Short-acting and long-acting ADHD medications are exactly the same drugs; they differ only in how long the effects last, which determines how frequently you have to pop a pill. The short-acting medications typically have an effect for only a few hours. That means you need to pop a pill several times a day. The effects of long-acting or extended-release forms typically control symptoms for the whole day. That means you only have to take one pill a day. One added benefit associated with the long-acting medications is that they prevent the roller coaster ups and downs that are sometimes associated with short-acting medications.
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