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Concerta (Methylphenidate)

Prescription only

Provigil (Modafinil)

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
Improves alertness.

Provigil (Modafinil) is effective in improving alertness, but it can interact with other medicines and shouldn't be used long-term.

5.8/ 7 average rating with 28 reviewsforProvigil
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Oral solution
  • Liquid
  • Patch
  • Pill
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think this treatment is worth it
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Side effects
The Concerta (Methylphenidate) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
10possible side effects
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Any side effect
  • Nervousness
  • Rhinitis
  • Back Pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Dyspepsia
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
See more detailed side effects
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
  • Driving impairment

    Taking with alcohol

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Increased side effects

    Current kidney problems

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Heart problems

    History of heart problems

  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior | Mania

    History of psychiatric disorder

    ...and 1 more risk factors

See more detailed risks and warnings