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 insomnia and other side effects.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.275862068965517Strattera
Reviews for Strattera (Atomoxetine)
45%
of people say Strattera (Atomoxetine) is worth it
32%
say it works well
25%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Adderall (Dextroamphetamine / Amphetamine)
74%
+29% vs. Strattera (Atomoxetine)
53%
+21% vs. Strattera (Atomoxetine)
16%
+9% vs. Strattera (Atomoxetine)
Side effects
StratteraAdderall
  • Nausea 20%
  • Dry mouth 15%
  • Decreased appetite 13%
  • Abdominal pain 8%
  • Drowsiness 7%
  • Impotence 7%
  • Sleep difficulty 7%
  • Dizziness 5%
  • Constipation 5%
  • Difficulty with urination flow 5%
More Strattera side effects »

The Adderall FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about 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 norepinephrine and dopamine activity in the brain, which affects attention and behavior.
Type of medication
StratteraAdderall
Selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI)Prescription only
StimulantPrescription only
Available as
StratteraAdderall
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for (click to learn more)
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
        • History of drug abuse
        • Taking more than the prescribed dose
        • History of high blood pressure
        • History of psychotic episodes
        • History of Bipolar Disorder
        • Taking with alcohol or drugs
        • Children ages 7 to 10
        Detailed Adderall (Dextroamphetamine / Amphetamine) risks & warnings »
        Pregnancy category
        StratteraAdderall
        CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

        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.

        See the FDA package insert
        CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

        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.

        See the FDA package insert
        Alcohol
        No specific alcohol-related info.
        • Don't take it with alcohol or drugs.
        Food
        No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
        Kidneys and liver
        No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
        Sex
        • It can cause changes in sex drive.
        • There have been reports of men having an erection lasting more than 4 hours while on Strattera (Atomoxetine). This has been rare. If not treated in time, this can cause permanent damage to your penis, including impotence. Talk to your doctor immediately or go to the emergency room if this happens.
        No specific sex-related info.
        Sleep
        No specific sleep-related info.
        • Can cause trouble sleeping, so don't take it too close to bedtime.
        Weight
        • Appetite suppression may occur. In clinical studies, long-term treatment with stimulants similar to Strattera (Atomoxetine) caused a temporary slowing of growth rate (both height and weight) in children who started the medication before they started puberty. Doctors should monitor children's growth during treatment.
        • Can cause blurry vision, loss of appetite, weight loss, headache, dry mouth, or anxious feelings.
        • Appetite suppression may occur. In clinical studies, long-term treatment with stimulants similar to Adderall (Dextroamphetamine / Amphetamine) caused a temporary slowing of growth rate (both height and weight) in children ages seven to ten years. Doctors should monitor children's growth during treatment.
        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.
        • The capsules can be opened, mixed in a spoonful of applesauce, and swallowed if you can't swallow the whole capsules.
        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 insomnia.
        • 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 schooled-aged children, the 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 drugs.
        • Can cause trouble sleeping, so don't take it too 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 can then be swallowed without chewing.
        Learn more
        More about StratteraSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        More about AdderallSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert