Focalin™ (dexmethylphenidate HCI) is a mild central nervous system stimulant used for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children over the age of 6.  Focalin™ is available in 2.5mg, 5mg and 10mg tablets.  It's recommended dosage is 5 to 20mg per day, given as divided doses.  Focalin™ is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and acts for a period of several hours.  It helps to increase attention and decrease hyperactivity and impulsiveness in patients with ADHD. 

This drug is a modified version of Ritalin (methylphenidate) which is a widely used medication for patients with ADHD.  Focalin™ is better because it can be given in smaller doses than Ritalin.

Here is a brief explanation of ADHD.  Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a disorder characterized by symptoms of inattentiveness and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity inappropriate to the patient's age which interferes with functioning in two or more settings, such as school and home.  Symptoms of inattention may include not paying attention, making careless mistakes, not listening, not finishing tasks, not following directions, and being easily distracted.  Symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsiveness may include fidgeting, talking excessively, running around at inappropriate times, and interrupting others.  Some patients have more of the inattention symptoms as compared to the hyperactivity-impulsiveness.  Some patients have both types of symptoms equally.  Symptoms must be present for at least 6 months to be certain of the diagnosis.

It is very important that ADHD be accurately diagnosed and that the need for medication be carefully assessed.  This medication is only part of the overall management of ADHD.  Parents, teachers, physicians, and other professionals make up a team that must work together to treat this disorder.

You should not take Focalin™ if:

You must be careful taking this medication because it can become addictive, and after long periods of treatment you can become resistant to the medication.  Focalin™ is a Schedule II drug and has special restrictions on the medication due to the fact that people may abuse it and may lead to drug dependence.

Side Effects:

If any of these symptoms get more severe or do not go away, inform your doctor.

Inform your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following side effects.

There are many organizations that offer additional information and support for patients with ADHD.  You may find them at the following websites:


Source:  Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, 2003

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