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Focalin XR


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I was recently prescribed Focalin XR for innattentive ADD.  I am not up to 20 mgs. once a day.  This is after going a few years of non-treatment due to insurance issues.  Up until 2003, I previously took Ritalin 20 mgs 3 x per day with another Pdoc.  I am 28 years old now.  I disliked the short acting action of the Ritalin and the ups and downs and side effects  I also didn't tolerate Concerta very well at that time.  The Focalin has produced no discernable side effects.   

I love the Focalin XR (I am now up to 20 mgs).  It has worked absolute wonders for me and I am finally feeling like "me" again.  I am now organized, follow through on tasks, complete tasks, don't juggle a hundred things at work without actually finishing anything, pay attention and focus on my work and family life.  Whereas, my colleagues used to call me 'ADD boy' because of my lack of attention, since the Focalin started that's no longer used to describe me. 

My only problem is that the Focalin XR does not last long enough.  I wake up at 5:00 a.m. and get to work around 7:30 a.m. and work until 7:00 p.m.  I have been taking the Focalin XR between 10 and 11:00 a.m. to ensure it lasts through the day, but those few hours before that time I take it are difficult for me and I get extremely spacy.  Generally, its effects last around 7.5 to 9 hours.  My Pdoc suggested that perhaps he can add Focalin IR to extend the effects.  This would be perfect for me, but the costs, which are already very high for the Focalin XR would increase exponentially with another script for Focalin due to the fact it's not on the formulary for my crappy prescription plan.   

My next appointment is in a week and a half and I want to fix this problem.  Do you think it may be wise to prescribe Ritalin, which can be gotten very cheap in generic form to cover the early morning before I take the Focalin?  Or are there better options?  I am serious and dedicated about continuing my treatment this time because it works so well.  I honestly feel better than I think I ever have because I am thinking so clearly and am so focused. 

Does Adderall XR last longer and would it take me throughout my work day or are my other ideas better.  I sincerely want to stay a functioning individual at my stressful and mind-intensive job but I am nervous.  In addition, the Focalin XR seems to be losing some of its efficacy and I know that 20 is the maximum dosage. 

My Pdoc has been entirely open to working with me to achieve optimal benefit and takes my suggestions into account.  Having only experienced regular release ritalin and Focalin XR, I don't know what is best. 

Is there anyone out there with any suggestions, taking into account the cost factors?  I would not be adverse to taking a non-long acting script several times a day so long as the "comedown" periods are not so bad. 

Thanks for reading my brief treatise and thanks for any suggestions.  I think I am lucky to have a Pdoc who really wants to experiment with what works best for me and I want to take part in the decision making process.  I apologize if anything did not make sense as the ambien is kicking in and I have to go to sleep.



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You might want to try a standard release focolin in the AM or Ritalin, whichever.  If the focalin works for you it would most likely be best to play with the dosing schedule of it rather than change meds.

I loved how clean focalin was. I had almost no side effects.  It just didn't have the kick I needed to do dense reading and sustain my attention for long periods of time.

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