View Full Version : Focalin IR different every day


bobabuoy
09-05-13, 03:48 PM
I'm not sure what to think about Focalin IR. I take 10mg two times a day, and sometimes I get a lot of muscle tension, sometimes (if I make a mistake and have a diet coke with caffeine) I get overly stimulated, and sometimes, like this afternoon I feel absolutely nothing at all (I dont even get the positive effects of focus)

Does anyone have any ideas of what is going on? I wonder if it has to do with my diet. (although the instructions say to take with or without food).

Daydreamin22
09-05-13, 09:59 PM
Maybe you should try a different med. That's kind of strange about the muscle problem. I would tell your dr. Sometimes you have to go to a specialist. Pdoc's aren't always knowledgeable about specific side effects. It sounds like you might need a different medicine. Definitely sense you are already having side effects, make an apt with your dr. If he doesn't know then I would definitely go see a "muscle dr" or whatever doctor can treat the specific thing you are having a problem with. There are weird things that happen. It could be that something is going on in your brain that is making your muscles tense up. It could also be stress. I don'tknow much about focalin. Do a search about the specific problem, I bet you'll find something.

Nonzens
09-06-13, 09:19 PM
So far I'm having a similar experience, although food seems to make a definite difference, and I'm on XR.

bobabuoy
09-07-13, 09:43 AM
This morning I tried to take the focalin with some breakfast and the shoulder tension didn't feel as bad. It was still noticeable though.

The weird thing is that I get these feelings only with the first dose in the morning. When I take the second dose before lunch everything feels normal. Yesterday, in fact, I was almost falling asleep an hour after my lunch dose. I had to drink a diet coke to wake me up.

dvdnvwls
09-07-13, 11:38 AM
Things to look for - if you're missing any of these, they are to blame and not the drug:

- You sleep 7-8 hours every night during what regular people consider normal sleeping hours.

- You drink lots of extra water every day and never have caffeine.

- You eat three healthy meals every day at what regular people consider normal meal times.

Daydreamin22
09-07-13, 10:36 PM
Wonder ab the muscle tension, did ou google it or do a search on here? Maybe it's stress. It's good to do stretches 15 mins eevery day (tangent)

bobabuoy
09-09-13, 10:58 AM
Today I came to the conclusion that the Focalin is not working. Got in trouble at work today because I had an important email last week that I only glanced at. I couldn't believe that I didn't read the whole thing. The important stuff was highlighted in BOLD RED and I still missed it. I'm am so depressed about this inattentive ADD. I'm really feeling like a total bum.

Nonzens
09-09-13, 11:08 AM
I feel you, boba. I think I will probably come to the same conclusion, and I also am like a total bum. I am now pretty sure that I have bad side effects if I take Focalin three days in a row, so I'm going to try taking every third or second day off and try taking l-tyrosine on the days off and see if that helps at all give a boost to the Focalin. L-tyrosine is a dopamine and norepinephrine precursor that doesn't necessarily help with concentration on its own, and I'm thinking Focalin doesn't really help with concentration on its own either.

G252013
09-09-13, 11:27 AM
get your electrolytes up and see if it makes any difference

bobabuoy
09-09-13, 04:11 PM
Well, I thought for sure I was done with Focalin. Turns out I am, except now the dr. wants me to take Focalin XR. I'm going to be in the same boat as Nonzens. I asked if I could switch to Adderall but he didn't want to make a drastic change like that.

G252013- what kind of things can you do to get the electrolytes up? I know Gatorade has electrolytes, but I dont' want to be drinking too many of those.

G252013
09-10-13, 03:01 PM
G252013- what kind of things can you do to get the electrolytes up? I know Gatorade has electrolytes, but I dont' want to be drinking too many of those.

Yeah I hear you, but that's the only way I know of.

Just get the G2 Gatorade, less sugar.

ana futura
09-10-13, 08:12 PM
I really can't imagine XR working if IR doesn't. The XR is much less perceptable than IR, which is already a subtle med. I find I need to take more XR to equal an IR dose. Say 15XR to 2X5 IR.

livewire
09-10-13, 10:01 PM
You might want to try a protein drink in the a.m. I used to get the muscle thing too - your dopamine reserves can get depleted so the amino acids, some of which are precursors to dopamine may make the Focalin more predictable and effective. I use whey protein powder or soy. Whey protein powder has a more complete amino acid profile and also contains branched amino acids. May be worth a try.

Nonzens
09-10-13, 11:42 PM
Huh... maybe I'll try the protein thing, too, but consuming any food in the morning seems to counteract the Focalin, which is highly sensitive to food intake.

i keep getting headaches on this drug...

the L-Tyrosine seems to interact positively with Focalin, giving it a boost, but it nevertheless seems that Focalin just doesn't help me concentrate that directly... even with a boost.

livewire
09-10-13, 11:53 PM
A protein drink should be fine though. Solid foods and foods high in fat are really the things to avoid in the morning when you take Focalin. Liquids don't interfere with absorption or delay the onset of action like a breakfast of cereal, eggs, bacon, sausage, etc. Mix the powder with skim milk - no fat!!!

So...down the hatch! Cheers and good luck. :D

bobabuoy
09-11-13, 12:05 PM
I have been taking Focalin XR the last two days and decided to take it with a protein bar, milk, multi-vitamin, fish oil, and Vitamin D. I have not noticed the tension/anxiety being anywhere near as bad as before. Unfortunately, with some many changes it could be the new XR version (vs. generic IR), it could be that I am taking slighly more than before (25mg XR vs. 10mg bid IR), or it could be the protein/food is actually helping.

Nonzens
09-11-13, 05:02 PM
Interesting. But I am lactose intolerant! I've been drinking a lot of soy milk, but it doesn't have much protein in it... I think soy protein powders are a lot more expensive than whey protein... also I am on food stamps and not sure if I can purchase that, but we'll see. I'll try to find a way...

ana futura
09-11-13, 08:40 PM
Huh... maybe I'll try the protein thing, too, but consuming any food in the morning seems to counteract the Focalin, which is highly sensitive to food intake.

i keep getting headaches on this drug...

the L-Tyrosine seems to interact positively with Focalin, giving it a boost, but it nevertheless seems that Focalin just doesn't help me concentrate that directly... even with a boost.

Focalin works terribly for me if I don't eat.

ana futura
09-11-13, 08:41 PM
Trader joes is a good place to get soy protein cheap.

dvdnvwls
09-11-13, 08:53 PM
... and not eating enough causes headaches.

"It's working" and "I feel it working" are not the same thing. Maybe in your desire to FEEL like it's working, you're making some mistakes. One of the constant comments about Focalin is that it's difficult or impossible to feel.

Nonzens
09-11-13, 11:04 PM
Not eating enough does not cause me headaches. I mean, not unless we're talking about extreme not eating enough. The Focalin is causing me headaches, directly. I'm more than 90% sure of that. I went days without eating on focalin and it did not give me a headache, but then it gave me a headache on days when I did eat, so that is not the issue. And I don't often get headaches - it is very infrequent that I get headaches unless I am getting carsick.

"One of the constant comments about Focalin is that it's difficult or impossible to feel."

Ok, so how am I supposed to know when I'm "making some mistakes" or it's working? Describe what "making some mistakes" with Focalin means? That's vague.

I found out that I can buy soy protein powder with food stamps as long as the back of the package/container says "Nutritional Facts" - so like, half of the options. So I bought one serving that I plan to take the next day I go on Focalin. It has 14g protein. I also bought Oat Milk to drink it with - I chose this one because it was the dairy alternative with the most protein (which is not much at 4g). Any idea how long is the window of this protein boost (i.e. how soon after consuming it do I have to take the Focalin), and how soon I *can* take the Focalin? I'm thinking I'll wait 30-60min after drinking it to take the Focalin...

Nonzens
09-12-13, 01:37 AM
Tofu has 7+g protein per serving... I'm going to try some combo of tofu + protein powder.

ana futura
09-12-13, 11:13 AM
Tofu has 7+g protein per serving... I'm going to try some combo of tofu + protein powder.

You can buy the silken kind, and make a smoothie in the blender along with some berries, ice, protein powder, and a little milk, juice or water.

It has to be the silken kind though.

Nonzens
09-13-13, 01:20 PM
I don't have a blender. I did do the protein drink thing today. It was kind of gross to drink. I tried it with both the oat drink and my regular soymilk. Same story. Not noticing any positive effect so far.

