Compare Adderall vs. Strattera

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Adderall
(dextroamphetamine / amphetamine)

Strattera
(atomoxetine)

Helps you focus and stay alert. Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine) is a first-choice treatment for ADHD that's available as a generic, but it's a stimulant, so it can cause difficulty sleeping and other side effects.Helps you focus and stay alert. Strattera (Atomoxetine) isn't considered a first-line medication for ADHD, but since it isn't a stimulant, it's still highly recommended.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.34Adderall
Reviews for Adderall
74%
of people (All ages) say Adderall is worth it
53%
say it works well
16%
say it's a big hassle
1309 reviews
Have you used Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Strattera
46%
+28% better vs. Adderall
32%
+21% better vs. Adderall
24%
+8% better vs. Adderall
Have you used Strattera (atomoxetine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
AdderallStrattera
  • Loss of appetite 34%
  • Dry mouth 30%
  • Insomnia 14%
  • Headache 13%
  • Difficulty sleeping 15%
  • Stomach pain 4%
More Adderall side effects »
  • Headache 4%
  • Abdominal pain 8%
  • Decreased appetite 12%
  • Vomiting 5%
  • Somnolence 7%
  • Changes in heart rate or blood pressure 10%
  • Nausea 5%
  • Fatigue 5%
  • Irritability 3%
  • Dizziness 3%
More Strattera side effects »
How it works
AdderallStrattera
Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine) is an amphetamine stimulant. Researchers don't know exactly how it works for ADHD, but it increases the activity of the hormones norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain, which affects attention and behavior.Strattera (Atomoxetine) is a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (non-stimulant). Researchers don't know exactly how it works for ADHD, but it increases norepinephrine activity in the brain, which affects attention and behavior.
Type of medication
AdderallStrattera
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
AdderallStrattera
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for
AdderallStrattera
Risk factors for serious side effects
AdderallStrattera
  • History of heart problems
  • Misuse of Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine)
  • History of drug abuse
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • History of high blood pressure
Detailed Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine) risks & warnings »
  • Age below 18
  • History of heart problems
  • History of psychotic episodes
  • History of Bipolar Disorder
  • Starting Strattera (Atomoxetine) before puberty
Detailed Strattera (atomoxetine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Alcohol
AdderallStrattera
  • Don't take it with alcohol or illicit drugs.
No alcohol related info.
Weight
AdderallStrattera
  • Can cause blurry vision, loss of appetite, weight loss, headache, dry mouth, or anxious feelings.
No weight related info.
Upsides and benefits
AdderallStrattera
  • First-choice medication to treat ADHD.
  • Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine) is used in combination with counseling or other non-drug therapies to treat ADHD.
  • Available as a generic medication.
  • Available in both immediate and extended release forms.
  • For the extended release capsule, if you can't swallow the whole capsule, the capsule can be opened, mixed in a spoonful of applesauce, and swallowed.
  • One of the few medications used to treat ADHD that's not a stimulant.
  • It isn't a controlled substance.
  • Strattera (Atomoxetine) is used in combination with counseling or other non-drug therapies to treat ADHD.
  • You usually only need to take it once a day.
Downsides and risks
AdderallStrattera
  • Has to be taken in the morning and early afternoon, otherwise it can cause difficulty sleeping.
  • It's a controlled medication and should be locked up to prevent potential abuse.
  • Not safe for people with a history of heart problems.
  • For school-aged children, a second dose will likely need to be given at school.
  • It's a second-line medication used to treat ADHD. Other medications are usually tried first.
  • It's only available as a brand name medication, so it can be expensive.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
AdderallStrattera
  • Can cause blurry vision, loss of appetite, weight loss, headache, dry mouth, or anxious feelings.
  • Don't take it with alcohol or illicit drugs.
  • Can cause trouble sleeping, so don't take it close to bedtime.
  • If using the extended-release version, the first dose is best taken right after waking up in the morning.
  • Capsules can be opened and sprinkled on applesauce, which should be consumed immediately, and swallowed without chewing.
  • It can cause changes in sex drive.
  • Can raise your blood pressure and pulse, so it's not safe for people with heart problems.
  • It can also cause changes in your mood.
  • Take it at the same time every day.
  • Common side effects include decreased appetite, nausea, and constipation.
  • The capsules can't be opened and need to be swallowed whole.
Learn more
More about AdderallSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about StratteraSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Strattera (atomoxetine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it