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User Reviews for Focalin XR to treat ADHD

Focalin XR has an average rating of 7.1 out of 10 from a total of 94 ratings for the treatment of ADHD. 65% of reviewers reported a positive experience, while 18% reported a negative experience.

Focalin XR Rating Summary

7.1/10 average rating

94 ratings from 100 user reviews.

Compare all 57 medications used in the treatment of ADHD.

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Reviews for Focalin XR

Lindsey · June 10, 2019

“My 14 yr old son took Focalin for 2 yrs. He ended his own life while on this med. We were never told that suicidal ideation is a possible side effect. It is now recently listed as a side effect. I would have never given this to my child had I known. Children can not always express themselves and don’t connect dark feelings with a medication they are taking. Please be aware with children on these types of drugs! Heartbroken mom”

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Mo · Taken for 5 to 10 years · July 22, 2019

“I’ve never commented on a drug before, but I feel compelled to here due the number of negative reviews. Focalin has completely given me a life... I went from not being able to function to a person who is optimistic, looks forward to taking on the day, carries out tasks to completion and enjoys doing so. It has given me the ability to be a much better man, husband and father. Will it do the same for you? Maybe... maybe not. But if it does, the result is priceless.”

10 / 10
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Better life · Taken for 6 months to 1 year · November 15, 2019

“Our son was diagnosed with ADHD and Focalin XR has changed his life for the better. He is able to focus at school now and he's performance, grades and happiness have all evolved. It was with heavy hearts we finally relinquished using meds because of the fear of what it might do long term and seeing zombied-out kids who no longer have personalities. Focalin didn't do this at all. Our son is still very much himself but without the stress of struggling so hard to focus. It has changed our lives. Teachers, coaches and family have all noticed wonderful outcome.”

10 / 10
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JD · Taken for 2 to 5 years · January 13, 2021

“I've been taking Focalin for about two years and I have this thing happen where I'm super calm and feel super clear and super focused for an hour and then after that hour I just have a lot of anxiety and can't think as clearly. Anyone else have that issue”

5 / 10
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CJ · Taken for 5 to 10 years · April 4, 2019

“These other comments are crazy and not relative to this drug vs others. I have taken almost every type of ADD med and this is the best by far. Methylphenidate has left and right branch isomers. The right branch helps with ADD and the left branch causes stimulant jittery side effects. Focalin/dexmethylphenidate is just the right branch. Once you get your dosing right (I take 25mg XR in morning and 10mg IR in afternoon) then it is the best. It is like a cure for ADD as opposed to taking a stimulant. By far the lightest side effects. It is less hard on the cardiovascular system than regular methylphenidate, and does not create neurotoxins like many of the amphetamine family drugs i.e. Adderall. As long as you make yourself eat on it, then it is not noticeable.”

10 / 10
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Lltcat · February 1, 2014

“I have two children currently taking Focalin XR. My 12-year-old daughter has been on it for three years and my nine-year-old son has been on it for one year. We have seen fantastic results with both of them. We have seen as many others have said that the medicine seems to wear off about the time they get home from school. What we do is they have a small snack and take a small afternoon dose of 5 to 10 mg of regular Focalin to help them get to their homework and evening activities. If it is a no homework day or no activity day we opt to not take this medicine in the evening and we do not take the evening dose on the weekends. We do take the morning dose every day of the week. We've not had any major side effects. The only thing we have noticed is a slight decrease in my sons appetite not my daughters. We have also had to adjust medication as they have grown. But we have had wonderful success with both children on the medication.”

9 / 10
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lmschmitz3 · July 11, 2013

“My fifteen year old son has had behavioral problems since he was a toddler, he was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of five through very specific testing by a psychologist who specialized in ADHD. I was not going to put my son on medication because his teachers thought he was "hyper", there is a difference. He has been on every ADHD medication on earth with different side effects. None of them were as effective as finding Focalin XR. If a medication is not working or causing negative side effects on your child, do not give up! Sometimes you need to try a different combination of medications. My son did not start doing emotionally better and stabilized on his medication until he was twelve. I would not give up. Help is out there!”