Nonzens
09-16-13, 05:29 PM
Okay, y'all... I'm gonna try to keep this message short, but I have a lot to say about the past few days on Focalin. I started consuming protein by itself. The results have been enormous. I was also taking l-tyrosine the first two days, so I'm sure that helped, but the past two days it's just protein and Focalin. I'm still not sure this is gonna work for me half as well as Ritalin did, or whether it will continue over time... the first two days were much more focused than today and yesterday have been. Yesterday I was exhausted from no sleep, so that day I'm only half-counting. Today... I've been noticing strong positive effects, but I am still using them distractedly. But it feels definitely more beneficial than the focalin did before, like if I really work on directing my attention now, I could accomplish some things. I accomplished a lot the first two days.

Also, the headaches seem to be going away or decreasing. The first day with the protein I had a headache for several hours, but I don't think i've had a headache since.

bobabuoy
09-16-13, 10:08 PM
That's great to hear! I have certainly been eating a lot more protein in the form of powdered shakes and protein bars. I'm not sure if it is helping but I will keep at it.

I had to call my doc to try and reduce my dose. I think the 25mg FOC XR was too much - I had chest pain and palpitations for the first 1.5 hours in the morning, and I was really irritable in the afternoon. The doc agreed and reduced my dose to 15mg XR. I am hoping this feels better in the AM.

Nonzens
09-17-13, 08:16 PM
I've been eating scrambled tofu when I wake up, by itself... more powerful than a protein powder, and better-tasting. Tofu doesn't contain carbs, and it packs more protein for less money, so it's a better deal if you want straight protein. The only reason a soy protein powder would be better for me is that it probably contains all the amino acids, whereas tofu is missing some... but it's not worth it IMO. I'm going to start eating eggs again, but only from the farmer's market where I know they weren't factory farmed.

But it's been in overdrive after a few days... a lot of insomnia... and exhaustion the next day... last night was kind of scary. I don't know if I was having heart palpitations, but I woke up in the night imagining that my heart was racing even though when I checked my pulse it was beating at a normal pace. I don't know if I was just being paranoid because when I went to sleep, I was nauseous and physically uncomfortable... the rest of the day I felt fine, but I think it had something to do with dehydration. It seems like I get headaches and even nausea if I get dehydrated while on focalin. The Focalin seems to make symptoms of dehydration worse and to develop faster and last longer. Today is weird because I didn't take Focalin but feel a little bit of its effects, yet also part of my brain feels exhausted... biking down the street was a little scary today because the part of my brain controlling my vision seemed to be too tired to function properly... but otherwise I mostly felt fine all day.

I think I have to lower my protein intake a bit now because it's just too much.

Nonzens
09-18-13, 03:05 PM
Man... like you, I find my experience on this drug is so variable. It's really hard to know what I'm gonna get any day or even any hour. It wears off, then there's a new burst of energy, then it wears off again, then there's a new burst of energy.... it affects my intensity of speech, but then doesn't help me with getting things done... or it helps me get things done, but then my speech is really nervous rather than intense.... it doesn't work till several hours after taking it, or it works immediately and then there's a lull.... it's suppressed by food, it's boosted by food... it helps me focus on simple things like searching for jobs, but I can't get myself to work on anything more involved like my resume... it makes me want to just roll over and sleep, then an hour later I'm extremely into something productive... I'm racing to do physical activities, but then I can't get myself to do anything productive that requires sitting still... it makes me pass out at night or it gives me mad insomnia... sometimes I feel almost euphoric on it and want to dance like crazy, sometimes I can't stand listening to music of any kind and continue feeling really depressed and frustrated...

purpleToes
09-18-13, 03:20 PM
i keep getting headaches on this drug...

the L-Tyrosine seems to interact positively with Focalin, giving it a boost, but it nevertheless seems that Focalin just doesn't help me concentrate that directly... even with a boost.

L-tyrosine is a known migraine trigger, and can causes headaches even in people who aren't prone to migraines. I discovered this when I discovered a love of aged cheddar cheeses, which contain a lot of L-Tyrosine. I learned that I can eat a couple of ounces at a time, but around 4 ounces will give me a lasting headache.

purpleToes
09-18-13, 03:27 PM
Trader joes is a good place to get soy protein cheap.

They also have TJ's unsweetened plain soy milk, having 9 grams protein per cup, IIRC. It's more palatable with the addition of a little sweetener, or it's fine added to a smoothies.

