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Dexmethylphenidate for ADHD User Reviews

Brand names: Focalin, Focalin XR

Dexmethylphenidate has an average rating of 6.2 out of 10 from a total of 270 reviews for the treatment of ADHD. 50% of reviewers reported a positive experience, while 31% reported a negative experience.

Dexmethylphenidate rating summary

6.2/10 average rating

270 ratings from 286 user reviews.

Compare all 58 medications used in the treatment of ADHD.

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Reviews for Dexmethylphenidate

  • Lindsey
  • June 10, 2019

Focalin XR (dexmethylphenidate) "My 14-year-old son took Focalin for 2 years. 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 cannot 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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  • Moano
  • Taken for 5 to 10 years
  • July 22, 2019

Focalin XR (dexmethylphenidate) "I’ve never commented on a drug before, but I feel compelled to here due to 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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196 Report
  • JDano
  • Taken for 2 to 5 years
  • January 13, 2021

Focalin XR (dexmethylphenidate) "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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110 Report
  • Better...
  • Taken for 6 months to 1 year
  • November 15, 2019

Focalin XR (dexmethylphenidate) "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 his performance, grades, and happiness have all improved. It was with heavy hearts that we finally decided to use medication 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 a wonderful outcome."

10 / 10
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133 Report
  • MBano
  • Taken for 1 to 6 months
  • February 6, 2021

Focalin (dexmethylphenidate) "10mg Focalin once a day. I feel shaky and cold after taking it. Very angry, moody, and 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?"

4 / 10
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105 Report

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  • Coco...
  • February 16, 2020

Focalin (dexmethylphenidate) "My son is 12 years old and in 7th grade. He was tested for ADHD in 3rd grade by using the Quotient testing system, which showed that he did not have it. Clinical signs were there. We tried low dosages of 5-7mg of Vyvanse, Adderall, and Guanfacine. 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. We took him off medication for 5th and 6th grade. 7th grade has been a nightmare. His grades were horrible for the first time, and ALL 6 teachers said he can’t focus and they became aggravated, not because he was disrespectful, but because they were tired of redirecting him. So, back to the doctor we go for the 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 too hard.' Focalin has the least amount of side effects by far."

10 / 10
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  • CJano
  • Taken for 5 to 10 years
  • April 4, 2019

Focalin XR (dexmethylphenidate) "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 the morning and 10mg IR in the 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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134 Report
  • A...
  • May 21, 2020

Focalin (dexmethylphenidate) "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."

3 / 10
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  • Lltcat
  • February 1, 2014

Focalin XR (dexmethylphenidate) "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 son's appetite, not my daughter's. 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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163 Report
  • Biodi...
  • Taken for 10 years or more
  • March 26, 2020

Focalin (dexmethylphenidate) "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."

6 / 10
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  • Stard...
  • June 9, 2013

Focalin (dexmethylphenidate) "My 10-year-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)."

10 / 10
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154 Report
  • Ali
  • Taken for 1 to 2 years
  • October 4, 2019

Focalin (dexmethylphenidate) "Please, please do not use Focalin if you have depression or anxiety, or are 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 nearly suicidal, so I would take more just to not harm 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."

2 / 10
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77 Report
  • college...
  • Taken for 2 to 5 years
  • October 22, 2018

Focalin (dexmethylphenidate) "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."

5 / 10
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86 Report
  • My...
  • Taken for less than 1 month
  • January 5, 2013

Focalin (dexmethylphenidate) "My 8-year-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, it's starting to wear off, and he seems to be coming off a high. At moments, he's purely goofy, almost to the point of having psychotic moments. He also talks to himself a lot. I don't know if I should give it a week or two to get in his system or stop it. I understand he needs better focus and fewer compulsive moments at school, but I love him more than to harm him with medicines."

5 / 10
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138 Report
  • lmsch...
  • July 11, 2013

Focalin XR (dexmethylphenidate) "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 stabilize on his medication until he was twelve. I would not give up. Help is out there!"

10 / 10
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128 Report
  • Macky...
  • April 18, 2016

Focalin (dexmethylphenidate) "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 Asperger's. 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 20s and 30s on spelling tests to averaging 90; we even had 2 100s. He has lost some weight, but right now, he is still average so it is not much of a concern."

9 / 10
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96 Report
  • TheRe...
  • Taken for 10 years or more
  • April 28, 2017

Focalin XR (dexmethylphenidate) "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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84 Report
  • Snow...
  • November 15, 2016

Focalin (dexmethylphenidate) "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 11 am or 10 am. 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 6 am every day to take it, and you shouldn't have any problem sleeping. That's what I did, and I sleep very soundly."

8 / 10
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85 Report
  • KRANKY
  • Taken for 1 to 6 months
  • December 28, 2012

Focalin XR (dexmethylphenidate) "I am a 60-year-old male with ADHD, who would have ever thought it? I started using Focalin IR 5 mg 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 5 mg 6 hours later in the afternoon. I think my ideal dose will end up at 15 mg in the morning and 10 mg in the afternoon to reach the optimal dose. The only side effects have been heartburn, a slight headache, and being a little jittery with an 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 years old!"

9 / 10
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114 Report
  • Brandy
  • March 27, 2014

Focalin XR (dexmethylphenidate) "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 dose for in the afternoon. His grades improved so much and yet he still had a lot of energy to blow through."

10 / 10
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103 Report
  • Annie
  • Taken for 6 months to 1 year
  • March 12, 2018

Focalin (dexmethylphenidate) "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."

10 / 10
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64 Report
  • Great...
  • Taken for 1 to 6 months
  • December 8, 2016

Focalin (dexmethylphenidate) "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."

10 / 10
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69 Report
  • Gano
  • Taken for 6 months to 1 year
  • November 16, 2020

Focalin (dexmethylphenidate) "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."

2 / 10
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40 Report
  • kat
  • Taken for less than 1 month
  • April 27, 2020

Focalin (dexmethylphenidate) "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."

1 / 10
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  • Papa...
  • Taken for 1 to 6 months
  • February 8, 2013

Focalin XR (dexmethylphenidate) "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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92 Report

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.