Compare Focalin vs. Provigil

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

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Provigil (modafinil)

Prescription only
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
Improves alertness.

Provigil (modafinil) is effective in improving alertness, but it interacts with some medicines and shouldn't be used long-term.

4.2/ 5 average rating with 28 reviewsforProvigil
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.
  • Provigil (modafinil) is a nonstimulant medication that improves alertness.
  • Provigil (modafinil) is available in a cheaper, generic version.
  • Provigil (modafinil) is good at decreasing excessive sleepiness in shift work sleep disorder.
  • If you need to sleep in the daytime, this medication won't effect you.
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.
  • Provigil (modafinil) can be habit forming, so it shouldn't be used for long-term treatment.
  • Provigil (modafinil) is not a good choice if you have liver problems.
  • May not be a good option if you are taking hormonal contraception like birth control pills.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
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
82%
saidit'sworth it
71%
saiditworked well
4%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Provigil (modafinil)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Focalin (Dexmethylphenidate) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
25possible side effects
  • Headache
    34%
  • Nausea
    11%
  • Nervousness
    7%
  • Stuffy nose
    7%
  • Back pain
    6%
  • Diarrhea
    6%
  • Indigestion
    5%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    5%
  • Anxiety
    5%
  • Dizziness
    5%
  • Flu symptoms
    4%
  • Dry mouth
    4%
  • Loss of appetite
    4%
  • Throat inflammation
    4%
  • Chest pain
    3%
  • High blood pressure
    3%
  • Fast heart beat
    2%
  • Palpitation
    2%
  • Dilation of blood vessels
    2%
  • Constipation
    2%
  • Abnormal liver function
    2%
  • Depression
    2%
  • Burning/tingling sensation
    2%
  • Drowsiness
    2%
  • Lung disorder
    2%
See more detailed side effects
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
  • Serious allergic reactions
    • Allergy to Provigil (modafinil)
  • Heart problems
    • History of heart problems
  • Increased side effects
    • Current kidney problems
    • Current liver problems
  • Driving impairment
    • Taking with alcohol or drugs
See more detailed risks and warnings