View Full Version : Caffeine & Focalin

03-18-10, 12:38 AM
Now I know that caffeine is not suggested to be used when taking Focalin, but in my particular case it is what makes the difference in it working or not. I was diagnosed with ADD two years ago, I have always been an intelligent and organized person but could never be attentive enough to be successful in school. My doctor had put me on Focalin after my diagnosis and it seemed to of worked great for a few months. I was much more motivated to not only do school work but anything in general, and I was also a much better performer which all around made me much happier about my life. My outlook on the future was also very optimistic so I was always in a positive and optimistic mood which was wonderful. But after a while the effectiveness of Focalin started to wear off and my doctor suggested I tried other medications such as vyvanse which did not prove to be very effective. I just could not replicate the same results I had before with focalin beyond that point. The result was me being very anxious feeling and always doubting myself which had a bad effect on my confidence (I was extremely confident while the medicine was working). I started to experiment with different doses and found that taking 20mg of Focalin at a time was much more effective than just the suggested 10mg. Although I could start to feel results after starting 20mg of Focalin at a time, I still did not feel at my optimum levels as before. I was still very nervous feeling and anxious which was not like me at all. I always remembered that it seemed like drinking Diet Coke really supplemented and stimulated me while on Focalin, so today I had a few glasses of diet coke while on Focalin and I started to feel the same way as I had initially with Focalin. I was extremely focused and motivated, I got much more school work done today than I normally would have. Plus I just felt much more alive and on my feet than before.

Now can anyone give an explanation as to why caffeine does wonders for me while taking my medication although it is not suggested?

03-19-10, 10:56 PM
It could be that you have built up a stimulant tolerance. Do you take the medicine every day or only on study days? Personally, I take my Concerta only on study days (typically 5 days a week) and supplement with caffeine on off days, and have found that my tolerance never builds.

And then, of course, caffeine has very unpredictable effects on people with ADD. The additional energy could simply act as a motivator for you, and you could be experiencing a "placebo" type effect in which you "think" the caffeine is making you more confident and motivated, when in realty it is not. In other words, it's all in your head... maybe...

Also, have you changed exercise/diet habits recently? If you have changed them for the worse, then that could be negatively impacting your symptoms.

ben ploni
03-28-11, 01:55 PM
i'm fairly new to focalin, actually to any a.d.d medication, by my short experience thus far indicates the following. to get the best effect out of focalin, all other factors, especially sleep, should be up to par. meaning if part of the use of focalin will be needed to 'wake you up' you are limiting the power of what the focalin is meant for. Therefore the more sleep deprived that you are, the focalin will have less of an effect. Therefore when you drink a coffee, you are eliminating some of what the focalin has to do, as far as waking you up, and it will therefore work better and give you more of a kick. If for instance you did not drink that coffee, the focalin will have to do that wake up job as well, and therefore have limited powers. Sometimes if you are so sleeped deprived, the focalin may not work at all. My suggestion is: Try getting 8-9 of solid sleep or 6-7 hours of nightly sleep with an hour and 25 minute afternoon nap. (do not take the focalin before a nap). I think you may see an increase in the effect of the focalin. to summ it all up..if your using focalin to compensate for sleep deprivation-the effect of it, is going to be less.
i'm not a doctor or anything like that, i'm just sharing my experience
i hope this was helpful!!! good luck. tell me what you think

03-29-11, 04:29 PM
I am very, very new to Focalin but I find I have had to drastically reduce my caffeine intake when taking it... it feels like I'm more sensitive to the effects of caffeine (not sure if that's really the case, just how it feels).

Other than that I'm not yet on a therapeutic dose so I don't know how it would affect me otherwise.

02-27-12, 01:16 PM
Unbelievable post . I totally agree. I'm running home and about to drink some jolt cola and take my afternoon dose of focalin xr .

