Compare Concerta vs. Focalin

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

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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.

Treats attention deficit disorder.

Focalin (dexmethylphenidate) effectively treats ADHD, and is usually recommended if first-line ADHD medications don't work for you.

3.3/ 5 average rating with 141 reviewsforFocalin
Upsides
  • 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.
  • Effectively treats ADHD in children and adults.
  • Extended release capsules can be opened and sprinkled in applesauce for people who don't like swallowing pills.
  • The extended release pill is available in many strengths and allows for personalized dosing.
  • Available as a generic, so it should be reasonably priced.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • Not carried by all pharmacies and may need to be special ordered for you.
  • Decreased appetite in children may affect their growth.
  • Requires a new prescription from your doctor every month so it may be a hassle for some people.
  • Has the potential for abuse, misuse, and dependence.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Price
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Reviews
Not enough review data.Leave a review
141 reviews so far
55%
saidit'sworth it
35%
saiditworked well
21%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Focalin (dexmethylphenidate)?

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Side effects
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
The Focalin (dexmethylphenidate) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • 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
  • Abuse and dependence
    • History of substance 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
  • Seizures
    • History of seizures
  • Blood circulation problems
See more detailed risks and warnings