Compare Focalin vs. Vyvanse

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

Focalin (Dexmethylphenidate)

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.

4.5/ 7 average rating with 141 reviewsforFocalin
Helps you focus and stay alert.

Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine) is a first-choice treatment for ADHD and you only have to take it once a day. However, it's only available as brand name drug, so it can be expensive.

5.0/ 7 average rating with 491 reviewsforVyvanse
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.
  • First-choice medication to treat ADHD.
  • Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine) is used in combination with counseling or other non-drug therapies to treat ADHD.
  • Usually dosed once a day, so parents don't need to send the medication with their children to school.
  • The capsule can be taken whole, or opened into a glass of water or orange juice, or swallowed in a spoonful of yogurt.
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.
  • Has to be taken in the morning, otherwise it can cause insomnia later that night.
  • Not available as a generic medication, so it can be expensive.
  • It's a controlled medication and should be locked up to prevent potential abuse.
  • Not safe for people with a history of heart problems.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
Price
Lowest price near you
$35.88
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Lowest price near you
$285.21
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Reviews
141 
55%
think this treatment is worth it
35%
think this treatment works well
21%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Focalin (Dexmethylphenidate)?

Leave a review
491 
67%
think this treatment is worth it
49%
think this treatment works well
17%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Focalin (Dexmethylphenidate) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
10possible side effects
  • Decreased Appetite
    27%
  • Insomnia
    27%
  • Dry Mouth
    26%
  • Diarrhea
    7%
  • Nausea
    7%
  • Any side effect
    6%
  • Anxiety
    6%
  • Anorexia
    5%
  • Feeling Jittery
    4%
  • Agitation
    3%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and warnings
  • 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

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Long-term growth suppression

    Ages 7 to 10

  • Seizures

    History of seizures

See more detailed risks and warnings
  • 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

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Long-term growth suppression

    Children ages 6 to 12

See more detailed risks and warnings