View Full Version : My experience


thoughtful1
12-06-11, 10:45 PM
Since there is a bit of a lack on info and personal experiences of focalin, I figured I would give my story and my impressions. I was diagnosed as an inattentive ADD at the age of 28. This is my first medication since my diagnosis, but am also on cymbalta.

First script was for 15mg Focalin XR. The first three days I felt speedy and motivated for the first hour or two, the third hour being a steady calm and focused feeling. After the third day the speedy feeling went away and the effects felt almost unnoticeable.

I became annoyed and impatient when I couldn't get in touch with my prescriber, so I doubled my dose to 30mg. I was back to where I was the first few days I started on the lower dose. First couple hours were energy and focus, but after three hours the affects dropped off quite noticably and by the fifth hour it was not really noticable.

My prescriber was cool with my upping the dose- she actually suggested it before I told her I had done it myself. I told her about it only lasting five hours and she upped the dose again. I am now at 40mg, and have the option for ritalin IR if I need an afternoon boost.

Since being on 40mg I notice I feel the affects about the same as with the 30mg, but slightly stronger longer. It also seems that I can still notice the drug up to about six hours later. The first two hours are great in that I feel slight euphoria, but I feel a bit down after it fades in the third hour. There was a point today that I felt like the med wore off quite a bit, but spiked again not long after- somewhere in the fifth hour.

All in all I think this med is good, but I would like to feel more motivation that I get. I still have trouble feeling that motivation at times, but once I start a task I can now keep at it with energy till it's done. Appetite is reduced, but not so much that I am unable to bring myself to eat.

I have been on my current 40mg dose for four days now, so I'm hoping this med stays working for me.

hollywood
12-07-11, 10:19 AM
How do you like the augment of cymbalta with the focalin ? Do you find the cymbalta to work better than the rest of the ssri's -

thoughtful1
12-07-11, 09:58 PM
I've only been on cymbalta about two weeks. Before that I had been on lexapro. Compared to the lexapro I feel less sedated, but a bit more anxious. Not sure if its the stimulant though. My doc want to up me from 30mg to 60mg, but not until I've been on my current dose of rivaling for a while.

hollywood
12-08-11, 10:01 AM
Huh. Yeah I find lexapro sedating, it's a real bummer. I've been taking celexa and have been considering switching to something like cymbalta again or prozac. I think cymbalta may be a bit more activating compared to prozac it's a completely different feeling. With prozac you feel alot more social and happy and with cymbalta it can cause some confusion probably because if the NE reuptake. In my opinion the meds that reuptake NE feel sedating initially and then change when they start working. Not sure what my next step will be.

Chace90
12-08-11, 02:01 PM
The reason for the ups and downs is because Focalin xr releases twice. There are two different kinds of beads in the capsule, the first releases right away and the other releases 4-5 hours later. Also my experience with Focalin xr was that it made me feel very calm almost sleepy(almost). Ritalin made me feel "speedy" somtimes, but Focalin xr didn't do that at all but I was only on 15 mg so that is probably why. I am not sure the idea of taking the med is to get motivation and energy. For me its to be able to pay attention (even to small details) and be able to focus so I actually get stuff done rather than wasting my time on stupid stuff.

thoughtful1
12-08-11, 11:34 PM
Yeah, my doc said that the lexapro was not the med of choice for people with ADD. I am wondering about the cymbalta lately. She wanted to raise me from 30mg to 60mg, but not until we know the new dosage of focalin is working.

Update: I feel like I would like to feel in the first couple hours of the meds kicking in. I feel energy and somewhat social. I'm wondering if this is what people describe as being euphoria. I don't know. After three hours the med is still there, but I feel a very plateaued emotional level.

There are times I feel happy and talkative, so much so that I could hug a stranger, but then it wears off and I feel quiet and reserved. By the time it wears off completely I am bummed out.

I'm at a cross roads about this med. I am wondering about vyvanse, but part of me is still wanting to give the focalin a chance and see what happens when the cymbalta dose is upped.

thoughtful1
12-17-11, 01:32 PM
A lot of bad since last post. Depression went up HUGE. Worst ever feelings of being lost and without a n identity. Nothing interested me. If I had no loved ones to live for it may have done me in.

I stopped the focalin and by day 2 was feeling like my old tired inattentive self. I wonder if the focalin just exhausted the neuro chemicals. Just to see I took a dose again and same thing. By afternoon I was done.

Switched to vyvanse. Hoping for better results.

hollywood
12-17-11, 05:20 PM
So this happened when you increased the cymbalta or focalin ? Focalin xr works well

thoughtful1
12-17-11, 09:23 PM
No change in cymbalta dose. The negative affects of the focalin were in lower doses as well. It seems like I was being drained by the med.

