Compare Focalin vs. Dexedrine

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

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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
Treats attention deficit disorder.

Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine) is an effective medicine for treatment of ADHD, but often abused for recreational purposes.

4.3/ 5 average rating with 28 reviewsforDexedrine
Upsides
  • 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.
  • Recommended as a first-choice treatment of ADHD.
  • Available as generic version.
  • For more flexible dosing schedule, Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine) is available in short and long formulations.
  • If you have difficulty swallowing pills, Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine) is available as a liquid.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • Taking Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine) can decrease your appetite.
  • If taken late in the day, Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine) can cause insomnia.
  • People who take high doses of Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine) are more likely to have anxiety, restlessness, or irritability.
  • Requires a new prescription from your doctor every month.
  • Not a good option if you have a history of seizures.
  • Can be habit-forming so make sure you use it only as prescribed.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Liquid
Price
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Reviews
141 reviews so far
55%
saidit'sworth it
35%
saiditworked well
21%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Focalin (Dexmethylphenidate)?

Leave a review
28 reviews so far
89%
saidit'sworth it
79%
saiditworked well
21%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Focalin (Dexmethylphenidate) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine) 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
    • 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
  • Abuse and dependence
    • History of drug abuse
  • Serious or life-threatening heart problems
    • History of heart problems
  • Aggressive behavior and psychosis
    • History of psychotic episodes
    • History of bipolar disorder
  • Long-term growth suppression
    • Children
  • Seizures
    • History of seizures
  • Serotonin Syndrome (rare, life-threatening)
    • Using other medicines that increase serotonin levels in the brain
See more detailed risks and warnings