View Full Version : Focalin XR for my 9 yr. old

12-26-11, 06:22 PM
My 9 yr. old was put on Focalin XR 5mg. about 3 weeks ago, but it didn't seem to do much. I went back to the Dr's last week, and he put her on 15mg. I noticed a difference almost immediately. She's a lot calmer and more focused. It doesn't seem to last all day though, and when it wears off she is completely out of control. Yesterday morning, after opening presents, because her Dr. said she should take the med. even on weekends and holidays, I gave her her usual dose. About 45 mins to an hour later, she became really irritable and angry. She even stated that she felt really angry and had no idea why. She stayed in this kind of "funk" for about 3-4 hrs. She didn't want to be talked to or anything. Then it seemed to wear off , and she became like her old self again, except with more control. Is this something that's normal, and is she going to be going through these mood swings all the time on this medication? I felt so helpless because she has definitely never been that kind of "dark", angry girl before, and I didn't like it at all. I obviously can't have her out bursts and completely out of control that she is without medicine, so she definitely needs to be on something....

12-26-11, 07:22 PM
It may not be the right med for her. We had a similar reaction when my ds tried concerta. He said it made him feel more focused, but it also made him very angry. He became downright mean and punched a kid at school and wound up being sent home. I stopped giving it to him immediately and asked the doctor for something else. Unfortunately, sometimes you have to try several meds before finding the right one.

12-27-11, 08:57 AM
We just began focalin for my daughter. She said it helped very much in school but when she came home she was moody, tearful, sad and unfocused. Its not feasible for her to to take meds at school and I'm not sure if its a crash that she feels or just her being sensitive to medication. At this points we are not going to continue it.

12-27-11, 12:19 PM
To the op, if your daughter has only had the 1 episode of irritability/anger, I'd stick with it for a little longer. I'd also make sure that she's eaten before or just after taking the Focalin, and also when she gets home from school to eliminate or reduce the possibilty that you are seeing irritability due to blood sugar swings.

If she continues to have side effects, let your dr know; there are other meds that she may better tolerate, including non-stimulant meds.

12-27-11, 01:13 PM
Some general information that may be of help in understanding this aspect of the medications for ADHD.

While we know quite a bit about ADHD, there are a lot more things we don't know.

One of the things we know is that it is complex with different genes being involved and different interactions between genes all influencing the actions of the different neurotransmitters involved. We are in the process of figuring out just how all this works.

As a result, there probably as many genetic combinations with ADHD as there are people who are ADHD.

It is for this reason that sometimes getting the right medication is somewhat of a trial and error situation. What works for one does not indicate what will work for another. As a result, sometimes we have to try different drugs and combination of drugs to get something that will work.

Here are some very rough statistics on stimulants (I don't have the stats on non stimulants):

About 75% will respond effectively to any one stimulant and 25% will not due to it not working for that individual or having too many side effects.

For all the stimulants, about 90% will get positive results from one of these but 10% will not.

For harder to treat cases, you have the non stimulants. When they work, they seem to work well but not quite as successful for as many.

Another factor is that some are specific delivery responders. Some, for instance, react well to extended release Methylphenidate but not to the regular version and vice versa.

Some will respond best to a combination of ADHD medications.

As you can see from this, the majority will do OK with one of stimulants but not all.

A true crapshoot in some regards; the luck of the genetic dice.


02-21-12, 12:45 PM
How is your child doing on the focalin? Did you stick with it? My son was prescribed it 2 weeks ago and so far it has been pretty good. It definitely doesnt last all day. I can tell after 5 he starts to ramp up and then usually by 6 he is an animal. He is worse then before the meds. We started at 5 and then we went up to 10 and his crash didn't seem as bad yesterday. He still makes strange noises tho :/ Im hoping maybe his body is getting use to it. He hasn't had any anger with it though....he was more angry off of this before he was evaluated. Is there a reason that your doctor jumper her up to 15 and skipped the 10 mg dose? Maybe its just too much for her at 15.