Author: Kai Arek (Page 2 of 2)

Non-Stimulant ADHD Medications List

An ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) medications list can be divided into 4 basic types:

  • Stimulant medication, e.g. Ritalin, Adderall and Vyvanse.
  • Non-stimulant medication, e.g. Strattera and Intuniv.
  • Antidepressants, e.g. Wellbutrin and Tofranil.
  • Natural ADHD treatments, e.g. AttendExtress and Memorin.

Only the last group, the natural supplements are free from side effects and do not cause sleep or appetite problems.

ADHD non-stimulant medication is an inexact science. We still do not know for sure how these powerful drugs work in the brain and in the body. Doctors use a trial and error method to find the optimal dosage. This can never be accurately predicted. Prescribing information given to doctors state the following, regarding how these drugs work:

“The precise mechanism by which atomoxetine produces its therapeutic effects in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is unknown, but is thought to be related to selective inhibition of the pre-synaptic norepinephrine transporter, as determined in ex vivo uptake and neurotransmitter depletion studies.”

This example is taken from Eli Lilly’s Strattera Prescribing Information. It is similar to Intuniv, Wellbutrin, Tofranil, etc. under the headings “Pharmacodynamics,” or “Mechanism of Action.”

ADHD Non-Stimulant Medication: Pros and Cons


  • They do help mask symptoms of inattention, or attention deficit, and hyperactivity for a few hours at a time for many patients, but not all.
  • Children and adolescents with temper or anger problems, such as Opposition Defiance Disorder or Conduct Disorder do better on these drugs than on the stimulant drugs which make them more irritable and aggressive.
  • If you are taking this and you do not have side effects and feel positive about taking them, then they might be just the answer for you.


  • Most people who take these drugs do feel some side effects. Which side effects are felt depends on the drug’s interaction with your own metabolism.
  • Because we have different biochemical profiles, it is impossible to know beforehand if these drugs will improve your condition and which, if any side effects you will experience.
  • Long-term non-drug solutions are difficult to put in place if a person develops a psychological dependence to their prescribed drug.
  • Strattera and Intuiv have not been on the market long enough for us to know the long-term effects.

Non-Stimulant ADHD Medication

Active IngredientProductSide Effects
AtomoxetineStratteraSleep problemsAnxietyFatigueUpset stomachSuicidal thoughtsSevere liver injuryAnorexia and Weight LossStuffy noseHeadachesDizzinessSudden death and stroke
GuanfacineIntunivSleepinessNausea and/or vomitingDizzinessWeight gainIrritabilityDecreased appetite fatigue and drowsinessStomach painHeart rhythm changesHeadaches
BupropionA norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitorWellbutrinSeizuresSleep problemsDrowzinessAgitation, nervousness and restlessnessWeight lossChanges in appetiteNausea or vomitingBlurred visionIrregular heart rhythmsRapid heart rateConfusionDizzinessIncreased sweatingTremorsConstipation

Natural Remedies for ADHD

ADHD SymptomsHomeopathic FormulasTreatment benefit
Inattentive ADDInattentiveShort attention spansEasily distracted easily boredDaydreamsOften mislays things bad short term memory difficulty staying on taskAttendMemorin
Improved focus improved concentration promotes mental alertness keep attention improved short-term memory maintains healthy brain and cognitive function
Hyperactive ADHDInattentionDisorganizationIs easily distractedRestless, cannot sit still very long, fidgetyHyperactive, energeticImpulsive, does not think before acting hyperactive talk a lot and can be loud as trouble waiting for a turn in line, or in gamesAttendMemorinExtress
Improved focus improve concentration promotes mental alertness keeps attention improved short-term memory maintains healthy brain and cognitive function reduces impulsivityCalms temper and aggressionCalms restlessness
ADD with DepressionAttention deficit symptoms
Together with: Dysthymia (chronic low-grade depression)Low self-esteem.Feelings of hopelessness and/or helplessness
Improved focus improved concentration promotes mental alertness keep attention maintains healthy brain and cognitive function promotes a balanced moodEases depressionEases feelings of nervousness
Overfocused ADDInattentionDisorganizationIs easily started nervous, worried or anxiousRigid thinking, difficulty shifting attention to new activityFidgetyOften stuck in negative thoughtsAttendExtressDeprexEasyCalm (The leading anxiety relief and panic attack coaching program in a downloadable video series.)
Improved focus improve concentration and can keep attention promotes mental alertnessMaintains healthy brain and cognitive function promotes a balanced moodEases anxiety and nervousnessEases feelings of irritabilityCalms restlessness
Temporal Lobe ADHDVery easily irritated and frustratedbehaviorsBig mood swingsImpulsivityFrequently breaks rulesAggressive starts fight easily difficult getting along with other Santa-social and trouble stirringDefiant towards parents and authority often has terrible handwriting learning problemsAttendNeuranand behavior Program for aggressive teenagers
Improved focus improved concentration promotes mental alertnessMaintains healthy brain and cognitive function promotes a balanced moodDecrease mental nervousness and uncontrolled agitation decreases impulsive or unpredictable thoughts helps slow comprehension and clears a foggy mind maintains healthy nerve function helps neural messages within the CNS (central nervous system)Eases feelings of nervousness

