Focalin xr vs Concerta - Thoughts?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-10-2006
Focalin xr vs Concerta - Thoughts?
5
Wed, 01-06-2010 - 9:53pm
Hi all!
We have Nick's checkup next week and have some questions to ask about his meds, but thought I would get your opinions here as well. He has been having some concentration, talking out of turn issues and its affecting his school days. He tells me he think his pill isnt working as well. He's on 36 mg of Concerta, but I strongly feel that 54 mg would be too much for his little body. I was researching and want to ask his doc about Focalin XR as it can be dosed a bit differently to give us a little bit more in the middle of the 2 Concerta dosages hopefully. Since it is similar to Concerta, I would hope the transition would be ok, any thoughts? Thanks!

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Christine, Mommy to Nick

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Christine

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-10-2006
Mon, 01-11-2010 - 9:10am
THanks for your responses! It seems as Nick metabolizes fast as well, so I would rather stick with a longer acting med which gets us through at the very least homework! I didnt know you could take both a 27 and 18 mg tab in the morning. I would be open to that. I do have an FSA which would cover the extra copay if our insurance would cover the 2nd RX, I would have to call. If not, then we will have to look at switching possibly. Thanks for all your help again!

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Christine, Mommy to Nick

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Christine

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2008
Thu, 01-07-2010 - 5:05pm

Our son has been on both. The big difference was that Focalin processed WAY too fast in our son. It was out of his system by noon. However, it seemed to work the same as Concerta when it was active.

With Concerta, I wouldn't be too scared about upping the dosage. Our son is six and only 50 lbs. and he's on 45 mgs. I really was concerned about making the leap to that dosage, but he was having severe issues at school so we gave it a try and it worked wonders! We haven't seen any side effects, thankfully. Sometimes the next dosage up can be all it takes to get things back on track.

Good luck!
Michelle

Avatar for kathyjoenathan
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2003
Thu, 01-07-2010 - 12:09pm

When my DS was on 10 mg. in the a.m. and started to need an afternoon booster of Focalin XR we bumped him up to 15 mg a day in the morning.

Kathy

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-04-2009
Thu, 01-07-2010 - 10:54am

Thanks, Megan, for that information. My DS is currently taking Focalin XR and has been for about 6-7 months. Prior to that he was on Concerta, which I was happy with up to a point. Dr. seemed to think it had stopped working... which very well may have been true. But I am not happy with Focalin either. He is taking 10mg in a.m. and another 5mg in early afternoon. I didn't realize that they had 2 vs. 3 release times which totally explains why Concerta lasted longer.. WITHOUT needing an afternoon booster.


The biggest problem we had with Concerta was when DS was "coming down" in late afternoon. He would be very angry/aggressive which was a big problem when he was in after-care at school. Since then he has been put in a program at school that is teaching him how to deal with his anger and his impulsivity, among other things.


We have appt with dr. at end of month and I am planning to ask him about going back to Concerta.


Thanks!

jenn

jenn

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 01-07-2010 - 9:26am

Focalin XR & Concerta are both lovely meds (or, rather, are/were for my kid!). Focalin's the active-isomer only of ritalin, so same med as Concerta, but without the inactive bits. For some kids (mine), less side-effects. Side-effect-wise, it's sorta like taking half the med for the same effect (seems like the side-effects come from both isomers, whereas the good stuff comes from just the D-isomer).

Focalin won't last as long as Concerta--I truly don't care what their literature says about 12 hr med for some kids. If you look at their pharmaceutical info, Concerta is 3 spaced doses, and Focalin is two. Ergo, it lasts less long. (OK, yes, I like pharmokinetic charts...).

Lastly, that's NOT your only option: Concerta's an additive med, so if the 45 mg pill doesn't actually exist, you can get it by taking a 18 mg & a 27 mg pill. The drawback there is you have to pay 2 co-pays because you'll need 2 scripts.

Megan
Megan