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

Concerta (Methylphenidate)

Prescription only
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
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 that can cause difficulty sleeping and other side effects.

5.3/ 7 average rating with 1309 reviewsforAdderall
Upsides
  • 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.
  • First-choice medication to treat ADHD.
  • Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine) is used together with counseling or other non-drug therapies to treat ADHD.
  • Available as an affordable generic medication.
  • Available in both immediate and extended release forms.
  • For the extended release capsule, if you can't swallow the whole capsule, the capsule can be opened, mixed in a spoonful of applesauce, and swallowed.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • Must take in the morning and early afternoon, otherwise it can cause difficulty sleeping.
  • 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 school-aged children, a second dose will likely need to be given at school.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Oral solution
  • Liquid
  • Patch
  • Pill
Price
Lowest price near you
$27.74
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Lowest price near you
$226.95
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Reviews
526 
60%
think this treatment is worth it
42%
think this treatment works well
19%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Concerta (Methylphenidate)?

Leave a review
1309 
74%
think this treatment is worth it
53%
think this treatment works well
16%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Concerta (Methylphenidate) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
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
  • Serious or life-threatening cardiovascular events

    History of heart problems

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Dependence and abuse

    History of drug abuse

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Serotonin syndrome

    Taking other medicines that affect serotonin levels

  • Aggressive behavior and psychosis

    History of psychotic episodes

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Driving impairment

    Taking Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine) with alcohol

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Long-term growth suppression

    Children ages 7 to 10

See more detailed risks and warnings