dexmethylphenidate (Focalin, Focalin XR)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

ADHD Symptoms in Children

What is dexmethylphenidate-oral, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Dexmethylphenidate is a medication used for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is chemically similar to methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta). It stimulates the central nervous system (CNS or brain) in a manner that is similar to amphetamines; however, its actions are milder than amphetamines. It stimulates the brain by increasing the level of neurotransmitters, dopamine and norepinephrine, in the brain neurotransmitters are chemicals produced by nerves that are released and attach to other nearby nerves as a means of communication among nerves). The exact mechanism of action of the drug in people with ADHD is unknown. FDA approved dexmethylphenidate extended-release capsules in May 2005.

What brand names are available for dexmethylphenidate-oral?

Focalin, Focalin XR

Is dexmethylphenidate-oral available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

Do I need a prescription for dexmethylphenidate-oral?

Yes

What are the side effects of dexmethylphenidate-oral?

Side effects of dexmethylphenidate are increased blood pressure, indigestion, loss of appetite, dry mouth, headache, sleeplessness and anxiety.

Dexmethylphenidate may be abused and it is a Schedule II controlled medication. Long term abuse can cause tolerance, psychological dependence, abnormal behavior, and psychosis. Use cautiously in people with a history of drug or alcohol abuse.

Quick GuideADHD Symptoms in Children

ADHD Symptoms in Children

What is the dosage for dexmethylphenidate-oral?

Which drugs or supplements interact with dexmethylphenidate-oral?

Dexmethylphenidate should not be combined with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) such as phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Zelapar, Emsam, and Eldepryl), tranylcypromine (Parnate), procarbazine (Matulane), rasagiline (Azilect), and isocarboxazid (Marplan) because of risks of hypertensive crisis. Dexmethylphenidate and MAO inhibitors should be separated by at least 14 days.

Dexmethylphenidate should be used with caution with blood pressure medications or individuals with high blood pressure because it can increase blood pressure and decrease effectiveness of blood pressure medications.

Is dexmethylphenidate-oral safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies done on dexmethylphenidate to determine safe and effective use in pregnant women.

It is not known whether dexmethylphenidate enters breast milk; therefore, it is best to be cautious before using it in nursing mothers.

What else should I know about dexmethylphenidate-oral?

What preparations of dexmethylphenidate-oral are available?

Tablet: 2.5, 5, 10 mg. Capsules (extended-release) dexmethylphenidate: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40 mg

How should I keep dexmethylphenidate-oral stored?

Store dexmethylphenidate between temperatures of 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).

REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information.

Last Editorial Review: 7/24/2014

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Children's Health & Parenting Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Reviewed on 7/24/2014
References
REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors