Both Adderall and Ritalin are psycho-stimulants used to treat Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, commonly found in children but sometimes carried into adulthood.
Attention Deficit Disorder is characterized by short attention spans, an inability to concentrate and a lack of self control. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has similar symptoms plus signs of impulsive and hyperactive behaviors. Both conditions are similarly treated with either psychological and social measures or medication. Unfortunately, parents and doctors sometimes decide to bypass psychological evaluations for the quick fix they believe Adderall or Ritalin will deliver. This choice can lead to destructive side effects.
Because Adderall is an amphetamine, it carries the risk of addiction. Side effects include rapid heartbeat, hallucinations and high blood pressure.
Both fatal and nonfatal incidents involving heart attacks and strokes have been connected to the use of Adderall. Other injuries have led to lawsuits filed against Adderall manufacturer Shire Pharmaceuticals, claiming the company was negligent in marketing the drug.
Ritalin has caused concern because of side effects leading to heart attacks, strokes and increased blood pressure. Like Adderall, Ritalin has been shown to carry the potential of dependency. In addition, it has caused withdrawal symptoms after discontinuation.