10 / 10
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Brandy30 · March 27, 2014

“My son is 13 and was put on Focalin for his ADHD when he was about 7 years old. It did not make him a zombie at all. My ex=husband was very concerned that it would do what Ritalin did to him. Focalin for my son just calmed him down enough to do his class work . He was first just taking one in the mornings and then as he got older and got more class work to do we realized that it was not lasting him so he got put on a low does for in the afternoon. He grades improved so much and yet he still had a lot of energy to blow through.”

10 / 10
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TheRealAnise · Taken for 10 years or more · April 28, 2017

“I have tried every ADHD drug medication available, both brand and generic (Ritalin XR, Ritalin IR, Adderall XR and IR, generic mixed amphetamine salts, Daytrana, Vyvanse, Strattera, some I can't even remember, if it exists, I've almost certainly tried it. ) Focalin XR is the only one that works. Naturally, that also means that insurance companies don't want to cover it. If you're trying to get it covered and they're dragging their feet, don't give up! You have to jump through a lot of hoops and you have to fight every step of the way. Get your doctor to help you and talk to them. Do NOT give up. Insurance companies love to make it as difficult as possible for people to get effective meds. Don't let them do it.”

10 / 10
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KRANKY · Taken for 1 to 6 months · December 28, 2012

“I am a 60 year old male with ADHD, who would have ever thought it? I started using Focalin IR 5mg after cutting it into four(4) pieces. I would take one quarter piece every three hours. It took me from being nonproductive to productive again with very few side effects. I am now taking Focalin XR, 10 mg in the morning and a 5 mg 6 hours later in the afternoon. I think my ideal dose will end up at 15 mg am and 10 mg afternoon to reach the optimal dose. The only side effect has been heartburn, a slight headache and being a little jittery with a occasional outburst of anger. I can handle the side effects which have subsided somewhat, to get the wonderful effects of this medication! ALIVE AGAIN AT 60 yrs old!”

9 / 10
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Papa del Toro · Taken for 1 to 6 months · February 8, 2013

“Our Facts: Son was getting into trouble at school every day. He was a terror around the house. His diet was exceptional, eating vegetables, fish, fruit, rice, and no sugary drinks or high fructose corn syrup. Lots of love and discipline at home. Got in trouble all the time at home and school because he's uncontrollable. With Focalin he immediately improved and is doing great in school. He is actually happier and feeling better now. While his appetite is down while on the medicine (about 7 hours), he eats a huge breakfast and a huge dinner to compensate. Even his tick has gone away. We are very relieved. Only downside is that it only lasts about 7 hours. So when he gets home, he starts amping up again.”

9 / 10
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Frankl · Taken for 10 years or more · January 11, 2020

“I was on focalin XR when I was age 5 I think it is a good medication learning wise, but at the same time it drains you it takes your happiness and joy away it’s like you are completely numb to joy, when I’m off of it I can’t focus but I am always so joyous and happy, when I’m on it I focus perfectly but I am very zombied out and it is a horrible feeling”

2 / 10
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Cameron's mom · Taken for 1 to 6 months · November 17, 2013

“Our son has been on focalin xr for about 3 months. He was on regular focalin for 2 months previous to the xr, but because the medication would wear off so quickly, it was like he was on an emotional roller coaster. The xr has been better for those reasons. I still struggle with having my son on medication and the fact that his appetite is so little while on the medicine. But I'm happy to report he's doing well in school and cooperating. I don't like that he seems so serious when he's on the medicine because I don't want a little robot. But I can't have my son be so impulsive and unsafe. I also don't like that the medication wears off right around the time he gets home and he tantrums and acts terrible and all I do is correct behavior.”

