Focalin XR (dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride) is a long-acting oral stimulant approved for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children 6 to 12 years of age, adolescents, and adults. It is the same drug as Focalin, but it has a therapeutic effect. which usually last 12 hours (as opposed to four). Focalin XR begins to act on average 45 minutes after ingestion.
How does it work
ADHD is a brain disorder that can cause inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. The most common treatments were prescription stimulant medications, which are believed to maintain alertness and help people with ADHD focus and focus.
It is believed that there may be a combination of genetic and environmental factors that lead to ADHD and that stimulant medications can reduce some symptoms by increasing the activity of neurotransmitters in certain areas of the brain .
Focalin and focalin XR are made up of dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride, an isomer of the active ingredient Ritalin (methylphenidate), one of the first medications used to treat ADHD. Isomers are nearly identical forms of a molecule that differ in the arrangement of their atoms, which can cause them to act differently in the body. The idea behind Focalin is that the dexmethylphenidate HCl isomer may have a more powerful therapeutic effect than the methylphenidate in Ritalin and may cause fewer side effects.
Due to this difference, Focalin is often prescribed at half the Ritalin dose with an equivalent therapeutic effect.
Focalin XR compared to other stimulants for ADHD
Time-release or time-release stimulants are considered preferred because they can be taken less frequently per day, reducing the risk of missing doses or fluctuations in symptoms throughout the day. In addition to Focalin XR, examples of long-acting stimulants commonly used to treat ADHD are Adderall XR, Vyvanse, Ritalin LA, Concerta , and Daytrana (Ritalin patch).
However, when you consider that Daytrana, Ritalin LA, and Concerta are long-acting forms of Ritalin (methylphenidate), the number of options is not as great as it seems in terms of the pharmacological action of these drugs.
Like other medications that you take once a day or other extended-release ADHD medications, Focalin XR works throughout the day.
There are currently no conclusive studies showing that Focalin is better or safer than Ritalin, Adderall, or other stimulants. As a general rule , Focalin is most often compared to Ritalin in clinical trials, and the long-acting forms of each drug are compared to each other. So far, Focalin XR appears to be as effective and safe as Ritalin LA.
How to use
Focalin XR is available in 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 mg capsules. The recommended dose of Focalin XR is the same as the total dose of Focalin. For example, if you or your child took Focalin 10 mg twice a day, the Focalin XR dose would be 20 mg once a day.
Focalin XR, like Ritalin LA, are capsules made up of 50 percent immediate-release pearls and 50 percent delayed-release pearls in an attempt to mimic a twice-daily dose.
If you or your child have a prescription for Focalin XR, it should be taken in the morning. It can be taken with or without food. You should not cut or chew the capsule as this will affect its ability to be properly absorbed by your body.
Instead, if you find it difficult to swallow, you can open the capsule and sprinkle the contents over the food, which should be small enough to be swallowed without chewing. Focalin XR uses a mechanism called SODAS (Spheroidal Oral Drug Absorption System) to make this possible.
Side effects, interactions and contraindications.
It can potentially interact with various medications, such as antidepressants, blood thinners, anticonvulsants, and blood pressure medications, so make sure your healthcare provider is aware of everything you are taking.
When you are taking Focalin XR, your healthcare professional will periodically assess its effect on your ADHD symptoms and whether you are experiencing any of the medication's possible side effects, of which there are several. Whether or not you should continue taking the drug depends on your personal experience with it, both for and against.
Focalin XR side effects include:
Serious but less common side effects include:
- Hallucinations and / or paranoia.
- Heart rhythm problems
- Aggression or other changes in behavior.
- Depression, suicidal thoughts (suicidal thoughts).
- Vision changes
- Priapism (prolonged erection without excitement, often painful)
Addiction, abuse, abuse
Focalin XR is a stimulant and this category of drugs has the potential to be abused. It can be used to feel 'high' or to stay awake for a long period of time. The drug can be used for other purposes, and people without ADHD have been known to misuse it for the same reasons as to lose weight.
It is not clear if Focalin XR produces tolerance, which is a decreased response to your dose, or if you need to increase your dose to achieve the same response. Most people do not need to increase the dose of Focalin XR to achieve therapeutic control of ADHD symptoms.
Get the word of drug information
There are several approved medications for ADHD and choosing the right one can be confusing. Your healthcare provider will determine which medicine is most likely to work for you. However, if your symptoms do not improve or you experience side effects, your medication may be replaced with another medication that may have a better effect.
Often times, behavioral therapy is another option that can be used to treat ADHD in place of or in addition to prescription drugs.
If you are concerned about the cost of a drug, your healthcare provider may have a voucher for a free Focalin XR trial. Focalin XR savings cards are also available online.