Compare Vyvanse vs. Focalin

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

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.

3.7/ 5 average rating with 491 reviewsforVyvanse
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.

3.3/ 5 average rating with 141 reviewsforFocalin
Upsides
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Price
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Reviews
491 reviews so far
67%
saidit'sworth it
49%
saiditworked well
17%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine)?

Leave a review
141 reviews so far
55%
saidit'sworth it
35%
saiditworked well
21%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Focalin (Dexmethylphenidate)?

Leave a review
Side effects
18possible side effects
  • Decreased Appetite
    27%
  • Insomnia
    27%
  • Dry Mouth
    26%
  • Diarrhea
    7%
  • Nausea
    7%
  • Any side effect
    6%
  • Anxiety
    6%
  • Anorexia
    5%
  • Feeling Jittery
    4%
  • Agitation
    3%
  • Blood Pressure Increased
    3%
  • Hyperhidrosis
    3%
  • Restlessness
    3%
  • Weight Loss
    3%
  • Erectile dysfunction
    3%
  • Dyspnea
    2%
  • Heart Rate Increased
    2%
  • Tremor
    2%
See more detailed side effects
The Focalin (Dexmethylphenidate) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • 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
    • History of Bipolar Disorder
  • Long-term growth suppression
    • Children ages 6 to 12
  • Circulation problems in the hands and feet
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
    • History of Bipolar Disorder
  • Long-term growth suppression
    • Ages 7 to 10
  • Seizures
    • History of seizures
  • Prolonged erection
  • Circulation problems in the hands and feet
  • Vision changes
See more detailed risks and warnings