8 / 10
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Joshua_ · April 9, 2015

“I'm 17 now. Been taking the medicine for maybe 3-4 years now. Honestly, it's fantastic in what it does. Better concentration, less impulsive, able to actually sit down and work, more control over my mood/emotions and its worth repeating Less Impulsive. But please know that because of this I also weigh 129lbs. I'm 6 feet tall. This completly kills my appetite. I've gone full 24 days without any real meal and hate it. I hate feeling my stomach in pain and feeling weak because I have nothing to fuel me but still my mouth stays dry and eating food becomes so non-instinctive that I have to force myself to go through the motions of chewing and swallowing. When off it, appetite is fine. Great medicine, please be aware of the effects possible.”

8 / 10
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Mr P · Taken for 6 months to 1 year · January 10, 2014

“Let me explain what can go wrong here and what you may want to speak with your Dr about. Focalin XRs effect is much , much, much stronger than Concerta or Ritalin. This is very important to understand, so if you are thinking of switching to Focalin XR from another medication do not go to a similar strength. I was on Concerta 54mg and went to Focalin XR 40mg. This was a scary experience I got dizzy almost passed out and couldn't tell you what 1 1 was. It was horrible to say the least. I discontinued the Focalin and tried Adderal. That made me grumpy and sick. I did research and found out about Focalins potency. I am now on Focalin XR 15mg and doing awesome.”

9 / 10
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extremely happy mom · Taken for 5 to 10 years · December 25, 2015

“My son was diagnosed at 4 and has been through almost all the drugs for ADHD which would typically fail because of side effects ie zombie out or hypersensitivity and the simplest things would make him cry. He has been diagnosed by two of the biggest and best known hospitals for children (2 separate occassions) with the 0.001% extreme ADHD and let me tell you Focalin has been a God sent. He is 10 now, on Focalin xr 25mg, his grades are up, left and right compliments from teachers that usually had complaints, no reported behavioural issues yet. Only small downside is appetite suppression. Big healthy meal before the med, small high cal snacks after school and dinner, big healthy dinner and you're set. While on meds can't even tell he has ADHD!”

10 / 10
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mom of 3 sweet souls · Taken for 1 to 2 years · July 19, 2016

“I have an 8 year old with ADHD, ODD & anxiety and a 7 year old with ADHD. We tried everything before going to meds - healthy diet (no sugar/dyes), exercise, consistent schedule. Both boys have taken Focalin XR for a year (started with low dosages and increased as they grew) and it's been life changing! The meds have drastically improved their grades, behaviors and relationships. Both boys take a small dose of Focalin with lunch to get through the afternoon and a small dose of Clonidine in the evening to slow things down for bedtime. Focalin XR has been our saving grace - now instead of CONSTANT redirection, we can actually go do things and have fun. The only side effects are suppressed appetite, but they are both a healthy weight.”

10 / 10
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Anonymous112 · December 10, 2016

“Hi! I am 18 years old . I was diagnosed with ADHD just a couple months after starting kindergarten. I was having trouble paying attention, got in trouble everyday; seeing the principal was 2-3 times every 2 weeks was normal. I started taking focalin at 5. My grades improved, my conduct improved, and I could focus. I took it every weekday I was in school. It killed my appetite, I became dehydrated a lot and I didn't get all the nutrients I needed to Grow properly ( 16, 124lbs). I stopped taking in 7th grade at my discretion and my grades dropped instantly, my conduct went back. 11th- I started back and instantly my grades improved. Only drawback is I have to force myself to eat.”

9 / 10
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MT · Taken for 2 to 5 years · February 17, 2020

“I've tried almost every single ADHD pill from Adderall to Daytrana to Ritalin to Vyanese to Concerta...Focalin is BY FAR the best for me. I am on the 10mg dose. Was originally on 30mg but my heart was beating way too fast on it. The other meds made me very angry, but this keeps me at bay, yet focused. Only con I have with this is about an hour after I take it, I have a bowel movement. I'm also the same way with coffee. I don't take it everyday and on the days where I don't I can definitely tell, but I don't have cravings.”

10 / 10
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Anonymous · December 3, 2011

“This has been a God send. I have Executive Functioning issues with possible undiagnosed ADD and I have tried many, many different prescriptions (Adderall, Concerta, Meditate, Vyvanse) and none have worked nearly as well as Focalin. The ones listed above put a lot of load/pressure on my brain. It's hard to explain but it was not pleasant. On Focalin I am much more attentive and there's no body load. Others also cut my appetite significantly and kept me awake at night. While Focalin still cuts my appetite some, I am able to go to sleep when I need too. 10/10 but remember just because it worked for me doesn't mean it's going to for you. I suggest trying them all and seeing which one has the best synergy with your body.”

10 / 10
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Anonymous · Taken for 2 to 5 years · January 23, 2014

“I was diagnosed with ADD when I was seven, I think. I had behavior issues in my second grade class and I drove my teacher nuts with my constant distractions and my lack of focus. Little things like small talk and excessive noises triggered my symptoms and I was put on Ritalin LA when I was eight. Ritalin was awful for me. I didn't sleep very well at all. I had periods of insomnia and when I would sleep it was very prolonged in hours of sleep I was getting. Finally, after a couple of years suffering with this Ritalin I talked with my doctor about trying a new medicine called Focalin XR when I was 13 and I am almost 18 now. Focalin XR has been really wonderful for me. My focus is better. It does cause diarrhea, and mood swings.”

8 / 10
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GabrielPCA · Taken for 5 to 10 years · May 13, 2016

“I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 5. My parents stopped medication a few years later. I was re-evaluated at as 25 and given Focalin XR. I have been on it for 8 years and have nothing but great things to say about it. I feel focused and in control when on it. When I'm off it, time drags by and I can't seem to finish anything. I haven't experienced many side effects. Periodically have less of an appetite and occasionally clinch my teeth but other than that, all is well.”

10 / 10
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CollegeGirl · February 26, 2020

“I am 19 year old female in college, and an athlete with extreme ADHD. I usually take Adderall Xr 20-30mg and it has helped me so much in college, I used to drink 6 cups of coffee a day just so I could focus enough to remember where I left my keys and sit down to take a test, but now adderall does that for me. FOCALIN however, was possibly the worst experience of my life. Focalin took every bit of anxiety and sadness and threw me into several panic attacks. I am a very happy and energetic person, I have never experienced depression or anxiety like this. I didn’t sleep all night and I spent most of the night sobbing uncontrollably. My heart was beating out of my chest and I couldn’t think about anything but how sad and stressful everything was. I suggest to NEVER take this medication, the side effects FAR outweighed the purpose of the medication. I never felt focused or honed in.”

1 / 10
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Dsfg2111 · August 21, 2012

“My son started Focalin 5mg when he was first diagnosed with ADHD. He was six at that time. While he did seem to be a bit more focused, the mood swings were VERY significant. He became volatile, reacting with violent outbursts and temper tantrums at the slightest provocation. After a while, his attention span declined, but his mood swings did not. His teacher noted that, even on medication, he was still having problems staying focused and on task. Upping the dosage would only have made his withdrawal worse, according to his pediatrician. I have known other children on Focalin who have had similar experiences with the medication. After six months (giving his body time to "adjust" to the medication) we took him off. Trying Concerta.”

2 / 10
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math-man · December 6, 2014

“I'm an adult who has taken this off and on for 4 years. I've always had trouble concentrating and Focalin is an effective fix. I do think there are minor side-effects though. It makes me feel much more focused and less worried/panicked about what I need to do. Unlike other though I would not say it calms me down I feel like it actually stresses me out more. When I take this I'm more serious and easily annoyed and I can't relax. I have also found that my appetite drops off and that I don't sleep very deeply. Overall a great medicine but for me and many ADHD people our symptoms are brought out due to simply a lack of strenuous physical exercise (1hr) every day. When on a regular exercise and sleep schedule I do not need it.”

8 / 10
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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.