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Focalin for ADHD

We are trying a new medication, Focalin, to treat Natalie’s ADHD to see how the effects differ from Ritalin.

Welcome to Day Four!

Of Natalie’s new ADHD medication, that is.

My consultation with Dr. Halbur resulted in a switch from the old reliable short-acting Ritalin to Focalin XR. Dr. Halbur described Focalin to this layperson as follows: It’s Ritalin with one molecule removed, and because of that slight difference, it’s less likely to cause irritability or to suppress appetite. Since we’re using the 12-hour extended release formulation, we’re hoping to see more consistent effects throughout the day to help with Nat’s concentration at school.
The dose she’s taking should be equivalent to a small increase in dosage as compared to her Ritalin regimen.

We instituted the change on Saturday morning, so that we could spend two full days with Natalie while she adjusted. Then we sent her to spend the entire afternoon with her Other Parents. She went to Harry’s to play. Her O.P.s reported exactly what we observed that day — a slightly manic-y happiness and motor-excitement. We chalked part of that up to a thrilling new phenomenon — Bobby — joining Harry and Natalie for the day.

The most notable difference we’ve seen so far is Nat’s appetite building from day to day like an incoming tsunami.

I worked until 9:00 last night, but Don said she ate a good supper, and then continued to eat all evening, right up until bedtime. This morning for breakfast she had a bowl of cereal, a bowl of ice cream, and a blueberry nutra-grain waffle. In addition to all that, she requested pancakes. Makes me feel like we’ve been starving the poor kid. Maybe she’ll be able to hold up those size 6X Slim jeans before long.

The jury’s still out on the overall success of this change, but I’m optimistic.

Does your child take Focalin? How does it stack up compared to other ADHD meds your child has tried?