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ADHD

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Evekeo vs Adderall — what to consider

Written by Klarity Editorial Team

Published: May 10, 2024

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Zoe Russell

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If you’re considering Evekeo vs Adderall as your go-to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medication, in this article, we cover what to consider. After you read it, you should have information to talk to your provider about which may be best to help you get your ADHD symptoms under control.

This article breaks down the similarities, differences, and risks of these 2 ADHD stimulant medications that are often prescribed for people with ADHD, including: 

  • Evekeo vs Adderall and which is better for ADHD
  • Forms and doses of Evekeo and Adderall
  • Conditions treated by each med
  • Costs
  • Side effects
  • Important drug warnings and interactions

Have an appointment for a prescription for Evekeo or Adderall in as little as 24 hours.

If you’re struggling with symptoms of ADHD, medications like Evekeo or Adderall could be the solution. Find an ADHD provider on Klarity and have an appointment in as little as 24 hours for personalized care and medication management. 

Evekeo vs Adderall: which is Better for your ADHD?

Both Evekeo (amphetamine sulfate) and Adderall (amphetamine/dextroamphetamine) are similar and effective medications for adults with ADHD.

Evekeo and Adderall both contain the active ingredients amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. The difference is that Evekeo contains a 50-50 mix of each drug, where Adderall contains 75% dextroamphetamine and 25% amphetamine.

Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine in Evekeo and Adderall increase the levels of 2 important neurotransmitters in the brain, dopamine, and norepinephrine.

  • Dopamine is involved in the brain’s reward and pleasure pathways and is important for motivation, attention, and focus. 
  • Norepinephrine is involved in the body’s fight-or-flight response and is important for attention, alertness, and concentration.

By increasing the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, Evekeo and Adderall can improve ADHD symptoms, such as inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. It can also improve symptoms of narcolepsy, such as excessive daytime sleepiness and sudden episodes of sleep.

There’s no hard and fast way to know which will work better for you. You may have to try one or both to find out. It’s best to speak with an ADHD provider who can help you determine whether Evekeo or Adderall is the better first-choice medication for you. Or if you’ve tried one, whether trying the other is a good idea.

Read on to learn more about these 2 medications so you can talk to your provider about your best option.

Evekeo vs Adderall at-a-glance

EvekeoAdderall
Drug classSchedule II CNS stimulantSchedule II CNS stimulant
Active ingredient 50% amphetamine and 50% dextroamphetamine25% amphetamine and 75% dextroamphetamine
Generic and other brand namesGeneric: none

Other brand names: Adzenys XR-ODT, Dyanavel, XR, Evekeo ODT
Generic: amphetamine and dextroamphetamine

Other brand names: Mydaysis, Adderall XR
Form(s) Immediate-release tabletsImmediate-release tablets
Extended-release capsules
Dosages5 mg
10 mg
5 mg
7.5mg
10 mg
12.5 mg
15 mg
20 mg
30 mg 
Conditions treatedFDA-approved uses:
ADHD
Narcolepsy
Short-term treatment for exogenous obesity 
FDA-approved uses:
ADHD
Narcolepsy

Off-label uses: 
Depression
Anxiety
Bipolar disorder
CostBrand-name Evekeo: $261 for 30 tablets

Generic: not available
Brand-name Adderall standard -release tablets: $1,139 for 100 tablets 

Generic: $24 to $62 for 100 standard-release tablets 
Common side effectsHeadache
Stomachache
Trouble sleeping
Decreased appetite
Unpleasant taste
Nervousness
Dizziness
Sexual problems (impotence in males)
Vomiting
Itching
Diarrhea or constipation
Dry mouth
Weight loss
Mood swings
Stomachache
Decreased appetite
Nervousness

What is Evekeo?

Evekeo is a brand name for a medication that contains the active ingredient amphetamine sulfate. Amphetamine sulfate is a fast-acting, immediate-release (IR) central nervous system (CNS) stimulant medication.

Evekeo was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2014 to treat ADHD, narcolepsy, and for the short-term treatment of exogenous obesity. 

Forms and Dosages for Evekeo

Evekeo comes in 5- and 10-milligram scored tablets that are easily broken in half. You can take it 1 to 3 times a day according to your provider’s instructions. Adults typically start off taking 2.5 or 5 milligrams 1 to 2 times a day and increase their dosage as needed. You can take up to a maximum of 60 milligrams a day. 

Conditions treated by Evekeo

Evekeo is approved to treat ADHD, some forms of narcolepsy, and in some cases, obesity. 

Evekeo Costs

If you pay full retail price without insurance coverage for brand-name Evekeo, you’ll pay about $261 for 30 5- or 10-milligram tablets. If you’re taking 10 milligrams a day, that equals $522 a month. If you take 60 milligrams, that’s $1,566 a month.

Insurance coverage, online coupons, or savings offered by your pharmacy may bring your cost down. 

Evekeo side effects

Like all medications, Evekeo can cause side effects, some of which are more common than others. The most common side effects of Evekeo are:

  • Headache: Headaches are a common side effect of Evekeo and may be more likely to occur when starting the medication or increasing the dose.
  • Stomachache
  • Trouble sleeping: Evekeo can interfere with sleep, making it difficult to fall or stay asleep.
  • Decreased appetite: Many people who take Evekeo experience decreased appetite, which can lead to weight loss or difficulty maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Unpleasant taste
  • Nervousness: Some people feel jittery or anxious when taking Evekeo.
  • Dizziness: Evekeo can cause dizziness or lightheadedness, especially when standing up quickly.
  • Sexual problems (impotence in males) 
  • Vomiting
  • Itching
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Dry mouth: Evekeo can cause dry mouth, which can be uncomfortable or lead to dental problems if left untreated.
  • Weight loss
  • Mood swings: Some people may experience irritability or mood swings when taking Evekeo.

It’s important to note that not everyone has side effects on Evekeo,  and some people may have side effects not listed here. If you have any side effects while taking Evekeo, tell your healthcare provider.

More serious, but less common side effects of Evekeo include but aren’t limited to:

  • Slowing of growth (height and weight) in children
  • Seizures
  • Circulation problems in your fingers and/or toes, known as peripheral vasculopathy, including Raynaud’s phenomenon; symptoms may include your fingers or toes feeling numb, cool, or painful or changing color from pale, to blue, to red.
  • Serotonin syndrome if taking Evekeo with medications containing serotonin. Symptoms can include agitation, rapid heartbeat, flushing, sweating, confusion, clumsiness, dizziness, muscle stiffness, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • New or worsening tics or worsening Tourette’s syndrome.

Warnings for Evekeo

Evekeo can cause adverse effects, especially if not used properly. It’s important to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions carefully and inform them of any medications or supplements you’re taking before starting and while on Evekeo.

Here are some important warnings to be aware of when taking Evekeo.

Abuse, misuse, and addiction

Evekeo is a Schedule II stimulant and controlled substance, indicating a risk of abuse and dependence. Only use it with close medical supervision. 

To avoid becoming dependent on Evekeo, follow your prescribed dosage and usage instructions. Don’t exceed the recommended dose or take Evekeo more frequently than prescribed. Regularly communicate with your healthcare provider, so they can monitor the effectiveness of the medication and address any concerns or questions you may have.

Cardiovascular risks

Evekeo can increase your heart rate, which can increase the risk of cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke. People with known structural cardiovascular abnormalities and serious cardiac disease have died taking CNS stimulants and should avoid taking Evekeo.

Increased blood pressure and heart rate

CNS stimulants can increase blood pressure and heart rate. Your provider may want to monitor your heart rate and blood pressure while you’re taking Evekeo.

Psychiatric adverse reactions

Evekeo might make existing behavior disturbances and thought disorders worse if you have a psychotic disorder.

Manic episodes for people with bipolar disorder

If you have bipolar disorder, Eveoke may cause manic or mixed episodes. Before you start Evekeo, your provide may screen you for risk factors for developing a manic episode, such as comorbid or history of depressive symptoms or a family history of suicide, bipolar disorder, or depression.

New psychotic or manic symptoms

Even if you don’t have a history of psychiatric, mania, or bipolar disorders, Evekeo, even at recommended doses, may cause new psychotic or manic symptoms, including hallucinations, delusional thinking, or mania. If this happens to you, talk to your provider about stopping Evekeo.

