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Name: flamom
[ Original Post ]
Hi. Have very bright 10 yr. old but quite impulsive. We tryed Adderrall xr definetely helped but 8 lb weight loss which upset us. Has anyone started Focalin, any side effects such as trouble sleeping or weight loss?
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Name: stacy06 | Date: Oct 29th, 2006 3:21 PM
I was thinking about putting my daughter on it. Does anyone think that it safe to take? 

Name: jamberrt | Date: Oct 30th, 2006 9:39 PM
Never heard of it... 

Name: nancyw | Date: Oct 31st, 2006 1:42 AM
My son is 12 and has used Focalin XR for several months. It seems to help (much, much better than unmedicated!). He does have some 'rebound' in the afternoons (super hyperness and silliness) so we now give him a small dose of regular Focalin at 2:30 PM. This also helps him focus enough to get through homework. His grades have improved over last year considerably. 

Name: flamom | Date: Oct 31st, 2006 4:17 AM
Thanks Nancy. Everyone, Focalin (not XR) is working wonderful! We're really pleased and the two biggest + not losing weight and not that "glazed over" look. His teacher has had nothing but great things to say for 3 weeks. I wish we didn't need to turn to this but it's the best so far. Happy Halloween everyone! 

Name: betabee | Date: Nov 19th, 2006 11:44 PM
Hi. I have a 6 yr. old boy recently dx'd w/ ADHD (main symptoms are excessive/loud talking, impulsiveness, & occ. aggressiveness). He also has some anxiety problems. His pediatrician tried him on Ritalin, but after 3 weeks we saw no improvement & his teacher felt he was worse on it. This was disappointing for us. The doctor said that since there was no improvement on Ritalin it was not worth trying any other ADHD meds. She then prescribed Zofolt (sertraline) for his anxiety. The Zoloft will not take effect yet for 2 weeks. I was wondering if anyone has any similar experiences or advice on this?
Also is Focalin related to the other ADHD meds or something totally different? 

Name: Louisvillelady | Date: Nov 20th, 2006 12:34 PM
Hi Flamom, My son(13 yrs old) has been on Focalin XR for about a year now and it honestly works great. he has maintained his weight and the only time he doesn't feel like eating is the first hour after he takes it, After that he eats like there is no tomorrow. He was on Ritalin from the ages of 3 til he was about 7 and he couldnt for the life of him gain any weight. He didnt eat until evening time because the meds made him not want any food. We have tried several meds over the years including Stratera(sp) He was 9 yrs old and weighed barely 50lbs and after being admitted into a hospital for several months and put on the right medicine he gained 22lbs in 6 months and has now maintained the perfect weight for his age and height. Now with sleeping problems I cant say because my son has been on sleeping meds for years due to being bipolar as well and if you know anything about that disorder they dont do sleep well to begin with. Good luck. 

Name: Louisvillelady | Date: Nov 20th, 2006 12:43 PM
Betabee I dont understand your doctors thinking that if the Ritalin isnt working then there is no sense trying anything else. There is alot of medicines on the market and some work so much better than others. I would get a second opinion honestly! My son's first dr that he had from the age of 3 til the age of 9 would only put him on meds for Adhd but when it come to his aggressive behavior, homicidal tendencies, and tantrums she would just say "he has been thru alot and is depressed" I kept telling her something wasn't right and she would dismiss what I was saying. Being a young mom and never knowing what my rights as a parent was I just thought ok this women is a dr and knows what she is doing. August of 2002 my son started to play with fire, catching a dumpster on fire I took him back to this dr and explained once again how something wasnt right she said he is depressed once again and put him on zoloft within 6 days of being put on it he went from dumpster fires to trying to catch stuff under his bed on fire. I had admitted into a psych ward to which they got another dr to dx him with bipolar with adhd/odd with sensory disorder. It took something dramatic to happen before anyone would listen to me. Within that 7 yrs of the first dr seeing him she NEVER re-evaluated him from his first inital appt. I have become now a dr's worst nightmare if they do not listen to what I am saying or HELP me I fire them with no hesitation. I learned the hard way that you have rights and that there is things out there that can help. Zoloft is not a bad medicine at all but without a proper dx it can be deadly for someone like my son which for him it caused him to spin out of control fast. I would honestly get a second opinion, just because Ritalin wasnt for you child doesnt mean the other meds for ADHD are not going to work because they will once they find the right one for that child! Good luck to you as well:) 

Name: betabee | Date: Nov 21st, 2006 2:13 PM
Thank you Louisvillelady! I am making an appointment for a child psychiatrist for my son as I am also concerned about his primary care doctor. You are so right about "firing" doctors who won't listen. Thanks for your concern & advice! 

