Compare Ritalin vs. Intuniv

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

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Ritalin (methylphenidate)

Prescription only

Intuniv (guanfacine ER)

Prescription only
Helps you focus and stay alert.

Ritalin (methylphenidate) is a first-choice treatment for ADHD that comes in many different forms, but you need to take this medication more often than alternatives.

3.5/ 5 average rating with 526 reviewsforRitalin
Helps you focus your thoughts.

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

Upsides
  • First-choice medication to treat ADHD because it is cheap and effective.
  • Ritalin (methylphenidate) is used with counseling and other non-drug therapies to treat ADHD.
  • Available as a generic medication.
  • Available in many different forms: extended-release and immediate-release tablets, chewable tablet, and liquid.
  • Preferred medicine for elderly with ADHD or narcolepsy because it is safer than alternatives for this population.
  • 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
  • Need to take Ritalin (methylphenidate) 2 or 3 times a day compared to other ADHD medications which you can take once daily.
  • Can raise your blood pressure and pulse, so its not safe for people with heart problems.
  • It's a controlled medication (CII), so you may need to get a new prescription each month from your doctor.
  • Ritalin (methylphenidate) may affect growth in children and teens in some cases.
  • Ritalin (methylphenidate) contains a mixture of active and inactive compounds (dexmethylphenidate and methylphenidate, respectively), which may not work as well for some people.
  • 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
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
  • Extended release
Price
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Reviews
526 reviews so far
60%
saidit'sworth it
42%
saiditworked well
19%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
17possible side effects
  • Lowered appetite
    25%
  • Headache
    22%
  • Dry mouth
    14%
  • Nausea
    13%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    12%
  • Anxiety
    8%
  • Weight loss
    7%
  • Dizziness
    7%
  • Irritability
    6%
  • Fast heartbeat
    5%
  • Sweating
    5%
  • Depression
    4%
  • Stomach pain
    2%
  • Loss of appetite
    2%
  • Vomiting
    2%
  • Blurry vision
    2%
  • Aggressive behavior
    2%
See more detailed side effects
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 drug abuse
    • Alcoholism
  • Serious or life-threatening heart problems
    • History of heart problems
  • Aggressive behavior and psychiatric symptoms
    • History of psychotic episodes
    • History of bipolar disorder
    • History of Tourette's syndrome
  • Height and weight delay in children
    • Children
  • Seizures
    • History of seizures
  • Circulation problems in the hands and feet
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