Anyone have kids on Focalin XR ?

Sonya - posted on 09/11/2009 ( 372 moms have responded )

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My soon-to-be 9 year old son has been taking Focalin XR 20 mg each morning. The problem is, it seems to only last about 5 - 6 hours. The XR is supposed to be extended release but it is not lasting him through the day.

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Erica - posted on 12/29/2012

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The extended release depends on your child rate of digestion. my son was on Aderall xr and it did him the same way. I fear the same results are eminent with the Focalin XR, which is why he is on a 10 mg dosage of Ritalin at noon.....seems to work well together!

Tara - posted on 12/13/2012

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Ask Doctor about a booster in the afternoon. This medicine works well for my daughter.

Sarah - posted on 12/13/2012

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MY 6 year old just started Focalin 5 mg xr in the am, we originally tried the Daytrana Patch but his skin is so sensitive it was eating his skin, so we switched to concerta 18 mg, but it completely suppressed his appetite ( picky eater to begin with) then straterra which did nothing, he had lost 6 lbs and has put at least 4 back on now i am afraid reading these posts he'll lose his appetite again and it appears it dosnt last. Our pyschopharmacologist said every child is different and if we notice that its working but need a smidge stronger we can go up to 10 mg. any thoughts, Sarah.

Erin Lynn - posted on 12/07/2012

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yeah logan hasn't been on concerta before so i wouldn't know. but he hardly eats on the meds he on now, but when he comes off of it he eats like a horse.

April - posted on 12/07/2012

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My daughter has just been put on Focalin XR. She was taking Concerta 36mgs. It worked very welll but she wouldn't eat on it and llost weight. I am told by the doc that many children do not suffer appetite suppression on the Focalin XR. I fully expect we will have to increase her dose in the coming weeks but I'm waiting for teacher feedback. I have noticed she seems more wiggly when she gets home from school. I was thinking it was due to the low dose but perhaps it's just not as long acting as the Concerta. Will keep you posted. Upside is she is eating again.

Erin Lynn - posted on 12/06/2012

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my son is on 20 mg of focalin xr and 10 mg of the focalin so he takes 30 mg a day. his day starts off with 20 in the morning and 5 when he gets to school and then another 5 at noon and it wears off about or between 4 and 5 each day. they had my son on all different kinda of meds for his adhd he was diagnoise back in 2010 and he has been addreall XR , addreall , focalin XR from 5 mg ro what he is on now which is 20. at first he was a different kid he wasnt the logan i know he was a zombie but once his body got use to it he was better in school but at home was to only problem is getting him to go to bed and to sleep when he is told too and doing what he is told to in the morning. but other than that he is doing wonderful on this new dose that his mental health has him on.

Kari - posted on 12/05/2012

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Oh my YES! My 10 year old started having Tourette like symptoms so we just took him off. I am about to hit my head on the wall because we have been on every medicine out there and NOTHING seems to be working. He metabolizes things quickly and his body gets accustomed to the meds very quickly as well. I LOVED Focalin, but the last time we upped the dosage, the problems started. ANY advice from ANY mom who has had similar issues, PLEASE respond.

[deleted account]

We went through the same thing with our son. We tried the higher dosage just like you. It did end up over drugging him and still wore off early. Now he gets a dose at 7am and one after lunch at school. It doesn't affect his appetite and it maintains him all day. Good luck!

Anna - posted on 11/27/2012

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My daughter is on focalin XR 25mg she takes it every morning. My problems is that the past months she has started crying over every little thing, and will cry for no reason. Also if you ask her a question of any kind she yells back at you.

Marti - posted on 11/23/2012

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Hi, I am new to this "blog" but my child is going to turn 5 soon - she has extreme ADHD and has been on Focalin 15 mg. in the morning and 5 mg. in the evening when needed for 2 yrs. now and for the past couple of days it seems to not be working. She has been coughing and I have had her on a cough medicine w/ no side effects expected, I asked a pharmacist. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks - we are at our wit's end.... Afraid she will hurt herself.

Sarah - posted on 11/12/2012

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I wonder if it is a gender issue. Also, my daughter is older. I am glad the Ritalin works for your son. I was a middle school teacher for many years and saw so many kids who really were helped by stimulant ADD meds.

Kristin - posted on 11/11/2012

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My son was on Focalin XR in 20 mg when he was 8 yrs old and then it just didn't seem to work for us either. After about 4 to 6 hrs he would be back to his little hyper self and causing issues. We also noticed his moods were like a rollercoaster so we went to basic Focalin and the same effects would continue to happen, he would be almost zombie like right after taking it and then very moody and almost uncontrollable when it started wearing off, he also started having bathroom accidents at school and occasionally at home. I kept thinking that he just needs to get adjusted since at that age he was hitting growth spurts like crazy and that the amount wasn't working for him and this is what the doctor informed us as well.



Well my insurance was changed and we couldn't take Focalin anymore, due to costs. We switched to Ritalin (the meds I was on as a child and been asking to let us try for almost a year) and low behold that worked. We give him 20 in the morning and then 10 right after lunch at school. He isn't moody anymore or having anymore accidents. He also never acts like a zombie like he did with the Focalin and when it wears off he isn't so crazed he is my typical little boy.

I guess I though we were the only ones having issues with Focalin, but I guess not. Maybe they need to do more studies with this drug if so many of us are having kids with the same reactions.

Sarah - posted on 11/08/2012

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My daughter is almost 14. She had a really tough year last year, and long story really short, we were very fortunate to find a psychiatrist who looked at all the school information, the family history, the testing that was done, and listened to her and to me, and diagnosed ADD. We were not able to convince our Kaiser Psychiatrist, so we are doing Focalin XR out of pocket. It is worth it.



She takes 1 5mg pill in the morning and her anxiety and attention issues are gone. She is calm and focused at school. She can work on a project over the weekend for hours if necessary, taking breaks. Before, any kind of multi-piece project or any writing assignment that was longer than a paragraph was torture for her, and she tested VERY high on intelligence measures.



She has no problems with appetite or sleep. It has been a blessing for our family.



I am a huge proponent of Focalin ER. Good luck!

Rebecca - posted on 10/29/2012

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I noticed he acted diffrent within the first hour of giving it to him. I started him on a saturday so I could monitor his behavior and see how the reactions may be. I going to give a few weeks to work. Then I am just going to do on school days. I did not like the staring off in to space he did the first day he was on it.

Rebecca - posted on 10/29/2012

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My son is 7 and he just started FocalinXR. Before he used it his issues were only at school. I could get him to come home and do homework right after a snack no issues at home, This is only for school he is on 10mg. Reading all the post I am scared of the reaction I am going to get when it wears off after shcool. I used it saturday and it seem to have him in his own world. I really don't know what to be on the look out for.

Amy - posted on 10/25/2012

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Mother of 4,

Focalin did the SAME thing to my ds. He is 7yrs old. He was on it for almost a year, and was so irritable and moody! His focus at school was better, but home life was not!! Not worth it.



Amy

Marie - posted on 10/25/2012

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My son just started 20mgg IM hoping it works doctors keep change his medication he is only 8years old and he is on risperdal for behavior issues

Mother Of - posted on 10/24/2012

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Please help! My 5 year old took her first dose of focalin xr today and has done nothing but whine and cry. Does anyone have any info on this? Is it the wrong med for her? Is it counter reacting?

Theresa - posted on 10/15/2012

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For those of you that focalin xr has worked for, How long did it take you to start noticing results ?

Sarah - posted on 10/08/2012

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My son, 7, just started taking focalin 5 mg two weeks ago. So far the results are quite impressive. He is also taking Intuniv 2mg, which he has been taking for 10 months now, he was sleepy all the time. However, now with the focalin combined with the intuniv his grades are getting better and he is not falling asleep in class anymore. I am a little concerned because he does only weigh 50lbs and doesn't seem to be asking for food as often. I asked his doctor about this, and I also asked why he seems more easily irritated by small things. The doctor told me that when he gets upset if able try to offer him a small snack, said he could be hungry with out knowing he is. Has anyone else experienced this?



