View Full Version : Diagnosed with ADD & Started Focalin XR 20 mg

11-13-06, 11:43 PM

I'm a 34 year-old male who was recently diagnosed with ADD and my doc/psych gave me two prescriptions - for Concerta and Focalin XR. He recommended I start with one of them and then work with him to adjust dosage and settle on the drug that gave me the fewest side effects.

Well, I've been taking Focalin XR (20 mg) for two days and the side effects today (2nd day) were really bad. I was jittery, sweating, had a headache, and was talking really fast for 2 hours in the afternoon. Needless to say, my day at work was shot. Anyway, I'll be testing a 10 mg dose over the next few days.

Has anyone tried Focalin XR and had success with it by adjusting dosage down? Also, any general thoughts on how long it might take me to find both a drug and dosage that will work well for me?



11-14-06, 09:51 PM
I'll be starting Focalin XR 10 MG tomorrow. Hopefully I don't have any side effects. As far as reducing the dose, I was told by my Doc that I can open the capsuls and devide up the contents, make a 1/2 dose.

Good luck with the lower dose, hope it helps!

11-14-06, 10:24 PM
well accually you might have just STARTED with too high a dose, was that your first time to take methylphenidate (ritalin, concerta, focalin etc etc)?

maybe that was just becasue it was your first time on it giv eit a few days it should get better...

and maybe that was too high a dose to start out on you should have started with the 10 THEN 20 (you go up not down)

11-14-06, 10:56 PM
Thanks for the replies.

I spoke to my doc and he filled me in on modifying the dose by emptying out half the capsule. I did that today and took a 10 mg dose. The side effects were decreased, but did not go away. The most painful thing about the first three days on the medication was the constant headache. I'm hoping that goes away with time.

I definitely felt that the "focus" effect on the 20mg was much better than on the 10mg. Do people eventually move up their dosage once they get accustomed to the side effects at the lower dosage?

11-28-06, 05:09 PM
Just took my last dose of Focalin XR yesterday, I'm now taking Concerta.

The focalin seemed to do a good job for me, I took it for 2 weeks, not very long but long enough to see if it would work for me. The effect lasted until about 2 in the afternoon. I also totally noticed the 2 doses of the medication. About 3 hours after the first dose.

That was the primary reason I'm trying Concerta. It should even that out and give me a more consistent feeling.

So, I liked focalin, it did the trick for me just didn't like lack of consistency.

If Concerta doesn't work out, I'll probably try focalin XR, maybe take 2 per day or just try the focalin IR so that I can control when I get a dose.

Who knows.

D.B. Cooper
11-28-06, 05:32 PM
Yep, sounds like you started on to high of a dose.

Focalin is pretty damn potent but if given the chance i'd take it over ritalin/concerta/etc. Its the D isnomer of methyphendiate (ritalin) which means it should be a superior product all around and have lesser side effects.

Matt S.
11-29-06, 12:44 PM
I had some 20 mg XR focalin to augment with my dex dose (my doc will do as much as Daytrana and concerta with dex but the man hates ritalin) again back to the focalin xr... I liked ritalin better

11-29-06, 10:11 PM
Interesting, because Concerta is the same as Ritalin, same drug, just different delivery.

Post your experience with focalin and Dex. Dex is last on my list to try out. So far Concerta is the best, but I want to give Dex a try, just to see.

11-30-06, 12:08 PM
The first day I started on my ADHD drugs which was less than 2 weeks ago I had very strange feelings... I was somewhat nervous and jittery which made me withrdawl because of anxiety, and thus i felt like I normally did....just with anxiety. After a few days my body become more used to the drug and so did my psyche. I take 30 mg of time-released Methylphenidrate (Metadate CD Specifically, but the same composition your talking about) and aside from not being tired, and the ability to focus in more I don't even notice I'm on a drug at all.

11-30-06, 01:37 PM
I'm starting Focalin tomorrow (took my ADD drug before my doc appt today), and it will be my third ADD drug since October. I started with Adderall, had a whopper of an anxiety attack that landed me in the ER. As a result, I was then put on Wellbutrin. I had an appt this morning with my doc, and since it's been six weeks since I started the Wellbutrin and it's not working, he perscribed something new. Im starting with 10MG of Focalin when I get up, and then taking another dose sometime between noon and three (depending upon when exactly the first dose wears off. He told me that I could overlap doses a little bit, as one of my concerns was taking the dose in the morning, and then having it wear off before I get home and have to do the rest of my studying, only to have to take another dose at some point and then not sleep that night. Any thoughts?

12-11-06, 10:18 PM
Well, I知 back to this thread. The Concerta didn稚 work out. At least paired with Effexor. So I知 back to taking Focalin XR. We値l see how it goes this time. I値l be taking 10 mg BID, so that should last all day.

I知 hoping to have it work out. This is my 6th AD/HD med since I was diagnosed. Man, that痴 a lot of switching of medications.

12-13-06, 11:47 AM
Hey, please keep us informed. I'm curious about Focalin XR. After reading the prescription literature it looks like that med has 2 very distinct peaks throughout the day. Can you really feel a peak, lag, then another peak? Guess that is one good thing about Adderall XR is that it doesn't have that (at least for me).


12-13-06, 12:25 PM
mspen1018, why does your doctor not like ritalin? I am assuming because it is short acting, to many fluctuations, is this correct?

12-14-06, 11:55 PM
Hey, please keep us informed. I'm curious about Focalin XR. After reading the prescription literature it looks like that med has 2 very distinct peaks throughout the day. Can you really feel a peak, lag, then another peak? Guess that is one good thing about Adderall XR is that it doesn't have that (at least for me).

JYou are correct, there are 2 doses per XR capsul. Unfortunatly I can feel the 2 peaks. That's why I tried Concerta.

I'm willing to stick it out though, for a month or so. I might try the IR Focalin just so I can have some control over that 2nd dose. It seems to me that I get too much of a lag with the XR. But mabe a higher dose will help with that.

We'll see, it's only been a couple of days. I'll post an update next week sometime.

12-15-06, 01:50 AM
I also just started Focalin XR (10mg) today. I have tried numerous others including Dex. but either had no effect or just bad effects so far. Adderall XR was the worst and i just kept taking it and the docs kept prescribing it and adding the dosage. I was just very speeded up on that but the side effects were horrible. Its very important to find a knowledgeable doctor and/or therapist. Its as important as finding the right meds.

01-26-07, 06:09 PM
I'm a 27 year old female, and have been put on Focalin XR 20mg.
Today is my first day on this perscription, so i'm not sure if i'll like it or not.
I have a horrible headach. and my brain feels really foggy.

While it seems like certain tasks I can follow through with better (cleaning, etc).
And I do like the calm feeling. I am a software developer, and am having a really difficult time concentrating on coding, or thinking really at all beyond a basic thought. It seems that i can focus on things a little better. But unfortunantly i'm focusing on the fact that I can't concentrate to get anything done and am more or less just stairing blankly at the computer screen all day.

I definitely also feel the pressure in my head that some others have talked about. And for some reason my eyes seem tired. Like i could go to sleep right now, but i'm sure my brain wouldn't allow that to happen.

Maybe I should try to do 10mg tomorrow?