Name: Louisvillelady | Date: Nov 22nd, 2006 12:00 AM
Betabee I am sooooooo glad that your going to someone else that will hoefully help your son. He does not deserve to suffer because a dr refuses to see the light. I posted on another thread about a book that I think is a good read. It is by Danielle Steel and it is called "His Bright Light" it is about her son who was bipolar and was like alot of what our children are. It gives you insight to how they think and feel because she post entries from his diary so it is words directly from him at the moment of a rage or depression. This isnt a romance book it is her real life Journey with a mentally disabled child that I think every parent should read that has a child with health issues like ours. Good luck with your new dr and I hope this one wises up to help. 

Name: flamom | Date: Nov 22nd, 2006 1:58 AM
Hi All,
It's six weeks atleast now on Focalin and doing well. Still eating and I'm so thankful for that! Will eat Thanksgiving feast for the first time in two years. ha. Anyway, I believe Focalin is derived from Ritalin dr. told me. without extra ingrediants that cause apetite loss and sleep problems. He did talk out of turn and interupted teacher the other day but for the most part she states he's much better! Happy Thanksgiving everyone. 

Name: Layne | Date: Nov 23rd, 2006 2:56 AM
focalin didnt work for us. my son is now on the patch and doing well 

Name: FAIGY | Date: Jan 14th, 2008 6:29 AM

Name: KathyK | Date: Jan 24th, 2008 1:49 PM
My son who is 6 has been on Focalin for over a year. I know it works when he is taking it but when he doesn't get it we are all in trouble. It works when the dosage is right, which I am starting to think needs to be changed for him. He seems to have some side effects that are new lately and not sure why. The dosage has not been changed but maybe because he is getting older and bigger it might need to be changed. He takes his meds and then after that he starts getting really talkative, very jittery where his hands have to keep moving and he is always picking at something mostly his clothes. Does anyone else see these or any other side effects from Focalin and if they did what did you do about it?
I need some advise 

Name: Cammie | Date: Feb 5th, 2008 2:00 PM
My son was 13 in September and he has been taking Focalin for about 9 months. His appetite is so good now that he eats me out of house and home. He now sleeps when it is bed time instead of staying up past midnight. He started out at 5 mg. and is now up to 20 mg. He is 103 pounds and has finally started growing. But like all the other medicines for ADHD, they work in the beginning and then it seems like their body gets use to it. 

Name: KathyK | Date: Feb 5th, 2008 11:21 PM
I would be careful with Focalin, my son is on it and has been for a while but lately he has had really bad side effects. He takes 20mg in the morning and 10mg at 3pm and the side effects that have just started are scary. He has ticks bad, his hands keep moving constantly, excessive talking, impulsiveness, sleeplessness (bad) and loss of appetite. The loss of appetite is the worst, I give it to him in the morning and he says he has a belly ache and then won't eat for the rest of the day. I have called the doctor and am trying to get him on something else. Too bad we have to change it because it really does work for him but the ticks and the side effects are bad. I know that the medications differ from child to child so try it and you might really like it, all I am saying is just watch your child and if you see anything that concerns you call your doctor. Good luck and hope it works for him. 

Name: amy | Date: Sep 25th, 2008 9:03 PM
my son has been taking focolin for a while is loosing weight he eats all the time and is still loosing we have also tried pedisure and ensure that just maintains at current weight 

Name: amyshelby | Date: Sep 25th, 2008 9:11 PM
my son who is 6 is taking focalin and is loosing weight but is the only med that works we have tried pediasure and ensure and it just stabilizes his weight he looks like he is anorexic 

Name: amyshelby | Date: Sep 25th, 2008 9:16 PM
my son does not s;eep well does not want to wake up in the mornings it is a battle everyday to get him up and ready, he is hungry most of the night so he is always eating but not gaining weight 

Name: Mom in CO | Date: Oct 27th, 2008 8:19 PM
Re: Focalin. We started our son 7mths ago on 5mg then 10mg then 15mg. At 15mgs he was doing great for 6mths. However, 3wks ago I noticed he could no longer do his homework. The ped suggested an additional 5mg either in the a.m. or at 2:30pm. That kept him away and I found out from his teacher that he wasn't doing as well in school over the last 2 wks. We went all the way up to 25mg. (okay'd by a different doc in the practice) Our regular pediatrician said it was too much. He is now on 20mgs and is doing great. The pediatrician and I are confused by the sudden lack of effectiveness at 15mg. We checked with pharmacy for expiration dates. Dates were good so we decided to use a different pharmacy with a different lot # for the pills. It is inconclusive whether the batch that he was taking was weaker. It has been 2 days since he is on 20mg. I will try dropping him back to 15 mg with this new batch of bills to see if he is okay. 

