera increases the levels of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine in the brain, whereas the stimulants work primarily on the neurotransmitter dopamine. Strattera may take three or four weeks for its full effectiveness to kick in, while stimulants can have a nearly immediate effect in some patients.
Strattera causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure and should be used with caution in people with hypertension or heart-related conditions.
In clinical studies, the most common side effects of Strattera in adults were:
In children and adolescents, common side effects were stomachache, headache, and decreased appetite.
Intuniv (guanfacine ER) is a nonstimulant medication approved for treating ADHD in children and adolescents 6 through 17 years of age. It is a long-acting form of guanfacine, a medication that has been used for decades for high blood pressure treatment. Although Intuniv is not approved for treating adult ADHD, a healthcare provider may still use it to treat ADHD in adults in an "off-label" fashion.