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Best Nootropics For ADHD Symptom Management

Best Nootropics For ADHD Symptom Management


Among the best supplements and natural Nootropics for ADHD are renowned options like Ginkgo biloba, Panax ginseng, Bacopa monnieri, Rhodiola rosea, Ashwagandha, caffeine, mango extract, essential oils, dopamine supplements, L-Tyrosine, and citicoline.

While natural Nootropics can sometimes be rare and costly, they offer unique benefits. However, synthetic Nootropics prescribed by doctors and readily available in the market can often be a more practical choice. Some of the top synthetic Nootropics for ADHD management include Methylphenidate (Ritalin), Modafinil, Vyvanse, Piracetam, and Noopept.



Are you wondering if Nootropics for ADHD work, Or which are the best energy supplements for ADHD? This is where you will find all your answers. 

According to Forbes, about 6 million (9.8%) children in the US between the ages of 3 and 17 have ADHD. This prevalence shows the importance of addressing this mental health disorder comprehensively.

While traditional treatments like stimulant medications have shown effectiveness in managing ADHD symptoms, there is a rising interest in exploring alternative approaches. This blog provides better insights into the efficacy of Nootropics, are nootropics good for ADHD, and the best supplements for ADHD management in both adults and children.


Nootropics And ADHD- An Overview 

The term "Nootropic" was first used by Cornelius E. Giurgea in 1972 to describe compounds that primarily activate cognitive functions. “Nootropic” consists of two Greek words- nöos, meaning thinking, and tropein, which means to guide [1]. 

Nootropics, also known as smart drugs or cognitive enhancers, have gained attention for their medical benefits in supporting cognitive function, including attention, focus, and memory.

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has approved the medical use of prescription Nootropics to treat several conditions, including ADHD. 

What is ADHD?

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder in children that may last till adulthood. 

People with ADHD may experience changes in brain performance associated with a range of behavioral and cognitive issues, including-

  • Inability to concentrate.

  • Disorganization.

  • Mood swings.

  • Daydreaming.

  • Difficulty Multitasking. 

  • Poor planning.

  • Face difficulty getting along with others.


ADHD Statistics At A Glance-

  • Did you know that around 6 in every 10 children in the U.S. suffer from ADHD? 

  • About 35% to 78% of children diagnosed with ADHD continue to experience symptoms as an adult.

  • As of 2020, more than 366 million adults worldwide have ADHD [1]. 



How Do Nootropics Work For ADHD?

Before we understand how Nootropics help with ADHD, we must know how it is caused. 

A study suggests that unbalanced catecholamine levels are associated with ADHD. 

Catecholamine is a group of neurotransmitters, including Epinephrine, Norepinephrine, and Dopamine. 

This is mainly because a healthy catecholamine level is essential for the proper functioning of the part of the brain that is associated with ADHD. 




Most prescription Nootropics, like primary ADHD medications, boost brain neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine. Elevated levels of these neurotransmitters can help improve the following signs-

  • Improving and managing executive dysfunction. 

  • Enhancing attention span. 

  • Impulsive behavior improvement. 

  • Lowering hyperactivity [2]. 

Along with attention span, Nootropics can also improve memory and motivation in people with ADHD. 


Top 6 Synthetic Nootropics For ADHD/ADD

Synthetic Nootropics are artificially produced medications or substances by man. These are created in laboratories and have specific chemical structures that target neurotransmitters to enhance cognitive function, memory, focus, and overall brain health.

Based on clinical studies and scientific research, Nootropics are considered good and effective for ADHD management. Below is a list of such Nootropics-

Methylphenidate for ADHD- 

It is also retailed under the name Ritalin in the market and is the first-line treatment for ADHD in children. It helps improve impulsive behavior and hyperactivity by stimulating the centers in the brain that are often inactive. 

- Dosage Guidelines

  • Adults may begin with 20 to 30 mg two to three times daily. 

  • The recommended maximum daily dose is 60 mg. 


Pros of Ritalin for ADHD

Cons of Ritalin for ADHD

It is the first treatment choice for ADHD. 

It can be habit-forming if taken incorrectly. 

Safe for long-term use. 

A few cases of growth retardation in children are noticed. 

It works within 30 to 25 minutes.

It can cause side effects such as headaches, insomnia, stomach pain, and a decrease in appetite. 



Adderall is the most common trade name of Amphetamine. It is a prescription stimulant formulated with two compounds- dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. Adderall is an approved treatment for ADHD and is known to reduce impulsive behavior and improve focus and attention in such patients. 

A study by Leslie Briars suggests that 75 to 80 percent of children with ADHD see improvement with Adderall. 

- Dosage Guidelines

  • Patients above 3 years can take 2.5 to 5 mg once or twice daily.

  • Maximum daily dose- 40 mg.


Pros of Adderall for ADHD

Cons of Adderall for ADHD

It works within 30 minutes.

It is a Schedule II drug with high risks of abuse and addiction.

Effects lasts for 8 to 10 hours.

It can cause side effects such as seizures, hallucinations, worsening of mental health conditions, or heart attacks.


Modafinil For ADHD

Modafinil, available under the brand names Modalert or Provigil, is a novel psychostimulant approved for managing excessive daytime sleepiness. It is commonly used off-label to treat ADHD in adults over 18 years. 

Modafinil is widely considered the strongest Nootropic for ADHD. A study by Laurence L Greenhill et al. found that Modafinil is well-tolerated and effective in reducing ADHD symptoms in children and adolescents aged 7 to 17 [3].

Modafinil increases the neurotransmitters- dopamine, acetylcholine, and norepinephrine in the brain, thus improving signs of ADHD, as shown in the image below. 




Additionally, ADHD patients are often reported to suffer from a lack of alertness and forgetfulness, which can be enhanced by the secretion of orexin by Modafinil. 



Modafinil for ADHD is not prescribed, so why is it on this list? 

A survey by the National Institutes of Health showcases that about 10 to 30 percent of people do not respond well to ADHD medication. Physicians often advise such patients to get Modafinil 200mg as adjunctive therapy with other ADHD treatment options. 



- Dosage Guidelines:

  • Standard Modafinil or Modalert dose is 200 mg. 

  • It should be taken once daily, preferably in the morning. 


Pros of Modafinil

Cons of Modafinil

It works within 30 minutes of intake and lasts for 14 hours. 

The health risks associated with Modafinil are nausea, headache, insomnia, hypertension, and nervousness.  

It has a low risk of abuse and is considered the safest Nootropic in the pharmaceutical world by Harvard and Oxford University researchers.

The FDA disapproves of using Modafinil for ADHD, but it has been clinically proven to be an effective treatment choice. 

Best ADHD medication for motivation.


Modafinil comparison with Ritalin and Vyvanse suggests it is the second treatment option for ADHD. 


Lisdexamfetamine is available under the brand name Vyvanse. It is a prescription medication for treating ADHD in children of 6 years and above. 

It helps with ADHD to improve focus and attention span by increasing the secretion of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. 

- Dosage Guidelines

  • The recommended dose of Vyvanse for children above 6 years and adults is 30 mg once a day. 

  • Maximum dose- 70 mg per day. 


Pros of Vyvanse

Cons of Vyvanse

The effectiveness of Vyvanse lasts for 13 hours. 

It is a Schedule II controlled drug with a risk of abuse.

Chewable tablets are available. 

It takes 1.5 hours to start working. 

Once daily dosage regimen. 

It can affect the growth of the children. 

It can also cause high blood pressure, seizures, hallucinations, sweating, fever, fast heart rate, and confusion.



Piracetam is the first Nootropic in the world synthesized by Giurgea in UCB Laboratories in Belgium and has been in the market since 1972. 

