Advanced Alternative
Medicine Center

320 Robinson Ave Newburgh, NY 12550

Serving All Your Heath Care Needs ... Naturally!

Dr. Richard A. Huntoon

Newburgh Chiropractor


Focalin: Methylphenidate Stimulant

Focalin Side Effects: An Introduction

As with any medicine, there are possible side effects with Focalin® (dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride). However, not everyone who takes Focalin will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate the medicine well. When people do develop Focalin side effects, in most cases they are minor, meaning they require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.

(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Focalin. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of Focalin side effects with you.)

Common Side Effects of Focalin

Focalin has been thoroughly studied in clinical trials, with many people having been evaluated. In these studies, the side effects occurring in a group of people taking the drug are always documented and compared to the side effects that occur in a similar group of people not taking the medicine. This way, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine.

Based on these studies, the most common side effects of Focalin include: 

  • Abdominal pain (or stomach pain) -- in up to 15 percent of people
  • Nausea -- up to 9 percent
  • Loss of appetite -- up to 6 percent
  • Fever -- up to 5 percent.  

Focalin can also cause a temporary slowing of growth in children. This slowing of growth is usually small (less than one inch and less than two pounds); and, in time, children usually catch up to within normal limits.

Focalin Side Effects to Report

There are a number of side effects with Focalin that you should report to your healthcare provider. These side effects include but not limited to: 

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Confusion
  • Chest tightness, chest pain, or heart palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Depression
  • Behavior that is more outgoing or aggressive than normal
  • Strange behavior, agitation, or restlessness
  • Hallucinations (or seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not really there)
  • Fainting or seizures
  • Uncontrolled movements of the head, neck, mouth, arms, or legs (known as tics)
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, including an unexplained skin rash, itching, hives, wheezing or trouble breathing, or unexplained swelling.

Rare Focalin Side Effects

There are other possible Focalin side effects that can occur. These side effects were not reported in short-term studies of Focalin. They were, however, reported in people taking methylphenidate (which is very similar to Focalin). Given that they were not actually reported for Focalin, it can be difficult to tell whether these side effects are caused by the medication or something else.

Some of these rare side effects of Focalin include but are not limited to: 

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Hair loss

Focalin Side Effects: Summary

You may experience some or none of the side effects explained above. Unfortunately, there is no way for your healthcare provider to know beforehand if you will have side effects from a medicine that you have never tried. Therefore, be sure to let your healthcare provider know if you develop any side effects during treatment with Focalin. Also let your healthcare provider know if you develop something that "just does not seem right." While it may not be a side effect of Focalin, your healthcare provider will be able to diagnose and treat the problem. 

If you are currently taking prescription medication for your symptoms and are interested in building more health and perhaps getting off your medication by addressing the cause of your health concern, please call the office and let us discuss your options.  I will work with your medical doctor to restore your health and reduce or eliminate the need for medication.

Dr. Huntoon has a single mission:

To support as many people as possible in their quest for health and enable them to improve and maintain their health to the highest level possible, while educating them about the benefits of Chiropractic, Natural Healthcare and Holistic Living, so they in turn can teach others to support us having a healthy community.

Your Choice

Health concerns are a major source of lost happiness and lost joy in all of our lives. Finding a solution that is agreeable and enables you to get back to your life is important. Please appreciate that you always have the more invasive surgery and prescription medication available to you as a last resort. What many Traditional Medical Doctors may not share is, many times, once you begin that journey into medication and/or surgery, it alters your original body from the one that you were born with. Unfortunately, at that time, more conservative and natural treatments may no longer be viable. I encourage you to consider that before making any decisions about treatment for your health. As always I am here to help. 
Your Choice:
  • Continue doing the same thing and nothing changes or it may get worse


  • Try something different and get a different result that makes you happier and healthier.
The Choice is Yours
Please call Dr. Huntoon at 845-561-BACK (2225) to discuss your options or click on our E-Visit to do it via e-mail. 
Thank You for your consideration.

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