05-31-07, 11:37 PM
Well I am on day 3 and I must say that the results are quite impressive. I took Wellbutrin in the past and would say the only benefit was that it didnt kil my sex drive, but it just made me jittery and I still wasnt focused. Staterra just made me feel flat out weird. Zoloft gave me acne, the small pus filled ones...ew. Over months...which seemed like over a year my symptoms just got worse. Had major impulsiveness, always felt it hard to carry on a simple conversation because I wanted to speak out of turn, worried about if others thought I was "off". Big social settings just made me feel strange. At work, I would keep forgetting things, literally had to refer back to this and that and it seemed to take forever to complete my tasks. Putting emails together became difficult..had to keep going over them time and time again to remove mistakes. The list goes on from feeling like my self esteem was hitting rock bottom, because I feared doing any type of job or be in social setting which required me to remember. My short term memory was just shot at times. Then I finally said enough is enough...not going to have my BUSY primary care physician diagnose me, so I finally decided to pay a visit to a psychiatrist. It was great to be able to take time and explain all these things to my doctor and he said that I really needed help focusing my attention. I took the Focain XR, just 10 mg in the evening around 7P and I couldnt believe the instant results. I went out that evening and felt so clear minded, not foggy instantly. The only side effects I see thus far are some headaches, jittery and yesterday night I broke out in acne. Hope this will go away. The only thing I can attribute that too is I already have a slight case of adult acne, so when adding a stimulant, I believe it over activates the sebaceous glands and causes more oil production, thus more pimples here and there. Oh, and I noticed insomnia. LIke now, I am just up late, not jittery, but just wide awake. Also noticed today I was constipated. Did some reading online and dont seem to notice this a side effect. hmmm. For the past two days, I noticed that the first dose in the morning at 8A tends to wear out at 12P so I take one around lunch and it seems to work great. BTW, I do notice with the mild anxitey or nervouness, the drug does tend to increase some jaw clenching and slight tick that make me blink a little harder. I wil report back later and let you guys know on the progress and observations.

06-02-07, 02:21 PM

Has Focalin changed or increased your ability to comprehend things better...being able to understand things more clearly?


06-07-07, 11:15 PM
Yes, absolutely.

06-09-07, 04:13 AM
Eckerd has to order my'll be my first month's supply.


06-12-07, 11:45 PM
Have you begun using it? What mg?

05-28-08, 09:11 AM
Well, I stumbled upon your post while researching Focalin XR. I was diagnosed with ADD and Dyslexia in 3rd grade. I was put on regular Ritalin in the 4th grade. I took 10mg in morn and 5mg at lunch. Throughout my schooling I always felt ashamed and embarrassed when I had to go take my medicine during school. I took that same dosage up until a few days ago. I am 23 years old and a special education teacher now. I went to a new doctor and she was surprised to see I was still on the same old Ritalin and same dosage.

I am on my second day of taking Focalin XR 15mg. It is a bit strange but I think the side effects are far less severe then those I experienced with Ritalin. I do still feel jittery and a little off but when your taking these kinds of medicine how do you expect to feel, its a stimulant. So far the biggest difference between Ritalin and focalin is the crash at the end of the day. When I was on Ritalin at about 4pm everyday like clockwork I would get a massive headache, become extremely unpleasant towards others, and I would become very VERY sensitive to sound and light. I was at home last night around 630pm and I was surprised to still be motivated and not to have experienced a disastrous crash since I took it at 730am. Around 715ish I felt myself come off it but very smoothly. I was extremely worried I wouldn't be able to sleep since I suffered from extreme insomnia with Ritalin. I put myself in bed around 9:45pm even though I wasn't tired. But to my satisfaction I found myself sleeping at around 1045pm. It wasn't the best night sleep but I was probably pre occupying my mind with thought of not being able to sleep.

Though, with Focalin XR 15mg I do feel nauseas for about 15minutes when the time capsule releases. It is quick and I just needed to drink some water and sit down. Better than having to take another pill or forgetting to take another pill. Another symptom is when I drink i feel a gag reflex at times. I don't usually gag on anything so it was strange. Possible though it is just the dry mouth getting to me. Which is the same with most to all stimulants. My appetite is nonexsistant which was also the case with Ritalin. But I did eat right in the middle of the day, which I believe is credited towards the time release schedule.

Like I said this is only day two so well see. Focalin is not symptom free but so far it is much better than ritalin. But we have to keep in mind with any central nervous system stimulant we are going to have some side effects, its not natural for our bodies to have this in our systems.