Compare Ritalin vs. Vyvanse

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

Concerta
(methylphenidate)

Vyvanse
(lisdexamfetamine)

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.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.
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Coupons for Ritalin
Best available price for 90 (10mg) tablets of ritalin
Coupons for Vyvanse
Best available price for 30 (30mg) capsules of vyvanse
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.79Ritalin
Reviews for Ritalin
60%
of people (All ages) say Ritalin is worth it
42%
say it works well
19%
say it's a big hassle
526 reviews
Have you used Concerta (methylphenidate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Vyvanse
67%
-7% worse vs. Ritalin
49%
-7% worse vs. Ritalin
17%
-2% worse vs. Ritalin
491 reviews
Have you used Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
RitalinVyvanse
  • Upper abdominal pain 5%
  • Decreased appetite 5%
  • Headache 5%
  • Dry mouth 5%
  • Nausea 5%
  • Sleep difficulty 5%
  • Anxiety 5%
  • Dizziness 5%
  • Weight loss 5%
  • Irritability 5%
More Ritalin side effects »
  • Decreased appetite 35%
  • Sleep difficulty 20%
  • Abdominal pain upper 6%
  • Irritability 10%
  • Any side effect 8%
  • Vomiting 5%
  • Weight loss 8%
  • Nausea 3%
  • Dry mouth 5%
  • Dizziness 5%
More Vyvanse side effects »
How it works
RitalinVyvanse
Concerta (Methylphenidate) is a stimulant. Researchers don't know exactly how it works for ADHD, but it increases norepinephrine and dopamine activity in the brain, which affects attention and behavior.Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine) is an amphetamine stimulant. Researchers don't know exactly how it works for ADHD, but it increases norepinephrine and dopamine activity in the brain, which affects attention and behavior.
Type of medication
RitalinVyvanse
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
RitalinVyvanse
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Oral solution
  • Liquid
  • Patch
  • Pill
Used for
RitalinVyvanse
Risk factors for serious side effects
RitalinVyvanse
  • History of heart problems
  • History of psychotic episodes
  • History of Bipolar Disorder
  • Children ages 7 to 10
  • History of drug abuse
Detailed Concerta (methylphenidate) risks & warnings »
  • Taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI) 14 days before starting
  • History of drug abuse
  • History of heart problems
  • History of psychotic episodes
  • History of Bipolar Disorder
Detailed Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Alcohol
RitalinVyvanse
  • Don't take it with alcohol or drugs.
  • Patients should avoid alcohol since it'll cause worse side effects from Concerta (Methylphenidate).
  • Don't take it with alcohol or drugs.
Upsides and benefits
RitalinVyvanse
  • 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.
  • 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 and risks
RitalinVyvanse
  • 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.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
RitalinVyvanse
  • Since it comes in many different forms, there are different requirements for how to take or use each type. Make sure you know how to take the one you have.
  • Store Concerta (Methylphenidate) in a locked area to prevent abuse.
  • Take it early in the morning to prevent insomnia later that night.
  • It can cause changes in your mood.
  • Can raise your blood pressure and pulse, so it's not safe for people with heart problems.
  • Don't take it with alcohol or drugs.
  • Take Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine) early in the morning to prevent insomnia later that night.
  • Avoid driving the first few days that you take Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine) until you know how your body reacts to it.
  • Don't take it with alcohol or drugs.
  • Store it in a locked area to prevent abuse.
  • It can cause changes in your mood.
  • Can raise your blood pressure and pulse, so it's not safe for people with heart problems.
Learn more
More about RitalinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Concerta (methylphenidate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about VyvanseSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it