Nonzens
09-18-13, 03:31 PM
L-tyrosine is a know migraine trigger, and can causes headaches even in people who aren't prone to migraines. I discovered this when I discovered a love of aged cheddar cheeses, which contain a lot of L-Tyrosine. I learned that I can eat a couple of ounces at a time, but around 4 ounces will give me a lasting headache.

The headaches started before I started taking the L-Tyrosine. I'm pretty sure it's caused by the Focalin exacerbating the symptoms of dehydration. I'm just gonna try harder to stay hydrated.

Nonzens
09-18-13, 08:02 PM
Yeah, so couldn't really concentrate on anything urgent today so far after 7.5 hours since taking the pill. I even tried eating more protein and that did nothing. I don't know what it is... Maybe i lowered my protein intake too much compared to carbs and have to build it back up... or maybe my body has built tolerance to the protein boost. Or maybe I need more l-tyrosine. I still had relatively good concentration from Friday through Tuesday, so five days, but today it's lost...

dvdnvwls
09-18-13, 08:08 PM
I don't think "protein boost intolerance" has much chance of existing. If you have a healthy normal diet, you're good.

Also - don't get into testing your concentration - test your amount of work done instead. Concentration is very hard to measure, and it isn't that important anyway... cause if you can work without concentrating, then you're fine.

Nonzens
09-19-13, 02:35 AM
I don't think "protein boost intolerance" has much chance of existing. If you have a healthy normal diet, you're good.

Also - don't get into testing your concentration - test your amount of work done instead. Concentration is very hard to measure, and it isn't that important anyway... cause if you can work without concentrating, then you're fine.

I'm testing it by how much work I got done. I got no work done today. I went dancing tonight - that was the most productive part of my day.

Nonzens
09-19-13, 10:05 PM
Awwww, man... I am SO bad at staying hydrated. I let myself get dehydrated AGAIN tonight and now I feel nauseous and have a headache. I think the Focalin might actually just be making me dehydrated faster... these are symptoms of dehydration, but I know that if I'm just starting to get a headache from dehydration, it's better as soon as I drink some water... unless I get REALLY dehydrated... then it takes a while to recover. I don't get nauseous from dehydration unless it's pretty far along. But on the focalin, I am not only getting headaches quickly that don't go away quickly, I am also getting nauseous along with the headaches... drinking water, in fact, is making me nauseous. That's the strangest part. I can only remember drinking water making me nauseous the time I woke up with extreme symptoms of dehydration - I was extremely nauseous, had a horrible headache, felt very sick, felt very cold no matter how much clothing I put on, couldn't eat anything except for an orange, and took a complete day to recover.

I don't understand why everyone keeps trying to offer other reasons for the headaches, like y'all are skeptical that Focalin could possibly cause me headaches. A short list of common side effects includes headaches and nausea.

"Trouble sleeping, nervousness, nausea (http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/digestive-diseases-nausea-vomiting), stomach pain (http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/guide/abdominal-pain-causes-treatments), headache (http://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/default.htm), loss of appetite, weight loss (http://www.webmd.com/diet/default.htm), or dizziness (http://www.webmd.com/brain/tc/dizziness-lightheadedness-and-vertigo-topic-overview) may occur."

Nonzens
09-21-13, 02:37 PM
You know... I'm starting to think that Focalin is just not useful in as great a variety of contexts as Ritalin is for me. Like, today I did everything... I took my multivitamin, waited a little while for it to digest, then ate some protein, waited a little while, took l-tyrosine, waited, then took the Focalin. I feel more uncomfortable than I do motivated, but I'm also just sitting at home. If I were at the job training program today, I'd probably get a lot done. I feel physically uncomfortable, though only slightly... I felt physically uncomfortable yesterday as well, but the difference is that I was in a job training program that was forcing me to focus on job applications and classes. I was so productive, but then I got home and barely did anything productive.

Today I've done nothing productive so far and don't feel like doing anything... but this job application is due tomorrow and I was thinking I should stay home and get it done and submit it tonight instead of going out to this activist fare that all my friends are at... however, i'd probably be a lot more productive if I just went to that...

Of course, the Focalin is also just not being as strong of a positive force overall for me today as it was some other days... but it seems as strong or at least almost as strong as it was yesterday during the program.

G252013
12-01-13, 02:47 PM
its a bizarre med, for sure