Compare dexamethasone vs. Ritalin

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

Decadron (dexamethasone)

Prescription only
Calms down your immune system.

Decadron (dexamethasone) is a long-acting oral corticosteroid that is very effective in treating allergic reactions and immune conditions, however, if you're taking Decadron (dexamethasone) for a long time, there can be serious side effects.

Helps you focus and stay alert.

Concerta (Methylphenidate) is a first-choice treatment for ADHD. It comes in many different forms and is also available as a generic. That said, the immediate-release form needs to be taken more frequently than other alternatives.

4.8/ 7 average rating with 526 reviewsforRitalin
  • Effective in treating many conditions.
  • Can improve energy and appetite.
  • Can control immune responses that are causing you discomfort and works quickly to relieve symptoms like swelling, rash, asthma attacks, and pain.
  • Has long-term benefit in calming down the immune system and keeping it from causing your body harm, such as in autoimmune conditions.
  • Available in generic form.
  • First-choice medication to treat ADHD.
  • Concerta (Methylphenidate) is used in combination with counseling or other non-drug therapies to treat ADHD.
  • Available as a generic medication.
  • Available in many different forms: extended-release and immediate-release oral tablets, chewable immediate-release tablets, liquid, suspension, and skin patches.
  • Capsules can be opened and sprinkled in water or applesauce for people who don't like swallowing pills.
  • Many side effects, particularly with long term use.
  • Side effects include mood changes, trouble sleeping and increase in blood pressure and blood sugar at higher doses.
  • Long-term use can cause problems with skin, bone, eye health and put you at a higher risk for infections.
  • If you've been using corticosteroids for more than 2 weeks, you will need to work with a doctor to get off the medicine slowly.
  • Limited studies conducted with use of steroids during pregnancy or breastfeeding - potential harm to unborn baby.
  • The immediate-release form needs to be taken two or three times a day.
  • After taking Concerta, the tablet shell can be seen in your stool, but don't be concerned since the medication was still absorbed by your body.
  • The second or third dose needs be taken by early afternoon, otherwise insomnia can affect you that night.
  • Patients should avoid alcohol since it'll cause worse side effects from Concerta (Methylphenidate).
  • It's a controlled medication and should be locked up to prevent potential abuse.
Used for
  • Allergies
  • Skin Conditions
  • Endocrine Conditions
  • Eye Conditions
  • Stomach Conditions
  • Respiratory disorder
  • Multiple sclerosis flare
  • Hematologic Conditions
  • Cancer
  • Autoimmune and Rheumatic Conditions
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Oral solution
  • Liquid
  • Patch
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Side effects
The Decadron (dexamethasone) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Concerta (Methylphenidate) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and warnings
  • Lowered adrenal function

    Lowering dose or stopping too quickly especially after long-term treatment

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Increased risk for infections

    Taking other immunosuppressants

    ...and 4 more risk factors

  • Changes in heart and kidney function

    Recent heart attack

  • Stomach and intestinal problems

    History of stomach bleeding

    ...and 3 more risk factors

  • Bone effects

    Dose of Decadron (dexamethasone)

    ...and 1 more risk factors

See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Serious or life-threatening cardiovascular events

    History of heart problems

  • Aggressive behavior and psychosis

    History of psychotic episodes

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Long-term growth suppression

    Children ages 7 to 10

  • Abuse and dependence

    History of drug abuse

  • Seizures

    History of seizures

See more detailed risks and warnings