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.
If any of these symptoms get more severe or do not go away, inform your
Inform your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following
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