Compare Vyvanse vs. Ritalin

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

Vyvanse
(lisdexamfetamine)

Concerta
(methylphenidate)

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.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.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.03Vyvanse
Reviews for Vyvanse
67%
of people (All ages) say Vyvanse is worth it
49%
say it works well
17%
say it's a big hassle
491 reviews
Have you used Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Ritalin
60%
+7% better vs. Vyvanse
42%
+7% better vs. Vyvanse
19%
+2% better vs. Vyvanse
526 reviews
Have you used Concerta (methylphenidate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
VyvanseRitalin
  • Decreased Appetite 35%
  • Insomnia 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 »
  • Upper abdominal pain 5%
  • Decreased appetite 5%
  • Headache 5%
  • Dry mouth 5%
  • Nausea 5%
  • Insomnia 5%
  • Anxiety 5%
  • Dizziness 5%
  • Weight loss 5%
  • Irritability 5%
More Ritalin side effects »
How it works
VyvanseRitalin
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.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.
Type of medication
VyvanseRitalin
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
VyvanseRitalin
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Oral solution
  • Liquid
  • Patch
Used for
VyvanseRitalin
Risk factors for serious side effects
VyvanseRitalin
  • 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 »
  • 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 »
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
VyvanseRitalin
  • Don't take it with alcohol or drugs.
  • Don't take it with alcohol or drugs.
  • Patients should avoid alcohol since it'll cause worse side effects from Concerta (Methylphenidate).
Upsides and benefits
VyvanseRitalin
  • 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.
  • 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.
Downsides and risks
VyvanseRitalin
  • 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.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
VyvanseRitalin
  • 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.
  • 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.
Learn more
More about VyvanseSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about RitalinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Concerta (methylphenidate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it