Natural homeopathic remedies do exist as viable alternatives to conventional stimulant and non-stimulant antidepressant-type medications. They vary in formulations, but are natural products and so have no side effects.

A person with ADHD symptoms generally has a different metabolism than the average person. We are all different without having disorders. Many studies show the positive benefits in treating attention deficit disorder symptoms with supplements, mainly omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and B vitamins. Some people are naturally slim while others are naturally stouter. A metabolism requiring more nutrients more frequently is not a disorder. If taking supplements eases the symptoms, that shows that those nutrients are needed.

These non-stimulant drugs take at least a week before any effect is felt, and between one and two months before feeling the full effect. Natural supplements are similar, products like Attend, Memory, Express, and omega-3 fatty acids take 4 to 6 weeks before the full effect is felt. It is worth the wait because the body’s biochemical balance is being restored.

Of the various formulations, the one with the most value for your money is also the one with the most all-around ADHD-specific formulation. this is Attend for inattentive type attention deficit disorder symptoms. This supplement formula is as efficient in treating attention deficit as the best stimulant and non-stimulant medication but without side effects or risk of overdose.

Two other homeopathic treatments for ADHD supplements that fit well with Attend are:

  • Memorin which helps build the short-term memory which is the cause of the scatterbrained effect often accompanying ADHD and
  • Extress which calms the hyperactivity.

While stimulant medication helps the ADHD child to focus and sit calmly, there is an element of becoming compliant. The supplements Attend, Memory and Express do the same for focus and calming hyperactivity, but without taking the edge off the child’s vitality. Medications have their place and are helpful for many people, however, I would always give a child a natural product before trying any prescription medications.

As a chemist and an adult with ADHD and having spent a lifetime without drugs, my advice is to try Attend, Memory, Stress, an ADHD diet, and a regular exercise program as the first options. If there are serious behavioral problems, not hyperactivity, but with rebellion and/or aggression, I would try the following:

  • Talking to Toddlers an excellent empathic guide for parents with toddler troubles.
  • Behavior problems in children from 2 to 12 years old.
  • Teenagers with serious oppositional and defiant behavior.

With aggression, stimulant medication, such as Adderall, Concerta, and Ritalin make the condition worse. Here non-stimulant medication and natural ADHD remedies or homeopathic treatment for ADHD together with behavioral interventions are the way to go.

Magnesium ADHD and Calm Minds

Magnesium calms the nervous system and helps to transmit messages through it. No wonder then that numerous studies have connected magnesium with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

Children with ADHD have lower magnesium levels than the average child. Getting magnesium supplements eases hyperactive behavior and increases focus and attention. People with attention-deficit have differences in their metabolism and therefore require supplements to help alleviate this magnesium deficit.

ADHD is a complex set of conditions that are still not well understood. Magnesium is one link in this story. With magnesium, there is something of the chicken and the egg dilemma. Do lower magnesium levels cause the ADHD behavior, or does the ADHD cause the lower magnesium level.

Whichever it is, the fact remains that with the right amount of magnesium in the body, people with ADHD can think clearer and concentrate better.

Magnesium relaxes the mind and the body. In the body, magnesium is necessary for the relaxation of muscle fibers and nerves and so helps muscles relax and function well. A calm body helps a hyperactive person to feel calm. Feelings of unease cause children to become fidgety, one of the key characteristics of a hyperactive child.

