Compare Focalin vs. Vyvanse

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

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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 and stay alert.

Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) is a first-choice treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, but it can be expensive since it's only available as a brand name product.

3.7/ 5 average rating with 491 reviewsforVyvanse
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.
  • Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) is a first-choice medication to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • It is usually dosed once a day, so parents don't need to send the medication with their children to school.
  • Can take the capsule as a whole or mix the contents with water, orange juice, or yogurt.
  • Available as a chewable pill form.
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.
  • Need to take Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) in the morning, otherwise it can cause difficulty sleeping at night.
  • Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) is not available as a generic medication, so it is expensive.
  • This medicine has the potential for abuse and dependence.
  • Can cause serious side effects for the heart.
  • Can also slow growth in children and cause weight loss.
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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
491 reviews so far
67%
saidit'sworth it
49%
saiditworked well
17%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Focalin (dexmethylphenidate) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
15possible side effects
  • Decreased appetite
    27%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    27%
  • Dry mouth
    26%
  • Diarrhea
    7%
  • Nausea
    7%
  • Anxiety
    6%
  • Loss of appetite
    5%
  • Feeling jittery
    4%
  • Agitation
    3%
  • Increased blood pressure
    3%
  • Sweating
    3%
  • Restlessness
    3%
  • Difficulty breathing
    2%
  • Increased heart rate
    2%
  • Tremor
    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
  • High blood pressure
    • Taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI) 14 days before starting Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine)
  • 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
    • Children ages 6 to 12
See more detailed risks and warnings