View Full Version : does focalin make anyone mean?

07-16-10, 01:56 AM
does focalinxr make anyone a little more mean or should I say, not nice? My daugther isn't nearly as sweet and nice on the focalin. Some days she is even mean. Off meds she is outgoing, sweet, funny, and caring. Just wondering if any one has any similar experiences

Grey Kameleon
07-22-10, 04:55 PM
Focalin is basically Ritalin, which is supposed to make unruly children more tolerable. But stimulants can also cause aggressive behavior. I would seriously consider changing meds, or (if she's an adult) suggest to her that this is not really a normal side effect. These drugs are supposed to correct behavioral issues.

07-22-10, 05:10 PM
Foc knows.

07-23-10, 12:03 AM
Foc knows.

What does that mean?

08-12-10, 10:27 PM
Focalin doesn't make me mean, angry or grouchy. Rather it's the lack of eating (low blood sugar?) that results from taking the Focalin that makes me short-tempered & grouchy. Adding a stressful situation on top of this condition is usually the fuse that sets me off. Fortunately, the family is getting pretty good at recognizing if I haven't eaten for a long while. When I go on a rant, my kids will say "daddy, you need to eat something, you're being mean & grouchy." My 9 yr old son has even gone to the trouble of making me a peanut butter sandwich one time when I was getting cranked up & said "eat this Dad, I'm tired of you yelling so much". Of course 30 minutes & the sandwich later, I've eventually climbed off my mountain top & become mild-mannered Dad again. Ouch. Makes me wonder who's the parent & who's the kid sometimes!

08-13-10, 03:34 AM
You could search for 'serious','seriousness' in the ritalin thread. From what I understand too big a dose causes cognitive toxicity and person becomes too focused and too serious. Mean - that I assume is a personality and other things that just thrive in this mental environment, where it's easy to get aggravated.

08-23-10, 10:41 PM
Definitely haven't seen DS get mean/grouchy when on his Focalin XR (10mg) either. He started on 5mg but on first attempt to titrate up to 10mg, he got really emotional & weepy after the 2nd day, so we kept him at 5mg for another 2-3 weeks. When we upped it to 10mg the 2nd time, he did fine, except for a some lethargy for the first few days. He does have his appetite significantly depressed after taking it, but once it wears off at the end of the day I need to padlock the pantry & frig after he comes home from school until it's dinnertime. Also, he doesn't like to take it on weekends because he says it slows him down & he can't get as "excited" when playing with friends or about going to new places/events, etc. He says his "brain" is excited but his body doesn't feel like it, but that this fades after an hour or 2 after taking it.

Probably the most telling effect he's shown when taking Focalin XR was the first day he ever took it. Up until that point, he'd been getting more & more conduct letters from his teachers. Although he is academically talented & attends a gifted class, the letters he was getting were for not paying attention, fidgeting, excessive talking/bothering other students, daydreaming, etc. That first day after taking the Focalin XR, when he got home from school I asked him how things went. His statement to me was: "Dad, for the first time ever, I remembered everything I read in class today and was able to finish all of my classwork on time so I finally got to go to the playground with the other kids. I even finished all of my homework for tonight during extended day."(His after-school program.) Furthermore, two weeks later, he took the FCAT tests (which school in Fla. stresses out over) for the first time & said he didn't understand what all the hub-bub was about, since he thought it was "pretty easy". Well, over this summer, when the scores were released, we were notified by the school that he had gotten a PERFECT score in the math portion! (his strongest subject) I fervently believe that had he not been dx'd until after the tests, he would've done very poorly and his grades for the year would've continued to plummet.

I guess the unexpected blessing to ME being dx'd ADHD, getting help & subsequently learning all I could about the disorder, is that it gave me the knowledge to be able to spot the warning signs early on with my DS & take action NOW. (ie: getting him dx'd & eventually on medication) Without that experience, I doubt that I'd ever had a clue as to what was going on. Of course, now I wish that I had been as fortunate (to be dx'd) when I was his age. But since what's done is done, I can just get to take comfort in the knowledge that I may have helped him avert all of the problems I had getting through school.

