View Full Version : Just prescribed Focalin, not sure how I feel about it

12-16-11, 09:41 PM
Hey guys. So I had my appointment with a new psychiatrist today, and have been on Adderall (just 10mg IR a day) since last week when I got a prescription from my family doctor (he didn't feel comfortable giving any more than that due to my history, see my intro post for details

The Adderall seemed to work really well, although only for about 4-5 hours of course. While I can't say it was totally perfect, it's been by far the most effective thing I've tried. I could think a lot clearer, my thoughts were less jumbled, I had less anxiety (although not none), my emotions were a lot more under control, I could remember things a bit better, and my headaches were drastically reduced. No side effects that I'm aware of.

So the psychiatrist today gave me Focalin for my ADD (20mg), Paxil for depression (20mg), and Zyprexa due to worries about me being bipolar (5mg). I still don't know about the whole bipolar thing, I know having a psychotic/manic episode technically means you are, but none of the bipolar meds docs have given me have fixed anything and they all had nasty side effects.

I don't have health insurance at the moment, so I got generic for the Focalin and Paxil, and did not end up getting the Zyprexa because it was over $300 even as a generic. Based on the quick research I did on Zyprexa today, it doesn't sound like a great thing to be taking long term anyway, and these are all intended to be long term/permanent meds.

I have not taken the Focalin yet (starting tomorrow), but I'm curious what anybody thinks about this. The doc said Adderall usually is less effective over time, can mess up your teeth, causes dependency, and I think something else but can't remember (I was mega nervous and it was a lot to take in). For the most part he seemed to think Focalin was a better option, I didn't really have enough information to know (still don't), so I went with it. I did ask him if the Focalin didn't work, would he prescribe Adderall, and he said yes. So that's good.

I was on Concerta a few years back, and I don't recall it working all that well. From what I've been reading it sounds like Focalin is similar? All I know is that even the low dosage of Adderall seemed to really help with my ADD and also many of my other problems. Is 20mg of Focalin once a day a good dose? The doc said it would last around 12 hours, from what I'm reading it sounds like most say anywhere from 5-10 hours.

I'll be starting the Paxil tonight (had it a long time ago and don't remember anything positive or negative about it, although circumstances are somewhat different these days). Will be starting the Focalin tomorrow. I'm hoping it works as well or better than the Adderall and for longer. Bottom line is I really need something to work for my ADD for around 12 hours a day so I can feel like I'm ready for a job again, and I also am super scared about long term effects from whatever I'm taking. I have enough problems now and I don't know what I'd do if I had more.

Thanks! I'll post an update once I've taken the stuff and have some thoughts about it.

12-16-11, 09:55 PM
I got prescribed Focalin 10mg twice daily (generic) a few days ago, but I have to wait until my insurance approves it before I can pick up from the Pharmacy.

I have heard great stuff about Focalin. I was on it about a year ago for a short time.
The focus was good since it's twice as strong as Ritalin. Didn't feel jittery on it.
I'm going to start at a lower dose to get used to it before trying the full dose.

Usually Instant Release meds are taken 2-3 times daily.
Maybe take one tablet (or half a tablet) in the AM and another 3-4 hours later.

Don't worry about long-term effects, Ritalin (and Focalin, a refined form of Ritalin) are Neuroprotective.

12-16-11, 09:57 PM
Well, Concerta is methylphenidate in a long acting, slow release formula. Concerta releases medication through an osmotic pump inside the capsule. After the coating on the cap dissolves (it's actually the first dose of the medication), a permeable membrane is exposed that allows water to enter the cap. As the water fills the capsule, it pushes the pump so that it releases medication.

Focalin is Dexmethylphenidate. Methylphenidate has two mirror isomers, an l isomer and a d isomer. The l isomer is said to have little to no purpose or activity. It's what's called a racemic mix. It's like looking at your right hand and your left hand. They are similar, but you can't superimpose them over each other.

Focalin, Dexemthylphenidate, is the d-isomer of methylphenidate. The d-isomer is the active isomer. It's supposed to bypass all of the side effects that the l-isomer is associated with. It's the same with dexedrine and adderall. Dex is the d-amp and adderall is the d and l amp.

I've read that there is little difference between Focalin and Ritalin or other methylphenidate drugs at the same doses. Focalin appears to be more effective for some than others. It's the same with dexedrine and adderall.

12-16-11, 11:52 PM
Hmm, thanks for the info guys. So based on that, and what I've been reading since my post, it sounds like I should be taking 10mg 2x a day. It also seems like the lasting for 12 hours thing is way off base. I'm not sure why he told me to take 20mg all in the morning now. Oh doctors.

Will see what happens tomorrow.

12-17-11, 12:41 AM
Do you have Focalin XR or IR?

12-17-11, 01:22 PM
I'm pretty sure it's the IR. It's generic and I don't think there's a generic XR version.

So far I'm not sure what to think about it. I took one 10mg this morning, it seemed to take about 45 minutes to kick in. It's definitely different than Adderall. I'm not really sure I feel any more focused, although I guess my thoughts aren't racing. I feel kind of stoned or high actually. Not what I was hoping for.

I'll see how it goes over the next couple days, probably won't be able to get ahold of my doc until Monday, not sure if he'll change the prescription without me forking over more cash for another appointment. Paying out of pocket for all this stuff totally sucks. This Focalin was like $70, plus paying for the doc. Wish you could get a refund if the stuff doesn't work.