Compare Focalin vs. Intuniv

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


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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
Used for
  • ADHD
  • Tourette syndrome (children and adolescents)
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Extended release
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141 reviews so far
saidit'sworth it
saiditworked well
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
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stomach pain
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Rash
  • Constipation
  • Weight gain
  • Itchiness
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