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Focalin vs. Vyvanse

Are Focalin and Vyvanse the Same Thing?

Focalin (dexmethylphenidate) and Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) are central nervous system stimulants used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Vyvanse is also used to treat moderate to severe binge eating disorder.

Side effects of Focalin and Vyvanse that are similar include restlessness, anxiety, feeling jittery, loss of appetite, dry mouth, headache, or sleep problems (insomnia)

Side effects of Focalin that are different from Vyvanse include stomach upset or sore throat.

Side effects of Vyvanse that are different from Focalin include weight loss, diarrhea, dizziness, irritability, nausea, abdominal or stomach pain, vomiting, increased heart rate, constipation, mild skin rash, an unpleasant taste in your mouth, nervousness, or sweating.

Both Focalin and Vyvanse may interact with antidepressants, blood pressure medications, or seizure medicines.

Focalin may also interact with blood thinners or cold or allergy medicines that contain a decongestant.

Vyvanse may also interact with ammonium chloride, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), K-Phos, diuretics (water pills), antihistamines, chlorpromazine, lithium, methenamine, phenobarbital, or pain medications.

Withdrawal symptoms may occur if you suddenly stop taking Focalin or Vyvanse.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Focalin?

Common side effects of Focalin include:

  • restlessness,
  • anxiousness,
  • feeling jittery,
  • stomach upset,
  • loss of appetite,
  • dry mouth,
  • sore throat,
  • headache, or
  • sleep problems (insomnia)

What Are Possible Side Effects of Vyvanse?

Vyvanse may cause serious side effects, including:

  • slowing of growth (height and weight) in children

The most common side effects of Vyvanse in ADHD include:

  • anxiety
  • decreased appetite
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • irritability
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • trouble sleeping
  • upper stomach pain
  • vomiting
  • weight loss

The most common side effects of Vyvanse include:

  • dry mouth
  • trouble sleeping
  • decreased appetite
  • increased heart rate
  • constipation
  • feeling jittery
  • anxiety

Talk to your doctor if you have any side effects that bother you or do not go away.

These are not all the possible side effects of Vyvanse. For more information ask your doctor or pharmacist.

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

QUESTION

The abbreviated term ADHD denotes the condition commonly known as: See Answer

What Is Focalin?

Focalin (dexmethylphenidate) is a mild stimulant to the central nervous system used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

What Is Vyvanse?

Vyvanse is a central nervous system stimulant prescription medicine used to treat:

  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Vyvanse may help increase attention and decrease impulsiveness and hyperactivity in patients with ADHD
  • Binge Eating Disorder (BED). Vyvanse may help reduce the number of binge eating days in patients with BED

Vyvanse is not for weight loss. It is not known if Vyvanse is safe and effective for the treatment of obesity.

It is not known if Vyvanse is safe and effective in children with ADHD under 6 years of age or in patients with BED under 18 years of age.

Do not take Vyvanse if you:

Before you take Vyvanse, tell your doctor if you have or if there is a family history of:

Tell your doctor if:

  • You have any kidney problems. Your doctor may lower your dose.
  • You are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Vyvanse may harm your unborn baby
  • You are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Vyvanse can pass into your milk. Do not breastfeed while taking Vyvanse. Talk to your doctor about the best way to feed your baby if you take Vyvanse.

What Drugs Interact With Focalin?

Focalin XR may interact with MAO inhibitors, antacids, blood pressure medications, blood thinners, clonidine, seizure medications, or antidepressants. Tell your doctor all medications you use. Focalin XR should be used only when prescribed during pregnancy. It is not known if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

What Drugs Interact With Vyvanse?

Tell your doctor about all of the medicines that you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Vyvanse can affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how Vyvanse works. Using Vyvanse with other medicines can cause serious side effects.

Especially tell your doctor if you take anti-depression medicines including MAOIs.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a list of these medicines if you are not sure.

Know the medicines that you take. Keep a list of them to show your doctor and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.

Do not start any new medicine while taking Vyvanse without talking to your doctor first.

Do not drive, operate machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how Vyvanse affects you

SLIDESHOW

ADHD Symptoms in Children See Slideshow

How Should Focalin Be Taken?

The recommended starting dose of Focalin XR is 5 mg/day for pediatric patients and 10 mg/day for adult patients. Dosage may be adjusted in 5 mg increments for pediatric patients and in 10 mg increments for adult patients.

How Should Vyvanse Be Used?

  • Take Vyvanse exactly as your doctor tells you to take it.
  • Your doctor may change your dose until it is right for you.
  • Take Vyvanse 1 time each day in the morning.
  • Vyvanse can be taken with or without food.
  • Vyvanse capsules may be swallowed whole.
  • If you have trouble swallowing capsules, open your Vyvanse capsule and pour all the powder into yogurt, water, or orange juice.
    • Use all of the Vyvanse powder from the capsule so you get all of the medicine.
    • Using a spoon, break apart any powder that is stuck together. Stir the Vyvanse powder and yogurt, water or orange juice until they are completely mixed together.
    • Eat all the yogurt or drink all the water or orange juice right away after it has been mixed with Vyvanse. Do not store the yogurt, water, or orange juice after it has been mixed with Vyvanse. It is normal to see a film y coating on the inside of your glass or container after you eat or drink all the Vyvanse.
  • Your doctor may sometimes stop Vyvanse treatment for a while to check your ADHD or your BED symptoms.
  • Your doctor may do regular checks of your heart, and blood pressure while taking Vyvanse.
  • Children should have their height and weight checked often while taking Vyvanse. Vyvanse treatment may be stopped if a problem.
  • If you take too much Vyvanse, call your doctor or poison control center (1-800-222-1222) right away, or get to the nearest hospital emergency room.
Reviewed on 2/20/2019
References

Novartis. Focalin XR Drug Information.
https://www.focalinxr.com
Shire Pharmaceuticals. Vyvanse Drug Information.
https://www.vyvanse.com
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