Since October 2022, the popular ADHD drug Adderall® has been difficult to access for some users due to a widespread shortage reported by the FDA. With no foreseeable end to the shortage, a demand for Adderall alternatives has risen, including over-the-counter options like Vyvamind® and NooCube®. Some people are even turning to well-known supplements like ginkgo biloba and L-Theanine to reduce symptoms, but do they work? And are they safe?
Read on to explore the most common OTC Adderall alternatives in 2023 and why you may prefer them over Adderall.
Best OTC Adderall Alternatives for 2023
In addition to the Adderall shortage, another reason why people may be looking for alternative OTC ADHD meds is to avoid the side effects associated with Adderall. These include headaches, upset stomach, decreased appetite, dry mouth, dizziness, nervousness, and insomnia. There is also evidence that Adderall may also cause or worsen anxiety in users, along with irritability and restlessness.1
The following Adderall alternatives were chosen for their reported success in reducing ADHD symptoms without harmful side effects:
- B vitamins
- Ginkgo Biloba
Explore these medications and supplements below to find out how they work and what to expect when taking them for ADHD.
Numerous studies point to the B vitamins as a potential treatment for ADHD. Studies show lower concentrations of vitamins B2, B6 and B9 were associated with the ADHD diagnosis, and B2 and B6 also with symptom severity.2 Other research has shown taking vitamin B6 for at least two months significantly reduced symptoms of hyperactivity and aggressiveness, while improving school attention.3 Even more, when used in high doses, B vitamins are said to have nootropic effects, which is likely why they are used in another ADHD supplement we’ll mention below, Vyvamind.
Consisting of targeted antibodies to the brain-specific S100B protein, Brillia has been clinically proven to reduce symptoms associated with ADHD, such as hyperactivity, inattention, impulsivity, restlessness, and irritability without the use of harsh, synthetic chemicals. The S100B protein regulates a number of important intracellular and extracellular brain processes, including various enzyme activities, calcium homeostasis, and communication between neurons. Since almost all mental and neurological diseases as well as temporal stress-induced conditions are rooted in a disturbance of these processes, normalizing this protein is a gentle and efficient way to reduce undesirable symptoms of ADHD without affecting any other systems in the body or causing harmful side effects as supported in clinical studies.
In addition to not causing headaches, insomnia, or anxiety, which are so prevalent when using stimulant medication like Adderall, Brillia also will not mask the personality or induce drowsiness, allowing your personality to shine through while you gain control over your symptoms. Brillia has two versions: Brillia for Children & Teens 5-18 and Brillia for Adults.
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Typically recommended to older adults to improve memory, the herb ginkgo biloba has also been shown to reduce symptoms of ADHD. In one small study, administration of ginkgo biloba resulted in significant improvements for attention problems. There were also improvements in hyperactivity and impulsiveness, which researchers described as “roughly in line with previous findings in ADHD drug studies.”4 Other studies have shown that ginkgo is most effective when used in combination with prescription medication for ADHD.5
However, some individuals may be sensitive to ginkgo, especially when taken in high amounts. Reported side effects include headache, dizziness, upset stomach, anxiety, and agitation.6, 7
L-Theanine is an amino acid that occurs naturally in green tea. Some studies have suggested supplementing with L-Theanine may improve attention, memory, focus, and executive functions, making it a suitable alternative to Adderall.8 However, other studies have shown L-Theanine to be most effective at improving attention and other ADHD symptoms like impulsivity when combined with caffeine.9 Though the supplement is mostly safe and well tolerated, some users have reported getting headaches after taking L-Theanine.10
Some reviewers have called the nutritional supplement Nooceptin “the closest thing to Adderall for memory, anxiety, and brain cell regeneration.”11 It contains ingredients we’ve already talked about, like L-theanine and ginkgo biloba extract, in addition to other herbs like Lion’s mane extract, citicoline, panax ginseng root extract, and bacopa monnieri extract. Both ginseng and bacopa have studies confirming their positive effects on ADHD symptoms, while citicoline was found to significantly improve attention and memory when combined with the stimulant caffeine.12 Though the supplement shows promise and will not cause insomnia or anxiety, there are some users complaining of headaches when taking Nooceptin, along with dizziness and upset stomach.13
This nutritional supplement containing a number of nootropics is said to banish brain fog while improving focus and memory. NooCube contains ingredients like L-Theanine, which we mentioned above, as well as the chemicals alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine, a natural choline compound which plays an important role in learning and memory, and huperzine, which has also been used in memory enhancement.14, 15 Though the supplement is generally well-tolerated, it has been associated with headaches, dizziness, and upset stomach in some users.16
This popular Adderall alternative contains a combination of B vitamins, L-Theanine, citicoline, tyrosine, and caffeine to reduce brain fog and distractibility while increasing motivation and mental stamina. Unlike the other options mentioned above, Vyvamind is a stimulant and may cause some of the side effects associated with other stimulants like headaches, insomnia, and anxiety, but its inclusion of L-Theanine counteracts these symptoms in some users, making the supplement energizing and effective without causing the jitters.17
ADHD Medication that Doesn’t Cause Headaches
Most stimulant medications for ADHD have “headache” listed as a common side effect. In some cases, the headache is mild enough that it can be relieved by an OTC pain reliever like aspirin or acetaminophen. Other times, the headache is severe enough to cause the person to stop taking the medication altogether. This is most common in those who have a history of vascular headaches or migraines.18
Of the medications and supplements listed above, the following are not known to cause headaches in users:
- B vitamins
ADHD Medication that Doesn’t Cause Insomnia
Insomnia is one of the most common side effects of Adderall, reportedly occuring in around 27 percent of users.20 This side effect may resolve with continued use of the drug, but the flipside is that fatigue may set in as another side effect.
The following medications and supplements are not known to cause insomnia:
- B vitamins
- Ginkgo Biloba
ADHD Medication that Doesn’t Cause Anxiety
Adderall, like other stimulants, can cause or worsen anxiety, including physical symptoms like increased heart rate and difficulty sleeping. This is especially true when you first start taking these types of medications and your body is trying to acclimate. There is also evidence that Adderall may cause mania and psychosis in users, especially when used in excess.
The following medications and supplements are not known to cause anxiety:
- B vitamins
How to Choose the Right OTC ADHD Meds for You
Finding out what works for your symptoms may take some experimentation. If you have been taking Adderall or another stimulant and are now considering coming off the medication due to negative side effects or shortages, Brillia is a safe and clinically proven alternative. We simply ask that you wait at least 3-4 weeks before assessing results, so that the active ingredient can build up in your system. We also recommend that you ask your doctor first before coming off any prescription medications.
While Adderall has contraindications with many other drugs and supplements, Brillia does not, so you can add it to your regimen without worry no matter what you are taking. In fact, if you are currently on prescription medication for ADHD, we recommend using Brillia alongside your current medications for those initial 3-4 weeks, and then, under the care of your physician, see if you can stop using your prescription medication.
Some Brillia users choose to add Brillia to their regimen and continue taking their prescription medication instead of increasing their dosage of the medications they are taking. Brillia can also be used to address additional symptoms that are still present. There is no harm in doing this, but it does not alleviate the side effects from being on prescription pharmaceuticals.
Whether you take Brillia alone or in combination with other medications or supplements, it is important that you are consistent with your doses. As a gentle and cumulative product, Brillia provides a steady trickle into your system when taken consistently, but it still may take 2-3 weeks of starting Brillia to start seeing results. This is why we recommend waiting a full 3 months to decide if Brillia is working for you. For peace of mind, we offer a money back guarantee (*Some restrictions apply.) if you do not see the results you are looking for.
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