Adderall is a prescription medication used to regulate ADHD. In recent years, alternatives to this drug have been introduced to the marketplace.
Research has shown that there are adderall alternatives that have the same effect in helping reduce the symptoms of ADHD. These supplements, although they are not adderall, still do have side effects and can interact with other medications.
Patients still need to be careful when taking them, but they may be an option people prescribed adderall may want to explore. Here is a list of the options available.
Citicoline is a pharmaceutical substance most notably linked to helping with brain injury. It has been used in Japan to help patients recover from strokes. Although it is pharmaceutical in nature, it is sold in the U.S. as a supplement.
In addition to helping with the symptoms of stroke, Citicoline has also been used to alleviate symptoms of glaucoma, dementia, and other nervous system disorders. It may also help to reduce the symptoms of ADHD.
Researchers are still uncertain of the side effects of Citicoline, but so far it seems to be nontoxic and well-received in patients.
Methionine is not pharmaceutical, but is a naturally-occurring amino acid that is essential in building the body’s brain chemicals. It has already been used in the past to treat depression, as well as ADHD.
A study was conducted in 1990 that showed 6 out 8 patients who took Methionine showed an improvement in their ADHD symptoms over a 4-week period. However, people interested in pursuing this treatment should proceed with caution. Using Methionine can increase anxiety and manic episodes in adults who have bipolar disorder.
Although some positive results have been seen, experts say it’s still too early to declare Methionine a viable treatment for ADHD.
A good number of child ADHD cases are often related to a lack of minerals in the child’s system. This could be from a biological mineral deficiency, or because of a child’s poor diet.
It has been proven that adding certain supplements into a child’s diet can decrease the symptoms of ADHD. Researchers say this may be because certain minerals are needed to build chemicals of the brain.
Iron, magnesium, and zinc are said to be the supplements that help with ADHD. Although these are naturally-occurring minerals, it’s still suggested that you consult with your pediatrician before putting your child on mineral supplements.
It’s also important to note iff your child doesn’t have a mineral deficiency, then these supplements may not help with ADHD symptoms.
Vitamin B-6 And Magnesium
B-6 is helpful in producing the brain chemical known as serotonin, which is directly related to mood and calmness. B-6, along with magnesium, was given to a sample of 40 children for an 8-week period.
Scientists noticed a decrease in ADHD symptoms during the study, and also noticed a return of aggressive behavior, hyperactivity, and lack of mental focus when the supplements were stopped.
GABA is a brain chemical used in calming the nervous system. It stands for Gamma aminobutyric acid. GABA can help with stress, as well as lower levels of hyperactivity.
According to research, it was seen that GABA may help children and adults with ADHD. It was noted that GABA was particularly useful in combatting aggressiveness, impulsivity, and aggressive behavior.
Ginkgo Biloba has been marketed for years as a supplement to improve memory in adults. However, a study conducted in 2014 found that it may even help children with ADHD.
A test group of 20 children were given the medication for 3-5 weeks. The study showed a noticeable improvement in their test scores, and their all-around quality of life.
Results look promising, but as with other supplements on the market, more testing will need to be done before declaring it a useful ADHD medication.
This is a natural antioxidant that is found in pine bark, as well as grape seeds. The direct benefit of taking pycnogenol is that it helps to lower inflammation and oxidative stress. This, in turn, works to lower ADHD symptoms.
Pycnogenol has been studied, and was deemed to be effective on focus, concentration, and hand-eye coordination over a 4-week period.
Certain supplements available in the marketplace are a combination of all, or some, of the supplements we’ve mentioned up until now. There are a variety of these combination supplements available, but no real link to relieving ADHD symptoms has been seen.
It has been said that some of these supplements can help you stay calm, or relieve anxiety and irritability, but that’s about it. No obvious link to ADHD has been made at this time.
Supplements for Focus and Concentration
Since lack of focus and concentration is a symptom of ADHD, many people have had success treating those symptoms directly with supplements that are known to alleviate those symptoms.
Some of these natural supplements are: fish oil, saffron, sesame seeds, flax seeds, vitamin B-12, cocoa seed, rosemary, mint, and ginkgo biloba.
Side Effects of Adderall
The goal of using some of these adderall alternatives is to avoid some of the side effects of taking adderall. The side effects of adderall are numerous, but some of them are:
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- High blood pressure
Since ADHD is prevalent in children, these side effects are something parents and pediatricians would want to avoid. Therefore, it may make sense for these individuals to implement a more natural alternative.
This list of adderall alternatives is not comprehensive. It may give a good idea of the alternative options out there when looking to treat ADHD, but it’s always a good idea to do your own research.
Consult with a medical professional before seeking treatment, and be mindful of how you are feeling once a new treatment is introduced.
If you have questions about ADHD treatment, or treatment for any other disorders, we are always available. Reach out and discuss your options with us. If we don’t know the answer, we may at least have the resources to point you in the right direction.