Drug interactions and contraindications for Evekeo

Evekeo can interact with other medications and supplements, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, and herbal supplements. Some of the medications that can interact with Evekeo include monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), CYP2D6 Inhibitors (a type of antidepressant), certain antidepressants that contain serotonin, antacids, antihistamines, blood-pressure medications, among others.

Taking Evekeo with these medications can increase the risk of adverse effects or reduce the effectiveness of either medication. Tell your healthcare provider about all medications and supplements you’re taking before starting Evekeo.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding

Evekeo isn’t recommended if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, because it can be passed to the baby and may cause adverse effects.

What is Adderall?

Adderall is a brand-name medication used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. The active ingredients in Adderall and Evekeo are the same. Adderall is also a central nervous system stimulant that works by increasing the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. 

Forms and dosages of Adderall

Adderall’s immediate-release (IR) tablets come in 5- 7.5-, 10-, 12.5-, 15-, 20-, and 30-milligram oral tablets. The tablets can be taken 1 to 2 times per day up to a maximum daily dose of 60 milligrams. It shouldn’t be taken after noon to avoid experiencing issues with restlessness and sleep.

Conditions treated by Adderall

Adderall is approved by the FDA to treat ADHD and narcolepsy.

Adderall’s Cost

The retail cost of Adderall is roughly $1,139 for 100 tablets of any dose for the immediate-release brand-name Adderall tablets. The same dose for generic tablets will cost between $24 and $62. 

For more information on pricing for Adderall XR vs Adderall, talk to your pharmacy or contact your health insurance company. 

Side Effects of Adderall

Like Evekeo, Adderall can cause side effects. The most common are:

  • Stomachache 
  • Loss of appetite: Adderall can decrease appetite, which can lead to weight loss or difficulty maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Insomnia: Adderall can interfere with sleep, making it difficult to fall or stay asleep.
  • Nervousness: Some people may feel jittery or anxious when taking Adderall.

Serious Adderall side effects include:

  • Slowing of growth (height and weight) in children. 
  • Circulation problems in your fingers and/or toes, known as peripheral vasculopathy, including Raynaud’s phenomenon; symptoms may include your fingers or toes feeling numb, cool, or painful or changing color from pale, to blue, to red.
  • Serotonin syndrome if taking Evekeo with medications containing serotonin. Symptoms can include agitation, rapid heartbeat, flushing, sweating, confusion, clumsiness, dizziness, muscle stiffness, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • New or worsening tics or worsening Tourette’s syndrome

Warnings for taking Adderall

Adderall is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance, meaning it has a high potential for abuse and can lead to dependence. For this reason, take Adderall exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Follow the recommended dosage and schedule to ensure safe and responsible use. To minimize the risk of dependence, avoid increasing the dosage without medical guidance, and don’t take Adderall for longer than prescribed. 

Regularly communicate with your healthcare provider about the medication’s effectiveness and any concerns regarding dependence. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and seek their guidance for any adjustments or discontinuation plans to mitigate the potential risks associated with dependency.

Cardiovascular risks 

Adderall increases blood pressure and heart rate because of its effect on norepinephrine. This can be a concern for people with pre-existing heart conditions.

Central nervous system

People have had psychotic episodes at recommended doses of Adderall that include overstimulation, restlessness, irritability, euphoria, dyskinesia, dysphoria, depression, tremor, tics, aggression, anger, logorrhea, and dermatillomania.

Eye disorders

Adderall may cause blurred vision and dilated pupils (mydriasis).

Gastrointestinal trouble

Some people taking Adderall have a dry mouth, unpleasant taste, diarrhea, constipation, intestinal ischemia, and other gastrointestinal problems. Anorexia and weight loss can also happen. 

Allergic reactions

Some people have allergic reactions to Adderall that may include urticaria, rash, and hypersensitivity reactions, such as angioedema and anaphylaxis. Serious skin rashes, including Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis have also happened. 

Endocrine problems

Adderall may cause impotence, changes in libido, and frequent or prolonged erections.

Skin and musculoskeletal effects

Adderall has caused alopecia (hair loss) and a rare condition where muscles break down called rhabdomyolysis.

