ADHD: STRATTERA AND VYVANSE
Dennis B. Kottler, MD
Westlake Village, CA
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Two novel medications are available for the treatment of ADHD - Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Strattera and Vyvanse.
This novel medication is very different from other medications used to treat ADHD. The main differences are:
1 - It is the first medication approved to treat ADULTS with the disorder as well as children and adolescents.
2 - It is not a stimulant medication.
3 - It is not a CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE - which means that a triplicate prescription is not a requirement.
4 - It probably has less potential for abuse and misuse.
As with all medications there are potential side effects and other medical considerations to be evaluated prior to and during medication treatment. It is essential to consult with a psychiatrist, or other physician, knowledgeable about ADHD and its treatment .
STRATTERA apparently works on the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, by selectively blocking its reuptake and thus making it more available in the synapses between nerve cells. This is a different mechanism of action than that of the other ADHD medications, such as Ritalin (methylphenidate).
STRATTERA is available in many dosage forms (10mg, 18mg, 25mg, 40mg, and 60mg). Adults and those over 70kg generally start at 25mg to 40mg. The dosage can be increased to 80mg after several days. If the drug is still not effective at 80mg it can be further increased to 100mg after 2 to 4 weeks. Children under 70kg should be dosed according to weight: 0.5mg/kg to start, with titration to 1.2mg/kg after several days and 1.4mg/kg or 100mg as the usual maximum.
Dosing will vary depending on the physician's assessment of the patient's needs. Furthermore, treatment for ADHD should involve behavioral and psychotherapeutic modalities in addition to medication.
For further information regarding STRATTERA please visit: www.strattera.com.
STRATTERA is a product of the Eli Lilly Company.
Vyvanse is a pro-drug, an inactive drug that becomes active after metabolic degradation by the body. It is available as capsules in strengths of 20mg through 70mg in increments of 10mg. It should be used at the lowest effective dosage. Vyvanse is helpful where abuse may be an issue, since its pro-drug nature makes snorting and other forms of recreational use less likely.
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