View Full Version : Started Focalin today


pistog
10-30-12, 10:02 PM
I have used stimulants for about 7 years now. I also deal with genetic high blood pressure.

Started with adderall, switched to concerta. Rode concerta out for about two years until I grew tolerant at 54mg with increases not resulting in any more symptom control and switched to Vyvanse. Vyvanse Only lasted about a year. I got to 60mg and called it quits.

I applied to Novartis' Focalin Patient assistance program two weeks ago, no response yet. Walked into a giant Walgreens yesterday and was raped for 175 bones for 30 10mg Focalin ER's, oh well. That was after $60 discount card. Retail price was $235.

I am a graduate student in philosophy so I need high levels of focus for very intensive high level cognitive operations sometimes. I took the 10mg today and I have decent focus for simple tasks like driving but nowhere near what I need for producing papers, grading tests and papers and reading incoherent BS like Heidegger.

My doctor lets me manage my dosing myself. Tomorrow I will double to 20mg. Hopefully that will get me enough focus to make it until I get the patient assist card and I can get 20's or 30's for free. I suspect at this rate I will probably need 30mg unless Focalin shows out and flexes and shows some muscle.

If Focalin doesn't do it I suspect I will move back to Concerta and bite the bullet with sweating profusely and zombie-mode. I like zombie more than not getting stuff done.

Focalin King --> Focalin "weak like little girl" so far. When's it gonna throw down? I need it man.

hollywood
10-31-12, 12:38 AM
You will need concerta then add focalin , but it won't kick like brand ir Ritalin but its good . Adding modanfil usually does the trick. I notice stimulants help focus and modanfil decreases distraction . Add them together and it pretty much kills adhd , temporarily if course . Get what I am throwing down?

pistog
10-31-12, 01:44 AM
Concerta + Focalin? Holy bejeezus! IDK man that sounds like too much of a head buzz or something. It might be like when I drink a cup of coffee or caffeinated tea with stimulants: it doesn't necessarily focus me more. I'm just tweaked out. I will first try to increase Focalin. There is also the cost issue. I suppose Novartis could give me two assist cards so I could afford both RX's.

Modafinil looks interesting but I'm not narcoleptic.

Do you currently take that combo? Concerta + Focalin + Modanfil? Why do so many take Focalin IR instead of ER? Aren't extended release meds preferred?

I am relatively serious about nutrition too, I eat OK but I take very good, robust multi vitamin and 6000 mg's of fish oil a day. I also take a Focus complex booster from Puritan's Pride with Neuro-PS, phosphatidylserine, GABA and other goodies. If there is any vague research in the affirmative for anything I will generally give it a try. Fish oil is proven and I think everyone on this BBS should take as much as they can, at least 6 grams a day. You can find concentrated amounts so I take 2 very concentrated pills a day versus 6 or more pills. Also, magnesium is a beneficial supplement.

Tell me more about this concerta + focalin combo and if I read you correctly on this and perhaps how you came to this combo yourself, if you don't mind.

Grad school is very difficult for me as there is very (very) little structure. I only have class once a week or so and I have to rely on my self to stay disciplined all while cooking and keeping house. I hope I can land another good ride like I did on Concerta for a couple years.

pistog
10-31-12, 01:48 AM
Oh BTW, I am a straight ADD case. I thankfully do not have the hyperactive component.

pistog
10-31-12, 02:16 AM
I believe that eventually, like the articles hint at, these drugs will become better and more mainstream. The modern day workload is nothing like what it used to be. Two hundred years ago people like us weren't ADD. We weren't ADD when all we had to do was smith iron at the town forge as a blacksmith. Today, the curve is steepening and those of us without abnormally strong focusing capabilities are getting left behind. I am making an appt with my doctor tomorrow and discussing a return to concerta/ritalin with my focalin and also adding provigil (modafinil). That should do the trick eh?

http://techcrunch.com/2008/07/15/how-many-of-our-startup-executives-are-hopped-up-on-provigil/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johann-hari/my-experiment-with-smart_b_156954.html

G252013
10-31-12, 08:42 AM
The XR's are super weak in my experience, it's all about the IR tablets.

Plus they're not expensive, $15 co pay for highest dose Focalin IR 10MG generic

pistog
10-31-12, 02:18 PM
I dunno about the IRs being significantly different than the XR form. If anything I chould just move up to a higher XR dose to obtain the same effect, that's how it has always worked for me. Do you use Modanifil?

pistog
10-31-12, 02:19 PM
Oh, I took two 10mg XR's today on an empty stomach and they kicked pretty hard. I am having some pain with my eyes but I think that might be because I need a new glasses prescription. I guess when it rains, it pours.