In fact, being anxious is one of the 100 or more causes of ADHD-like behavior and a calm body helps the hyperactive child to have a calm mind as well. Magnesium helps calm the mind in many ways, one of which is the role it plays in the production of serotonin, an important neurotransmitter that gives a feeling of calm and well-being. Low levels of serotonin are associated with depression, moodiness, and irritability.

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Hyperactivity, inattention, aggressive behavior, and sleep problems are associated with low magnesium levels. Low magnesium levels have also been shown to cause reduced blood flow to the brain. This is a pattern frequently seen in brain scans of people with ADHD.

For ADD and ADHD, magnesium should be taken together with vitamin B-6. Zinc is also usually low in hyperactive people, and a supplement like the product ZMA from NOW is ideal as it contains these elements and vitamins in the right quantities for attention deficit and hyperactivity and is designed to maximize absorption. It is a synergistic combination of zinc and magnesium with vitamin B6 without sugar, yeast, gluten, soy, milk, egg, shellfish, or preservatives.

For treating ADD and ADHD the recommended doses vary but is in the region of:

Magnesium: 3 mg to 6 mg per pound bodyweight and day.

Vitamin B-6: 0.3 mg per pound bodyweight and day.

You can experiment, starting with these dosages, as your need is very individual depending on your metabolism. There is no risk of overdosing on vitamin B6 at this level of dosage in healthy people. (See !!! NOTE below on magnesium overdosage.)

Other Health Benefits from Magnesium

Research shows that magnesium plays a preventive role in hypertension and cardiovascular disease, as well as a positive effect in the treatment of diabetes, osteoporosis, and depression.

Our bodies use magnesium to make body tissues, especially bone. The majority of the magnesium in the body is in the bones muscles and soft tissues. It is a crucial part of the bones and teeth. Magnesium binds the calcium in the teeth to make teeth more resistant to cavities.

This essential mineral plays a role in the functioning of muscle and the nervous system, activates over 300 enzymes, and helps calcium and potassium uptake, aiding many biosynthetic processes as well as being needed for maintaining cell membranes and connective tissue.

Magnesium is also required to maintain an adequate supply of nucleotides required for DNA and RNA synthesis. There are hundreds of metabolic reactions and hundreds of enzyme systems that rely on magnesium. Learn more about RNA by clicking here.

Every cell in your body needs magnesium to produce energy. ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is the main energy transfer molecule in the cell’s energy production, which forms a complex with magnesium, where magnesium stabilizes the phosphates in the ATP molecule.

Bananas and avocados are good sources of magnesium as are many dark green vegetables (magnesium is part of the green pigment in plants), spinach is especially rich in magnesium, whole wheat bread, sunflower seeds, nuts (even chunky peanut butter), beans, and grains.

Recommended Daily Intake for Magnesium:
Men: 420 mg
Women: 320 mg
Pregnant Women: 350 – 400 mg
Nursing Women: 320 – 350 mg

Of course, there are dozens of other health benefits that come with getting plenty of magnesium, and here are just a few examples:

  • Magnesium is essential in regulating blood sugar, preventing highs and lows.
  • Magnesium helps to absorb and utilize other important minerals and nutrients.
  • Magnesium activates enzymes that manage energy production, nutrient absorption and hormone production.
  • Magnesium is a powerful antioxidant that protects your body from damage by free radicals.
  • All of these factors improve our overall health and help manage conditions like attention deficit and hyperactivity.

!!! NOTE on magnesium overdosage:

For most healthy people large doses of magnesium appear safe, so magnesium from food and a reasonable addition of supplement will not lead to an overdose. The first sign of taking too much magnesium is the laxative effect. Many laxative products contain magnesium compounds for this effect.

Stimulant medication taken for ADHD increases the absorption of magnesium, therefore if you do take this medication be aware of this effect.

A deficiency in magnesium is less pleasant, it results in nausea, fatigue, muscle weakness, irritability, depression, loss of appetite, cramps, abnormal heart rhythm, and in women increased premenstrual stress.

!!! NOTE If you have kidney problems:

You should not take magnesium supplements. Your doctor should prescribe medication to counter magnesium deficiency. Although people with kidney disorders may have low magnesium levels, they risk complications from a high magnesium intake and should use medication instead of supplements.

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