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Jornay PM vs. Ritalin: What’s the Difference?


Jornay PM vs. Ritalin: What’s the Difference?

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Jornay PM is one of the newest ADHD medications on the market, and Ritalin is among the first generation of ADHD medications. So, which one is more effective for ADHD? Is newer better, or does Ritalin’s longevity also indicate its effectiveness? 

The answer to these questions actually has little to do with when they entered the market and more to do with how they affect the body and brain. In this article, we’ll outline the benefits and drawbacks of each medication to help you determine which one is right for you. 

For detailed information on ADHD medications like Jornay PM and Ritalin, schedule an online visit with a certified licensed healthcare provider on Klarity who will evaluate your ADHD symptoms and help you find the right treatment (if applicable). 

What is Jornay PM?

Jornay PM (active ingredient: methylphenidate hydrochloride) is a stimulant medication used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is similar in formulation to Daytrana and Ritalin. 

This time-released medication features a unique delivery system and is one of the only ADHD stimulants taken at bedtime. Recently approved by the FDA, Jornay PM is approved for use in anyone six years of age or older.

Forms and Dosages

Jornay PM capsules are filled with microbeads that feature two layers of protection–a delayed-release and an extended-release layer. The delayed-release layer allows the capsules to sit in the stomach and intestines for up to 12 hours before releasing any medication. 

Once the delayed-release layer is fully absorbed by the morning, the medication maintains a steady release into the bloodstream for the duration of the day.

Jornay PM’s unique delivery allows an ADHD sufferer to wake with a full dose of ADHD medication in their system, bypassing the typical wait time between ingestion and activation in the body. This gives an individual the ability to start their day easier as they wake with a full dose of medication already working in their body.

Jornay PM capsules come in 20 mg, 40 mg, 60 mg, 80 mg, and 100 mg doses. Dosage is not determined by the height, weight, and age of the individual but rather by how well their body metabolizes the capsules. Jornay PM can be taken with or without food and should only be taken in the evening before bedtime.

Conditions Treated

Jornay PM was recently FDA-approved for use in individuals suffering from ADHD.


Jornay PM is not currently in generic form and is only available as a brand-name medication. The average retail price of Jornay PM without health insurance is approximately between $450 and $500. Pricing depends on the pharmacy carrying the medication. 

For accurate pricing information under your current health insurance, contact your provider’s pharmacy department. 

Side Effects

Common side effects of Jornay PM include but are not limited to:

  • Anxiety
  • Exacerbated bipolar symptoms
  • New manic or psychosis symptoms
  • Sleep issues
  • Nausea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Mood swings
  • Restlessness
  • Headaches

If, after taking this medication, you begin experiencing an allergic reaction, including hives, swelling of the face and hands, or trouble breathing, seek emergency medical attention immediately. 

Warnings and Drug Interactions

Alcohol consumption will cause the Jornay PM capsules to dissolve quicker and should be avoided while taking this medication. Anyone taking an MAOI (monoamine oxidase inhibitor) or antidepressant should consult their healthcare provider first before taking this medication. 

If you have any kind of heart complications or abnormalities, consult with a healthcare provider before taking this medication, as stimulants can cause dangerous interactions with individuals experiencing these issues. 

Jornay PM is a federally controlled substance with the potential for abuse and addiction. If you have a history of substance abuse, speak with a physician before taking this medication.

What is Ritalin?

Ritalin (active ingredient: methylphenidate) is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, adolescents, and adults. This CNS stimulant works by affecting the neurotransmitters that control behaviors like focus, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. 

Ritalin is one of the very first ADHD medications to hit the market and is a federally controlled substance. Methylphenidate was introduced to the market in 1956 and is approved for use in anyone six years of age or older.

Forms and Dosages

Ritalin comes in 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg, and a max dosage of 40 mg. The IR (immediate-release) formulation can be taken twice a day with or without meals and lasts up to four hours, while the sustained-release and extended-release versions are taken once per day and can last up to 10-12 hours.

Conditions Treated

Ritalin is FDA approved for use in those with ADHD and narcolepsy.


Ritalin comes in brand name and generic versions. A one-month supply of 5 mg generic Ritalin will cost approximately $50 without health insurance. For accurate pricing under your current health insurance plan, contact your provider’s pharmacy department. Online manufacturers and third-party coupons may offset the “out-of-pocket” cost of Ritalin. 

Side Effects

Common side effects of Ritalin include but are not limited to:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure

Severe but less common side effects of Ritalin include but are not limited to:

  • Blurred or changed vision
  • Uncontrollable outbursts or tics
  • Chest pain
  • Fever
  • Joint pain

If you experience an allergic reaction from this medication, including hives, swelling of the hands, face, or feet, or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately. 

Warnings and Drug Interactions

Ritalin is a federally controlled substance and maintains the potential for abuse and addiction. If you have a history of substance abuse, speak with a physician before taking this medication. If you experience any heart problems–palpitations, irregular heartbeat, circulation issues–while taking this medication, contact a physician immediately before continuing use. 

Is Jornay PM or Ritalin Better For Your ADHD?

Jornay PM and Ritalin use the same active ingredient but maintain drastically different delivery systems. For individuals suffering from ADHD who have difficulty getting out of bed without their medication, Jornay PM may provide the relief they need. 

That said, Jornay PM is likely more expensive because it doesn’t have a generic version yet. 

Ritalin comes in three different versions and may match perfectly with your ADHD and lifestyle. To attain the best results with your ADHD medication, speak with a healthcare provider who can explain the benefits of each before prescribing one that will best suit your diagnosis. 

Schedule a Same-Day Online Appointment With Providers on Klarity

Klarity has helped over 30,000 Americans receive affordable and convenient online treatments for depression, anxiety, ADHD, and insomnia. Tired of long waiting periods to be seen, extensive commutes to distant in-network providers, and inconvenient co-pays?

Affordable & instant care can be found on Klarity.

After taking our brief, 2-minute online mental health assessment, you can schedule a telehealth appointment with an ADHD specialist—appointments within 48 hours. Starting at $25/month, we provide professional medication management services through virtual care.

  • No commutes. 
  • No time missed at work. 
  • No lengthy waiting periods for treatment.
  • No insurance needed.

Klarity offers ADHD treatment on your terms. 

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