What is this medication for?
Dexmethylphenidate belongs to the family of medications known as stimulants. It is used in combination with other treatment measures to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It helps to increase attention and decrease restlessness for children and adolescents from 6 to 17 years of age who have been diagnosed with ADHD.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Focalin® is available as:
Some medications may have other generic brands available. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safety of switching between brands of the same medication.
How should I use this medication?
The dose of dexmethylphenidate needs to be individualized according to the needs of the person taking the medication. The dose is usually started low and increased gradually.
For children, the usual recommended starting dose of dexmethylphenidate is 2.5 mg taken twice daily. This dose can be increased by 2.5 mg to 5 mg up to a maximum daily dose of 10 mg twice daily. If they are already taking dexmethylphenidate or methylphenidate, the doctor will determine the appropriate dose.
Dexmethylphenidate tablets should be taken with at least 4 hours in between each dose. It can be taken with or without food.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important that this medication be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Dexmethylphenidate should not be taken by anyone who:
- is allergic to dexmethylphenidate or to any of the ingredients of the medication
- is taking a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor (e.g., phenelzine, tranylcypromine) or has taken one in the last 14 days
- has anxiety, tension, or agitation
- has glaucoma
- has motor tics, Tourette's syndrome, or a family history of Tourette's syndrome