View Full Version : Almost out of Focalin, any ideas???

03-06-14, 09:21 PM
My 9 yr old son was switched from Ritalin to Focalin because he had a psychotic episode on Ritalin after being on it for a couple of years at 20mg twice daily. He had been doing great on the Focalin and now we can't find it anywhere. He takes 7.5mg in the morning and 7.5 mg at lunchtime during school hours. I have no clue on what to do after he runs out. Our pharmacy gave us the last of what they had which was about a 2 weeks worth dosage. Any ideas on what we can do on meds?? His psychiatrist was going to put him back on Ritalin and to top it off at 25mg twice daily. I am against doing that so we are at a loss. HELP!!!:confused:

03-06-14, 10:39 PM
I support your decision not to increase his dosage to 25 mg of Ritalin twice daily, but I'm assuming you know that Focalin contains basically the same ingredients as Ritalin. Ritalin has 50% levomethylphenidate and 50% dextromethylphenidate. Focalin is just 100% dextromethylphenidate, which is the stronger, more potent "enantiomer" of the two. Which also means that 15 mg of Focalin is probably close to equivalent to 30 mg Ritalin.

With your son's psychotic episode on methylphenidate, I would consider taking to your doctor about a possible change to Vyvanse or something like that. Amphetamines often work better than methylphenidate, and a switch could be a good idea, given his his past response.

As for your supply issues, I would call a family-owned pharmacy near you that could order some Focalin for you. In my experience, they are better at working hard to care for their customers compared to big-names like CVS or Walgreens.

03-06-14, 10:46 PM
I agree that your son's health and side effects should continue to be monitored carefully (not that there was any doubt!).

But if the Focalin is working well, I second the idea of asking your local pharmacy to order it for you. I've had good experiences with both "mom and pop" pharmacies and my local outpost of [Big Chain] Pharmacy.

I've sometimes needed medications they didn't routinely carry, or quantities/doses that they didn't normally carry. Since I knew how much I was going to need (and if your son has been on a stable dose of Focalin, you will, too), I just wrote down on an index card what I would need them to order, and told them I'd follow up with a prescription in a few days, but wanted to be sure they'd have it in stock. It helps if there's a single pharmacy you use routinely, so that they know everything's on the up-and-up.

Good luck!