Compare Adderall vs. Concerta

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

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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 that can cause difficulty sleeping and other side effects.

3.9/ 5 average rating with 1309 reviewsforAdderall
Helps you focus and stay alert.

Concerta (methylphenidate extended-release) is a first-choice treatment for ADHD that works throughout the day, but can affect growth in children and teens.

Upsides
  • First-choice medication to treat ADHD.
  • Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine) is used together with counseling or other non-drug therapies to treat ADHD.
  • Available as an affordable 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.
  • First-choice medication to treat ADHD. Some other forms of Concerta (methylphenidate extended-release) can also treat narcolepsy.
  • The onset of effects will occur within an hour. The full effects can last 8 to 12 hours.
  • Taken only once a day compared to the immediate-release form.
  • Available in many different forms: extended-release and immediate-release tablets, chewable tablet, liquid, and skin patches.
  • The capsule may be sprinkled on applesauce if you have a difficult time swallowing pills.
Downsides
  • Must take 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.
  • Avoid alcohol since it can cause worsen side effects.
  • Concerta (methylphenidate extended-release) is a controlled medication that can be habit-forming and lead to physical dependence.
  • Cannot stop taking this drug all of a sudden without calling your doctor. You may have a greater risk of mood changes.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
Price
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Reviews
1309 reviews so far
74%
saidit'sworth it
53%
saiditworked well
16%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
The Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
30possible side effects
  • Lowered appetite
    25%
  • Headache
    22%
  • Dry mouth
    14%
  • Nausea
    13%
  • Loss of sleep
    12%
  • Anxiety
    8%
  • Weight loss
    7%
  • Dizziness
    7%
  • Irritability
    6%
  • Fast heart rate
    5%
  • Excessive sweating
    5%
  • Initial insomnia
    4%
  • Depressed mood
    4%
  • Palpitations
    3%
  • Tremor
    3%
  • Nervousness
    3%
  • Restlessness
    3%
  • Vertigo
    2%
  • Blurred vision
    2%
  • Indigestion
    2%
  • Vomiting
    2%
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
    2%
  • Inability to eat
    2%
  • Muscle tightness
    2%
  • Agitation
    2%
  • Aggression
    2%
  • Teeth grinding
    2%
  • Depression
    2%
  • Low sex drive
    2%
  • Mouth and throat pain
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Serious or life-threatening cardiovascular events
    • History of heart problems
    • Misuse of Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine)
  • Dependence and abuse
    • History of drug abuse
    • Misuse of Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine)
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Taking other medicines that affect serotonin levels
  • Aggressive behavior and psychosis
    • History of psychotic episodes
    • History of bipolar disorder
  • Driving impairment
    • Taking Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine) with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that cause dizziness and/or drowsiness
  • Long-term growth suppression
    • Children ages 7 to 10
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Serious or life-threatening heart problems
    • History of heart problems
  • Abuse and dependence
    • History of drug abuse
    • Alcoholism
  • Aggressive behavior and psychiatric symptoms
    • History of psychotic episodes
    • History of bipolar disorder
    • History of Tourette's syndrome
  • Long-term growth suppression
    • Children
  • Seizures
    • History of seizures
  • Circulation problems in the hands and feet
See more detailed risks and warnings