Piracetam is a common racetam for ADHD symptom improvement that enhances the secretion of acetylcholine. 

A Clinical Trial by N N Zavadenko suggests that it has a positive therapeutic effect in improving children's attention span and behavioral characteristics. 

- Dosage Guidelines

  • A dosage of 2.4 g of piracetam is advised for adults. 

  • The maximum dose is 4.8 grams daily. 


Pros of Piracetam


The effects of the Nootropic lasts for 8 to 9 hours. 

It takes 1 hour for Piracetam to start working. 


The FDA does not approve the medical use of Piracetam; it is only available as a supplement. 



Noopept (previously GVS-111) is a Nootropic that T. A. Gudasheva developed at the Zakusov Institute of Pharmacology (Russian Academy of Medical Sciences) [4]. It was synthesized in 1996 based on the structure of Piracetam.

In a 2023 article by HealthNews, Noopept is considered to be a reliable cognitive enhancing compound for patients with ADHD [5]. The key benefits of using Noopept for ADHD include the following-

  • Memory Improvement

  • Better creativity

  • It helps in reducing stress and anxiety associated with ADHD. 

  • Enhance concentration and focus. 

- Dosage Guidelines

  • Take 10 to 30 mg of Noopept supplement once a day. 

  • One can take the dosage for up to 56 days at a time.


Pros of Noopept for ADHD


It takes 20  minutes to start acting and is considered one of the fastest Nootropic in the market. 

The health risks of taking Noopept include confusion, seizures, headache, anxiety, brain fog, irritability, fatigue, drowsiness, and lack of focus. 

It is available in megadose, oral, and sublingual formulations. 

Taking a high amount of Noopept for a long time can result in building tolerance. 


The effect of the Nootropic lasts for 1 to 2 hours. 


Best Natural Nootropics And Energy Supplements For ADHD

Natural Nootropics and energy supplements are derived from natural sources, such as plants, herbs, and minerals. They effectively enhance cognitive function, mental health, focus, and energy levels to improve ADHD symptoms. These supplements are typically considered safer and sustainable for long-term use.

Dopamine Supplements For ADHD

Dopamine is one of the key contributors to ADHD. A study by Nora D. Volkow indicates that dopamine levels are different in people with ADHD and healthy individuals.

A few natural supplements to increase dopamine for ADHD patients are Probiotics, Curcumin, Vitamin D3, Magnesium, Omega-3 fatty acids, and Zinc.

Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera (L.) Dunal)-

Using W. somnifera root extract for 30 days improved cognitive flexibility, reaction time, stress response, executive function, psychomotor speed, and visual memory.

L Tyrosine for ADHD

L-tyrosine is an amino acid precursor of dopamine and norepinephrine.

A Controlled Trial by  Lorenza S Colzato in 2016 suggests that L-tyrosine helps improve task performance in people with ADHD. It is found in many foods, including fish, eggs, seeds, tofu, beans, milk, and meat. 

Ginkgo Biloba For ADHD

Ginkgo is a tree native to China that positively affects a person's cognitive ability, thus improving memory, thinking, and learning. 

Sufei He, University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, indicates that ginkgo can affect the cognitive and behavioral aspects of ADHD. It helps induce attention, willful cognition, and calmness while decreasing irritability.

Bacopa Monnieri-

It is a creeping herb and is considered an adaptogen and a Nootropic. Adaptogens are plants and mushrooms that help the body respond to anxiety, stress, and fatigue.

A study found that taking 225 mg of Bacopa extract for 6 months significantly reduced the symptoms of ADHD. It helped improve poor self-control, restlessness, impulsivity, and inattention in 85% of the children. 


It is a brain supplement for ADHD. Citicoline is a chemical that occurs in the body naturally and is available as a dietary supplement in the US. 

Using citicoline may improve mood, focus, and attention in users. A study also suggests that choline can help mitigate behavioral deficits and strengthen memory, hyperactivity, and spatial learning in individuals with ADHD. 

Panax ginseng-

Panax ginseng roots are known to strengthen the immune system and manage stress and diseases. A study by Suk Hwa Lee et al. reports that Panax ginseng improved symptoms of ADHD within two weeks of its administration.

Rhodiola Rosea-

It is a flowering herb that grows in the cold parts of Asia and Europe. It manages anxiety, fatigue, and depression. A study by Anup Sharma et al. indicates that it can effectively manage ADHD symptoms.


Caffeine is an effective focus supplement for ADHD that also enhances memory and learning. It is abundant in coffee, tea, chocolate, and guarana berries. 

Mango leaf extract-

A study by Emma L. Wightman et al. reported that mango leaf extract in doses of 300 mg improved performance accuracy, attention, and long-term memory task performance.

Essential oils-

Although not approved by the FDA, various medicine practitioners recommend essential oils for improving ADHD symptoms. Essential oils such as lavender, peppermint, chamomile, etc., induce calmness and manage anxiety and stress. 


Nootropic Stack For ADHD

Nootropic stacking combines multiple Nootropic compounds and supplements to enhance their effects. Stacking helps achieve a synergistic effect (an interaction that results in an effect greater than the sum of their individual effects). 

Modafinil Stacking- 

Modafinil stacking is one of the best nootropic stacks for ADHD and is an effective way to enhance people's attention span. Some compounds considered safe to be staked with Modafinil are Coffee, Nicotine, and Choline. 

Bacopa Monnieri And Rhodiola Rosea

These herbal plants help lower ADHD symptoms such as anxiety and stress. 

Bacopa Monnieri can potentially improve working memory, attention, and overall cognition. 

Caffeine And L-Theanine

L-theanine is an amino acid that helps promote relaxation by reducing anxiety and stress. In higher doses, it can also enhance attention span. 

Taking coffee with L-theanine supplements helps improve focus and attention in ADHD patients. This combination further reduces the jittery effects associated with caffeine.

Creatine And Acetyl-L-Carnitine

These compounds are very effective and potent in improving cognition and attention span in users. A study by Konstantinos suggests that Creatine supplements also improve short-term memory and intelligence.  


Is Using Nootropics For Child ADHD Safe?

Yes, numerous clinical studies and medical reports show that Nootropics are safe and efficient for managing ADHD in children. However, children are more likely to experience side effects as they have a low level of maturity in the body system that involves drug transportation, absorption, elimination, and metabolism. Hence, it is important to use the treatments after consulting a healthcare professional.


Ritalin, Vyvanse, Adderall, and Modafinil are effective Nootropics for ADHD.

Nootropics help improve the secretion of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, which, if present at lower levels, can cause ADHD.

Brahmi, also known as Bacopa monnieri, is an ancient herbal remedy that helps in improving inflammation and reducing symptoms of ADHD.

Lion's Mane is a white mushroom known to have numerous medical benefits. So far, no available scientific literature suggests the production or improvement of dopamine, which is one of the primary neurotransmitters involved in ADHD.

No, using Ashwagandha has no positive effect in improving the signs of ADHD.

A 2014 study suggests that Ginkgo biloba is one of the best herbs for ADHD.

Administering Curcumin, Probiotics, Mucuna Pruriens, and exercising can help increase the dopamine level in ADHD patients.

Vitamins B and C are effective in improving ADHD symptoms.


  1. ADHD Statistics In 2023 – Forbes Health.

  2. Nootropics as Cognitive Enhancers- Types, Dosage and Side Effects of Smart Drugs, NCBI. 

  3. A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of Modafinil Film-Coated Tablets in Children and Adolescents with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, jaacap. 

  4. Piracetam- An Old Drug With Novel Properties, researchgate. 

  5. Best Nootropics For ADHD in 2023 - HealthNews.