So far the medication is lasting him through the day, are there signs to watch for later that it may possibly not be lasting?

Sandra - posted on 09/29/2012

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My dr started mine on 5 mg. She said in a week to increase to 10 mg if it didn't last throughout the day. They increase 5 mg each week until they find the right dose. She said when it lasts about 12 hours that is the right dose.



My 5 year old is doing good with the 5mg it lasts right at 12 hours. Which means it wears off about 6:30. Since school and homework are done at that time, I'd rather deal with a little activity and have that burst of appetite than increase his dose.

Nancy - posted on 09/29/2012

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my 9 yrs.old has been on it since school started. our 5 yr old just started it last wed. i know how hard it is to deal with this issue.i also have an 11 yr.there foster sib.we have to stay right on top of it.i don;t want to have to drug my boys up anymore than i have to .I would love to have quite kids, when they need to be, instead of yelling and repeating a hundred times.we use corner time, room time, no snack at night.to reinforce.My 5 wouldn;t let me help him do a nose spray for allergies this morning.i told him to go get in the corner, till he can quit playing and do it right.Tough love.it's very tiring,and stressful.i;m also type 1 diabetic,and have lost alot of weight.The Lord helps my husband ,and I one day at a time.our kids love us .but they know we don;t take anything off them .God bless and peace be with you and your house..

Nancy - posted on 09/29/2012

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our Dr. said if it doesn;t last she will give us extra for after school.ask ur Dr.

Corry - posted on 09/29/2012

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I totally agree. It only lasts about 5 hours. My son is hitting a wall in kindergarten around 1:00 after taking it at 8 am. Reading other forum posts, it seems a lot of children need a second medication "chaser" to make it through the afternoon.

Sandra - posted on 09/28/2012

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Tomorrow is one week on Focalin xr and I am so happy with the results. My 5 year old has come home with great behavior colors every day this week instead of daily notes about bad behavior and/or phone calls. His school work is all completed and all 100 % grades. His handwriting before this week always said practice on it. This week great job and beautiful handwriting. A few weeks ago he was moved to a desk off to side instead of the tables with the other children because he was disturbing the other kids so bad. Today he told me that he gets to sit by someone again! He seems so happy and relaxed now when he talks about school.



I am not use to these kinds of results with meds. My oldest son used concerta or adderall for about a week but he was so emotional and losing weight we took him off. We have used straterra since for him , my other son, and for myself the results have not been as noticeable. Is focalin that much better or did I just get lucky with his first med?

Nancy - posted on 09/27/2012

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hi,i have a 9 year old foster son.he has been on this med. since school started,5mg.his grades are better.but when he gets home he is wired and hungry.man size meal.he is only 60 pds.

also have a 5 year old just started it yesterday.this morning i heard him yelling in there room,was running around afraid,some thing was in the room.had 100* fever,shaking,jurking.has had a congestion with a cough for awhile.ask your dr. to give him an extra on for after school.we go to the nova center in hunts. al.good with the kids....

Leah - posted on 09/05/2012

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My son just started it. His definitely works for 12 hours. It knocks him out in the evening. Maybe it's not the right medication or dose for your child.

Samantha - posted on 08/18/2012

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My son just turned 11. He has been on Focalin XR 2O mg for several years now. Last year his Dr. Added a 5mg XR for afternoon. He takes it when he gets home from schoool to help with the homework and to make it through the night :-) His Dr said that 20mg is the Max he can take at one time. Before he was on Concerta but kept loosing weight.

Chrystall - posted on 08/07/2012

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Yes focalin Xr does wear off. My son is 9. He has ADHD plus a very over active mind. He takes it in the morning by 1:30 to 2:00 it wears off. Then at 3 when he comes home I give him a 10mg Ritalin pill. which is only a 4to 5 hour pill. which he is still active plays he is a normal little boy but he can slow down enough to concentrate on stuff more. But with all med for ADHD when a kid comes off the meds or it wears down all the energy they did not use during the time on the pill. It will kick in on the kid. Also the thing about most night meds is the kid will get used to it faster then most. So you will have to keep upping the dose. I have had friends do the melatonint. Just be careful if you notice your kid having vivid dreams or nightmares. That is the major side affect with a kid.

