Focalin

1 What is Focalin?

Brand: Focalin, Focalin XR

Generic: Dexmethylphenidate (Oral Route)

Focalin is a nervous system stimulant used for the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This drug is also used for weight reduction in obese patients.

This drug works in the treatment of ADHD by increasing attention and decreasing restlessness in children and adults who are overactive, cannot concentrate for very long, or are easily distracted and impulsive.

This drug is used as part of a total treatment program that also includes social, educational, and psychological treatment. This drug requires a prescription.

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Focalin, the risks and benefits for your body should be discussed with your healthcare provider.

Inform your healthcare provider for any allergic reactions to these drugs or any other drugs, foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals.

Carefully read the label of non-prescription drugs for any possible allergic reaction or contraindications. Studies in children have not demonstrated any pediatric-specific problems that would limit the utility of dexmethylphenidate.

However, safety and efficacy have not been established in children younger than 6 years of age. Studies in the elderly regarding the relationship of age to the effects of dexmethylphenidate have not been performed.

Adverse effects have been reported in animal studies but studies in pregnant women or animals are still inadequate. Infant risk is still undetermined when using this drug during breastfeeding.

Discuss with your healthcare professional about the potential risks and benefits of taking this drug while breastfeeding.

Drugs should not be taken together to prevent any interactions but in necessary cases inquire your healthcare provider regarding the adjustments in dosage or any other necessary precautions to prevent any unwanted side effects.

Inform your healthcare professional if you are taking any other drugs such as:

  • Brofaromine
  • Clorgyline
  • Furazolidone
  • Iproniazid
  • Isocarboxazid
  • Lazabemide
  • Linezolid
  • Moclobemide
  • Nialamide
  • Pargyline
  • Phenelzine
  • Procarbazine
  • Rasagiline
  • Selegiline
  • Toloxatone
  • Tranylcypromine

Inform your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription and nonprescription drugs.

Intake of specific food or using alcohol or tobacco with this drug is associated with an increased risk of certain side effects. Your healthcare professional can give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Inform your healthcare provider for any other medical problems such as:

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3 Proper Usage

To use Focalin correctly, you must follow all instructions exactly as directed on the label or as prescribed by your healthcare professional. The dose of this drug will be variable for different patients.

The directions on the label or the prescription by your healthcare professional should be followed. The dosage of this drug you take depends on the medical problem for which you are using this drug.

Adults with ADHD are initially given 10 milligrams once a day in the morning. Your healthcare professional may adjust your dose if necessary. The dose must not exceed 40 mg per day.

Children 6 years of age and older with ADHD are initially given 5 milligrams once a day in the morning. Your healthcare professional may adjust your dose if necessary.

The dose must not exceed 30 mg per day. Use and dose in children younger than 6 years of age must be determined by your healthcare professional.

Adults, teenagers, and children 6 years of age and older with ADHD are initially given 2.5 milligrams two times a day, at least 4 hours apart. Your healthcare professional may adjust your dose if necessary.

The dose must not exceed 10 mg two times a day. Use and dose in children younger than 6 years of age must be determined by your healthcare professional.

A missed dose should be taken as soon as possible. However, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule if it is almost time for your next dose.

Store the drug in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing. Keep out of the reach of children.

Dispose any outdated or expired drugs and ask your healthcare professional for the proper disposal of the drugs.

4 Precautions to Take

In using Focalin, you must be careful and take some precautions as advised by your doctor.

Regular visits should be made to your healthcare provider to track your progress and to monitor the effectiveness of the drug.

Report any unwanted or unusual effects to your healthcare professional.

Avoid the necessary medications and activities that are advised against you to prevent unwanted effects.

Check with your healthcare professional before you take any other prescription or nonprescription drugs, and herbal or vitamin supplements.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Focalin.

Side effects may vary for each individual and prompt medical attention should be given if they occur.

Seek advice from your healthcare professional immediately if you experience any unusual symptoms such as:

  • fast, pounding or irregular heartbeat
  • blurred vision
  • vision changes
  • convulsions
  • jerking of the arms and legs
  • muscle spasm
  • sudden loss of consciousness

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the drug, the side effects will slowly disappear.

Ask your healthcare professional about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

If any of the following side effects persists or are inconvenient, or if you notice any other effects, or if you have any questions about them, consult with your health care professional.

Report any side effects to the FDA hotline at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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