An Alternate Medication for ADD/ADHD You Probably Haven't Tried

Traditional ADD/ADHD medication like Adderall are stimulants that affect chemical balances in the brain. Try this Adderall alternative that works.

November 17, 2023

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are common conditions, especially in younger people. Treating ADD and ADHD is usually done with stimulant medications like Adderall, Methylphenidate, and others.

While these medications help, they can increase agitation in some patients and can also raise blood pressure and heart rate. Recently Adderall has been in short supply which has become a problem for many as well.

In this article, I’m going to present an alternative ADD/ADHD medication that is rarely ever mentioned or studied. This alternative treatment has enabled patients to reduce or eliminate their need for traditional stimulant medications like Adderall.

As a word of caution and a disclaimer: I am not a psychiatrist. I do not have extensive experience with patients with ADD/ADHD and have not done formal studies in this area. As a matter of fact, almost no studies have been conducted on this treatment approach... by anyone.

That being said, the positive responses I’ve seen from this medication being prescribed to my clients with ADD/ADHD move me to bring this alternative treatment to light and encourage both patients and psychiatrists to give it a try.

This ADD/ADHD medication alternative is generally safe, inexpensive, and works within 2 or 3 days. Unlike the stimulants typically prescribed, this option lowers blood pressure rather than raises it.

Prescribing beta-blockers for ADD/ADHD

Beta-blockers are widely used in treating hypertension, coronary heart disease, and heart arrhythmias.

One of their major effects is the reduction of the secretion of adrenaline.

I noticed that my hypertension patients who also had ADD/ADHD were somewhat high-strung, so I chose to treat their hypertension with a beta-blocker as a first approach.

To my surprise, when they returned to my office, most said they felt calmer and less distracted. Some even decided to reduce or --> stop taking their Adderall <-- altogether because they felt like they didn’t need it!

I do not see many patients with ADD/ADHD, but the ones I’ve seen and prescribed a beta-blocker give similar feedback.

Again, I want to emphasize that this was not a controlled scientific trial.


Almost no reported studies have looked at the use of beta-blockers in patients with ADD/ADHD. The pharmaceutical industry likely has no interest in examining this possible use because the number of patients with ADD/ADHD is small compared to the number of patients with hypertension or heart disease. It also isn’t as lucrative for big pharma because beta-blockers have been off-patent for decades.

I prefer a beta-blocker that is not widely prescribed but seems better than the widely prescribed beta-blockers on the market today. It is called bisoprolol.

Prescribing bisoprolol

Interestingly, patients with ADD/ADHD respond very well to bisoprolol even though it doesn’t get into the brain like Adderall and other stimulants do. Those drugs are Psychotropic, meaning they work by adjusting levels of brain chemicals.

Bisoprolol simply blocks the secretions of adrenaline.

And unlike most of the other beta-blockers, bisoprolol does not cause the mental dullness that some patients experience when taking one of the best-selling beta-blockers like metoprolol or carvedilol.

Dosing bisoprolol for ADD/ADHD

I start treatment at ½ of a 5 mg pill and might increase the dose to 5 or 10 mg.  It is taken once a day.

The potential role of bisoprolol in treating ADD/ADHD will likely never be formally studied but my own experiences with ADD/ADHD patients have me convinced that this is a relatively safe alternative to Adderall-like medications.

When to avoid a beta-blocker

I would avoid using a Beta-blocker for ADD/ADHD if you have asthma or if your heart rate is relatively low, say in the 50s. 

If you are doing well on Adderall and have no negative side effects, there is no need to change it unless you are having a hard time finding it.

Talking to your doctor about taking a beta-blocker for ADD/ADHD

If you find that Adderall-like stimulants for ADD/ADHD are not working for you or you're having negative side effects, I urge you to discuss this treatment option with your physician or psychiatrist.

If your doctor thinks it is safe to try, a brief trial is all you’ll need to find out if it works. It works very quickly and the effects will be evident within a couple of days.

If you don’t notice any change, try increasing the dosage to 5 or 10mg and give it a few more days.

I hope you find Beta-blockers to be a better alternative to Adderall or methylphenidate. If you know anyone who has ADD/ADHD, share this article with them. Even though this treatment has been widely overlooked by the medical community, my consistent experience with patients tells me it’s worth trying. It’s effective, and low-cost.

Physician. Professor. Researcher. Author. Speaker.

Hypertension specialist, New York Presbyterian Hospital - Weill Cornell Medical Center



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