Name: Dawn | Date: Oct 31st, 2008 12:52 AM
My fifteen year old step son has been on Focalin XR for a year. The only side effects were in the beginning which was dry throat. Although it seems to wear off by afternoon, lot's of problems at school. 

Name: Mary | Date: Nov 7th, 2008 3:10 AM
Hello - my son has (now 13) had difficulties w/many medications and I found Focalin to be the best so far for no side effects. We had to play with the dosage a bit to find the right fit for him ...but otherwise, I think it is a great alternative. Good luck! 

Name: Kathyk | Date: Nov 13th, 2008 9:27 PM
My son was diagnosed at 4 1/2 with O.D.D. and A.D.H.D. and after trying many different medications that didn't seem to work his doctor put him on Focalin. We were very pleased with the results (his behavior became so much better)and less talking and more attention. Unfortunetly after a while on the focalin I started seeing side effects in him like accessive licking his lips, hand and finger twitching, talking very fast and all day. I was so upset because the medicine was working but with the side effects we had to take him off of it. All children are different so just because my son had side effect doesn't mean your child will. Good luck 

Name: shamm | Date: Nov 20th, 2008 2:03 PM
My 11 year old son has been on Focalin XR 10mg since February. It seemed to be working at first but he has developed anxiety problems. He could have had this anxiety on a milder level prior to this but it has been bad since starting the Focalin. The doctors don't seem to think it could be the reason. I just have this gut feeling that it is making it worse. He inherited his anxiety from his Dad but I think the Focalin is contributing to it. He also has started middle school and his grades are all over the place.

He was on Ritalin and Ritalin LA since about age 7 prior to this.

Has anyone else seen worsening anxiety on Focalin? 

Name: lynn | Date: Nov 30th, 2008 3:12 AM
My 10 year old daughter has been taking Focalin for a 1 year and half. Occasionaly she loses her appetite for a day but ithe med works well and no other side effects. My 7 year old boy has been taing it for 2 months. No side effects yet 

Name: private | Date: Jan 13th, 2009 5:49 PM
my daughter loss weight from taking focalin xr 

Name: wondermom | Date: Jan 17th, 2009 2:28 PM
Focalin XR 10 is a WONDER drug for our daughter 11yrs. She has been taking this medication for about 9 months. She has gone from making 30's on homework to making 80 and above with no help. She was diagnosed with Dyslexia, inattentive ADD and severe auditory processing problems. She has also spent the past year with a private tutor with Take Flight (dyslexia program) This week she was among the top 10 students from 115 classmate to continue in a spelling bee!! SHE HAS REALLY SEEN THE BENEFITS FROMTHE MEDICATION. I know it works!! 

Name: ADMOM | Date: Jan 26th, 2009 2:17 PM
My son has been on focalin for 2 years. He used the XR just to keep the school out of our business but opted to use the standard form (non time release). I have been SO very pleased with the outcome. It does NOT take away his personality or spirit. I do notice when it's effective but I still have my original child! He started wtih Concerta, then quickly switched to Stratera. That gave him severe anxiety attacks and heart palpatations. He switched to Straterra. That gave him abdominal pains and it wasn't strong enough for his size without overdosing. He was on adderall which caused him to lose so much weight and be diagnosed as Failure to Thrive. It stunted his growth for 3 years which is crutial for a child!! His pediatrician prescribed focalin and we have both been so much happier! When it was too strong, I noticed a nervousness/paranoia but we tweaked the amount and it's working great! 

Name: darleen | Date: Jun 5th, 2009 10:57 AM
My 17 year old son has been on Focalin XR (15 mg.) for about 1 year. It's great. He has a slight loss of appetite but we cook him a hearty breakfast every morning and he does eat even when he's not too hungry. Our pediatrician also told us that most kids even though they can't eat will drink so we also bought him meal replacement drinks. He plays football so he has to keep his weight up. No sleep side effects, but I too am on it and just tried it for the first time and couldn't get to sleep until 12:30. It's a miracle drug for both of us. highly recommend it. Concerta gave his major mood swings and complete loss of appetite. I hope this helped. 

Name: SAM 09 | Date: Jun 18th, 2009 9:42 AM

Name: SAMANTHA09 | Date: Jun 18th, 2009 9:49 AM

Name: lori | Date: Aug 4th, 2009 5:42 AM
Focalin is worst the to put your child on!! WILL cause your child to be SUICIDAL!!! My son ended up going to the mental hospital until they was able to stablize him on the right meds............ 

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