Focalin Versus Concerta


ADHD is a chronic mental disorder that affects an estimated 6 million children and about 4.4 percent of adults in the US yearly. As ADHD doesn’t have a known cure, many people are confused about managing its symptoms.

Learn to manage ADHD by booking an appointment with an ADHD expert- Click below.


In this guide, we present to you detailed information about Focalin versus Concerta to understand their treatment procedures and possible side effects.

Both drugs are great options for the treatment of ADHD.

However, they differ in:

  • Method of application
  • Chemical components
  • Side effects



Focalin (dexmethylphenidate) is administered orally to treat inattention and impulsivity.



When Concerta (methylphenidate) is administered to a patient, it provides a calming effect and helps improve concentration.


Differences Between Methylphenidate and Dexmethylphenidate

Methylphenidate is a stimulant medication used to treat ADHD. It can be administered orally in its hydrochloride form or applied on the skin, depending on the level of your condition. It is mainly sold as Ritalin and Concerta.

They make you feel active, energized, and excited, although you can develop feelings of aggressiveness and agitation. Therefore, one needs to exercise caution while using it.

Dexmethylphenidate is mainly administered orally to ADHD patients. It is sold mainly as Focalin and Focalin XR. You should avoid taking Focalin or Focalin XR if you are allergic to any inert ingredients in the drug.


Focalin Versus Concerta: Similarities

Here are the similarities between Focalin and Concerta: 


Are Focalin and Concerta the Same Thing?

No, they differ in:

  • Color
  • Side effects
  • Benefits
  • Components in their powder

We have outlined below some of the similarities to bring out the common features found in the two drugs.

They include:

  • Both Focalin and Concerta share some common side effects, namely:
    • Headache
    • Loss of appetite
    • Stomach pain
    • Abuse dependence/ Addiction
  • Focalin and Concerta are both administered orally. The capsules are swallowed whole without being chewed or crushed. Crushing the drug increases exposure to side effects.
  • Focalin versus Concerta dosage depends on your ADHD condition and how your body responds to the medication.
  • Focalin vs Concerta administration in the evening is not advisable as it leads to insomnia.
  • You can use both Focalin and Concerta alongside other medications.
  • Both Focalin and Concerta can be administered with or without food.


Focalin Versus Concerta
Focalin Versus Concerta: 3 Differences


Focalin Versus Concerta: Differences

Here are the differences: 


  • Contents of Focalin Versus Concerta Drugs 

Focalin contains dexmethylphenidate, which is an active component of methylphenidate.

The ingredients found in Focalin are different from those used to manufacture Concerta.

Some inert ingredients used to manufacture Focalin include:

  • Gelatin
  • Sugar spheres
  • Polyethylene glycol
  • Diethyl citrate
  • Ammonio methacrylate
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Yellow iron oxide (10mg strength)

Concerta contains methylphenidate used for the treatment of ADHD and narcolepsy in children.

The unique inert ingredients used in Concerta production are:

  • Sodium chloride
  • Sunnic acid
  • Butylated hydroxytoluene
  • Hypromellose
  • Synthetic iron oxides
  • Carnauba wax

Explore the most promising ADHD treatment options and let our ADHD expert decide the best for your ADHD- Click the button below.


  • Side Effects of Focalin Versus Concerta

Despite both being used to treat ADHD disorder, the side effects associated with Focalin versus Concerta vary.

Common side effects of Focalin are:

  • Heart problems such as difficulties in breathing and chest pains
  • Blurred vision
  • Seizures
  • Fever

Possible side effects of Concerta include:


  • Focalin versus Concerta: Administration

The outcomes of the use and benefits of Focalin versus Concerta may differ depending on your ADHD condition.


  • Uses and administration of Focalin

It would be best if you only used Focalin as prescribed by your doctor. You should avoid using Focalin if you have Tourette syndrome or experiencing severe agitation or glaucoma. It should be orally taken twice a day.

Avoid administration of Focalin along with Monoamine Oxidase (MAO) inhibitor such as Tranylcypromine.


  • Uses and administration of Concerta

It should be taken once a day, preferably in the morning, to avoid triggering insomnia. You should consult your doctor before you start using Concerta or after a refill. This is particularly important if you have a history of alcoholism and drug addiction.


  • Size and Colors of Focalin Versus Concerta

The colors of Focalin versus Concerta varies based on their manufacturer. Their colors, strength, and sizes also determine their effect. Focalin drugs are U-shaped, while Concerta is elliptical or oval.

Sizes, names, and colors of different types of Focalin drugs include:

  • D 10- It has a strength of 10 mg. It is U-shaped and has a white color.
  • D 5-It is a U-shaped yellow-colored Focalin drug with a 5mg strength level.
  • D 2.5- With a strength of 2.5 mg, D 2.5 Focalin has a u-shape and is blue.

Concerta stimulant drugs are elliptical or oval and are found in the following strains:

  • Alza 18- Is yellow with an oval shape. They are also referred to as Concerta 18mg.
  • Alza 27-The Concerta 27mg pills are gray.
  • Alza 36- Found in white color, also referred to as Concerta 36 since it has a strength of 36mg and is elliptical or oval.
  • Alza 54- With the strength of 54mg, Alza 54 is red with an elliptical or oval shape.


Focalin Versus Concerta Risk Factors
Risk Factors of Focalin and Concerta


  • The Strength and Effectiveness of Focalin Versus Concerta to Deal With ADHD Disorder

Focalin is considered a strong medication compared to Concerta because Dexmethylphenidate is stronger than methylphenidate on an mg-to-mg scale.


  • Focalin Verses Adderall: Uses

Adderall is in a class of drugs referred to as stimulants.

Adderall contains a combination of amphetamine salts such as:

  • Amphetamine sulfate
  • Amphetamine aspartate
  • Dextroamphetamine saccharate
  • Dextroamphetamine sulfate

Focalin helps in controlling impulse and hyperactivity in ADHD patients. It has dexmethylphenidate that makes it a strong medication for ADHD patients.

Whereas Focalin is a better treatment for adolescents and children with ADHD, Adderall is mainly used to treat adults.

The starting dosage for Adderall ranges from 5-20 mg a day, depending on your age. Focalin is administered twice a day, while you can only take Adderall once a day.


  • Focalin Versus Adderall: Effectiveness

Both Focalin and Adderall are effective for your ADHD, depending on your age.

The effectiveness of Focalin and Adderall depends on:

  • Level of your ADHD condition
  • Dosage or prescription by your doctor
  • Other drug interactions including different types of medication you are administering along with Focalin or Adderall


  • Is Focalin or Ritalin Stronger?

Focalin (dexmethylphenidate) is strong and is effective in alleviating ADHD symptoms. It also has few side effects compared to methylphenidate medications. Therefore, Focalin is stronger than Ritalin (methylphenidate).

Do you have ADHD? Get a comprehensive ADHD diagnosis by clicking the button below.


Take Away

The different components used in the manufacture of Focalin versus Concerta are what makes them different and unique.

Despite both of them being used for the treatment of ADHD, Focalin is stronger and most effective. The use of these medications depends on the intensity of your disorder and your doctor’s prescription.

At EZCare Medical Clinic, we have highly trained medical practitioners who provide the best ADHD treatment and advice to our patients. Our outstanding facilities back our professionals to serve our patients better.

For more information about our services and consultations, contact our customer service team.

You can also browse our website for more information. Click below to schedule your appointment. 


ADHD Banner
Book Your Appointment Today!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *