Focalin for ADHD User Reviews
Focalin has an average rating of 5.7 out of 10 from a total of 128 reviews for the treatment of ADHD. 42% of reviewers reported a positive experience, while 37% reported a negative experience.
Reviews for Focalin
- Taken for 1 to 6 months
- February 6, 2021
"10mg focalin once a day, I feel shaky and cold after taking it. Very angry, moody, depressed often after it stops working. It helps my focus but not the hyperactivity. Decreased appetite so I try to eat before taking it. Anyone else experiencing these symptoms and found another med that has worked for them?"
- February 16, 2020
"My son 12 years old and in 7th grade. He was tested for ADD in 3rd grade by using the Quotient testing system which showed that he did not have it. Clinical signs were there. We tried low dosage 5-7mg of vyvanse, Adderall, Quanfacine. The worst 2 years of his life. He did not have problems with good grades to begin with but just could not focus at school or home. That landed him in more trouble with the teachers. Took him off for 5th and 6th grade. 7th grade has been a nightmare. Grades for the first time were horrible and ALL 6 teachers said he can’t focus and they became aggravated but not because he was disrespectful but cause they were tired of redirecting him. So back to the dr we go 2nd semester. They put him on focalin xr and. Wow what a difference. He has bumped up to 10mg. He can tell the difference himself. He said mom I kinda felt like a genius today instead of saying I can’t do it, it’s to hard. Focalin has the least amount of side effects by far."
- May 21, 2020
"I’m scrolling through reviews and a lot of what I’ve been feeling recently is starting to make sense - this medicine helps me focus but I feel weak and awful while on it. It makes me shake and my anxiety spikes I’ve also been having some depression issues - my moods stoop to a terrible level and I’ve been in such a dark place at some points. This medicine makes me feel like a zombie, it makes me shake and feel sick to my stomach I feel bad for any other kids taking this It helps me focus but makes me feel awful I absolutely DREAD having to take them I have experienced depersonalization, depression, major mood swings, anxiety, derealization, and suicidal tendencies after getting on this medication I am not self diagnosing for anxiety and depression I strongly advise watching your kids before and after having them take these pills- Make sure your child is safe and happy. I’m sorry for my terrible grammar and typing skills-"
Frequently asked questions
- Taken for 10 years or more
- March 26, 2020
"To start off, I would not recommend taking this drug Focalin unless absolutely necessary. It definitely helped me pay attention in school, and there was a noticeable difference between days I did take it, and days I did not. However, for me at least, the side-effects outweighed the benefits. I'd been on it from the ages of 7-17, and throughout those years I noticed a complete change in behavior. Muted emotions, loss of appetite, depression, insomnia. I paid more attention in school, sure, but all of those years I'd lost important emotional development time. It's only after being off of this drug for 5 years that I realize just how emotionally stunted it had made me over the years. I'm in college now, and admittedly it would help me get better grades. But I wouldn't take it again if someone paid me to do it."
- June 9, 2013
"My 10 yr old son was diagnosed with ADHD 4 years ago. He has been taking Focalin 10mg for 2.5 years and it has been wonderful for him. He has steady good grades and his focus improved greatly. He only takes this during school days, not during weekends nor during the summer months. He understands it helps him even at 10 yrs. It is important, at least for our family, to ensure he's part of the treatment plan and feel in control of this as well. Also, my son communicates with us on how it makes him feel and the only worry I have when he's taking this is his loss of appetite or not eating enough. So we always have a good breakfast before school starts and he takes the pill on his own (of course I watch from a distance."
Are you taking this medicine?
- Taken for 1 to 2 years
- October 4, 2019
"Please please do not use focalin if you have depression or anxiety, or prone to addiction. I have severe ADD and I was prescribed focalin 2 years ago. When I would come down off of it, it made me so unbearably sad and near suicidal so I would take more just to not kill myself. This led to a severe addiction that nearly gave me brain damage. Please be safe. Good grades aren’t worth the pain this drug put me through."
- Taken for 2 to 5 years
- October 22, 2018
"I am 20 and have been on focalin since I was about 16. I feel like a robot who cannot socially interact with anyone. Eating food feels unnatural to me. While it is great for focusing on school work, I am anxious about whether I am doing the right thing or not. Talking is a chore. My hands shake when I do homework. It feels like a state of panic with a rapid heartbeat and yet I feel no emotion at all, if that makes sense. I just get from point A to point B. Please make sure this medicine is right for you."
- Taken for less than 1 month
- January 5, 2013
"My 8 yr old has been on the meds for 3 days now. His teachers say he's doing great at school and he's a lot more focused and less compulsive. BUT... He complains of being tired the entire time, stomach pains, headaches. I give him the medicine at 7:00 a.m. By 4:00 its starting to wear off and he seems to be coming off a high. At moments hes pure goofy almost to the point I say psychotic moments. He also talks to himself a lot. I don't know if I should give it a week or 2 to get in his system or stop it. I understand he needs better focus and less compulsive moments at school but I love him more than to harm him with medicines. "
- April 18, 2016
"My 7 year old son started taking focalin xr 5 in December after I had him tested for what I was sure going to be asperges. Turns out he was suffering from ADHD...he is currently on 15 mg xr and I can honestly say for him it is a miracle drug. He went from not being able to read and barely writing his name to reading whole books...he also went from making 20's and 30's on spelling test to averaging 90, we even had 2 100's. He has lost some weight but right now is still average so it is not much of a concern."
- November 15, 2016
"I am 20 years old and I've been taking focalin for a year now. I have been on every ADHD medication under the sun since I was in second grade and this is the only medication that helped me get on track right away. The only adverse side effects I experience are a faster heart rate (most ADHD meds do that) and trouble sleeping. If you are having trouble sleeping on this drug here's what you do and here's what I did: prior to now, I was taking my medication at 11am or 10am. Often I would spend nights awake and panicky just begging for sleep to come. This is a simple fix. Just wake yourself up at like 6am every day to take it and you shouldn't have any problem sleeping. That's what I did and I sleep very soundly."
- Taken for 6 months to 1 year
- November 16, 2020
"Focalin does what it is supposed to but.. this medication makes my heart beat fast and also makes me super nervous and agitated all the time. I hate this medication. It makes me feel like a zombie and it makes me feel cold all over. The worst part is that I can barely eat without feeling sick and that it makes me constantly shake. This medication also makes my mood stoop to a terrible and very low level. After it wears off I feel weak, tired, cold, and nauseous."
- Taken for less than 1 month
- April 27, 2020
"Focalin 40 mg XR. I found that that this medication was mostly ineffective. If anything it has an initial kick and wears off extremely fast. I thought it would be like adderall xr which I could feel the effects come and go throughout the day at 30 mg. With focalin its just one burst of euphoria/adrenaline/ and then you crash and feel nothing except for the physical side effects like chest pain, rapid heart beat, muscle tenseness. I took a nap 2.5 hours after taking it which is ridiculous. It is frustrating because you don't feel the sense of focus that adderall gives. I only took it for two days before I called it quits because I did not see a benefit and decided to go back to adderall 20 mg IR. This medication did not suit me as a 27 year old grad student. I felt anxiety and panic attack symptoms with the second dose I took and I did not want to continue. It actually had a negative impact on my work input for those two days."
- Taken for 6 months to 1 year
- March 12, 2018
"My 6 year old was placed on focalin xr after a lot of stress on if we should even do medication. We thought we would give it a try when my daughter was diagnosed with ADHD combined type. My daughter was not a behavior issue, but was extremely "floppy" and would twirl, lay on the ground in public and leap around. It was like she could not control her body at all. She also could barely look at you in the eye when you were telling her something-- it was like she was always in another world. She also only ever felt satisfied by TV and videos and all other activities were too boring to hold her attention. I was stressed that she felt so "out of control." We tried focalin 10 mg and saw an instant change with very little side effects. We had to move up after about 2 months to 15 mg because the inability to control her body came back--but focus was alright."
- Taken for 1 to 6 months
- December 8, 2016
"I waited a couple of months before I wrote a review because I wanted to make sure it worked. My son, 7yrs old, has been on focal for 3 months. He is doing wonders with it. It helps him stay grounded to get all his daily tasks done and his concentration in school has been awarded by teachers and peers. The only issue is loss of appetite which in turned made him loose 13 pounds in 3 months. With the help of his pediatrician and the staff at the school were on top of him now with a high protein diet and snacks throughout the day."
- September 27, 2011
"My 7.5 year old son has been taking 10mg Focalin for nearly a year. Immediately it was a "miracle" for us. He had good behavior marks in school, could finish his work and we were getting along better at home too. About a month ago it seemed like maybe he had outgrown his dose, we upped it to 15mg. Immediately again, great results. But, we spent 4 hours in the ER tonight getting 2 EKGs & xrays because of his chest pains and irregular heartbeat. Final diagnosis: stop taking Focalin. As much as I loved the behavior and focus improvements he had from the drug, I love him more and can't risk damaging his heart."
- Taken for 1 to 2 years
- March 12, 2017
"My Don started taking Focalin and started to complain that he could not see the board at school. At first I figured well maybe he is just a kid who needs glasses. His prescription was very low. Now a year and a half later his principal from his school called me because he failed the state eye test with his glasses on he has a 20/50 vision. So I took him back to the doctor and they could not correct his vision with the strongest prescription. Everything is blurry and out of focus, he lost all peripheral vision on both eyes. The doctors first question was "What medication is he on?" So I advised him Focalin 10mg. He advised me to immediately go to the doctor who prescribed it because it is a severe side effect of Focalin. Grrrr"
- December 28, 2012
"My 6.5 yr old son takes 5mg XR on school days only.has been on it for 30 school days. He does great in school and it appears a miracle help to him. It does seem to wear off too early so I will talk to the Dr. About that next week. When he comes home from school and we try to do his homework it is a nightmare. He has a very mild case of ADHD. He eats well so far. He sleeps better and longer now than he did before starting the medicine. But a few weeks ago he told me he feels his heart beating fast and pains in his left side in physical education. Took him for a complete cardio. Check with EkG, ultrasound and all kinds of other tests. He checked out in perfect condition. So we will keep an eye out and see."
- Taken for 1 to 6 months
- January 1, 2020
"I am a Mum of 2 kids with ADHD. They used to take vyvanse it work awesome for a while but then they couldn't sleep at night and it started making their ADHD worse they can't even watch a five min show, they are fighting in public, they'd run off hit me scream have tantrums and one of my son's broke a vase at walmart . Now one takes focalin other ritalin and the son on focalin is a lot nicer I can rest now I can manage them. If they don't take it it's a hard day for all of us"
- August 27, 2019
"For me, Focalin has had way more negative effects than positive. My doc started me off with 10mg in the morning and then another 10mg in the afternoon. Now I’m on 20mg in the morning, 20 mg in the afternoon. It helps my concentration and ADHD issues for maybe the first 2 hours or less after each dose, but then from there, it causes terrible anxiety, depression. It makes things worse than actually helping when it starts wearing off (which is very quickly). Overall, I don't like Focalin at all. It not only comes with mental side effects like I mentioned but also physical side effects as well such as: shortness of breath, rapid heart beat, constant feeling like I have to urinate but can’t, fatigue, etc. It’s been over 3 months and it hasn’t helped my ADHD consistently or effectively anywhere close to stabilizing and treating it. Please consider other ADHD meds before going with Focalin for you / your child’s ADHD problems. It certainly hasn’t been the answer for me."
- December 18, 2016
"My son(11) was put on 10mg of Focalin for ADHD. We have been trying different meds to treat his ADHD without making his anxiety/trichotillomania worse. This med by far was the worse! It did seem to help at school for focus, but he had extreme rage issues. It got so bad that we called the police to find out what our options were if he were to actually hurt us or his little sister. He never hurt us, but did break a window, the screen door, and throw objects. Needless to say, we stopped the meds and thankfully we have our sweet son back (although he can't focus and is annoying to other kids in his class). Please beware of mood changes with this drug."
- October 22, 2019
"45 year old male with depression and ADD. I started with Focalin 20mg XR once a day, then 5 years later my doc added a regular 10mg dose in the afternoon. This has been a fantastic medicine for me. Would not be able to perform at work without it. Two negative side effects (but the benefits outweigh them): 1) Intestinal discomfort and bowel movement like clock work about 60-90 minutes after I take it in the morning. I have to avoid scheduling meetings for that time. 2) “meth dick” or “meth penis” which basically is caused by reduced blood flow to appendages. Get cold hands and feet too. Luckily it doesn’t impact size of erection since blood is flowing then. It’s just ego bruising when shrinkage occurs. On the weekends I skip the 20mg dose and take 10mg around noon so I don’t have to take two doses, also giving my body and brain a rest from the stimulant. My appendages feel warmer too. But I am happy my doc prescribed this to me. Absolutely huge life changer for me."
- April 5, 2016
"I have been off and on focallin XR 10mg debating weather I like it or not, I HATE IT. It increases my attention by a little bit. I like the loss of appetite because I need to cut down on eating and this does it for me. But it is not worth it. 7 hours of school (9th grade) the whole day was terrible. I was scared about nothing and constantly had fear through the whole day, apparently feelings of crying is very common. I can't talk to anyone either. I get so scared that I'm gonna mess up somehow talking to someone that I studder and over explain and in the end just make things more confusing. This is just not for me"
- October 7, 2015
"My 4 yo started taking focalin today..5mg.. she is higher than a kite.. she talks incessantly.. she is licking her chin.. she is having mouth ticks..she is sweating and scratching her face and arms..her heart is beating so fast and is crying too. She will NEVER take this med again.. ADHD is easier than this. It has been nearly 6 hrs and it is still going strong. I can't get anything done for fear of taking my eyes off her. I would give it a 0 but wasn't an option."
- November 11, 2009
"My daughter (6 yrs old) began on Focalin (10 MG) a month ago. We noticed she suffered from no ill side effects; rather she became more "in tune" with others feelings and emotions, slept even more soundly at night, and did not have a loss of appetite. Unfortunately, it did not stay in her system long enough to get her through school and homework so her Doctor adjusted her dose (20 MG). Now she is loving it! For the first time, she is receiving high marks on her behavior at school, is able to communicate better with her friends, and (in her words) "stay focused and in control". The beauty of this, it leaves her system after about 10 hrs (she takes it at 7 am) and we are able to practice behavior modification procedures at home with her."
- October 13, 2016
"My son was so hyper that he couldn't even sit still to eat. I would like to respond to the person who questioned her thin 6 year old being put on this medicine. My son was actually able to put on some weight as he was able to focus and finish his meals. Within a year he was at a normal weight for his height. My son's doctor was able to explain that people with ADD or ADHD do not abuse this drug because it has the opposite affect on them than people without the disorder."
Reviews may be edited to correct grammar/spelling or to remove inappropriate language and content. Reviews that appear to be created by parties with a vested interest are not published. This information is not intended to endorse any particular medication. While these reviews may be helpful, they are not a substitute for the expertise, knowledge, and judgement of healthcare professionals.
Learn more about ADHD
- 12 ways to improve your symptoms if you’re an adult with ADHD
- ADHD Medications and Alcohol Interactions
Symptoms and treatments
Medicine.com guides (external)
More about Focalin (dexmethylphenidate)
- Check interactions
- Compare alternatives
- Pricing & coupons
- Drug images
- Side effects
- Dosage information
- Patient tips
- During pregnancy
- Generic availability
- Support group
- Drug class: CNS stimulants
- En español