Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Mental health

Focalin

(Dexmethylphenidate)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Mental health
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Helps you focus and stay alert.

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Our bottom line

Focalin (Dexmethylphenidate) is a first-choice treatment for ADHD that's available as a generic, but it's a stimulant, so it can cause insomnia and other side effects.

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Upsides

  • Focalin (Dexmethylphenidate) is used in combination with counseling or other non-drug therapies to treat ADHD.
  • Available as a generic medication.
  • Available in both an immediate-release form, which is given twice a day, and an extended-release form, which is given once a day.
  • Capsules can be opened and sprinkled in water or applesauce for people who don't like swallowing pills.
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Downsides

  • Needs to be taken in the morning and early afternoon, or else it can cause insomnia later that night.
  • It's a controlled medication and should be locked up to prevent potential abuse.
How it works

Focalin (Dexmethylphenidate) is a stimulant. Researchers don't know exactly how it works for ADHD, but it increases norepinephrine and dopamine activity in the brain, which affects attention and behavior.

What to expect when you take Focalin (Dexmethylphenidate) for Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

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Side effect rates for Focalin (Dexmethylphenidate)

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These are side effects of Focalin (Dexmethylphenidate) reported to the FDA by people taking it, and by doctors and pharmacists.
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Risks and Warnings for Focalin (Dexmethylphenidate)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI) 14 days before starting

    Taking Focalin (Dexmethylphenidate) when you've recently stopped taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors within the last two weeks can cause your blood pressure to rise very high. Go to the emergency room or talk to your doctor immediately if you feel dizzy or faint or have a very bad headache.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Common concerns from people taking Focalin (Dexmethylphenidate)

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Pregnancy
Alcohol
  • Don't take it with alcohol or drugs.