Drug interactions and contraindications for Adderall

Adderall can interact with other medications and supplements, which can increase the risk of adverse effects or reduce the effectiveness of either medication. Tell your provider about all medications and supplements you’re taking before starting Adderall, including, but not limited to:

  • Antidepressants that are MAOIs, serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), CYP2D6 inhibitors, and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)
  • Blood pressure medication
  • Acid reflux medication
  • Antihistamines
  • Chlorpromazine
  • Blood thinners
  • Cold or allergy medication
  • Opioids
  • Seizure medication

Pregnancy and breastfeeding 

Adderall isn’t recommended for use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

Find the best ADHD medication for you in 24 hours or less

If you need ADHD treatment fast and don’t know which treatment is right for you, book a virtual appointment on Klarity. Klarity lets you find a board-certified medical provider who can help you figure out what ADHD treatment is best for you.

Find an ADHD provider near you for an in-person or online appointment now.

FAQs about Evekeo vs Adderall

What type of ADHD are Evekeo and Adderall best for treating?

Stimulant medications, like Evekeo and Adderall, are recommended for all 3 recognized types of ADHD — predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactive-impusive, and combined ADHD. 

If you subscribe to Dr. Daniel G. Amen’s 7 types of ADHD, stimulant medications are recommended for the Classic and Inattentive ADHD types. They’re also a treatment option for Ring of Fire ADHD and Anxious ADHD, but it’s suggested they be used alongside “calming” supplements, such as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), magnesium, or L-theanine.

Can Evekeo and Adderall make you gain weight?

Evekeo and Adderall don’t make you gain weight. In fact, these medications suppress appetite and stimulate metabolism, so you’re more likely to lose weight while taking them. It’s important to note that rebound weight gain is often seen when people stop taking their stimulant ADHD medication. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine can help reduce the amount of weight you gain back after stopping stimulants like Evekeo or Adderall. 

Will Evekeo and Adderall give you energy?

Typically, stimulant medications like Evekeo and Adderall do give you energy. Not everyone will experience this effect though. For some people, stimulants calm ADHD symptoms and can even make them drowsy. For others, they improve focus and concentration and help to maintain energy levels throughout the day. Your experience with stimulant medications for ADHD is unique to you. Talk to your healthcare provider to get a better idea of how your body handles these drugs.

What other medications can be used to treat ADHD symptoms in adults?

If amphetamine drugs, such as Evekeo or Adderall, aren’t right for treating your ADHD symptoms, you can try stimulant medications made from methylphenidate. These include brand-name drugs Concerta and Ritalin, among others. Non-stimulant medications for ADHD include Strattera (atomoxetine), Kapvay (clonidine), and Intuniv (guanfacine). You may also find antidepressants helpful in relieving symptoms. Consult your healthcare provider to determine which ADHD medication is best for you. 

Sources

DailyMed, LABEL: ADDERALL- dextroamphetamine saccharate, amphetamine aspartate, dextroamphetamine sulfate, and amphetamine sulfate tablet, Sept. 2023, https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=f22635fe-821d-4cde-aa12-419f8b53db81

DailyMed, LABEL: EVEKEO- amphetamine sulfate tablet, Oct. 2023, https://www.drugs.com/price-guide/evekeo

Drugs.com, Adderall Prices, Coupons and Patient Assistance Programs, https://www.drugs.com/price-guide/adderall

Drugs.com, Amphetamine/dextroamphetamine Prices, Coupons and Patient Assistance Programs, https://www.drugs.com/price-guide/amphetamine-dextroamphetamine

Drugs.com, Evekeo Prices, Coupons and Patient Assistance Programs, https://www.drugs.com/price-guide/evekeo

Lee Health, 6 Things to Know About Adderall, Mar. 2020, https://www.leehealth.org/health-and-wellness/healthy-news-blog/top-trends/6-things-to-know-about-adderall

NIH Medline Plus Magazine, What medications are used to treat ADHD?, Nov. 2023, https://magazine.medlineplus.gov/article/what-medications-are-used-to-treat-adhd

Pediatric Obesity, Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder medication and BMI trajectories: The role of medication type, sex, and age, Matthew J. Gurka et al., Oct. 2020, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8276278/Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, Dr. Amen’s 7 Types of ADHD, Eve Kessler, Esq., https://www.smartkidswithld.org/getting-help/adhd/7-types-adhd/

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