What is Focalin?Focalin is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This medication may help increase attention and decrease impulsiveness and hyperactivity in people with ADHD.
What is the most important information I should know about Focalin?Focalin has a high potential for abuse. Taking Focalin for long periods of time may lead to extreme emotional and physical dependence. Tell your doctor if you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse.
There are reports of serious heart-related and mental (psychiatric) problems in people taking Focalin or other related stimulant medicines. These problems include sudden death in people who have heart problems or heart defects, stroke and heart attacks in adults, increased blood pressure and heart rate, new or worsening behavior and thought problems, bipolar illness, and aggressive or hostile behavior. In addition, new psychotic symptoms have been reported. Such symptoms include hearing voices, believing things that are not true, and manic symptoms. Call your doctor right away if you or your child develops signs of heart problems such as chest pain, shortness of breath, fainting, or new mental problems while taking Focalin.
Children should have their height and weight checked often while taking Focalin. This medication may be stopped if your child is not growing in height or gaining weight as expected.
Who should not take Focalin?You should not take Focalin if you are very anxious, tense, or agitated.
Do not use Focalin if you have an eye problem called glaucoma (high pressure in the eye), tics (repeated movements or sounds that cannot be controlled) or Tourette's syndrome (a brain disorder characterized by involuntary movements and vocalizations called tics) (or a family history of Tourette's), are taking or have taken within the past 14 days a medication called a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), or if you are allergic to any component of this drug.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Focalin?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Focalin. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, including heart problems, heart defects, high blood pressure, or a family history of these problems; a history of mental problems or a family history of suicide, bipolar disorder, or depression; tics or Tourette's syndrome; liver or kidney problems; thyroid problems; and seizures or an abnormal brain wave test (EEG).
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
People New to Methylphenidate
Adults and Children ≥6 years: The usual starting dose is 2.5 mg twice daily. Your doctor may increase your daily dose if needed, up to a maximum of 10 mg twice daily.
People Currently Using Methylphenidate
Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dosage for you.
How should I take Focalin?Focalin can be taken with or without food. The drug is usually taken two times a day, at least 4 hours apart, but your doctor may adjust the schedule depending on your child's response. Take Focalin exactly as prescribed.
What should I avoid while taking Focalin?Taking Focalin longer than necessary may lead to physical and emotional dependence and must be avoided. Your doctor will frequently assess your response to this medication to see if it is still useful or to make sure you are receiving the lowest effective dose.
Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Focalin may cause dizziness, drowsiness, or blurred vision. This drug may interfere with your ability to concentrate.
Do not share Focalin with anyone else. Focalin should not be used to prevent or treat normal fatigue.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Focalin?If Focalin is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Focalin with the following: antidepressant drugs, including MAOIs, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and tricyclics; blood pressure drugs such as clonidine; cold or allergy medicines that contain decongestants; blood thinners; and seizure medicines such as phenobarbital, phenytoin, and primidone.
What are the possible side effects of Focalin?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects may include: increased blood pressure and heart rate, new or worsening behavior and thought problems, aggressive behavior, new psychotic symptoms, slowing of growth (height and weight), decreased appetite, fever, nausea, stomach ache
Can I receive Focalin if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?The effects of Focalin during pregnancy are unknown and therefore should be avoided. Focalin is passed into breast milk. Therefore, women who take Focalin should not breastfeed. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Focalin?Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your regular schedule. Do not take two doses at once.
How should I store Focalin?Store at room temperature.
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