Dexmethylphenidate (By mouth)
Treats attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Focalin XR, Focalin
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to dexmethylphenidate. Do not use this medicine if you have glaucoma or if you are anxious, tense, or agitated most of the time. Do not use this medicine if you have muscle tics or Tourette syndrome. Do not use this medicine if you have taken an MAO inhibitor (MAOI) such as Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, or Parnate® within the past 14 days.
How to Use This Medicine
Long Acting Capsule, Tablet
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one.
- Swallow the extended-release capsule whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.This medicine is usually taken once a day, in the morning. If you take this medicine in the afternoon or evening, it might be harder for you to fall asleep. If your doctor tells you to take the medicine at a certain time, take it exactly as directed.
- If you cannot swallow the extended-release capsule, you may open it and pour the medicine into a small amount of soft food such as pudding, yogurt, or applesauce. Stir this mixture well and swallow it without chewing.
- Always take this medicine with a full glass of liquid (water, milk, or juice).
- This medicine is part of an ADHD treatment program that may also include counseling or special education. Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about all treatment measures.
If a dose is missed:
- If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you also use blood pressure medicine (such as amlodipine, atenolol, clonidine, hydrochlorothiazide, lisinopril, metoprolol, Benicar®, Cozaar®, Diovan®), a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®, Jantoven®), or medicine to treat seizures (such as phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone, Dilantin®). Tell your doctor if you use medicine for depression (such as amitriptyline, citalopram, clomipramine, desipramine, fluoxetine, imipramine, nortriptyline, sertraline, Cymbalta®, Effexor®, Elavil®, Lexapro®, Pristiq®).
- Tell your doctor if you use antacids or stomach acid reducers (such as Axid®, Prilosec®, Tagamet®, Zantac®).
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease, heart failure, heart rhythm problems, high blood pressure, or a recent heart attack or stroke. Your doctor also needs to know if you have epilepsy, a history of seizures, depression or mental illness (including bipolar disease, mania, or psychosis), or drug or alcohol problems. Also tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has tried to commit suicide.
- This medicine may be habit-forming. If you feel that the medicine is not working as well, do not use more than your prescribed dose. Call your doctor for instructions.
- This medicine may cause serious heart or blood vessel problems. This may be more likely to occur in patients who have a family history of heart disease. Check with your doctor right away if you have chest pain, trouble breathing, or fainting while taking this medicine.
- Tell your doctor right away if you or your family notices any unusual changes in behavior, such as an increase in aggression, hostility, agitation, or irritability. Also tell your doctor if you have hallucinations or any unusual thoughts, especially if they are new or getting worse quickly.
- This medicine can affect your eyesight. Check with your doctor right away if you have blurred vision or changes in vision.
- This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
- This medicine may cause slow growth. If your child uses this medicine, the doctor will need to keep track of your child's height and weight to make sure that your child is growing properly.
- Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.Your doctor will need to check your blood, heart, and blood pressure.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Agitation, mood or mental changes, unusual behavior
- Changes in vision
- Chest pain, trouble breathing
- Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting
- Seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
- Seizures, tremors
- Uncontrollable muscle movements or twitching
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Dry mouth or nose, sore throat
- Nausea, loss of appetite, stomach pain or upset
- Trouble sleeping
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
- Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013
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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013