There are two major types of ADHD drugs that are regularly used to treat symptoms of ADHD. We usually call them stimulants and non-stimulants. While the former will be active in your body within an hour or so, the latter may take much longer time to activate and show their healing effect. The choice of the right drug usually depends on several reasons. The response also differs depending on a variety of factors. Some of such responses are:

  • Immediate effect. Some patients may notice positive changes immediately after taking a drug. The therapeutic improvement can be felt within an hour after the intake. Many may even think that it is not about the true effectiveness of the pill but rather a consequence of a convincing placebo effect.
  • Insignificant or the lack of effect. In some cases, drug may not even force a response from the body. There are scenarios when a person simply does not feel anything after taking the drug and even the long term improvement is so insignificant that the drug can be called useless. This happens.
  • The subtlety of therapeutic effect can be so nuanced that a patient may not even notice it or be completely unsure whether the effect is indeed in place.

The Effect of Simulants

The vast majority of specialists and experts consider stimulants the most effective answers to ADHD. These drugs immediately affect the CNS and neurotransmitters thus making the effect clearly physiological.

Due to a distinct emphasis on dopamine and norepinephrine, the patient becomes less active and can concentrate easier. The effect of stimulants is usually apparent. The time it takes to activate depends on the category of the stimulant. However, various types of medications usually have a recognizable pattern of action.

  • Ritalin. The recommended method of taking the med is a half an hour before the time you need an effect. The regular version of the drug usually starts working within an hour, the extended SR version activates over a span of 8 hours.
  • Concerta. This medication earned its fame and popularity due to a very effective administration method. After you swallow a pill, you may need to wait for up to 12 hours before the effect can be felt.
  • Daytrana. The delivery method of this med is quite unique. It is distributed in a form of a patch that children usually wear during the day. The effect usually starts within 2-3 hours and lasts for approximately the same amount of time.
  • Focalin. The regular version activates within 30 minutes and lasts in the body for about 4-6 hours. The XR version may stay for longer remaining active for up to 12 hours.
  • Adderall. There are two versions of the drug in the market. The extended XR version remains in the system for about 12 hours. The drug works similarly to Focalin.
  • Vyvanse. This is a traditionally administrated drug that usually starts being active within 1-2 hours after the intake. The effect may remain for about 14-15 hours. One of the good things about the med is that there is nearly no pharmacological rebound after the compound leaves your system.
  • Dexedrine. The effect may take up to 1 hour to be noticeable. The effect is long lasting. The extended version of the medication remains effective in the body for about 10 hours.

The Effect of Non-Stimulants

This is the second line of defense when it comes to ADHD treatment. Depending on the severity of the condition, you may need to use a secondary treatment or just opt for a less impactful drug. This solution also works for people intolerable to usual stimulants or with medical conditions contradicting the usage of regular stimulants. These drugs usually take up to 6 weeks to work.

  • Strattera. This is an NRI type of medication that was initially designed as an antidepressant but demonstrated extreme efficiency in treating ADHD. The medication will start working within 6 weeks after the beginning of the course.
  • Wellbutrin or Bupropion. This drug is a fairly effective antidepressant and in some cases is prescribed for ADHD. The therapeutic effect usually starts after about a week into the treatment course.
  • Intuniv. This drug is a fairly slow working one and will require about 2-3 weeks of systematic treatment before the effect becomes noticeable.
  • Clonidine. This medication is a multidimensional multipurpose drug that was initially designed to treat only high blood pressure. Usually, you will notice the effect of Clonidine within 2 weeks of treatment.

Noticing the Change

The effectiveness of some drugs may be questionable from the perspective of a patient. Some may think that drugs do not work due to a very subjective interpretation of what the therapeutic effect actually is. In order to objectively examine your condition, you need to visit your doctor regularly over the course of the treatment plan.

If your doctor does not notice a significant improvement, changing your medication may be a good idea.