There are just two first-line molecules used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD): methylphenidate and amphetamine. The 29 name-brand formulations of stimulant medications are just different ways of delivering those two molecules. Two of the most popular are Ritalin (methylphenidate) and Adderall (amphetamine). Adderall and Ritalin have a lot in common. They are both central nervous system stimulants approved for the treatment of ADHD and narcolepsy. When taken for ADHD, these stimulants help people improve focus and attention, and can also reduce hyperactivity and impulsivity. It is believed that they achieve symptom control by increasing the activity of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain.
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