View Full Version : Focalin XR - 10-20-15mg. Side Effects Horrible

01-26-12, 11:10 AM
Was prescribed Focalin XR a few months ago to try to help with concentration/focus/staying on task. This is the first medication I've tried. Doctor started me on 10mg of the Focalin XR. Noticed it some days, sometimes didn't really notice much. Doctor bumped it up to 20mg. I would be fine for the first 1-2 hours, and then I would get a horrible headache. Almost fever like. The best I can describe it would be- if you were stick your head into a vice, and it was lightly pressing on your temples. Stopped taking it because I simply could not deal with it. Doctor knocked it down to 15mg. Same thing - still getting headaches. Instead of being able to concentrate and focus, it's more of me trying to count down the hours until it will wear off.

After the 20mg, I asked if we could try a different medication to see what results I could get from something else. She wasn't too open to it, and wanted me to go with the 15mg.

Any advice? Any thoughts?

01-26-12, 11:19 AM
If its been going on for a few months now, then she should definitely consider switching you to a different stimulant.

Different stimulants have different effects on different people, and you have every right to try a different one if the current one you're using has been giving you long term negative side effects.

If she insists on keeping you on the same stimulant, you should tell her that you insist on seeing a new GP!

01-26-12, 12:28 PM
Stimulants don't take to long to work in your system. You can tell fairly quickly if the side effects are bearable. It sounds like the ritalin family doesn't work for you and you should try a different medication. If your doctor isn't open to it then you have to realize that she's not interested in treating you, shes worrying about her own butt.

02-06-12, 02:57 PM
I'm about to the end of my 15mg. I need to call the doctor in the next few days and talk about what the next step is. I'm going to inform her that the 15mg is still causing headaches.

I think I'd like to ask her about a trial run on either Concerta or Adderall XR. Out of those two which do you think you'd recommend? After reading, Adderall seems to be the less extreme of the two. I've read about some negative effects as Concerta wears off. Everyone is different though, so I'm sure results will vary.

Just trying to get some concrete decision in my head before calling, that way it's not as if I am blindly seeking options.

02-06-12, 06:12 PM
I was just reading the forums and stumbled on this thread as I was wanting to try focalin.
I was on adderall xr 30mg + 10mg booster and recently changed it to a 10mg ir, it was good but the side effects sometimes are harsh like headaches or a swollen throat which made it unbearable to eat. The nice thug about the adderall is you knew that it worked.
Also I just switched to try concerta since last week and it's different from adderrall, it doesn't give me that focus that I need, I'm feeling rather lethargic on concerta 54mg generic. I think I might go back to adderall, since I feel concerta barely makes me focus or makes my thoughts clear up for only an hour.

Have you also tried considering Vyvanse? It might suit you, it was the first medication I tried but didn't last as long as I would like. I have school in the early morning and have work after school, which is why adderall xr + booster worked better for me. I usually go to school and have work from 9am to 2am. Hectic I know.

02-06-12, 06:16 PM
I had also considered that, and will be mentioning it to my doctor as well. I forgot to list it in my previous post. I'm just waiting for her to call me back. For some reason I don't think it'll happen today. Been waiting for a few hours, and they close in a few minutes.

02-06-12, 07:52 PM
Took a concerta around 9 went to class it was alright still cluttered than went home and around 1 I felt like crap and still feeling like crap now.

I called my dr just now maybe he can put me back on adderall.

02-08-12, 09:48 AM
well I agree with you , I guess concerta kind of blows and I don't know why. I feel as if it worked for me once or for a period of time. I guess it never lasted long enough which explains dose increases. The problem with adderall is that I feel sleepy on it, and I cannot read or comprehend nearly as well.

02-09-12, 01:52 AM
The doctor feels that I need to come in so we can discuss things. So I had to set up an appointment. Not quite sure why it couldn't be discussed on the phone, but whatever makes the doctor more comfortable I guess.

I will let you guys know what the outcome is. If it comes down to me staying on Focalin XR, I may just forget the idea completely. The headaches for the second half of the duration are not worth it.

02-09-12, 02:10 PM
I must have misinterpreted the doctors intentions over the phone. It seemed like she wasn't open to me trying different options, but after I met with her today she was more than happy to recommend options. I just got the wrong impression over the phone.

I am now on 20mg Adderall XR. I'm hoping this is much better. She said if Adderall doesn't work, that Strattera may be the next option.

02-09-12, 04:12 PM
so you didn't feel focalin helped you focus at all or just wasnt enough?

02-11-12, 05:46 AM
so you didn't feel focalin helped you focus at all or just wasnt enough?

It's not that I thought it didn't help, but having to deal with the intense headaches for the second half of the duration was not worth it.

As soon as I realized the headache came on, it was impossible to forget about, and was somewhat painful. Once this happened, I lost all motivation to attempt any work.

02-12-12, 10:59 AM
For me, Focalin worked fine at first at 40mg, but quickly started to give me some serious side effects. My heart felt funny, I had a headache, was VERY irritable and felt on edge. This is in sharp contrast to regular methylphenidate or even adderall, which do the job with very little fuss, or none whatsoever. The best for me, though, has been Vyvanse(lisdextroamphetamine) because it is so smooth and tolerable that it's almost soothing to take, yet helps with the ADHD problems and energy. I would suggest adderall or vyvanse if you had poor luck with the Focalin, since Ritalin or Concerta might affect you in an undesirable way as well. Strattera, I believe, should be left as a last resort if side effects of stimulants are too much.

02-12-12, 11:49 PM
I think focalin works better than concerta, . I didn't feel adderall did anything, I just sat There and did nothing on it?

02-22-12, 01:13 PM
Are you still taking Focalin XR?
I started on this last week. Started off with 20mg. I've had a few headaches with it but I'm headache prone and also was PMSing (sorry if TMI!) so I've not worried about it too much. I'm sorry its been so bad for you. Hopefully you have found another med with your dr that will work for you!

02-22-12, 02:39 PM
yeah I think the whole headache thing is pretty normal and it does get better.