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Dexmethylphenidate (By mouth)

Dexmethylphenidate (dex-meth-il-FEN-i-date)

Treats attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This medicine is a stimulant.

Brand Name(s):

Focalin, Focalin XR

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to dexmethylphenidate. Do not use this medicine if you have glaucoma or if you are anxious, tense, or agitated most of the time. Do not use this medicine if you have muscle tics or Tourette syndrome. Do not use this medicine if you use an MAO inhibitor (MAOI) such as Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, or Parnate®, or have used an MAOI within the past 14 days.

How to Use This Medicine:

Long Acting Capsule, Tablet

  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
  • Extended-release capsule:
    • Take the capsule in the morning. If you take it in the afternoon or evening, you may have trouble falling asleep at night.
    • Swallow the capsule whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
    • Take the capsule with or without food.
    • If you cannot swallow the capsule, carefully open it and sprinkle the beads over a spoonful of applesauce. Swallow the mixture right away without chewing. Do not store it. Do not crush or chew the beads.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you also use blood pressure medicine (such as amlodipine, atenolol, clonidine, hydrochlorothiazide, lisinopril, metoprolol, Benicar®, Cozaar®, Diovan®), a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®, Jantoven®), medicine to treat seizures (such as phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone, Dilantin®), or medicine for depression (such as amitriptyline, citalopram, clomipramine, desipramine, fluoxetine, imipramine, nortriptyline, sertraline, Cymbalta®, Effexor®, Elavil®, Lexapro®, Pristiq®).
  • Tell your doctor if you use antacids or stomach acid reducers (such as Axid®, Prilosec®, Tagamet®, Zantac®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have heart rhythm problems, high blood pressure, circulation problems, or a history of a heart attack or stroke. Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has a history of depression, bipolar disorder, suicide, mental illness, or drug or alcohol dependence. Make sure your doctor knows if you have Tourette syndrome or a history of seizures.
  • This medicine can be habit-forming. Do not use more than your prescribed dose. Call your doctor if you think your medicine is not working.
  • This medicine can cause serious heart or blood vessel problems. Check with your doctor right away if you have chest pain, trouble breathing, fainting, or a fast heartbeat.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you or your family notices any changes in behavior, such as an increase in aggression, hostility, agitation, irritability, or suicidal thinking or behavior. Also tell your doctor if you have hallucinations or any unusual thoughts, especially if they are new or getting worse quickly.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or cause blurred vision. Do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • This medicine may cause slow growth. If your child is using this medicine, the doctor will need to keep track of your child's height and weight.
  • This medicine may cause Raynaud phenomenon, which is a problem with the blood circulation in your fingers or toes. Tell your doctor if you have tingling or pain, a cold feeling, paleness, or skin color changes in your fingers or toes, especially when exposed to cold. Call your doctor right away if you have unexplained sores or ulcers on your fingers or toes.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blurred vision or vision changes
  • Chest pain, trouble breathing, fainting
  • Extreme energy, mood or mental changes, confusion, agitation, unusual behavior
  • Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
  • Seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • Seizures, tremors
  • Uncontrollable muscle movements or twitching

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Dry mouth, sore throat
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite or weight loss
  • Mild anxiety, restlessness, or nervousness
  • Nausea, vomiting, upset stomach
  • Trouble sleeping

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 4/4/2014

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