Compare Strattera vs. Adderall

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

Strattera
(atomoxetine)

Adderall
(dextroamphetamine / amphetamine)

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.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, so it can cause difficulty sleeping and other side effects.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.32Strattera
Reviews for Strattera
46%
of people (All ages) say Strattera is worth it
32%
say it works well
24%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Strattera (atomoxetine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Adderall
74%
-28% worse vs. Strattera
53%
-21% worse vs. Strattera
16%
-8% worse vs. Strattera
1309 reviews
Have you used Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
StratteraAdderall
  • Headache 4%
  • Abdominal pain 8%
  • Decreased appetite 12%
  • Vomiting 5%
  • Drowsiness 7%
  • Changes in heart rate or blood pressure 10%
  • Nausea 5%
  • Fatigue 5%
  • Irritability 3%
  • Dizziness 3%
More Strattera side effects »
  • Loss of appetite 34%
  • Dry mouth 30%
  • Sleep difficulty 14%
  • Headache 13%
  • Difficulty sleeping 15%
  • Stomach pain 4%
More Adderall side effects »
How it works
StratteraAdderall
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.Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine) is an amphetamine stimulant. Researchers don't know exactly how it works for ADHD, but it increases the activity of the hormones norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain, which affects attention and behavior.
Type of medication
StratteraAdderall
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
StratteraAdderall
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for
StratteraAdderall
Risk factors for serious side effects
StratteraAdderall
  • 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 »
  • History of heart problems
  • Misuse of Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine)
  • History of drug abuse
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • History of high blood pressure
Detailed Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine) 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.

Alcohol
StratteraAdderall
No alcohol related info.
  • Don't take it with alcohol or illicit drugs.
Weight
StratteraAdderall
No weight related info.
  • Can cause blurry vision, loss of appetite, weight loss, headache, dry mouth, or anxious feelings.
Upsides and benefits
StratteraAdderall
  • 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.
  • First-choice medication to treat ADHD.
  • Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine) is used in combination with counseling or other non-drug therapies to treat ADHD.
  • Available as a 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 and risks
StratteraAdderall
  • 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.
  • Has to be taken 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
StratteraAdderall
  • 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.
  • Can cause blurry vision, loss of appetite, weight loss, headache, dry mouth, or anxious feelings.
  • Don't take it with alcohol or illicit drugs.
  • Can cause trouble sleeping, so don't take it close to bedtime.
  • If using the extended-release version, the first dose is best taken right after waking up in the morning.
  • Capsules can be opened and sprinkled on applesauce, which should be consumed immediately, and swallowed without chewing.
Learn more
More about StratteraSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Strattera (atomoxetine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about AdderallSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it