G252013
10-31-12, 03:36 PM
XR's were inferior to the tablets in my experience. Never used Modanaifil but would like to

G252013
10-31-12, 04:05 PM
Focalin probably the most difficult, least user-friendly med. However this difficulty associated with it yields the greatest rewards, if one is able to reach success

pistog
10-31-12, 06:52 PM
Two 10's on an empty stomach had me overmedicated for about 3 hours. Now I feel good and I think I can get stuff done. I might try two 10s tomorrow on a full stomach. I might go with 15mg and half the contents of one of the capsules. I talked to my doc and she was OK with prescribing provigil or modanifil but she warned me about cost and asked me to try to get steady on focalin before I tried any wild combinations. I may ask her for a few IR's just for the hell of it.

G252013
11-04-12, 03:53 PM
anything new?

pistog
11-09-12, 09:38 PM
I have a few side effects from time to time. I take a 10mg XR in the morning with food and then sometimes half a capsule to take another 5mg on top. If I go too high it messes with my eyes almost like I can't focus them and I seem to be more sensitive to light. I also get visual artifacts like I am overdosing or something. The dose is just sooo low though and I've been on much higher doses of Concerta (54mg). It's interesting.

As far as focus goes, I think it works but I just don't feel it like I feel the mental sledgehammer of Concerta or Adderall. So it's kind of having a reverse placebo on me. I don't feel it like Con or Addy so I don't think it's working. Really it seems like I am adjusting to the 10mg and it is actually helping me, it's just hard to tell without the usual feel.

One time I titrated out 15mg and it was perfect. I hit a sweet spot with it and I just had perfect concentration for the rest of the afternoon. It was sweet, I read a philosophy article like other people do: from start to finish, with comprehension. It was beautiful.

I put in for Concerta, Modafinil, and foc patient assistance cards so I have some more options coming up. I think I might adjust nicely to the Foc though. I just wish the side effects would calm down like the weird stuff its doing to my eyes. Never expected that.

Oh another thing: for me it DOES NOT play nice with alcohol. I tried to have two pints after class yesterday and I had to give half my second beer away. Never had this issue with any other stimulant with any amount of alcohol. It exacerbated the side effects and I felt really weird and twitchy.

The verdict is still out. I have not declared victory or admitted defeat.

pistog
11-09-12, 09:42 PM
This:

Focalin probably the most difficult, least user-friendly med. However this difficulty associated with it yields the greatest rewards, if one is able to reach success

G252013
11-09-12, 09:49 PM
One time I titrated out 15mg and it was perfect. I hit a sweet spot with it and I just had perfect concentration for the rest of the afternoon. It was sweet, I read a philosophy article like other people do: from start to finish, with comprehension. It was beautiful.


Yes sir

hollywood
11-12-12, 12:01 AM
No idea what your talking about. You take modanfil and concerta ? Whatdya think?

livewire
11-12-12, 04:11 PM
Pistog - I too am in grad school (psychology) and just wanted to share that I got patient assistance from Novartis for Focalin XR last month. I’m not sure what program you applied with (Novartis has 3-4 on their website I think) to get your Focalin but within 24 hours after my pdoc FAXED them my application and financial info I was approved for Focalin XR 30 mg. 2xday for only $5 for a months’ supply (60 capsules). You can go on the Novartis website and check your eligibility status daily. Even if you haven’t yet received your card you have a number assigned that you can use immediately to get your script filled.

Let me know if you need more info. Finals are fast approaching so I thought I would throw this out there. Good luck to you!

hollywood
11-12-12, 09:33 PM
Cool . So I can take focalin xr now on my all generic ppo plan with patient assistance

livewire
11-13-12, 01:10 AM
Oh. You have health insurance. :cool: I don't, so I qualified to get it for only $5 a month. I don't know how that works out with insurance.

livewire
11-13-12, 02:05 AM
Here is the link to Novartis patient assistance programs. They don't make it easy to find on their site. I filled out a short form, submitted it, and knew if I qualified immediately (pending financial documentation.) Filled out the next form, took it to my doc, he faxed and I was good to go.

http://www.patientassistancenow.com/index.jsp

G252013
11-17-12, 02:44 PM
You will need concerta then add focalin , but it won't kick like brand ir Ritalin but its good . Adding modanfil usually does the trick. I notice stimulants help focus and modanfil decreases distraction . Add them together and it pretty much kills adhd , temporarily if course . Get what I am throwing down?

