Compare Ritalin vs. Focalin

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.

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
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.
  • 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.
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.
  • 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Oral solution
  • Liquid
  • Patch
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Price
Lowest price near you
$27.74
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Lowest price near you
$35.88
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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
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
Side effects
The Concerta (Methylphenidate) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Focalin (Dexmethylphenidate) 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
  • 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