My doc said my experience was new to her, so mileage may very. I know it wasn't for me though.

hollywood
12-18-11, 07:30 PM
Oh so low doses did not work well with focalin? What works well for you now ? I have been in celexa , wonder if my energy and vigilance would improve on cymbalta?

thoughtful1
12-18-11, 10:00 PM
Low doses did nothing for energy, but higher doses did help for about three hours. After that I just wanted to sleep. It felt like the three hours it kicked in were about all it had to offer positive for me. The rest of the time (2-3 hours) I was just winding down and depressing out.

Im on day two of vyvanse and im liking it much better. There is no sudden kick to it like the focalin had and I feel much more even minded throughout the dose. I will be starting a thread in the vyvanse forum sometime in the next day or two. Im titrating up tomorrow so I will have more to report on after that.

ByStarlight
12-18-11, 10:10 PM
Yeah, my doc said that the lexapro was not the med of choice for people with ADD. I am wondering about the cymbalta lately. She wanted to raise me from 30mg to 60mg, but not until we know the new dosage of focalin is working.

Update: I feel like I would like to feel in the first couple hours of the meds kicking in. I feel energy and somewhat social. I'm wondering if this is what people describe as being euphoria. I don't know. After three hours the med is still there, but I feel a very plateaued emotional level.

There are times I feel happy and talkative, so much so that I could hug a stranger, but then it wears off and I feel quiet and reserved. By the time it wears off completely I am bummed out.

I'm at a cross roads about this med. I am wondering about vyvanse, but part of me is still wanting to give the focalin a chance and see what happens when the cymbalta dose is upped.

I am really glad that you started a thread on Focalin to relay your own experience. Like you mentioned, there really aren't many posts with personal experiences, and I myself haven't posted because I didn't really know how to express my thoughts on it until I came across yours. I've been on Focalin XR 15mg since the end of October. My doc started me first at the base dose of 5 mg while telling me that if I didn't feel anything the first few days to take 10mg. I'm kind of on the small side as far as weight and build, so she wanted to titrate up slowly. I was put on 15mg a few weeks later and after telling her how I liked it, she gave me 3 prescriptions for 30 each and set an appointment for 3 months time to give me a chance to feel it out. My next appointment I have to take a test to see how my liver is metabolizing the drug, which I don't really know what that means but anyway... I am glad to be able to read your experiences because I am starting to feel the same exact way. Really no side effects, besides being thirsty all the time, but the ups and downs are becoming more obvious and I don't know if the "up" time is what they call euphoria either, although I really doubt it because it's not a "high" feeling that I get. The first 2-3 hrs after I take it I notice a big increase in motivation and social behavior, which are two of my main problems. Oddly, I didn't think that stimulants could affect my social behavior but I think it's something that is part of the larger picture. I am alert, I can direct my attention to one specific thing or more like I am actually in control for once, I can have a full conversation and remember every part of it while also asking questions and staying engaged, and that is awesome. But by the 4th hour there is a seriously noticeable dip in that and I am almost back to my previous self. I think I have the added benefit of being in the exact same environment each day that I take it, so it is much easier to evaluate the effect it's having on me over an extended period. I work full-time, and I don't take it on my days off because I tend to build tolerance quickly.

One thing I don't know if you have noticed but for me it seems to kick in for the second time after I take my lunch break. If I am working in the morning, I get from 9-12 with regular improvement, but after 12 it's like the Focalin has fully worn off. Once I take my lunch break and eat something it activates in my system again. I have no clue if this is typical, but really I am sort of on the fence and I really think I want something that is more steady throughout the workday, although I don't know if any XR will provide that.

thoughtful1
12-18-11, 10:29 PM
It really is a weird med when looking back at it. From day one there was just something odd about it I couldn't quite put my finger on.

"The first 2-3 hrs after I take it I notice a big increase in motivation and social behavior, which are two of my main problems."

Same here. What I liked about it at first was that it made me social and motivated- which I usually am not. After a while I had to up the dose to get that feeling, and still it didn't last. The high was immediate, and then I had to deal with crashing all the way down....and it was getting further and further down each day I was on it.

I wonder about if this med is more affective to hyperactive people. It seems like this med would be great if you needed to be not only focused, but brought into the ability to sit still and think.

Go with you gut on it. Intuition is your best friend. Things snowballed for me quick and felt a lot worse while I was in that rut.

hollywood
12-19-11, 12:26 AM
Yeah I think I have some issues with being hyper and stAying seated. Agree, after three hours even on xr it levels off and there is just a decline. With vyvanse it didn't kick enough for me but seemed to have better duration