What you know about XR?

livewire
11-18-12, 05:23 PM
What you know about XR?

What do I know about Focalin XRÖ..not sure what you mean but Iíll tell you what my experience has been. I am on 30mg x2 a day. OhÖthis is a HIGH dose - so Iíve been told more times than I can count Ė usually by pharmacists when I go to fill my script and by a few G.I. Joe types on the ADD forum site. :eyebrow:

Before XR I was on IR, same dose only I had to take six 10 mg. tabs a day. The duration of the XR is about eight hours max for me, thus the two doses. I go to school all day and study till the wee hours so I take the first one @ 6:00 a.m. and the other @ 2-3 in the afternoon. Focalin doesnít give me the wired, peripheral NS stimulation side effects like the other meds did. No insomnia, but some loss of appetite.

Of all the ADD meds Iíve tried (Adderall IR & XR, Ritalin and Dexedrine) this is the one for me. I can study and write papers for hours on end and not get bored and distracted. It helps that Iím interested in the material Ė psychology and poli sci. But I can even breeze through statistics and I HATE math. Iím FINALLY able to stay on task.

I dropped out of H.S. my junior year. Was diagnosed with ADD at 45 and now I am 53 years old and six credit hours away from graduation. It wasnít just the meds, but they helped tremendously. I still had to work VERY hard.

Donít know if this answers your questions about Focalin but if not let me know. Be more specific. Good luck.

G252013
11-18-12, 06:39 PM
I was really just poking fun @ Hollywood, as he is the self proclaimed king of XR

But thanks for posting your experiences with it, I'm trying to stir up as much Focalin related discussion as possible.

I never had much success with XR (just made me high), only the IR was therapeutic for me. But the problem is Focalin IR's not very reliable, but when it does work it is incredible.

livewire
11-18-12, 09:28 PM
lmao. Focalin makes me gullible. :doh:

pistog
11-18-12, 09:46 PM
Yall are making me want to try the IR. It seems that even when I was taking 10mg XR at first I was overmedicated. Now that I'm used to it it doesn't give me so many strange side effects. But, it just doesn't kick like I need it too. It helps, but it isn't enough and I think that going to 20mg might be just more side effects w/o much return. I take my 60mg Vyvanse XR and now that I am not so tolerant to it, it really lets me get a lot done.

I got a letter from Novartis a few days ago about my application. My doc forgot to attach a RX to the fax. So, I stuffed her mailbox with three more applications, another one for Novartis, one for Concerta and one for Modafinil. hehe

Even though I think having a one-pill solution is the first step to try, I am curious about Modafinil. If I can pair that up with a lose dose stimulant and avoid much of the appetite loss, I'd be good to go.

livewire
11-18-12, 10:47 PM
I REALLY liked the IR. But it's generic, I have no insurance, and it was $150 for 180 tabs (6/day). So I switched to XR because Novartis comped 'em for me. 60 30 mg. caps for $5.00. I will probably switch back to the IR when I finish school and get to work. They do have more of a kick to 'em.

pistog
11-19-12, 04:05 PM
I will try the IRs once I get on a patient assistance program from Novartis. BTW, I think all the assistance programs are simply the big pharma companies admitting that they rip off the insurance companies because they can. On most of these programs, you are eligible if you make up to 30 grand a year, which is not insignificant in my world.

gatorADDe
11-19-12, 04:46 PM
Have you tried Ritalin? Ritalin is super cheap. The instant release is under $10 i thin pretty much everywhere. There is also ritalin LA, which is sort of like focalin XR but is available as a generic. I have insurance, my copay for ritalin LA was $10, and IR boost was like $5.00. If you don't have insurance i think LA is expensive too though.

G252013
12-06-12, 09:28 AM
Focalin will not work if you have any underlying esteem issues. It can only elevate what's there already, not create something that's not.

BBGun7
01-03-13, 12:13 AM
Does anyone elses Focalin IR wares off after 2 hours?

G252013
01-03-13, 09:44 AM
It certainly could

lsm-add
01-03-13, 12:12 PM
Does anyone elses Focalin IR wares off after 2 hours?


Yes and my insurance won't pay for the XR. I'm going to ask for a trial run of Concerta next week at the doc. I like the Focalin a lot better than the Dexedrine ER I was on but I can't handle the up down, up down and my insurance won't even cover the amount the doc write me (which still feels like not enough) so I'm paying out of pocket.

Stryker395
01-26-13, 11:47 PM
Does anyone elses Focalin IR wares off after 2 hours?

