Firstly, we must emphasize the fact that Adderall and Strattera are two fundamentally different drugs and should be applied accordingly. One is more advantageous than the other in certain circumstances. Both drugs are widely used to address symptoms of ADHD. Both are characterized as highly effective pharmacological solutions to the problem.

What Is Strattera?

The main component of this medication is a compound called Atomoxetine which was approved by the FDA in 2002 for ADHD treatment. Initially, the drug has been developed as an antidepressant but showed much better result as a drug against ADHD symptoms. The drug is prescribed to patients older than 6 years.

What Is Adderall?

There are two main ingredients of the drug: dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. The drug was introduced to the USA market in 1996 and has been extremely successful ever since. The drug can be used to treat both ADHD and some forms of narcolepsy. Just like Strattera, the drug works by increase the amount of dopamine in the CNS.

What Is the Fundamental Difference?

These two drugs fall into two different categories with Strattera representing the family of non-stimulants and Adderall being from the stimulant family of drugs. When a patient is diagnosed with ADHD, the initial response of any doctor would be to try stimulants. This is a prevalent decision in cases of genuine distinct ADHD.

Stimulants work very well in the vast majority of cases and provide a very quick relief within several hours after the initial intake. While some argue that these drugs are slightly more dangerous compared to non-stimulants, we still do not have a more efficient answer. Stimulants may cause various adverse effects including sleep disorders and headaches.

Non-stimulants are often referred to as the second life meds which they are. The effect of these drugs is not noticeable immediately. It may take weeks of regular usage before you start noticing a distinct improvement of the condition. Despite their less effective mechanism of action, non-stimulants are considered much safer.

Safety Comparison

Many argue that Strattera is much safer. Adderall is classified as a Schedule II substance meaning that it may cause addiction and some drug addicts even use it for recreational purposes. The addiction develops in children prescribed with the medication less than rarely. Such situations are more exclusions from the rule rather than consistencies. When taken under cautious control from adults, the drug never causes an addiction.

However, there are risks of adverse effects including headaches, muscle pains, sleep deprivation, and mood swings. Another problem related to the usage of Adderall is that the drug may be dangerous to people with a history of heart related diseases especially patients with rhythm disorders. It is usually recommended to undergo an EKG test before starting a course of Adderall.

Strattera does not have a long list of possible medical complications related to the systematic usage of the drug. However, there are reported cases of suicidal thoughts in people who use the drug regularly. Specialists suggest parents to keep an eye on their children and regularly visit a psychologist to minimize side effects of Strattera which usually manifest themselves early into the treatment course. The general consensus is that Strattera is a relatively safe drug to use in children.

Forms of Distribution

Adderall is available in various forms. The regular version that starts working immediately and maintains the effect for several hours is distributed in tablets ranging from 5mg to 30mg. The same range of tablets is used for the XR edition of the drug which the same medication but with a different set of supporting components to extend the effect for up to 12 hours.

Strattera comes in various capsules with a dosage ranging from 10mg to 100mg. Currently, the drug is not available in generic forms in America, but the drug is produced elsewhere and may be available in other form-factors and dosages.

The Speed of Action

The critical difference for patients is in the time it takes for drugs to start working. Adderall usually has a near immediate effect that can be noticed within 30-60 minutes after the initial intake. The effect persists for up to 12 hours when using the XR edition and for up to 6 hours when using regular Adderall. Such a quick action mechanism is perfect to use for symptomatic treatment.

Strattera is a much slower drug with the effect being visible only in the long run. Studies suggest that using the drug twice a day is usually the right approach and a visible improvement can be observed after several weeks of treatment. In some patients, results are noticeable within 1-2 weeks. In other cases, it may take up to 2 months in order for the effect to be significant.