Posted by: Research | 2009-08-24

Stimulant vs non stimulant

Hi there,
I am researching the difference between stimulants and non-stimulants in the treatment of ADHD. I know Ritalin and Concerta are considered stimulants, while Strattera is a non-stimulant. I then have two questions: firstly, do Ritalin and Concerta increase levels of Dopamine while Strattera increases levels of dopamine and norepinephrine? Secondly, how do stimulants increase neurotransmitter levels as opposed to non stimulants? As far as I can tell all ADHD meds work by inhibiting the relevant neurotransmitter re-uptake process. What then is the difference between stimulant and non-stimulant? Please help me stop going round in circles.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImagePharmacist

Methylphenidate (Ritalin/Concerta) is a mild stimulant. Stimulant drugs affect mood and alertness. Methyphenidate primarily elevate levels of dopamine AND noradrenaline.

Strattera (atomoxetine) is noradrenaline re-uptake inhibitor and elevate levels of noradrenaline

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