I'm currently on Focalin (about to switch back to Dexedrine), and yes, it feels like it comes in violently and then my focus is gone within at least two hours. Sometimes it's felt like less, but hardly ever more. With that said, I've really not liked Focalin at all. It has made me more anxious and hasn't really helped with my add like Dexedrine or even Adderall.

lsm-add
01-27-13, 10:19 PM
I'm currently on Focalin (about to switch back to Dexedrine), and yes, it feels like it comes in violently and then my focus is gone within at least two hours. Sometimes it's felt like less, but hardly ever more. With that said, I've really not liked Focalin at all. It has made me more anxious and hasn't really helped with my add like Dexedrine or even Adderall.


Have you tried Concerta? I've been on it for 3 weeks now and find it much better than the Focalin for me. I also prefer it to Dexedrine though most seem very happy with dexedrine.

G252013
01-29-13, 12:11 PM
This:Focalin probably the most difficult, least user-friendly med. However this difficulty associated with it yields the greatest rewards, if one is able to reach success

You got it!

Gilthranon
02-01-13, 06:18 AM
Starting tomorrow...

Gilthranon
02-02-13, 06:27 AM
How will this differ from Ritalin,d does it cut off appetite, boost and euphoria at the intake & not constipating ?

G252013
02-02-13, 12:02 PM
Starting tomorrow...

good luck!

Gilthranon
02-02-13, 05:08 PM
It's gonna be tuesday

ana futura
02-23-13, 01:06 AM
It took me a long time- but I think focalin is my med. I don't take it every day- as has been said, it's a very difficult med to work out. I would never take focalin if I was already stressed out. You have to be in a good headspace on it, especially at first. I can't just take it and hang out like I can on ritalin or dex, I'll get edgy.

Right now I take baby IR doses- 2.5 mgs. I think I'll step up to 5 eventually, I can tolerate much better now than I used to.

I only take it to read or to work on a specific task, or when I need to interact with others and be alert and attentive.

The amount I take I can't "feel" at all, but it really does help me think better. If I take it then try to read something difficult, there is a point where the focalin kicks in and everything makes sense. I take another dose when I feel like my brain cuts out again. Small doses often is the way to go with focalin I think. It is best when it's subtle, it's really easy to take too much.

I don't really rebound from it, it just sort of wears off, with some positive effects remaining for the rest of the day.

Anyway, I really like it a lot now that I have it figured out.

It is the only med that doesn't seem to mess with my personality that much. On the flip side, it is not as good for curbing impulsive speech as ritalin and dex are, but honestly I hate how quiet I get on other meds.

livewire
02-23-13, 06:20 AM
ana futura - do you take Focalin IR or XR? I'm prescribed 60 mg of the XR a day. Two 30 mg. caps x 2/day. I'm with you...I just take it when I need it and my head has to be in a good place to take it. I rarely take two doses unless I'm cramming for an exam or have a lot of boring reading to do.

Glad you found something that works for you. I tried Vyvanse, Ritalin, Dexedrine, Adderall, and Focalin IR before I found what works best for me. It's a long and frustrating process I know. :cool:

DOH! Just reread your post. You take IR. Typical ADHD response. Fire! Ready! Aim!

G252013
02-24-13, 11:57 PM
It took me a long time- but I think focalin is my med. I don't take it every day- as has been said, it's a very difficult med to work out. I would never take focalin if I was already stressed out. You have to be in a good headspace on it, especially at first. I can't just take it and hang out like I can on ritalin or dex, I'll get edgy.

Right now I take baby IR doses- 2.5 mgs. I think I'll step up to 5 eventually, I can tolerate much better now than I used to.

I only take it to read or to work on a specific task, or when I need to interact with others and be alert and attentive.

The amount I take I can't "feel" at all, but it really does help me think better. If I take it then try to read something difficult, there is a point where the focalin kicks in and everything makes sense. I take another dose when I feel like my brain cuts out again. Small doses often is the way to go with focalin I think. It is best when it's subtle, it's really easy to take too much.

I don't really rebound from it, it just sort of wears off, with some positive effects remaining for the rest of the day.

Anyway, I really like it a lot now that I have it figured out.

It is the only med that doesn't seem to mess with my personality that much. On the flip side, it is not as good for curbing impulsive speech as ritalin and dex are, but honestly I hate how quiet I get on other meds.


You just nailed it, with both the prerequisite for a clear head to take it with success, and the small dosing.

There has been seemingly endless amounts of time where I take it and literally nothing happens, but I know to stick it out as it will come back around at some point.

