Compare Focalin vs. Strattera

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

Strattera (Atomoxetine)

Prescription only
Helps you focus and stay alert.

Focalin (Dexmethylphenidate) 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.

3.3/ 5 average rating with 141 reviewsforFocalin
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.

3.2/ 5 average rating with 94 reviewsforStrattera
Upsides
  • Focalin (Dexmethylphenidate) is used in combination with counseling or other non-drug therapies to treat ADHD.
  • Available as a generic medication.
  • Available in both an immediate-release form, which is given twice a day, and an extended-release form, which is given once a day.
  • Capsules can be opened and sprinkled in water or applesauce for people who don't like swallowing pills.
  • 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
  • Needs to be taken in the morning and early afternoon, or else it can cause insomnia later that night.
  • It's a controlled medication and should be locked up to prevent potential abuse.
  • 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
141 reviews so far
55%
saidit'sworth it
35%
saiditworked well
21%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Focalin (Dexmethylphenidate)?

Leave a review
94 reviews so far
46%
saidit'sworth it
32%
saiditworked well
24%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Strattera (Atomoxetine)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Focalin (Dexmethylphenidate) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
30possible side effects
  • Nausea
    26%
  • Dry mouth
    20%
  • Decreased appetite
    16%
  • Insomnia
    15%
  • Changes in heart rate or blood pressure
    10%
  • Fatigue
    10%
  • Constipation
    8%
  • Dizziness
    8%
  • Somnolence
    8%
  • Erectile dysfunction
    8%
  • Abdominal pain
    7%
  • Urinary hesitation
    6%
  • Irritability
    5%
  • Dyspepsia
    4%
  • Vomiting
    4%
  • Abnormal dreams
    4%
  • Ejaculation delayed and/or ejaculation disorder
    4%
  • Hyperhidrosis
    4%
  • Palpitations
    3%
  • Chills
    3%
  • Paraesthesia
    3%
  • Libido decreased
    3%
  • Sleep disorder
    3%
  • Dysmenhorrhea
    3%
  • Hot flush
    3%
  • Feeling jittery
    2%
  • Thirst
    2%
  • Weight loss
    2%
  • Dysuria
    2%
  • Any sexual side effect
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • High blood pressure
    • Taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI) 14 days before starting
  • Abuse and dependence
    • History of drug abuse
  • Serious or life-threatening cardiovascular events
    • History of heart problems
  • Aggressive behavior and psychosis
    • History of psychotic episodes
    • History of Bipolar Disorder
  • Long-term growth suppression
    • Ages 7 to 10
  • Seizures
    • History of seizures
  • Prolonged erection
  • Circulation problems in the hands and feet
  • Vision changes
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Suicidal thinking
    • Age below 18
  • Liver disease
  • Serious or life-threatening cardiovascular events
    • History of heart problems
  • Aggressive behavior and psychosis
    • History of psychotic episodes
    • History of Bipolar Disorder
  • Prolonged erection
  • Problems with urination
  • Long-term growth suppression
    • Starting Strattera (Atomoxetine) before puberty
See more detailed risks and warnings