Amy - posted on 07/31/2012

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Well, "user". I am not uneducated. I am a Registered Nurse with a 4 year degree, and was a Pediatric ICU nurse for over 14 years. Maybe you should talk to Corry about jumping all over my case because I suggested exercise. Not everyone knows that vigorous excercise, like running, has proven benefits like increasing serotonin, norepinephrine and other chemicals in the brain to help stimulate nuerotransmitters. My son's Pediatric Neurologist suggested it & it has done wonders for my child.



See, your not the only parent that has gone to every specialist, and tried literally everything under the sun to help their child. Don't "assume" someone is uneducated because they suggest exercise. Just because you own a daycare, or have an autistic child, does NOT make you an expert. I didn't need his sarcastic nasty comments. Nobody does. It doesn't help anyone here. Funny how you put "God" in your post when it's convenient. Maybe a little less judgement would be something a "christian" would do.



Was Corry afraid to respond to my post himself? I am done responding to your idiotic posts...

Amy - posted on 07/31/2012

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Wow, Corry. I don't know how old your child is, but if he is in pre-school and not potty trained, he sounds awefully young to be on a stimulant. Part of his energy/not able to focus or sit still could definitely be age related.

Corry - posted on 07/31/2012

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Meant for Amy about exercise. No kidding. And limit tv. And watch their diets. And make sure they get proper rest. And engage them. And encourage social interaction. And parent with the positive behavior support system. And use a visual schedule. And make things doable so you have the opportunity to reward them. And use a behavior system. And provide structure. And would you like me to keep going on and on? We have seen a neuropsychologist, psychiatrist, had genetic testing, eliminated gluten, I quit my job and run a daycare, we follow up with a top notch developmental pediatrician. Parents don't need to hear suggestions like "get the kid some exercise". Thanks for the lack of support entirely. Why even make such a comment. Go join Tom Cruise and others who don't know anything about brain chemistry. And in the mean time, learn to give a parent some praise for their efforts. We are here to support one another. Not listen to your lame suggestions.

Corry - posted on 07/31/2012

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My 5 year old son is on Focalin XR 5 mg. We are trying to double the dose as we had previously but he became a bit aggressive prior. This time he seems more focused but a bit emotional. I know it is one of the side effects. He goes and goes and goes. Exercise is important but let me tell you how nice it is for him to be able to sit and attend. He was able to complete several learning exercises with myself and the daycare kids this morning. We are hoping his ability to focus will help catch him up developmentally and even help with potty training. He is less impulsive. He seems less impulsive since doubling the dose. Often times, he will run from me no matter where we are and what the dangers may be. I'm hoping this stops. It helps to read the other posts and see that I am not alone. We follow feingold diet, limit tv, engage him, and get his lots of exercise. Any other helpful suggestions?

Amy - posted on 07/29/2012

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Want to know something that I found that is safe, effective and you don't even have to give your kids addictive drugs?? EXERCISE!! Just try it. You'll be amazed :)



I also follow Feingold, give an awesome omega 3 supplement, give a multi-vitamin, and have my child in play therapy. He is not perfect, nobody is, but it helps...



Amy

Toni - posted on 07/28/2012

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my 7 yr old takes it but also takes 5mg of ritalin after lunch to help him make it through the day

Kristie - posted on 07/10/2012

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My 9 year old daughter is taking Focalin XR 10 mg and I have been noticing the same problem. It seems to not last. I am going to call her Dr and see what he suggests. She is starting to lose her friends again.

Amy - posted on 06/20/2012

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My son was on Focalin XR for a year. It started making him very irritable and have terrible temper tantrums. We took him off of it.

Now he just takes an Intuniv 2mg in the am. Keeps him calm, and patient. By bedtime(8pm), he is tired and sleeps well. I love it!