The real key to success with it is having no outstanding stress and or worries prior to dosing. Because if you do, my opinion is that your amygdala will simply not let the med through to make it to your frontal lobes. Stress will activate the amygdala, which will inhibit focalin from working (certainly another reason to stress) but once it passes you will be back in business.

I've found Yoga to be tremendous in calming the amygdala. I have only done it one time, but could clearly tell the difference after the class. I took a small dose of focalin shortly after and experienced a great therapeutic response relative to the 2.5mg dose.

I look forward to taking my usual 5-10mg after my next Yoga class, I have a feeling it will substantially assist in reaching the full effectiveness of Focalin

G252013
02-25-13, 06:52 PM
It really is amazing how difficult this med is, unfortunately it just works so well when it does work. so you gotta stick it out.

ana futura
02-26-13, 12:46 AM
I find that on a low dose it's not that difficult (hopefully I don't regret saying that...)

I find myself taking it more and more- with every med I've tried I find that I usually try to avoid taking it, because they all make me a bit drugged feeling and I hate the way I feel the next day. The nice thing about focalin so far is that it's truly in and out, no hangovers. Oddly enough, because of this I don't feel "forced" to take it, and I'm actually more comfortable taking it more often.

This approach seems to really be working for me- just taking it occasionally at first, and gradually taking it more often. Still, I only take it when I WANT to take it, I think that's key.

I think if I had started out on a larger amount, forcing myself to take it daily, I would have been very unhappy. But now I'm arriving at that place sort of organically.

It truly is a unique med, I think how you described it as a "partnership" is so accurate.

There is always an anxious edge to it that I don't like, but there is an aspect of every med that I don't like. I am getting better at controlling the anxiety I think- and that's letting me take a slightly larger dose which I think lets my brain be even sharper.

With Focalin for me the number one issue is avoiding anxiety.

G252013
02-26-13, 12:43 PM
It's certainly wise to start out on the lower doses (2.5-5). I could never quite get therapeutic effects from the 2.5, but have hit it out of the park with the 5 many times.

It's really the only med I like, as it allows you to be you, but just a better you. Thats why it's a partnership, you have to be you in order for the Focalin to allow you to improve your quality of life. So if there is an obvious outstanding issue, think about how to resolve it before expecting much from Focalin.

I would agree with the not attempting to take every day as well, it's easy to fall into that especially when you're not experiencing success with it in the beginning. It will test your patience, but if you stick around long enough you will learn it's worth being patient for.

Undoubtedly a unique med, just wish there were more end users so there would be more information and discussion?

G252013
02-26-13, 12:46 PM
Another thing - If you are taking the 2.5 or 5MG tablets, consider switching to the 10's and splitting them. The lower dose tablets are manufactured with blue (2.5) and yellow (5) dyes, which may add an additional variable for complications.

The 10's are white and have no dye - applies for both brand and generic.

Ana - what are you taking exactly? Brand or generic? What size tablets?

ana futura
02-26-13, 08:16 PM
Well, I did have 5's but I tired of cutting them so I switched to 2.5s. Up to this point I've only tried Teva. I was actually thinking of going to the XR after my next visit. That's interesting about the 10's, I do think the generic is inconsistent, when I tried XR before it was smoother. I just really like the flexibility of IR. I'll try the 10's or go back to the XRs next time- thankfully my doc is really flexible.

2.5 works for me but I think 5 works better. Recently I've found I can tolerate 5s much better, I'm staying in a good mood on it almost all the time and anxiety is less and less of an issue. And this is because I'm learning to regulate my behavior, like you said, you can't have any outstanding issues. The cool thing is I think that I am more positive off of meds too.


Undoubtedly a unique med, just wish there were more end users so there would be more information and discussion?

Yes, I wish so too. It's so different than amphetamines, or mph. I think the skills you learn on focalin really do transfer to every area of your life. I feel like a better person all the time, whether or not I'm on meds. It's not the focalin doing it, it's the skills focalin has let me learn.

I think if you truly have ADHD, and you're not just looking for a drug to "make" you do stuff, this is the closest to "normal" you can get, without feeling that different.

I think a big problem with it is that people are used to the other meds that "control" your behavior. You have to be a grown up with DMPH, it won't do anything "for" you. If you take a high enough dose to get that effect, you're going to be an anxious miserable mess.

pistog
11-05-13, 10:34 PM
Just to let everyone know I switched from focalin back to concerta after I used focalin for about a month. Now I am about to try Wellbutrin.