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Focalin (dexmethylphenidate)

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Old 01-10-10, 10:34 AM
kibbled_bits kibbled_bits is offline
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Differences in Focalin & Focalin XR

My son (6 1/2 yrs) has been on Focalin XR for a few months now. Generally I've noticed an improvement once we got to 20mg and over. Anyway the side effects I have noticed with him are anger, insomnia, antisocial behaviors.

I asked his doc if we could have some non-XR (standard Focalin) for the weekends because I let him sleep in a little bit and I don't want him staying up too late.

FYI some differences between Focalin & Focalin XR:
Focalin XR releases 1/2 of the dosage immediately as early as 30 minutes and then the rest later (6 hours or so). Also if you are on Focalin then you take about twice as many mg as the XR so a 10mg Focalin = 20mg Focalin XR since the drug is releasing half immediately and half later.

On to my point, so I tried him on regular Focalin (generic) yesterday (once in the morning) and I notice he seemed more organized for once and actually had less side effects.

I've read other parents documenting their childrens different experiences with standard Focalin & Focalin XR. I'm going to see how he does today and if he does better let the doctor know but I'm also curious of other peoples experience in the difference.

I'm also curious if anyone knows the pharmacology difference in why there would be different side effects,etc. I would think the results of both would be the same if not similar.

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Old 02-06-12, 01:49 PM
tkolarik tkolarik is offline
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Re: Differences in Focalin & Focalin XR

My son is 10 yo and several years ago we tried the Focalin XR and it did not work as well as the standard release tabs. We concluded there were two parts to this affect. First, there is a slight difference in the medication itself and second, the walk to the school nurse twice a day during school hours seems to provide him a much needed break from sitting in the class.

As far as the anger, insomnia and antisocial behaviors, we see the same thing with both but yes it seems a bit more pronounced with the XR version. However, our pediatrician prescribes Tenex (guanfacine) to mellow the OCD, Opposition Defiance Disorder and other "tics". It works very well.

My son's doctor says the meds are the same but they can't be, we know they are not because we don't get the same results, or the XR doesn't work in the same way the standard release does!

Good Luck
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