Compare Focalin vs. Intuniv

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

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Intuniv (guanfacine ER)

Prescription only
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
Helps you focus your thoughts.

Intuniv (guanfacine ER) is an option for ADHD patients who cannot take stimulants.

Upsides
  • 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.
  • Not a stimulant and is an option for people who cannot take stimulants.
  • Can be used either alone or with other stimulant medications.
  • Available in generic.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • Intuniv (guanfacine ER) can cause changes in your blood pressure so it will be important to watch your blood pressure regularly.
  • May cause drowsiness, dizziness, and headaches especially at higher doses.
  • It can make you feel more irritable or anxious. Talk to your doctor if it bothers you.
  • Not recommended for people over 65 years old.
  • It may cause drowsiness, especially when you first start taking Intuniv (guanfacine ER) or with dose increases, so do not drive until you know how Intuniv (guanfacine ER) affects you.
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Used for
  • ADHD
  • Tourette syndrome (children and adolescents)
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Extended release
Price
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Reviews
141 reviews so far
55%
saidit'sworth it
35%
saiditworked well
21%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
The Focalin (dexmethylphenidate) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
11possible side effects
  • Headache
    27%
  • Fatigue
    22%
  • Dizziness
    16%
  • Loss of appetite
    15%
  • Stomach pain
    12%
  • Irritability
    7%
  • Anxiety
    5%
  • Rash
    3%
  • Constipation
    3%
  • Weight gain
    3%
  • Itchiness
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • 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
  • Fainting
    • High blood pressure
    • Heartrate problems
  • Sleepiness
  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate
    • Stopping Intuniv (guanfacine ER) suddenly.
  • Heart problems
    • History of heart problem
See more detailed risks and warnings