What is Focalin XR?Focalin XR is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant used as a once-daily treatment for 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 XR?Focalin XR has a high potential for abuse. Taking Focalin XR 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 XR 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 XR.
Children should have their height and weight checked often while taking Focalin XR. This medication may be stopped if your child is not growing in height or gaining weight as expected.
Who should not take Focalin XR?You should not take Focalin XR if you are very anxious, tense, or agitated.
Do not use Focalin XR 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 XR?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Focalin XR. 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: The usual starting dose is 10 milligrams (mg) daily. Your doctor may increase your daily dose by 10 mg every week until the lowest effective dose is achieved, up to a maximum of 40 mg daily.
Children ≥6 years: The usual starting dose is 5 mg daily. Your child's doctor may increase the daily dose by 5 mg every week until the lowest effective dose is achieved, up to a maximum of 30 mg daily.
People Currently Using Methylphenidate
Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dosage for you.
How should I take Focalin XR?Focalin XR must be swallowed whole and taken in the morning. Focalin XR is an extended-release capsule, which means it releases medicine into your body throughout the day. This medication should not be crushed, chewed, or divided.
If you cannot swallow the Focalin XR capsule whole, you may carefully open it and sprinkle the medication beads over a spoonful of applesauce. This drug and applesauce combination must be swallowed whole right away and should not be stored for future use.
Focalin XR can be taken with or without food.
What should I avoid while taking Focalin XR?Taking Focalin XR 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 heavy machinery, or performing other activities that require alertness. Focalin XR may cause dizziness, drowsiness, or blurred vision. This drug may interfere with your ability to concentrate.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Focalin XR?If Focalin XR 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 XR with the following: antacids, antidepressants (including MAOIs), blood thinners, blood pressure medicines, clomipramine, cold or allergy preparations containing decongestants, desipramine, imipramine, and seizure medications such as phenobarbital, phenytoin, and primidone.
What are the possible side effects of Focalin XR?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: anxiety, dependence, dizziness, dry mouth, jitteriness, slowed growth (in both weight and height) in children, throat pain, upset stomach
Can I receive Focalin XR if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?The effects of Focalin XR during pregnancy are unknown and therefore should be avoided. Focalin XR is passed into breast milk. Therefore, women who take Focalin XR 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 XR?Take it as soon as you remember. If it is within 12 hours of your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your regular schedule. Never take two doses at the same time.
How should I store Focalin XR?Store at room temperature.
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