Other ADHD Medications

Mechanism of Action:

Whereas medications in the methylphenidate and amphetamine classes all act by increasing the release of norepinephrine and dopamine and blocking their reuptake, the following ADHD medications act in different ways.

Other ADHD Medications:

Bupropion (generic) – Inhibits norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake.  Also used as an antidepressant and smoking cessation aid.  Available as generic or as brand-name Wellbutrin.

Strattera (atomoxetine) – Inhibits norepinephrine reuptake. Unique in that it does not become therapeutic until 4-8 weeks after initiation.

Intuniv (guanfacine) – Stimulates alpha2-adrenergic receptors.  Not to be confused with guaifenesin (an over the counter cough medicine).

Provigil (modafinil) – exact mechanism of action unknown, but affects the dopamine system.  Used in the military to prolong alertness.  Not officially FDA approved for the treatment of ADHD, but at times prescribed “off-label”.

Article written 12/19/09 by Minyang Mao, M.D.

Disclaimer: This article is intended as an educational resource only, and is not intended to be a replacement for treatment. For evaluation and treatment, please contact a qualified mental health professional.

Content © 2009 Minyang Mao, M.D.  All rights reserved.

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