View Full Version : My Focalin Log


ccrose
03-24-11, 05:33 PM
Thought I'd share my experience since there is so little info out there on this med. I've been on it for 4 days now, and will continue to update. I am recently dx ADHD-PI, and I believe SCT.

I'm on 5mg XR once daily. Pdoc instructed me to increase dose by 5mg once/week until desired effect has been reached. So far no improvement as far as I can tell, but she told me not to expect any on this low of a dose. I chose to try XR first instead of IR due to lower incidence of side effects and that it will be similar in cost after the mfg. rebate.

Side effects: All are mild and are starting to go away. Slight headache for about an hour each day. Some appetite suppression, but not a lot. Feel a little out of it and dizzy for about an hour, although today this seems to be getting better. So far no nausea or any of the scary side effects I've read about (cross my fingers). Libido seems to have increased a bit, but I don't mind. Don't have any problems with sleep so far. I have to consume about 2/3 of the amount of coffee that I normally do in the a.m. or it will add to the dizziness.

Hoping that I will get some good effects from this when I start the 10mg. I would like to increase my focus, motivation and energy. Not looking for superhuman powers or anything, just would like to get through my day to day activities and chores, and at some point return to school. My two goals my Pdoc asked me to write down for the next month are putting up my laundry every week and reading my hematology book (for work).

Mister Marcinko
03-25-11, 03:23 PM
I hope you have more success with focalin than I do. I'm on the name brand ir 10mg 2x a day and I never can tell if I'm taking anything except every once in a while I'll feel a slight increase of energy for like 15min. For some reason it also makes me a little depressed for a couple hours when it takes effect, not the come down though just when it takes effect. I'm gonna switch to Ritalin ir if my doc will let me try it. Have you tried ritalin yet or just focalin?

ccrose
03-29-11, 04:23 PM
I hope you have more success with focalin than I do. I'm on the name brand ir 10mg 2x a day and I never can tell if I'm taking anything except every once in a while I'll feel a slight increase of energy for like 15min. For some reason it also makes me a little depressed for a couple hours when it takes effect, not the come down though just when it takes effect. I'm gonna switch to Ritalin ir if my doc will let me try it. Have you tried ritalin yet or just focalin?

Thanks for the input. No haven't tried Ritalin; Focalin is the first stim I tried. Since I tend to be very drug reactive/senstive, I decided to try Focalin first since it has a lower possibility of bad side effects.

Today is the first day I've increased my dosage, and am now at 10mg. We'll see what happens. So far I haven't noticed any mood, motivation, or focus changes, good or bad but it's probably too early to tell.

ccrose
03-31-11, 05:54 PM
Day 3 of 10mg. The pdoc said I may still not notice much improvement at this dosage, and I'm still not sure I am, although I think maybe I have some improvements from time to time.

Most of the side effects have gone away. I did also feel a sort of brain fog for a few hours each day, and a slight euphoric feeling for an hour (which scares me, because this is exactly why I was scared to try meds), but today they are both pretty much gone.

A few little things I've noticed, that I'm not sure are just a placebo effect, or real:

-I don't feel like falling asleep after doing some very mundane things. I'm still bored, but I can get through them without having to take a nap afterward.
-I don't feel energetic or motivated per se, but I don't feel extremely tired or completely unmotivated, either. I don't want to feel like superwoman, but I would like a little more energy and motivation, enough to do day to day tasks.
-Concentrating on conversations seems to be a little easier. I have retained more information and my mind hasn't wandered as much.
-Have spent less time on the internet for the past several days (other than what I would consider to be an acceptable amount of time). For instance, I'll log onto this forum but I'll be on during times I need to be and log off at a decent hour.
-Actually put up some of my laundry, not all, but some.
-I feel like there are only a few channels on at once in my head instead of 20.

I definitely think most of my ADD symptoms are still there, and I don't feel like some aspects have been helped at all yet, but I'm hoping if I've seen a tiny bit of improvement on a small dose and have been able to shake off most of the undesirable side effects, this med may actually help me on a higher dose.

StoicNate
03-31-11, 07:07 PM
Good to hear that you are reacting well to Focalin.

ccrose
04-04-11, 12:41 PM
I'm still not sure if the Focalin is helping me much, but think I need to increase my dose to know for sure. A couple concerns I have are the crash and that I think it's making my hyperfocus worse (except with the internet, thankfully). I would like to know how to redirect that so I can focus on what I need to, like reading, but still can't. When it starts wearing off, about 7 hours after I take it, I get very hungry (not such a bad thing), and VERY grumpy (a VERY bad thing). I get combative and irritated easily. This goes on for about an hour. I don't have any trouble getting to sleep, though. I'm thinking about adding an IR dose to the morning or evening so that my grumpiness coincides with my bed time, and I can just sleep it off. One side effect I like is that I actually start getting very tired at about 8 hours after, so it helps me get to sleep. If I stay away from social situations and just stay at home, take it later so the 7 hours coincides with my wind-down time at home, then I'm fine so I think I should keep it that way. I'd really like to give this med a chance since I have seen even some small benefit.

ccrose
04-05-11, 04:25 PM
Met with the pdoc today and after taking the same questionaire as the last one I took, I realized I have improved in a bunch of suttle ways that I didn't realize. I also got a compliment that I really had my, eh-hem, *stuff* together at work yesterday.

So I'm still hoping for more improvemnt than I'm getting so far, but the doc thinks I have to be on a higher dose to know if it will help me in those "stubborn" areas. If not I might have to have the meds tweaked more and/or try something else. Since it is helping a bit on a low dose, let's hope I continue to see improvement.

I have learned that even though stims are supposed to show their effect pretty much the day you take them, it's best to wait until a few days into it to really get a good feel. For me this is because that's when the side effects start wearing off and I can actually "focus" on the good effects.

I'm hoping to improve more in motivation and to be able to concentrate/focus on reading. I do think it's helping me concentrate on conversations better, retain more information, to be less distracted, lose items less, and some of the other things I mentioned previously.

The hyperfocus is still there about 4 hours after I take it. To counteract this, and my super-duper grumpiness at 7 hours after, this is what I'm trying now:

7.5mg Focalin IR @ 8am
15mg Focalin XR @ 2pm
2.5mg Focalin IR @ 7pm (depending on when XR was taken)

I chose to go with XR instead of IR due to my schedule and the inability to take multiple IR tablets throughout the day. The evening IR dose coincides with my break in my evening shift, and should hopefully help smooth the crash (and moodiness) without affecting my sleep.

I will keep updating.

ccrose
04-05-11, 04:28 PM
Oh I should add that I take the XR dose at somewhere between 2-3pm, depending on my schedule, and will take the evening IR dose according to when I've taken the XR.

ccrose
04-07-11, 11:23 AM
I decided to wait to fill the IR script for a few more days until I get used to the 15mg dose. Although they're starting to get better, I'm having a harder time shaking the side effects. I'm not yet feeling more motivated or able to concentrate more on reading, but with the prior doses I didn't see many good effects until after the bad ones wore off. We'll see what happens.

happierin09
04-09-11, 10:02 AM
Thanks for posting these updates! There is just so little out there on Focalin it seems. I'm still on 10 mg, which is where I started, but I'm wondering if maybe an increase may be in order soon. I think that if I look closely, maybe I am getting a bit more benefit that I thought to begin with, like you said the subtle changes. Hopefully there will be more of an increase in the focus and motivation soon, because I sure need it!

ccrose
04-09-11, 06:19 PM
You're welcome! I'm still not sure it's helping me, but at this point I'm only on it for 7-8 hours, which is how long the XR lasts. I haven't added the IR in yet, want to give myself at least a week total on the 15mg. The changes I have noticed, although subtle still, are better on 15 than 10, for sure.

I want to give myself at least a couple weeks on all-day dosing to consider it a fair try. However I don't think I can handle over 15mg because of the hyperfocusing that occurs sometimes - my pdoc agreed. So if this dosing regiment doesn't work enough then I may have to try something else. The good news is though that we know that I can get some benefits, and what those are, with this class of drugs.

ccrose
04-13-11, 04:12 PM
I've been having some anxiety, jitteriness and trouble sleeping on the 15mg XR so I haven't added in the IR yet. I am going to contact my pdoc and see what she says. For some reason I didn't have these side effects until the 3rd day I was on it, which I find strange, since usually the side effects come on the first day and fade by the 3rd or 4th.

Actually, I'm wondering if it's because I am having more of a lack of appetite on the 15mg, and so the anxiety and jitteriness are a result of low blood sugar (I have reactive hypoglycemia). I took my blood sugar and it's normal although a bit low, but I have had low blood sugar symptoms before with a number in the low normal range.

I tried taking it earlier in the day to counteract the trouble sleeping, but it doesn't help much and since I get a bit grumpy as the medicine is wearing off it's better if I can take it later. I will update once I get a response from my pdoc.

hollywood
04-14-11, 09:14 AM
so your having some jitteriness and you can't tell it's stronger than regular ritalin or concerta? I had been trying focalin and it's worked in the past but I was on lexapro, when I was on lexapro I couldn't get any benefit from my stimulant. Granted I didn't obsess or lock into anything but I couldn't focus or do my job at all even on low dose ssri. Point is that after a week and now that its finally out of my system I can tell focalin works. I'm surprised you can't tell it's working if your getting some physical symptoms of anxiety when you take it. I'm trying intuniv with my stims now , so maybe that will be a better combo for adhd.

ccrose
04-14-11, 10:36 AM
so your having some jitteriness and you can't tell it's stronger than regular ritalin or concerta? I had been trying focalin and it's worked in the past but I was on lexapro, when I was on lexapro I couldn't get any benefit from my stimulant. Granted I didn't obsess or lock into anything but I couldn't focus or do my job at all even on low dose ssri. Point is that after a week and now that its finally out of my system I can tell focalin works. I'm surprised you can't tell it's working if your getting some physical symptoms of anxiety when you take it. I'm trying intuniv with my stims now , so maybe that will be a better combo for adhd.

I have not tried ritalin or concerta. Focalin is the first stimulant I've tried.

I should mention that the anxiety doesn't last the whole time I'm on it, just for a couple hours, but it is bothersome. During that time it is more difficult for me to feel the benefits, which is why I'm concerned. I really just can't afford to have anxiety at all in my job.

The jitteriness lasts about 2 hours, then I'm fine for 2 hours, then for 2 hours again. The main problem I have with this is that it affects my fine motor skills and therefore makes it difficult for me to place catheters and other similar types of tasks at work.

My pdoc said she thinks the anxiety and jitteriness are more physical in manifestation, and probably due to my blood sugar issue since in the past that is the only time I have had those types of symptoms when not on medication. I'm going to try a different eating regiment and adding the IR in to smooth out the effects of the XR "comedown" and see what happens.

happierin09
04-14-11, 01:19 PM
I'm roughly 2 weeks in on the Focalin XR, and so far it has helped a little with the focus, but at the same time, I can definitely feel when it wears off as I have a strong desire for a nap, have a lot more fatigue in general, and have surprisingly had increased appetite. I discussed it with my pdoc and I'm going to add an IR boost for the afternoons, but stay on 10 mg of XR for now, with the IR being a 10 mg We'll see how this goes. I'm not loving the weight I've gained back since stopping Vyvanse, but my eating habits have been, oh we'll say, not good lately, or actually pretty much total crap lately, so I'm sure that's a big part of the weight gain, plus some added stress that I had in the middle of it. Hopefully now things are going to stay a bit more calm and I get the weight back off with better eating and working out. I'm not terribly thrilled that adding the IR is going to double my medication bill. Oh well, if it helps me work, I can make up the money in a couple of hours extra work.

I hope the anxiety and jitters wear off for you soon and you're able to get back on a more even feeling.

Mesaana
04-14-11, 02:58 PM
thanks all for the info on focalin! i have been taking focalin for the past couple of months, and one of the reasons i joined this forum was to gain a better understanding of add meds in general, not to mention there are just a lot of wonderful people here who genuinely want to help and are open with their experiences, all of which i greatly appreciate. i find topics everyday i did not even think about, but anyways this is my input on focalin: it seems to me that the longer i have been on it, the better it works, and the more the side effects (which were minimal to begin with) seem to disappear. i have tried pretty much every other add medicine, so focalin working for me is something i don't take for granted. thanks for keeping this focalin log!

ccrose
04-14-11, 03:42 PM
I'm roughly 2 weeks in on the Focalin XR, and so far it has helped a little with the focus, but at the same time, I can definitely feel when it wears off as I have a strong desire for a nap, have a lot more fatigue in general, and have surprisingly had increased appetite. I discussed it with my pdoc and I'm going to add an IR boost for the afternoons, but stay on 10 mg of XR for now, with the IR being a 10 mg We'll see how this goes. I'm not loving the weight I've gained back since stopping Vyvanse, but my eating habits have been, oh we'll say, not good lately, or actually pretty much total crap lately, so I'm sure that's a big part of the weight gain, plus some added stress that I had in the middle of it. Hopefully now things are going to stay a bit more calm and I get the weight back off with better eating and working out. I'm not terribly thrilled that adding the IR is going to double my medication bill. Oh well, if it helps me work, I can make up the money in a couple of hours extra work.

I hope the anxiety and jitters wear off for you soon and you're able to get back on a more even feeling.

Thanks for your reply. I hope it works for you, too. I didn't have much appetite suppression (a little, but not a lot) until I went up to 15mg. The strong desire to nap was a big reason I started taking the XR later in the day, but that was at 10mg. Now with the 15mg I'm not getting that, but because of my schedule I can't take the IR in the evening when I would need it so I have to stick to this schedule for now. I get really hungry when mine wears off too and try to take advantage of it by eating what I can. Probably not the best thing to do before I go to bed, but oh well.

Yeah adding the IR is not going to be good for my bill either, and I don't have insurance so it's really bad. Together, even with the coupon for the XR, it's going to cost me about $180 per month. Ouch. :(

ccrose
04-14-11, 03:45 PM
thanks all for the info on focalin! i have been taking focalin for the past couple of months, and one of the reasons i joined this forum was to gain a better understanding of add meds in general, not to mention there are just a lot of wonderful people here who genuinely want to help and are open with their experiences, all of which i greatly appreciate. i find topics everyday i did not even think about, but anyways this is my input on focalin: it seems to me that the longer i have been on it, the better it works, and the more the side effects (which were minimal to begin with) seem to disappear. i have tried pretty much every other add medicine, so focalin working for me is something i don't take for granted. thanks for keeping this focalin log!

You're welcome, and thanks for your input also. So I am curious, do you feel like it helps you with motivation at all? And specifically, what areas do you think it does and doesn't help with?

That's encouraging that the longer you've been on it the better it works and the more the side effects disappear; that gives me more hope.

Do you also mind sharing which subtype of ADD you have and which meds you tried in the past?

Mesaana
04-14-11, 04:18 PM
i would like to know the same about you, if you don't mind me asking! most of the time i do think it helps with my motivation. right now is not one of those times though, lol. i am trying to think of how much focalin i have taken today. i often forget to take my medication when i am supposed to. i am actually at work right now (i am a medical records technician at a cardiology practice) but as you can see instead of working i am spacing off into the computer finding more interesting things to do. i actually don't know what subtype of add i have... inattentive? i don't have the hyperactivity part. i would actually love to learn more about my diagnosis, for some reason my doctors have never been too specific with me about my diagnosis of add, probably because i also have ocd, ptsd, bpd and possible bipolar type II, and well its kind of hard to tell which disorder is causing what. they all kind of blur together, and overlapse, so it's difficult to tell, for me. sorry for getting off topic... since i have been on focalin, i have noticed that i went from (how i am right now) spacing off at work, not being able to complete tasks due to lack of motivation, etc. to actually doing my work, without really thinking about it. it feels weird, like i don't exactly feel "motivated", i just notice that my behavior has changed- i no longer have such a hard time doing things that don't interest me. i am also taking adderall xr 30mg 3xday, and in the past have taken ritalin, dexedrine, strattera, concerta, vyvanse, intuniv, wellbutrin (im not sure if that one is for add or not)... um i think that's it. so focalin and adderall isn't a perfect solution for me, but on most days i am pretty functionable. without taking focalin and adderall in the morning i cannot even go to work. right now i am trying to figure out whether i took my second dose of focalin or not...

ccrose
04-14-11, 05:07 PM
i would like to know the same about you, if you don't mind me asking! most of the time i do think it helps with my motivation. right now is not one of those times though, lol. i am trying to think of how much focalin i have taken today. i often forget to take my medication when i am supposed to. i am actually at work right now (i am a medical records technician at a cardiology practice) but as you can see instead of working i am spacing off into the computer finding more interesting things to do. i actually don't know what subtype of add i have... inattentive? i don't have the hyperactivity part. i would actually love to learn more about my diagnosis, for some reason my doctors have never been too specific with me about my diagnosis of add, probably because i also have ocd, ptsd, bpd and possible bipolar type II, and well its kind of hard to tell which disorder is causing what. they all kind of blur together, and overlapse, so it's difficult to tell, for me. sorry for getting off topic... since i have been on focalin, i have noticed that i went from (how i am right now) spacing off at work, not being able to complete tasks due to lack of motivation, etc. to actually doing my work, without really thinking about it. it feels weird, like i don't exactly feel "motivated", i just notice that my behavior has changed- i no longer have such a hard time doing things that don't interest me. i am also taking adderall xr 30mg 3xday, and in the past have taken ritalin, dexedrine, strattera, concerta, vyvanse, intuniv, wellbutrin (im not sure if that one is for add or not)... um i think that's it. so focalin and adderall isn't a perfect solution for me, but on most days i am pretty functionable. without taking focalin and adderall in the morning i cannot even go to work. right now i am trying to figure out whether i took my second dose of focalin or not...

Thanks for the reply. I am primarily innattentive. I forgot to ask my doctor at my first visit so I looked up the DSM number she wrote on my receipt to find out. I figured I was primarily innattentive anyway.

So you like the adderall but needed to add focalin to it? I have been wondering if that's what I need to do, or switch to adderall since it seems to work for so many people. Why did you add focalin in?

I was previously diagnosed with chronic depression but in the last 5 years it has gotten better and I have only been on medication for it when I've gone through some really tough stuff in life I didn't feel like I could dig myself out of (i.e. illness/death of a family member). I tried a lot of meds for it, but the only one that works is Wellbutrin. My current doctor, who I have only been seeing for the last couple months for ADD (just diagnosed by her at age 31), said it's common for people with ADD who have depression to only be helped by Wellbutrin. I think it's used for ADD, but not usually exclusively.

The only other ADD med I tried besides Focalin was Strattera. It made me so sick I had to quit taking it after a few days, so have no idea whether it would have helped or not.

Other than the benefits I've listed in prior posts, as for the motivation I feel like I do get things done easier once I've started them but I still need a huge sense of urgency to start them in the first place. So, I guess procratination is still very bad. I have more energy to do tasks once I get there, but not the motivation to start. For instance, if I know I'm going to get in trouble at work if I don't start a project I'll do it but if I have a week then it won't get started till the last day. Or if I have company coming over I'll start cleaning up, but not if it's just me. However once I start doing these things I feel like it's not such a huge task to finish them.

Maybe once I add in the IR and give it more time I will see more benefits, or at least I hope.

ccrose
04-14-11, 05:09 PM
Oh also I have to use the reminder app on my cell phone to remember my medication or I will never take it on time. I take another medication for a hormonal problem, so with all the meds I have to have the reminders. Then again if I forget my phone that's another problem! =)

happierin09
04-15-11, 06:20 AM
I use an app called Errands on my ipod to remind me to take the Focalin, which helps. I have that thing remind me to do lots of things. When I was taking Vyvanse, I'd forget to eat, so I had to set reminders for that. Not with Focalin, darn it ;) I struggle with motivation and procrastination too. As far as my focus, while I'm still not nearly as focused as I want to be, I feel like the Focalin is helping me to recognize when I'm veering off task and helps me to redirect myself, at least a little bit anyway. I'm not thrilled with adding another pill to my regimen. My DD is 7 and has been preached at at school about drugs, but has a hard time grasping that people need to take medicines, and just because they take medicine doesn't make them an addict or mean they are abusing things. The only "drugs" I've ever abused are chocolate and sugar. I know the school has to do that, and I'm glad they teach kids about drugs, but it sucks when you go to take your medication and get "mom, you sure take a lot of drugs," so that just taking a Tylenol makes you feel like you need rehab or something. Anyway, hopefully we'll all get to where we are more motivated, focused, and functional :D

hollywood
04-15-11, 10:24 AM
I understand what you guys are saying. I've been on ritalin, then concerta, and at times focalin with brief experiments with focalin and focalin xr. I require larger doses but thats no big issue. I've found at times and its inconsistent but when or when my focus was best it's probably in times of high stress and high motivation or the complete opposite with little stress but my life path seems to be very well defined. The more defined things are the better adhd becomes. Its simple, if your not taxed for finances and live where and make what you want your adhd becomes less and less of an issue. Really it does! I've been a rich kid and I've been an adult wanting to get back to baseline with more money. It's all relative and my adhd waxes and wanes on several different aspects of life. My adhd can and does get worse in the winter, I get bored, I get down and then I get down on myself all winter issues from lack of sunlight. If I could narrow it down, I would say that being in direct sunlight makes people with adhd function much much better. I struggle with motivation too. Not so much motivation really , it's more like I struggle to start things, finishing short tasks is no problem. Long tasks require no distraction and more ritalin. Its that simple. I feel focalin works well, it's not as consistent as ritalin though, it acts differently sometimes, or maybe thats our moods that are the variance. I bet thats a large factor. The more consistent we are , the more consistent our meds are. I have motivational issues regarding staying on track and getting up to that brain level to be attentive. Peak concentrations of the medicine both help and hinder, but mostly help if your not locked into self analysis which is just another distraction. It's all a part of adhd in the big picture depending on your life situation people. For what its worth, I've had successful days and weeks with focalin at times, the dropoffs suck though, but so does any ritalin dropoff thats why with ritalin you will just not be operational at times. The medicine doesn't work at lower than therapeutic levels so to market a med like concerta and say it's helping just because it's in blood levels is a lie, it's actually doing the person worse. This is where the next peak is effective and adding ir ritalin to the regiment can be additive and effective. Wellbutrin is a helpful addition to stay on task as well, it can cause secondary anxiety though and lock you into thoughts though, but if your smart you will realize that this was there all along anyway and either treat this if you can or leave the situation or things that's causing these locked patterns to occur to begin with. If I had to rank , I'd say ritalin is better than concerta, concerta is better than focalin and focalin is just okay. Concerta in higher doses can be effective and adding ritalin to concerta can help as well. I'm trying intuniv with stims , it's alright we will see. The only serotonin med that has helped me is cymbalta and that was short lived. It's a tricky science. I'd say ritalin instant release if you understand how to dose it , is the best. People dont understand to dose with ritalin ir and avoid drop offs and avoid side effects you have to master your dose. That means a 10mg and a 20mg and then 2.5 hours later maybe a 5mg and so on. It's all about micro dosing and yes it's a pain.

happierin09
04-23-11, 09:53 AM
How is everyone doing with the Focalin? My pdoc had sent me the prescription for the IR, and even the generic was ridiculously high priced. Craziness! I checked with my prescription plan, and in order for me to get it cheaper, my pdoc has to show medical necessity. I'll be jumping up to 20 mg XR in the morning next week and then a 10 mg IR for afternoon, if needed. My focus does seem a bit better, or at least I'm able to redirect myself when I realize I'm diverting my attention, but that crash in the afternoon when it wears off, yuck! I guess you'd call it a crash, as by mid afternoon I just desperately want to nap. I'm supposed to work 4am to noon, but am rarely done before 2 pm due to kids, interruptions, my lack of focus, whatever. After my shift I still have a family and household to deal with, plus trying to have the umph to study. I've taken the IR a couple of times and that seems to help, so that's a good thing. I think one of the biggest issues I have and need to deal with is that because I work at 4 am, I usually try to get up at around 3-3:30 am so I can get myself awake and ready for the day, catch up on emails, gossip, whatever, but because I have active kids and a husband who doesn't get home until 6 pm or later, or is gone a lot, it's really hard for me to get in a full 8 hours of sleep other than on the weekends. I would have to go to bed at 7 pm, which gives me NO family time whatsoever. I usually try to be in bed by 9, but that doesn't always happen, so I have no doubt that my not getting enough sleep is playing into all of this, plus my eating habits are far from stellar. I just can't seem to get a happy balance in this. One thing that has sucked since starting the Focalin XR is that I have GAINED weight. GRRR! Everything I lost while being on Vyvanse has come back, and it's so frustrating. I have a plan of action, and have sat my family down and told them what I need from them for right now for a bit of help, so I'm hoping things will get better soon. I'm hoping this week I have some answers about another health issue that has been keeping me from the workouts I used to love and now fear, so that I can move forward even more with my plan. Anyway, hope everyone is doing well!! Have a great weekend!

ccrose
05-03-11, 06:01 PM
How is everyone doing with the Focalin? My pdoc had sent me the prescription for the IR, and even the generic was ridiculously high priced. Craziness! I checked with my prescription plan, and in order for me to get it cheaper, my pdoc has to show medical necessity. I'll be jumping up to 20 mg XR in the morning next week and then a 10 mg IR for afternoon, if needed. My focus does seem a bit better, or at least I'm able to redirect myself when I realize I'm diverting my attention, but that crash in the afternoon when it wears off, yuck! I guess you'd call it a crash, as by mid afternoon I just desperately want to nap. I'm supposed to work 4am to noon, but am rarely done before 2 pm due to kids, interruptions, my lack of focus, whatever. After my shift I still have a family and household to deal with, plus trying to have the umph to study. I've taken the IR a couple of times and that seems to help, so that's a good thing. I think one of the biggest issues I have and need to deal with is that because I work at 4 am, I usually try to get up at around 3-3:30 am so I can get myself awake and ready for the day, catch up on emails, gossip, whatever, but because I have active kids and a husband who doesn't get home until 6 pm or later, or is gone a lot, it's really hard for me to get in a full 8 hours of sleep other than on the weekends. I would have to go to bed at 7 pm, which gives me NO family time whatsoever. I usually try to be in bed by 9, but that doesn't always happen, so I have no doubt that my not getting enough sleep is playing into all of this, plus my eating habits are far from stellar. I just can't seem to get a happy balance in this. One thing that has sucked since starting the Focalin XR is that I have GAINED weight. GRRR! Everything I lost while being on Vyvanse has come back, and it's so frustrating. I have a plan of action, and have sat my family down and told them what I need from them for right now for a bit of help, so I'm hoping things will get better soon. I'm hoping this week I have some answers about another health issue that has been keeping me from the workouts I used to love and now fear, so that I can move forward even more with my plan. Anyway, hope everyone is doing well!! Have a great weekend!

Sorry for the late reply; I've been away from the forums for a while due to some unexpected craziness in my life. I think Focalin has helped me a lot, and after finding the right ebb and flow between the XR and IR and my schedule, I found the side effects to be kept to a minimum. I also determined that my anxiety was due to the appetite suppression having a large effect on my blood sugar. (I didn't notice a lot of appetite suppression on the lower doses, just the 15). Since I am a reactive hypoglycemic, I was familiar with the anxiety effects of low blood sugar but hadn't experienced them in a few years since being on medication and a new diet. Once I figured out how to snack more frequently and with the right foods, the anxiety diminished almost completely.

That being said, I have decided to try a different medication. As I mentioned, I definitely think the Focalin helped, but not in every area I need it to, or not enough. The other problem is if I went to a higher dose than 15 it would help me a lot more and potentially be the right med, but I simply couldn't tolerate the side effects. I have a lot of drug allergies and sensitivities, so my experience with side effects is probably worse than most.

This is the first stimulant medication I tried, so I can't really compare it to others. I was on Straterra then off of it in a blink due to a very bad reaction, so have no idea if that would have helped. I do think the Focalin helped with focus, attention, retention, motivation, energy, mood, impulsivity, and talkitiveness. However, I was helped most in the areas that are not as problematic as others (although I did need help in those), and not as much, or at all, in the others I needed it to.

For instance, I could focus on conversations or someone giving me verbal directions better, but could not focus on reading AT ALL. In fact, I think my focus on reading, unless I was VERY interested in the subject, was worse on Focalin. I think I did hyperfocus on Focalin, but not as frequently. However the times I did it was for a longer duration than before. I also didn't find a huge help in motivation or energy, but there was some improvement.

My biggest challenges right now in my life are getting back to school, so being able to study without being easily distracted, and finding motivation and energy for mundane tasks. At the end of the day, Focalin didn't help enough in these areas.

I don't have any expectations that I will be without ADHD symptoms on medication, but I want them to be improved enough to where I am capable of these goals. Even if I still have to try harder than others without ADHD that's okay, but right now I have almost no capability and I would like to be at the very least 50% better than I am now.

Since I did get some benefit from Focalin I'm hopeful that another stimulant will have that extra "oomph" that I need. Hope that helps.

P.S. My doctor wrote a script for Vyvanse, so that's what I'm trying next.