Amy

Danielle - posted on 06/20/2012

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Hi, yes my son is 10 years old and is on Focalin XR, he takes a 10mg and 15 mg at 8am, then a 10mg again at 12pm, then another 10mg at 3pm. I had the same problem. But I have many questions. He is diagnosed with ADHD and ODD, but his Dad is Bi-polar, and so is my Mom so his chances of being bi-polar are high, but they haven't really considered it. As, for your son it sounds like he might need an adjustment.

Nancy - posted on 06/14/2012

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We give my son melatonin to help him sleep. works great. and yes, he's on focLin xr.

[deleted account]

My 9 year old son has been on Focalin XR for about a year and a half now. we started at 5 mg and are now at 10mg. The reason our pediatrician decided Focalin XR was the best for our son was because it is an extended release but does not last extremely long. He does only take it mon-fri and by the time he comes home at 2:30 there seems to be just enough left in him that he can focus on doing his homework. What we started doing was instead of giving him his medicine at 7:00 am and catching the bus for 7:15 am, we now drive him to school and give it to him while we are in the car loop around 7:50, so by the time he gets to his class, puts his things away, does the pledge and morning announcements his medication has started working and lasts until a litte after 3:30.

Jennifer - posted on 05/11/2012

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I had been thinking of giving half in the am as well for my 12. I have done this with my 10 yr from time to time just because of how he acts.

I should try this with my 12yo

Jennifer - posted on 05/11/2012

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My kids 7, 10 and 12 all do, but the lowest doses I can give them. I homeschool just for your fyi. Last year my oldest was still on a second dose of a small dose from 5mg to the next day I dropped it. There are some days it is rougher then others, but I really wanted him off it.

If I know we are going to be out I give them their meds a bit later in the morning. I can because we stay at home.

My 7 is on 5mg. 10 on 10mgs, but was on 5 for the longest time. The 12 is on 20mg.

I make sure protein is thrown in the diet (yogurt shakes) and about 6 months ago started using Flax seed.

Amy - posted on 05/11/2012

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Hi Sonya,
Do you think maybe he needs an increase, or maybe even an afternoon booster about 12-1:00? I have a friend who takes an afternoon booster(short acting) Focalin around 2:00 to help him through the afternoon/evening.

Good Luck,
Amy

Jamie - posted on 05/08/2012

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My 9 yr old son is on Focalin XR 15 mg and we had to up it because he was on 10 mg for like 2 yrs and it was not working that great talk to your DR about adding a pill about 3 pm or 4 pm to help with the evening that is what we do and it helps but since Seth is on 15 mg it seems to be working better so I just give the 5 mg if he needs it.

Margaret - posted on 04/28/2012

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Heather that running program sounds amazing. We don't have any independent sports like that after school (just lots of team stuff that my son doesn't do well at). My son does bike and rollerblade up and down our road after school and he swims on Saturdays. I wish we had a running program like that after school though!

Heather - posted on 04/28/2012

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Margaret ~ Just a note that my son runs cross-country and he LOVES it! He has tried many team sports, but just getting out there and running has been the best thing for him. I love practice days because when he gets home at about 5:30 he has used up alot of energy and seems to have a clear brain. Eats, does homework, eats again, bedtime. Too bad it's only three months of the year!lol

Margaret - posted on 04/28/2012

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Jennifer, it could be that his blood sugar is dipping too. Have you tried giving him a significant snack after school at about 3:30ish? Unless it's something he absolutely loves, my son doesn't eat much of his lunch because the focalin xr suppresses his appetite, so by 3:30 he is often famished and eats the equivalent of a meal, we call it his "first supper" and he has the 2nd one with us. I try not to have my son do any formal after school activities besides homework, playing with neighborhood friends, and TV (in that order), because it's not his peak time of day and he really needs the down-time (I've seen the melt downs too). On the rare occasion that we have a formal activity at 4-5p after school, I give him a 2.5 mg dose of generic, which lasts about 2 hours.

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