Dexmethylphenidate: What You Need to Know


Dexmethylphenidate is a prescription medication that doctors prescribe to treat ADHD. People also know it by the brand name of Focalin. You may have seen it on TV before or heard about it from friends, but do you know what this drug does? Dexmethylphenidate belongs to the group of drugs that make people act more awake. It helps with problems like being too hyperactive, too impulsive, and not being able to focus on one thing. But there are risks associated with taking dexmethylphenidate too! Read on for more information about how this drug works and its potential side effects.

What is Dexmethylphenidate?


Dexmethylphenidate is a stimulant medication that doctors prescribe to treat ADHD. It’s also known by the brand name Focalin. Dexmethylphenidate belongs to the group of drugs that make people act more awake and alert. It helps with problems like being too hyperactive, too impulsive, and not being able to focus on one thing.

How Does Dexmethylphenidate Work?

Dexmethylphenidate works by increasing the levels of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical that helps control movement and emotional response. It’s also involved in thinking, learning, and memory. When there is more dopamine present, people tend to be more focused and less hyperactive.

What Are the Benefits of Dexmethylphenidate?

Some benefits of taking dexmethylphenidate may include: increased ability to focus, better planning skills, and decreased impulsivity. Taking breaks can help people stay focused for longer periods. They might do better in school or work. Additionally, this medication can help people sit still or control fidgeting which makes it easier for them to participate in everyday activities.

Who Can Take Dexmethylphenidate?

Who Can Take Dexmethylphenidate?

Dexmethylphenidate can be a helpful option for children, teens, and adults who have ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). It may also work well as part of a combination medication to treat ADHD. Doctors usually prescribe dexmethylphenidate as a short-term treatment because its effects may wear off if it’s taken for too long. It is prescribed as part of a treatment plan that also includes other options. This could be working with teachers or counselors, creating structure at home and school, and taking part in physical activity.

What Are the Side Effects of Dexmethylphenidate?

Dexmethylphenidate might cause negative side effects. You may have less of an appetite, feel sick or have an upset stomach, get headaches, or have trouble sleeping. You may also feel irritable, nervous, or anxious. It’s also possible for some people to feel more agitated, angry, or hostile instead of calmer.

Some people cannot take dexmethylphenidate because they have certain conditions like high blood pressure, heart problems, glaucoma (high eye pressure), mental health issues like bipolar disorder or psychosis, Tourette syndrome (chronic tic disorder), liver disease/issues, or a history of drug abuse/addiction.

How Much Does Dexmethylphenidate Cost?

Dexmethylphenidate costs between $0.67 and $14 per pill depending on the dose prescribed by your doctor. The average monthly cost ranges from about $35 to over $150 for 30 days of treatment. Your insurance might cover some or all of the cost which can help to reduce your overall expense.

Do I Need a Prescription for Dexmethylphenidate?

Yes, dexmethylphenidate requires a prescription from your doctor and you cannot buy it without one. You must take this medication after the prescription from your healthcare provider to avoid serious side effects.

What If I Miss a Dose?

You should not miss or skip any doses of dexmethylphenidate because it can make the medication wear off quickly. This might make the drug less effective and increase your risk for rebound symptoms like irritability, anger, agitation, and hyperactivity. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and then continue with your regular schedule. Do not double up on doses to make up for the one you missed.

Can I Drink Alcohol While Taking Dexmethylphenidate?

No, a doctor never recommends drinking alcohol while taking dexmethylphenidate because it can lead to increased side effects.

Is It Safe for Children to Take Dexmethylphenidate?

Dexmethylphenidate is a medicine that helps children or teens with ADHD. It is safe and effective when taken under the care of a doctor who prescribed it for them. The medication may cause side effects in some people. They might have problems eating, be sick to their stomach, have headaches, or not sleep well. Some people may be irritable too. It’s important to closely monitor a child while taking dexmethylphenidate and talk to your doctor if any concerning side effects are present.

How Long Does Dexmethylphenidate Last?

Dexmethylphenidate usually works for about four to six hours. But this can change if you have a lot or not much of it.

What Are Dexmethylphenidate Abuse Symptoms?

abuse symptoms

Adderall abuse symptoms include confusion, anxiety/panic attacks or feelings of paranoia (extreme fear or mistrust), aggression or hostility towards others that are out of character for them, mood swings like feeling uncontrollably irritated, depressed, or tearful for no apparent reason, hallucinations (seeing/hearing things that are not real) and delusions (false beliefs), increased risk-taking behavior like engaging in dangerous activities without thinking of consequences, drug tolerance so higher doses of the medication are needed to achieve desired effects over time, restlessness or fidgety behavior, and secretive or dishonest behavior like stealing or lying to hide drug use. If you are concerned about someone’s possible abuse of dexmethylphenidate, it’s important to talk to them about your concerns and seek professional help.


If you suddenly stop taking dexmethylphenidate, withdrawal symptoms can occur as your body adjusts to the loss of this medication. People can have a lot of different side effects when they stop taking a medication. They might feel tired, have trouble paying attention and concentrating, eat more and gain weight, or have headaches. They might also be angry with people who are not usually like this or who don’t deserve bad treatment. Mood swings also happen when taking this medication. If you stop taking dexmethylphenidate without medical supervision, the depression symptoms could be really bad and include suicidal thoughts. Talk to your doctor about how to get off of this medication slowly.


If you are struggling with ADHD, it is important to find the right medication for you. Talk to your doctor about finding a solution that suits your needs and lifestyle best. There may be more than one option available to help manage symptoms of ADHD. Dexmethylphenidate is just one of many different treatments. You should think about all your options before using them for a long time, or even a short time. You deserve relief without side effects!

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