02-27-12, 03:35 PM
Thanks. You take XR this late in the day? I was considering it but not sure if I want to stare at the ceiling tonight or not

02-27-12, 04:01 PM
So your saying that taking a dose at lunch time gives you that blank feeling eh? I've never had the problem of staring at the celing. Thankyou for the information maybe I'm taking a bit too much and if I cut down hopefully I will feel more human. Thankyou so much, I'm lowering my dose tomorrow. I'm kind of staring at my computer . I am not sure if its my job, boredom or the dose. Thanks to your input I'll scientifically get this resolved.

02-27-12, 04:22 PM
Yeah I mean you always wanna practice conservatism with your dosing regardless. Better to be on the ineffective end as opposed to the toxic overdosed end. But what I meant was staring at the ceiling of my bedroom, unable to sleep due to an afternoon XR dose you know?

02-27-12, 05:04 PM
Oh I see. No I had no idea what you were talking about. I have zero sleep interferance on this stuff. If anything it doesnt last long enough for me. Anways , I'm going to stay on the ultra low dose strategy just like you advised. Thanks for the great advice.

02-27-12, 05:09 PM
That's interesting that it does not seem to last long enough for you, I guess it's because we all have varying transit times. Have you ever eaten the can of corn to see how long yours is? Normal is 18-24, for example I'm at a solid 41 hours, half the time. That's why my sleep can get messed up so easily.

But how long does your XR run for you?

02-27-12, 05:36 PM
Can you explain the can of corn process. I don't know how long mine last . Usually with the XR if I dose at say 8am it's worn off in about noon time. The second release isn't all that strong. Curious about the can of corn.

02-27-12, 05:53 PM
Wow sounds like you have a fast transit time. An XR with a rated time anywhere between 7-12 hours only lasts you 4hrs? It's quite simple, buy a can of corn (regular, non cream). Eat 3/4 or the whole thing if you'd like, record the time it was eaten. And of course, keep an eye out for when it appears in your stool. Do the math and done - there's your transit time

02-27-12, 05:55 PM
Oh mine is really quick. I have reflux that may be part of the reason.

02-27-12, 06:15 PM
You need a can of good ole corn

02-27-12, 09:25 PM
Yes I do excellent. I am running to the store now !

02-28-12, 07:26 AM
With you I'd expect you to know the results already!

02-28-12, 10:11 AM
what was your transit time ? My apologies , I've been wasting time here this morning googling nonsense. Same old same old. Now, what is that transit time of your's ?

02-28-12, 11:13 AM
Mine is slow at 41 hours, half the speed of what it should be

02-28-12, 01:01 PM
41 ******* hours man ? Dude , I did the test and 7 hours later it was , well outta there.

02-28-12, 01:25 PM
Seriously? You lucky *****

02-28-12, 02:40 PM
I will get my can tonight , I cannot wait to see the results.

02-28-12, 02:55 PM
You said you did the test already

02-28-12, 03:20 PM
I'm in the process of re testing . I think my transit time was influenced by creatine.

03-01-12, 03:16 PM
And? I'm about to throw corn at you

03-03-12, 11:32 AM
Rectally? ha ha ha . Please don't . Save that for your chivalry .

03-03-12, 01:53 PM

03-31-13, 09:54 AM
Hi everyone I am looking to find out if anyone else changes the dose around during the week like coondude88 does. I am looking at going back on ADD meds it's been years for me I used to be on Ritalin but did not like how I felt on it. It seems to be that a common problem that a lot of you are facing is that you build up a tolerance to the drug and it doesn't seem as effective. I am back in college and the studying is killing me I can't ever seem to stay focused long enough to get everything done. My focus is great in the morning but drops off in the afternoon and for now i am just using coffee to help but its just not enough. So that's why I want to go back on the something to gain the focus back and my memory sucks. What I am think of doing is to use a low does during the week and up the meds on study and test days. So does anyone else change the does around during the week? How does that effect you? Does it help prevent the plato effect to the drug? Anyother options anyone recommends?