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 insomnia 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.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
5.333592534992224Adderall
Reviews for Adderall (Dextroamphetamine / Amphetamine)
74%
of people say Adderall (Dextroamphetamine / Amphetamine) is worth it
53%
say it works well
16%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Strattera (Atomoxetine)
45%
29% vs. Adderall (Dextroamphetamine / Amphetamine)
32%
21% vs. Adderall (Dextroamphetamine / Amphetamine)
25%
9% vs. Adderall (Dextroamphetamine / Amphetamine)
Side effects
AdderallStrattera

The Adderall FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Adderall side effects »
  • Nausea 20%
  • Dry mouth 15%
  • Decreased appetite 13%
  • Abdominal pain 8%
  • Drowsiness 7%
  • Impotence 7%
  • Sleep difficulty 7%
  • Dizziness 5%
  • Constipation 5%
  • Difficulty with urination flow 5%
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 norepinephrine and dopamine activity 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
StimulantPrescription only
Selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI)Prescription only
Available as
AdderallStrattera
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
AdderallStrattera
Risk factors for serious side effects
AdderallStrattera
  • History of heart problems
  • History of drug abuse
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • History of high blood pressure
  • History of psychotic episodes
  • History of Bipolar Disorder
  • Taking with alcohol or drugs
  • Children ages 7 to 10
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 category
        AdderallStrattera
        CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

        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.

        See the FDA package insert
        CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

        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.

        See the FDA package insert
        Alcohol
        • Don't take it with alcohol or drugs.
        No specific alcohol-related info.
        Food
        No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
        Kidneys and liver
        No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
        Sex
        No specific sex-related info.
        • It can cause changes in sex drive.
        • There have been reports of men having an erection lasting more than 4 hours while on Strattera (Atomoxetine). This has been rare. If not treated in time, this can cause permanent damage to your penis, including impotence. Talk to your doctor immediately or go to the emergency room if this happens.
        Sleep
        • Can cause trouble sleeping, so don't take it too close to bedtime.
        No specific sleep-related info.
        Weight
        • Can cause blurry vision, loss of appetite, weight loss, headache, dry mouth, or anxious feelings.
        • Appetite suppression may occur. In clinical studies, long-term treatment with stimulants similar to Adderall (Dextroamphetamine / Amphetamine) caused a temporary slowing of growth rate (both height and weight) in children ages seven to ten years. Doctors should monitor children's growth during treatment.
        • Appetite suppression may occur. In clinical studies, long-term treatment with stimulants similar to Strattera (Atomoxetine) caused a temporary slowing of growth rate (both height and weight) in children who started the medication before they started puberty. Doctors should monitor children's growth during treatment.
        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.
        • The capsules can be opened, mixed in a spoonful of applesauce, and swallowed if you can't swallow the whole capsules.
        • 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 insomnia.
        • 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 schooled-aged children, the 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 drugs.
        • Can cause trouble sleeping, so don't take it too 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 can then be 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
        More about StratteraSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert