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Old 02-10-11, 04:33 PM
mommyofsal&gab mommyofsal&gab is offline
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Difference between Concerta and Focalin XR?

Hi. I am new to these boards and was wondering if anyone can tell me the difference and/or experience between Concerta and Focalin XR? My son, who is 6 1/2, is diagnosed with severe ADHD and PDD. He has been taking Focalin XR 25 mg for a while now and it definitely does not do what it should be doing anymore. My dr. has now given him Concerta, 18 mg, which I will be starting on Saturday. I am not sure if there is going to be much difference, but was wondering if anyone has ever had experience with the 2 or even knows how different they are. I know they are very similar so that's why I'm not sure it's even going to work for him. Thanks.
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Old 02-10-11, 08:07 PM
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Re: Difference between Concerta and Focalin XR?

From what I understand, for most people, Concerta has a smoother release than Focalin XR. Focalin XR delivers half the dose when you take it and then the other half about four hours later. Concerta delivers the dosage more gradually over the day.

Concerta and Focalin XR are chemically similar, as they are both extended release and in the methyphenidate group of medications.

Even though the two are chemically similar, just slight differences in the chemistry and release mechanisms can make a difference, especially in children.

It seems that his doctor is starting him at the lowest dose of Concerta, whereas he was on a moderately high dose of Focalin XR, so you may see some increased ADHD symptoms as his body adjusts.

By the way, in what ways was the Focalin XR not doing what it used to do?
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Old 02-12-11, 07:13 AM
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Re: Difference between Concerta and Focalin XR?

I agree with Crazy Lazy. My daughter started on Focalin XR but it didn't provide long lasting coverage and it didn't work as well as Concerta does.

Concerta provides smooth, even coverage for 10-12 hours, whereas Focalin XR only worked for 5-6 hours (even though you pay for long lasting coverage!)

I love Concerta much more than Focalin for my daughter. She is on 36 mg and it seems to be perfect for her at this point. It is also much cheaper than Focalin XR (it is a different tier for Anthem).

It does seem that your son was on a high dose for Focalin XR so he might need to titrate up on Concerta. 18 mg is the starting point, and a low dose compared to 25mg of Focalin.j

Good luck and let us know what happens!

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Old 02-22-11, 11:04 AM
mommyofsal&gab mommyofsal&gab is offline
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Unhappy Re: Difference between Concerta and Focalin XR?

Thank you for your input. For CrazyLady, my son seemed to be losing focus much earlier in the day; the medication seemed to start putting him in very bad moods by the afternoon where he would throw himself on the floor and not care about what was going on in school when his teachers asked him to do something, etc. Now he was switched to Concerta - problem is is that he is giving me a VERY hard time taking the pill. He is only 6 and although I try to put it in food to cover it up, he knows it's there and spits it out and runs away from us. I am going to call his dr. today and speak to him about it. I know it cannot be broken up so that's going to be a problem. We didn't have enough time on it to really give it a chance so I can't even tell if it was helping or not. I was now researching Vyvanse and Daytrana. Not sure if the doctor will suggest one of these. I feel like I'm losing this battle.....
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Old 02-22-11, 11:11 AM
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Re: Difference between Concerta and Focalin XR?

Concerta works for me but I have to take Clonidine with it to give me the maximum benefits. Clonidine helps reduce my afternoon agitation. It also helps with other side effects of the stimulant. There is talk of the two meds being combined into one.
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