Compare Strattera vs. Focalin

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

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Strattera (atomoxetine)

Prescription only
Helps you focus and stay alert.

Strattera (atomoxetine) is a choice medication for children and adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who cannot take amphetamine-based medications, but has a risk of suicidal thoughts.

3.2/ 5 average rating with 94 reviewsforStrattera
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
Upsides
  • Strattera (atomoxetine) is one of the few medications used to treat Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder that's not a stimulant.
  • It's not a controlled substance compared to other medications used for this condition.
  • Strattera (atomoxetine) is used in combination with counseling or other non-drug therapies to treat ADHD.
  • Strattera (atomoxetine) usually only has to be taken once daily.
  • It is available as a cheaper, generic form.
  • Strattera (atomoxetine) doesn't have to be tapered when discontinued.
  • 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.
Downsides
  • Strattera (atomoxetine) is a second-line medication used to treat ADHD. Other medications are usually tried first.
  • Strattera (atomoxetine) can cause liver toxicity. If this occurs, it is likely to happen within the first 120 days of starting treatment.
  • Strattera (atomoxetine) can cause changes in mood and behavior that may lead to suicidal thoughts, unlike alternative ADHD medications.
  • 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.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Price
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Reviews
94 reviews so far
46%
saidit'sworth it
32%
saiditworked well
24%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Strattera (atomoxetine)?

Leave a review
141 reviews so far
55%
saidit'sworth it
35%
saiditworked well
21%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Focalin (dexmethylphenidate)?

Leave a review
Side effects
28possible side effects
  • Nausea
    26%
  • Dry mouth
    20%
  • Decreased appetite
    16%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    15%
  • Fatigue
    10%
  • Constipation
    8%
  • Dizziness
    8%
  • Drowsiness
    8%
  • Erectile dysfunction
    8%
  • Stomach pain
    7%
  • Urinary hesitation
    6%
  • Irritability
    5%
  • Indigestion
    4%
  • Vomiting
    4%
  • Abnormal dreams
    4%
  • Ejaculation delayed and/or ejaculation disorder
    4%
  • Sweating
    4%
  • Palpitations
    3%
  • Chills
    3%
  • Burning/prickling sensation
    3%
  • Decreased sex drive
    3%
  • Sleep disorder
    3%
  • Pain during menstruation
    3%
  • Hot flush
    3%
  • Feeling jittery
    2%
  • Thirst
    2%
  • Weight loss
    2%
  • Pain on urination
    2%
See more detailed side effects
The Focalin (dexmethylphenidate) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Suicidal thinking
  • Liver toxicity
  • Serious or life-threatening events
    • History of heart problems
  • Aggressive behavior and mood changes
    • History of psychotic episodes
    • History of Bipolar Disorder
  • Prolonged erection
  • Long-term growth suppression
    • Use of Strattera (atomoxetine) in children
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • 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