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General Parenting Issues The purpose of this forum is to discuss general parenting issues related to children with AD/HD(ADD & ADHD)

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Old 09-22-09, 09:11 PM
RebelMom RebelMom is offline
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Switching from Vyvanse to Focalin

Hi. My little girl (Sydney) was diagnosed with ADHD almost one year ago. She's now 8 years old. She was prescribed 20mg of Vyvanse. The first few days were Hell. She was very emotional and cried a lot. She'd get a far-off look in her eyes. It was difficult, but didn't last. After the initial symptoms went away, it was great! Her attitude, behavior and schoolwork all went through the roof. I thought we'd found the wonder drug.

But in the Spring, it started to lose its effectiveness on her. Her teacher even asked if I was still giving her the meds. She seemed to be reverting back to her old pre-med self. The doc then upped the dose to 30mg. It somewhat improved her schoolwork again, but she was very grumpy and irritable all the time. Not wanting to start something new, we just stuck with the 30mg until school ended.

As this school year started, we have now tried Focalin. Does anyone have any info to provide about this med? She was prescribed 5mg, and it has done absolutely nothing. It almost seems as if she is worse than before. The doc has now said I can try to give her two pills tomorrow, so we'll see how that goes.

Does anyone have any experience in switching from Vyvanse to Focalin? I'm wondering if the dose is too small, or if this just might not be the right medicine for her. Any info anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated!!
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Old 09-23-09, 11:03 AM
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Re: Switching from Vyvanse to Focalin

Well , my daughter switched from Focalin XR to Vyvanse a few months ago. The switch was fine, and the Vyvanse lasts a bit longer than Focalin. They are both very good meds though.

The time release technology in Focalin XR is different than in Vyvanse. Focalin has little beads inside the capsule. Half are quick release, and half are released after about 3 hours. This gives you two small humps in the blood concentration of the medicine, but it is usually not that noticable.

5mg is the smallest dose. 10mg is more equivalent to the 30mg dosage of Vyvanse.

Focalin is a form of Methylphenidate, and Vyvanse is a form of dexidrine. MPH and Dex are the two basic classes of stimulants given to treat ADHD. All the different brand names are just different forms of MPH and Dex.

Give Focalin a try, and good luck.
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Old 09-23-09, 11:21 AM
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Re: Switching from Vyvanse to Focalin

RebelMom

This site is pretty informative on the different treatments, meds and effects.....

http://pediatrics.about.com/od/adhd/..._adhd_meds.htm

Jeff
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Old 09-23-09, 12:22 PM
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Re: Switching from Vyvanse to Focalin

My kids both did well on focalin (then later went to Concerta for the slightly longer effect from a single dose). Methylphenidate is a mixture of two chemical forms: levo (left hand) and dextro (right hand). Focalin is only the dextro form which is more active centrally , so may work better on attention with less side effects (the left hand form seems to be more active peripherally like for hyperactivity). It also is used at about 1/2 the dose of other methylphenidate meds.

Some kids get moodier when the med wears off but everyone is different. You may have to try a few meds to get one that fits your daughter so hang in there with the process.

My youngest was really thin so we were reluctant to increase the stimulant too much, and she had anxiety with her ADHD. The doc added guanfacine to help with the anxiety and augment the sub optimal stimulant dose. It took a while to work through all of this but the combo was a life saver in the case of my youngest.
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Old 09-23-09, 12:56 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Switching from Vyvanse to Focalin

Quote:
Originally Posted by RebelMom View Post
Hi. My little girl (Sydney) was diagnosed with ADHD almost one year ago. She's now 8 years old. She was prescribed 20mg of Vyvanse. The first few days were Hell. She was very emotional and cried a lot. She'd get a far-off look in her eyes. It was difficult, but didn't last. After the initial symptoms went away, it was great! Her attitude, behavior and schoolwork all went through the roof. I thought we'd found the wonder drug.

But in the Spring, it started to lose its effectiveness on her. Her teacher even asked if I was still giving her the meds. She seemed to be reverting back to her old pre-med self. The doc then upped the dose to 30mg. It somewhat improved her schoolwork again, but she was very grumpy and irritable all the time. Not wanting to start something new, we just stuck with the 30mg until school ended.

As this school year started, we have now tried Focalin. Does anyone have any info to provide about this med? She was prescribed 5mg, and it has done absolutely nothing. It almost seems as if she is worse than before. The doc has now said I can try to give her two pills tomorrow, so we'll see how that goes.

Does anyone have any experience in switching from Vyvanse to Focalin? I'm wondering if the dose is too small, or if this just might not be the right medicine for her. Any info anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated!!
I have also read that in children when neither AMP (ampetamines like Vyvanse) or MPH (methylephenidate like Focalin) work alone, that sometimes a combination of the two can be helpful......it takes time when evaluating a new medication and dosage and can be frustrating, hang in there.
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Old 09-23-09, 11:12 PM
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Re: Switching from Vyvanse to Focalin

I am SO glad to have found this forum and to have seen your question. I am going through the EXACT thing....same age child, etc...

My son was diagnosed with ADHD Sept '08 and started on 20 mg Vyvanse. It was a miracle drug for him! His behavior improved dramatically and we felt that all was well....however, a few months ago I noticed the increased irritability, attitude, disrespectful behavior, anger, agression, etc...I spoke with his dr. and she recommended bumping up to 30mg...we did, but the behavior got worse.

Tomorrow we start on Focalin...trying something new...I would love to stay in touch to see how your daughter does on Focalin vs Vyvanse...maybe we can compare notes?

Good luck!!!

Stacy

Last edited by Lady Lark; 09-24-09 at 12:44 PM.. Reason: removed e-mail
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