Strattera vs. Adderall
August 8, 2007 3:34 PM   Subscribe

I have adult ADD. I've been on Strattera for 5 years. My new doc wants me to switch to Adderall. Anyone else done this switch? What are the differences/effects between the two?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (8 answers total)
I haven't done it, but Adderall is a VERY different drug. It's a stimulant. Strattera is a Neurotonin Reuptake Inhibitor, which are usualy classed as antidepressants.
posted by SpecialK at 6:02 PM on August 8, 2007

(I take Strattera, and it works for me. But it will have VERY different effects on you than the Adderall will.)
posted by SpecialK at 6:02 PM on August 8, 2007

Email me through my profile.
posted by decathecting at 6:18 PM on August 8, 2007

I'm an almost-pharmacist and I can tell you a little bit. I don't know of anyone personally that has switched, but I have a good friend who takes Adderall (IR, twice daily) regularly for her adult ADD. Adderall is a more "traditional" medication for ADD. Strattera is new and really the only drug of its type for this disorder. Your doc may feel you aren't getting the right kind of control with the Strattera and wants to try a different angle?

There are a completely different set of mechanisms at work here, and a different set of things to watch out for. As mentioned, the stimulant effects of Adderall will probably be pretty noticeable compared to the Strattera. You can probably alleviate some of the stimulant feeling by making sure your doctor prescribes Adderall XR, which is once-daily instead of twice-daily dosing, and will release the medication more slowly instead of giving you a burst all at once. Although, XR is available only in brand, like the Strattera, and will probably be much more expensive than the IR type of generic Adderall. Talk to your doctor about this - likely he/she will want you on the XR anyway.

The other thing you will notice is that getting your prescription will be a lot tougher. Strattera is a non-scheduled medicine, while Adderall is a C-II drug in the US. This means you need a new paper prescription each time you need your drug (no refills allowed), will likely have to show your drivers' license, make sure you find a pharmacy that will keep it in stock for you, etc. Make friends with a pharmacist and stick with one pharmacy. This should make it easier. :)
posted by keribear at 8:40 PM on August 8, 2007

Okay so I've got a fair amount to say if you're interested in emailing me privately.

Beyond that, if Straterra is working for you now, there is no reason to switch. What reason does your doctor give for you to switch? (Or does he just want the monthly script appointments that a scheduled medication requires?) Adderall works completely differently from Strattera. Why switch if you've already found one that works for you?

On top of that, Strattera isn't stimulant based, Adderall is. Wouldn't it be healthier for your heart to not take a stimulant based medication every day of your life? Unless you've started to suffer side-affects, why do it?

In my opinion, this is the kind of thing that you should be pursuing from your doctor, not the other way around.
posted by JakeLL at 10:46 PM on August 8, 2007

How does adderall compare to ritalin?

I use ritalin quite rarely these days (I still have several left from a prescription a year ago) but on those times when I feel I need it it is a lifesaver.

Mostly I use/abuse coffee.

Is Adderall a good switch from Ritalin? I'm one of the people who occasionally get anxiety attacks from ritalin which is why I use it sparingly.
posted by lastobelus at 3:00 AM on August 9, 2007

lastobelus: Ritalin and Adderall are both in the same class, stimulants. If you get anxiety attacks from Ritaily, Adderall may have the same effects. If you can, try Strattera -- one of it's off-label uses is as an anti-anxiety drug.
posted by SpecialK at 9:30 AM on August 9, 2007

thanks. i've been doing a little research into straterra, and I think I will go ask my doctor about trying it.

I want to get off coffee, so I'm going to need something.
posted by lastobelus at 3:26 PM on August 10, 2007

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