Saving Money on ADHD Medications

Expert ADHD Q&A

Learn how to save money with generic drugs.
Learn how to save money on ADHD medications.. Photo © Sean Locke

Q. My son has ADHD and is doing great on his medication. The only problem is that his medicine costs us over $200 a month. Are there generic versions that might be cheaper?

A. While they are very convenient and work well for most children, the once a day ADHD medicines can be rather expensive. Many families without insurance and prescription drug benefits can not afford these medicines, such as Adderall XR, Daytrana, Concerta, or Vyvanse.

Generic ADHD Medications

Unfortunately, there are no inexpensive versions of these medicines that can be taken just once a day. There are generic versions of both Adderall and Ritalin, but they are short acting and typically have to be taken at least twice a day.

And long gone are the days of $4 Ritalin on the Walmart generic drug plan. Prices for generic ADHD medications can include:

  • amphetamine Salt Combo (generic (Adderall) $50 for 60 tablets
  • methylphenidate (generic Ritalin) $40 to $60 for 60 tablets
  • dexmethylphenidate (generic Focalin) $40 to $60 for 60 tablets
  • amphetamine Salt Combo XR (generic Adderall XR) $75 to $100 for 30 tablets
  • methylphenidate ER (generic Concerta) $110 to $170 for 30 tablets
  • dexmethylphenidate XR (generic Focalin XR) $100 to $170 for 30 tablets

Still, these are all bargains when you consider that a month of Vyvanse can cost over $250.

Saving Money on ADHD Medications

Other tips to help you save money on your child's ADHD medication might include that you:

  • Shop around. Prices at different pharmacies can vary by $25 to $40 or more depending on the medication.
  • Use a drug pricing site, such as GoodRx and/or discount drug cards to get the best prices on your medications.
  • Ask your pediatrician for a 90 day supply.
  • If possible, avoid name brand ADHD medications without generics, such as Strattera, Vyvanse, Daytrana, and Quillivant XR, etc.
  • Use a coupon when available. Coupons are available for many name brand ADHD medications that don't have generic versions, including Strattera, Vyvanse, Daytrana, and Quillivant XR, etc.
  • Don't try to save money by ordering an ADHD medication from an illegal or foreign website, which will simply put your child at risk. In addition to getting scammed out of your money, you may receive a contaminated or counterfeit product, the wrong product, or an incorrect dose.
  • Don't try to save money by trying unproven or non-evidence based treatments, which will likely end up costing you more in the long run.

And if you are still having problems affording your child's ADHD medication, look to see if the manufacturer has a patient assistance program.


American Academy of Pediatrics Clinical Practice Guideline. ADHD: Clinical Practice Guideline for the Diagnosis, Evaluation, and Treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Children and Adolescents. Pediatrics. 108(4):1033.

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