Home HEALTH What Is Focalin? Information About the ADHD Medication

What Is Focalin? Information About the ADHD Medication


Focalin is an ADHD medication that treats all three sub types of the disorder. It also has side effects that patients should be aware of.

ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a neurological brain disorder that affects both children and adults. A combination of medication and therapy works best to help a person with ADHD overcome their symptoms and lead a successful life. According to the FDA, one of the more widely used ADHD medication is Focalin.

Focalin is a stimulant medication used to treat symptoms of ADHD. This medication is prescribed by a doctor and comes in tablet and capsule form. Tablets contain either 2.5, 5, or 10 mg of dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride and is taken orally. This medication takes effect as it dissolves and is short acting, so most people take a second dose later in the day. Facalin XR is an extended release capsule that provides an immediate release of dexmethylphenidate beads and the other half is enteric-coated, delayed-release beads of dexmethylphenidate. With the extended release capsule, only one dose is required each day.

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Clinical Studies

Focalin is used to treat all three types of ADHD, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type, Predominantly Inattentive Type, and Combined Type. During a drug study, children were given Focalin twice a day. After four weeks, the children’s teachers completed a SNAP-ADHD Rating Scale to asses ADHD symptoms. The results shows significant improvements in ADHD symptoms.


Focalin may increase feelings of aggressiveness, anxiety, agitation, and tension in patients that had these issues prior to taking this medication. Patients with glaucoma, a methylphenidate sensitivity, or Tourette’s syndrome should not take this medication. Also, any patient being treated with monoamine oxidase inhibitors should avoid taking Focalin for a minimum of 14 days following the discontinuation of the monoamine oxidase inhibitor as the patient could have a heart attack

Side Effects

The common side effects include abdominal pain, loss of appetite, insomnia, weight loss, dry mouth, anxiety, and tachycardia. Less common side effects include nausea, dizziness, headache, drowsiness, dyskinesia, and a change in blood pressure. Notify the doctor if any side effects become bothersome or does not go away. Seek emergency medical attention if the patient is showing signs of an allergic reaction, which includes swelling of the face, lips, tongue, throat, and difficulty breathing or hives.

Focalin, ADHD medication tablets that can be taken with our without food, works best when given twice a day, four hours apart. Focalin XR extended release capsules only need to be taken once a day, with or without food. While this medication is geared towards any person with ADHD, it is primarily prescribed for children older than six.

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Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor for advice.