ADHD Medication and Treatment Reviews
Return to Focalin Overview


Focalin is a stimulant ADHD medication used to treat symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adults. Learn about it uses, side effects, dosages, and warnings here. Generic: Dexmethylphenidate HCL

21 Comments & Reviews: Focalin

  1. Hey Guys has anybody used alternatives With adhd medications I Use VAXA A supplement and so It’s just not hitting DEX 5 mg IR as it use to please lmk asap

  2. I’m curious guys I’m On this homeopathic remedy Alternative called VAXA. But once I came home from DR I had no other option but to take my DEX 5 mg IR it was going so well Felt like a text God felt the focus effect but all of a sudden as I take this alternative Medication it just no hitting as it use to has anybody here mixed alternatives with ADHD medication have to talk to my doctor make some adjustments Quick

  3. I just took my niece to see her LPG Pediatric Neurology , she prescribed Dexmethylphenidate for her ,and I am a bit concerned , my niece just turned 5 , she isn’t but only 36 lbs and we can deal with her ADHD and Sensory disorder , we would like her to be able to concentrate , but are worried about the side effects of this drug, and don’t want to risk this sweet little girls life, does anyone have any suggestions on what else could be safer for her , I am frightened for her , I haven’t even gotten the script filled yet .Just so up in the air with what people have told me .

  4. My son just switched from Adderall xr to focalin 5 mg he is 6 1/2 . He’s been out of nowhere doing things he did when he was 3 or 4 like soaking the toilet paper or drawing in the wall. I asked him why he’s been acting out so much and he said he has nightmares every night. Also he’s screaming he’s starving the second he’s out of school. He never acted like this with the Adderall. We didn’t even want to change his meds we just wanted to go to regular Adderall instead of xr but the Dr said there was a 3 month back order on Adderall and prescribed focalin. I think we’re going to call the Dr and see if we can go back to Adderall xr at maybe a higher dose or see if it’s only their pharmacy that’s back ordered because this is not working for my son.

    1. Adderall and Focalin are different types of stimulants. Adderall is an amphetamine and Focalin is a methylphenidate with some dex in it. Since most people do well on one type or the other, but not both, this outcome makes sense. He likely does better with amphetamines. Why did you change the Adderall if it was working? There are other amphetamines to try, like Vyvanse and Evekeo.

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

  5. I am a 30 year old female who has suffered with ADHD,
    Bi Polar disorder, PTSD, Anxiety, and Depression my whole life (ptsd came in my teens and 20’s after extremely tragic events). I have a therapist and then a Dr. for my medication which I believe is mostly at its best after many trials of trying other medications just to find out a few days or even weeks that again I would be suicidal, extremely depressed and lethargic or broken completely out all over my body with welts the size of pancakes, turned out to be hives. So we went back to my former regimen the best one so far. (Side note: I now realize the meds help of course but they aren’t magic; therefore, I can’t expect them to do all the work I must learn how I am supposed to handle my ups and downs and mania episodes and then severe depression that is crippling. So again I go to therapy and it’s amazingThe concoction of my meds is as follows-Depression, PTSD & Anxiety
    (Lexapro 20mg – AM; Xanax 1mg 4x a day as needed)
    Bipolar Disorder & High Blood Pressure-getting better
    (Lamictal 200 mg – evening; Propanol 20 mg – am & pm)
    (Vyvanse 70 mg – am :when I’m getting ready for work
    It takes about an hour to get in my system)
    (Focalin 10 mg – noon because I get to work at 5am and
    work 10 hours and by noon the Vyvanse has worn
    down and I need a boost to make the rest of the day
    still be able to go home and do Wife Home things)
    Insomnia (Lunesta 3 mg – before bed)

    This combo for my ADHD helps but I had gotten off the
    Focalin for a couple months thinking I didn’t need it, also was having some side effects that appeared; becoming easily irritable, would worsen my episodes of mania
    when they happened, and increased insomnia.
    this was before I changed my work schedule to 4 10’s once
    That happened I new I needed it so I learned to control my irritable moods with more sleep and to get the sleep I was
    prescribed Lunesta for when I needed it and this all also helped my mania but if I know an episode is beginning I
    do not take my Focalin if I’m home so I don’t hyper focus
    or stay up all night as a busy bee.
    All in all I am glad I added the Focalin back into my meds
    because it is a lifesaver most days and if I am so focused
    that I forget to take it no later than 1 in the afternoon then
    I don’t because obviously I can finish my day without it if
    I had not thought to take it.

  6. I have recently been diagnosed with adult ADHD at age 20 and my doctor prescribed a starting dose of 2.5 mg twice a day of Focalin. I find it to be somewhat effective, however it does not last me the whole day and I find that I get kind of “foggy headed” and although my concentration is increased my motivation has decreased. I think this would be a great option for someone who is very hyperactive because it definitely is very calming. My ADHD is primarily the inattentive kind so this may not be the medication I stick with but overall I have had very little side effects other than “foggy headedness”.

  7. Focalin XR works very well for me. I was recently diagnosed with ADHD as a middle-aged woman and use 5 mg of Focalin XR daily, often supplemented with 2.5 mg of regular Focalin in the afternoon if I know I’m going to have a long evening or it’s been an unusually stressful day. If I have to get up very early or know I will be up late, I take an additional 5 mg of XR in early afternoon.

    From the first dose, there was a clarity and quietness of mind that I had never experienced before. I tried Vyvanse and found that it made me feel jittery and gave me a “roller coaster effect” of feeling odd then better.

    Higher doses of Focalin XR make me feel a little hyper and talkative. For well over 6 months now, I’ve done just fine at the 5 mg level.

  8. Both my kids have been prescribed Focalin XR. My son is 17 and my daughter is 12. My daughter’s creativity doesn’t seem to be impacted; however, my son, who was a very creative, outside-the-box thinker will no longer take his meds because he isn’t as creative when on them. He is more organized and less forgetful, yes, but not as creative.

  9. Our son was on Focalin during 1st grade. We noticed major tics in his eyes, and later on, he chewed his nails and twirled his hair. After switching to Concerta, all of that stopped.

  10. We have had tremendous success with Focalin. The only troubling part is that typically the more effective the medicine, the more likely you will also experience side effects. So we have made accommodations for our son since Focalin is the most effective as noticed by family, us as parents, school, and even my son. At 85 pounds, my son takes 25mg XR with 7.5 mg (regular) at lunch for a boost that lasts through homework time.

  11. My son is 11 and is on a 25 mg dosage of Focalin XR. He has done very well on it. The teachers and I have noticed that the meds have been starting to wear off late in the afternoon, which is causing some problems with missing assignments that impact his grades. His doctor is prescribing a 5 mg dose of regular Focalin to be taken after lunch that will get him through the rest of the day.

  12. My 8-year-old daughter has been on Focalin XR 10 mg for about a year now. By the end of the last school year she was on 15 mg. and doing really well. But I was concerned about how much weight she had lost. She had dropped almost 10 lbs., and while all the blood work came back okay and she was still in ‘healthy guidelines,’ I was concerned. So for the summer our neurologist brought her back down to 10 mg. And that was fine for the summer, but now that school is back in I’m finding that the 10 mg. isn’t quite “holding” (for lack of a better word) her through the day and I’m going to request that she be brought back up to 15 mg. My girl is also very active in extra curricular activities in the evenings and we are considering opening up the discussion to maybe giving her Intuniv in the evenings.

  13. My 8-year-old son has been on Focalin XR for almost a year at 10mg (morning dose only), paired with 1mg of Intuniv. He seems to be doing okay at school, but the effects seem to wear off by the afternoon.

  14. My son, at 8, was on Focalin XR. He started at 10mg (which the pediatrician said was a low dose) and went up to 30mg. It was wonderful. Unfortunately, we had to switch to another med after about a year, because the Focalin started to wear off way too soon and the rebound effect became really bad.

  15. My older son developed random tics on Focalin. Sometimes he’ll have it for a few weeks and it’ll go away, the same tic you mentioned. Chewing gum helped him stop the tic. I recently switched him to Vyvanse because the Focalin wasn’t lasting the whole school day and I was getting concerned that he was taking too many pills each day to stay focused (mid-day doses at school). So far the Vyvanse has been lasting for the whole day at school and he doesn’t seem as zoned out as he did on Focalin.

  16. My 6 year old started today on 5 mg of Focalin, but I am noticing some facial tics. The doctor recommended to discontinue and try a non stimulant as the tics would likely happen on any of the stimulants. Intuniv is up next.

  17. My son was on 15 mg in the morning (we changed it to 10 mg am then 45 mg pm) and he is only 6.

  18. We have had tremendous success with Focalin. Our son started at 5mg when he was 6 and we moved up to 10mg at 8 1/2. He responds wonderfully.

  19. I have been a Focalin fan for several year, but suddenly have an issue and wonder if anyone else has experienced it. My 13 year old son has been on Focalin 30 mgs, for probably about 3 years and has done awesome. This medication seemed to have the least impact on his appetite in comparison to all of the others that we tried. He doesn’t take meds over the weekend or on school breaks. He gained 30 pounds and 5 inches over this past year and looks great. Since school started though, he quickly dropped 10 pounds as he runs out the door at 6:30 refusing to eat or drink breakfast, and has no appetite until nearly 7pm. He’s very active and plays sports after school. He’s been in a huge funk lately and I was really scared. He’s moody, irritable, overly sensitive to peer issues and lethargic. I wondered if this was teen hormones. He finally realized yesterday, that he is hungry and tired. I’m puzzled as he’s never had this reaction to the meds before. His doctor doesn’t think that his body would react so differently to the same medication, but I really wonder. I don’t think it’s depression as he perks back up when he’s off his meds and can eat.

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