08-24-10, 07:52 PM
A study of focalin: a ritalin type stimulant. vs d-amp (dexedrine) on rats.

compared to control group (base line).ritalin type meds increased biting and less time spent in common area (where rats are allowed to mingle). It also decreased sniffing of other rats

sniffing of other rats is a sign of (socializing, exploring, less fear of other rats and treat them more like friends than hostile enemies, less inhibition). bit might put them in danger because they would not run away from cats.

on the other hand. Dexedrine increased sniffing and decreased biting compare to control group treated with saline water (placebo)
here is the study

I did not know what gnawing mean : biting

Stereotyped behavior: effects of d-amphetamine and methylphenidate in the young rat.Abstract

The proclivity of d-amphetamine and methylphenidate to induce perseverative motoric and vocal side effects detracts from the clinical efficacy of these stimulants in the treatment of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). In an attempt to develop a model for these deleterious treatment effects, this study explored the behavioral influences exerted by d-amphetamine and methylphenidate in the young laboratory rat.

This experiment revealed that doses of these stimulants that typically induce stereotypy provoke diverging behavioral profiles: while animals given 5 mg/kg d-amphetamine exhibited repetitive sniffing activity, rats treated with 30 mg/kg methyl-phenidate displayed perseverative gnawing behaviors. Although pretreatment with the serotonin synthesis inhibitor p-chlorophenylalanine (PCPA) significantly attenuated both stimulant-induced stereotypies, the effect of PCPA on d-amphetamine-induced sniffing was more profound than on methylphenidate-induced gnawing. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis of monoamine levels in the striatum, frontal cortex, and thalamus indicated that PCPA induced an overall 89% depletion of serotonin across all conditions.

These findings shed some light on the neurochemical mechanisms that underlie the differential effects of d-amphetamine and methylphenidate on stereotyped motor activity in the rat, and suggest future experiments for understanding the role of serotonin in such effects.

Further, these results have implications for the differential side effects observed from each of these stimulants when used clinically in children with ADHD.

09-05-10, 10:28 AM
Keep in mind that an amphetamine can give patients very unpleasant side-effects. Namely, as the other posters have mentioned, rittlin is the rawest form of amphetamine treatment, and the oldest. What the word Focalin essentially means is "extended release" because the drug is encapsulated, dissolving over a LONG period of time. You should search about a particular metabolic pathway in the human body. People who metabolize amphetamines/benzodiazepines/sedative-hypnotics quickly usually have bigger problems with dose increases, etc.

I must inform you though: I have 6 years experience taking amphetamines to lift me up, and adderall truly does change your life; it also can cause psychosis from long-term sleeplessness (going to bed and feeling like you got two hours of sleep, except this takes place for LONG periods of time...every day pretty much.)

Stick with the Focalin. Vyvanse is an insanely wired feeling, adderall causes hypertension on a much more frequent basis. Since Focalin is still legal (The DEA maintains that many METH manufacturers prefer the methylphenidate...i.e. rittlin, it is actively being sought after by manufacturers of this horrific street drug.)

You are doing the right thing. However, I have a piece of insight that only a veteran in this game can provide you: when the topic of "inability to sleep comes up with your doctor," make sure that what you/your child walks away with is a prescription for an SSRI (Lexapro if possible). The reason this is remains largely suppressed by big Pharma but Benzos (Xanax, Clonazepam, Alprazolam, Klonpin, Ativan, Lorazepam) are extremely addictive and cause major problems with learning. Also, look out for sedative-hypnotic group (Ambien, Lunesta, Roserum). These are highly addictive drugs that I got placed on and I am entering my sixth year of college because of it. The adderall had me thinking life had been re-organized and that now I was one of the smart ones, just as you described. Now, the Focalin spikes my energy levels, allowing me to accomplish more than expected. However, I am sadly addicted to benzos because they were the only way to get off of the sedative hypnotic (was "tripping" Ambien during the day time...not recommended).

Good luck and have a hell of a solution in Focalin for your son...something I wish that I could have gotten before college.



09-05-10, 10:30 AM
Your daughter, excuse me

09-05-10, 12:39 PM
Dear ExperiencedADHD, you should update your information on Ritalin and Focalin. Ritalin contains the same substances as Focalin and some more. They are very very similar.