Provigil vs. Strattera

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

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Improves alertness. Provigil (Modafinil) is effective in improving alertness, but it can interact with other medicines and shouldn't be used long-term.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.
How it works
Provigil (Modafinil) is a stimulant that helps you feel awake. Researchers don't know exactly how Provigil (Modafinil) works, but it probably affects chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain.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
StimulantPrescription only
Selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI)Prescription only
Available as
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
Reviews for Provigil (Modafinil)
of people say Provigil (Modafinil) is worth it
say it works well
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Strattera (Atomoxetine)
-33% vs. Provigil (Modafinil)
-38% vs. Provigil (Modafinil)
-21% vs. Provigil (Modafinil)
Side effects
  • Headache 11%
  • Nausea 8%
  • Any side effect 5%
  • Nervousness 4%
  • Sleep difficulty 4%
  • Anxiety 4%
  • Loss of appetite 3%
  • Dry mouth 2%
  • Sore throat 2%
  • Chest pain 2%
More Provigil 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 »
Risk factors for serious side effects
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
      • Current kidney problems
      • Current liver problems
      • History of heart problems
      • History of psychiatric disorder
      • History of bipolar disorder
      Detailed Provigil (Modafinil) 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
            • Don't drink alcohol with Provigil (Modafinil).
            No specific alcohol-related info.
            No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
            Kidneys and liver
            • Not a good choice if you have liver or kidney problems.
            • Provigil (Modafinil) is broken down by the kidney and liver. If you have kidney or liver problems, you may need to use a lower dose to prevent more side effects.
            No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
            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.
            • Effective in reducing excessive sleepiness in Shift-work Sleep Disorder.
            • Doesn't negatively affect daytime sleep.
            No specific sleep-related info.
            No specific weight-related info.
            • 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
            • It's a non-amphetamine medicine that helps improve alertness.
            • Available in a generic version.
            • Effective in reducing excessive sleepiness in Shift-work Sleep Disorder.
            • Doesn't negatively affect daytime sleep.
            • 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
            • Provigil (Modafinil) can be habit-forming, so it's typically not used for long-term treatment.
            • Interacts with many other medications.
            • Taking Provigil (Modafinil) will make hormonal birth control less effective. You should definitely use additional forms of non-hormonal contraception.
            • Not a good choice if you have liver or kidney problems.
            • 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
            • Take Provigil (Modafinil) about an hour before you need to be fully alert.
            • Taking caffeine with Provigil (Modafinil) can cause you to feel nervous, shaky, and have a faster heartbeat. Try limiting your caffeine intake.
            • Until you know how Provigil (Modafinil) makes you feel, don't drive or perform any tasks that need you to be alert.
            • You can experience withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking Provigil (Modafinil). Talk to your doctor before making any changes.
            • Tell your doctor right away if you break out in a rash.
            • Don't drink alcohol with Provigil (Modafinil).
            • 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 ProvigilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
            More about StratteraSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert