Dr. Jim Poole from FastBraiin answers the question: "How Long Does It Take For ADHD Medications To Start Working?"
The following is a basic transcript...
If your child is taking medication, it is usually in the morning for school. I am a big believer that medication should primarily be used for school. However, if your child is having lots of issues at home, at night, or on the weekends, using some form of medication to help with that is certainly okay.
ADHD medications generally take effect somewhere in the first 30- 45 minutes. For some ADHD meds, there is a longer onset period, and those might take 1.5 hours to begin working.
You need to monitor and become familiar with your child's particular response. Observe when you give it in the morning, and when it seems to be working at home or at school. You will need to speak with your child's teachers to find out how and when the medicine is working.
The other thing that can affect the onset of medication working is the diet. For instance, the onset of Adderall is greatly influenced by a fatty breakfast, which slows down the absorption rate of the medication, and would, therefore, cause the medication to not work properly in the morning.
When it comes to ADHD medications and how long they take to begin working, make sure your physician understands the role of diet and make sure you understand the role of diet.
It is important that you give your child a healthy breakfast in the morning. Don't give your child all the sugary stuff, and it certainly can't mean stopping to get a fatty chicken biscuit on the way to school. What you give your child will affect how the medication gets absorbed and how the day is going to go.
Understand that ADHD medications have quite a variety of onsets and actions. These may depend on some combination of the child's genes, the child's diet, and the type of medicine given. With careful observation and open communication with your physician as well as your child's teachers, you should be able to find a winning combination.