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Focalin XR Capsules (Novartis)
- Drugs index
The following prescribing information is based on official labeling in effect July 2005.
Focalin XR (dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride) extended-release capsules is an extended-release formulation of dexmethylphenidate with a bi-modal release profile. Focalin XR uses the proprietary SODAS® (Spheroidal Oral Drug Absorption System) technology. Each bead-filled Focalin XR capsule contains half the dose as immediate-release beads and half as enteric-coated, delayed-release beads, thus providing an immediate release of dexmethylphenidate and a second delayed release of dexmethylphenidate. Focalin XR 5, 10, and 20 mg capsules provide in a single dose the same amount of dexmethylphenidate as dosages of 2.5, 5, or 10 mg of Focalin tablets given b.i.d.
Dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride, the d-threo enantiomer of racemic methylphenidate hydrochloride, is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant.
Dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride is methyl (alpha)-phenyl-2-piperidineacetate hydrochloride, (R,R')-(+)-. Its empirical formula is C 14 H 19 NO 2 ·HCl. Its molecular weight is 269.77 and its structural formula is
Dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride is a white to off white powder. Its solutions are acid to litmus. It is freely soluble in water and in methanol, soluble in alcohol, and slightly soluble in chloroform and in acetone.
Inactive ingredients: ammonio methacrylate copolymer, FD&C Blue #2 (5 mg strength), FDA/E172 yellow iron oxide (10 mg strength), gelatin, ink Tan SW-8010, methacrylic acid copolymer, polyethylene glycol, sugar spheres, talc, titanium dioxide, and triethyl citrate.
Dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride, the active ingredient in Focalin XR (dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride) extended-release capsules, is a central nervous system stimulant. Dexmethylphenidate, the more pharmacologically active d -enantiomer of racemic methylphenidate, is thought to block the reuptake of norepinephrine and dopamine into the presynaptic neuron and increase the release of these monoamines into the extraneuronal space. The mode of therapeutic action in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is not known.
Focalin XR produces a bi-modal plasma concentration-time profile (i.e., two distinct peaks approximately 4 hours apart) when orally administered to healthy adults. The initial rate of absorption for Focalin XR is similar to that of Focalin tablets as shown by the similar rate parameters between the two formulations, i.e., first peak concentration (C max1 ), and time to the first peak (t max1 ), which is reached in 1 ½ hours (typical range 1-4 hours). The mean time to the interpeak minimum (t minip ) is slightly shorter, and time to the second peak (t max2 ) is slightly longer for Focalin XR given once daily (about 6.5 hours, range 4.5-7 hours) compared to Focalin tablets given in two doses 4 hours apart (see Figure 1) , although the ranges observed are greater for Focalin XR.
Focalin XR given once daily exhibits a lower second peak concentration (C max2 ), higher interpeak minimum concentrations (C minip ), and less peak and trough fluctuations than Focalin tablets given in two doses given 4 hours apart. This is due to an earlier onset and more prolonged absorption from the delayed-release beads (see Figure 1) .
The AUC (exposure) after administration of Focalin XR given once daily is equivalent to the same total dose of Focalin tablets given in two doses 4 hours apart. The variability in C max , C min , and AUC is similar between Focalin XR and Focalin IR with approximately a three-fold range in each.
Radiolabeled racemic methylphenidate is well absorbed after oral administration with approximately 90% of the radioactivity recovered in urine. However, due to first pass metabolism the mean absolute bioavailability of dexmethylphenidate when administered in various formulations was 22-25%.
Dose proportionality of Focalin XR was evaluated in a randomized, single-dose, five-period, cross-over study with administration of single doses of 5, 10, 20, 30 and 40 mg to healthy adults. Results confirmed dose proportionality within this dose range.
Administration times relative to meals and meal composition may need to be individually titrated.
No food effect study was performed with Focalin XR. However, the effect of food has been studied in adults with racemic methylphenidate in the same type of extended-release formulation. The findings of that study are considered applicable to Focalin XR. After a high fat breakfast, there was a longer lag time until absorption began and variable delays in the time until the first peak concentration, the time until the interpeak minimum, and the time until the second peak. The first peak concentration and the extent of absorption were unchanged after food relative to the fasting state, although the second peak was approximately 25% lower. The effect of a high fat lunch was not examined. There is no evidence of dose dumping in the presence or absence of food. There were no differences in the plasma concentration-time profile, when administered with applesauce, compared to administration in the fasting condition. The results are expected not to differ for Focalin XR.
For patients unable to swallow the capsule, the contents may be sprinkled on applesauce and administered (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION ) .
The plasma protein binding of dexmethylphenidate is not known; racemic methylphenidate is bound to plasma proteins by 12-15%, independent of concentration. Dexmethylphenidate shows a volume of distribution of 2.65±1.11 L/kg. Plasma dexmethylphenidate concentrations decline monophasically following oral administration of Focalin XR.
Metabolism and Excretion
In humans, dexmethylphenidate is metabolized primarily to d -(alpha)-phenyl-piperidine acetic acid (also known as d -ritalinic acid) by de-esterification. This metabolite has little or no pharmacological activity. There is no in vivo interconversion to the l-threo -enantiomer, based on a finding of no levels of l-threo -methylphenidate being detectable after administration of up to 40 mg dexmethylphenidate in adults. After oral dosing of radiolabeled racemic methylphenidate in humans, about 90% of the radioactivity was recovered in urine. The main urinary metabolite of racemic ( d,l -) methylphenidate was d,l -ritalinic acid, accountable for approximately 80% of the dose. Urinary excretion of parent compound accounted for 0.5% of an intravenous dose.
In vitro studies showed that dexmethylphenidate did not inhibit cytochrome P450 isoenzymes at concentrations observed after therapeutic doses.
Intravenous dexmethylphenidate was eliminated with a mean clearance of 0.40±0.12 L/kg.h - 1 corresponding to 0.56±0.18 L/min. The mean terminal elimination half-life of dexmethylphenidate was just over 3 hours in healthy adults and typically varied between 2 and 4.5 hours with an occasional subject exhibiting a terminal half-life between 5 and 7 hours. Children tend to have slightly shorter half-lives with means of 2-3 hours.
After administration of Focalin XR the first peak, (C max1 ), was on average 45% higher in women. The inter-peak minimum and the second peak also tended to be slightly higher in women although the difference was not statistically significant, and these patterns remained even after weight normalization. Pharmacokinetic parameters for dexmethylphenidate after Focalin immediate-release tablets were similar for boys and girls.
There is insufficient experience with the use of Focalin XR to detect ethnic variations in pharmacokinetics.
The pharmacokinetics of dexmethylphenidate after Focalin XR administration have not been studied in children less than 18 years of age. When a similar formulation of racemic methylphenidate was examined in 15 children between 10 and 12 years of age and 3 children with ADHD between 7 and 9 years of age, the time to the first peak was similar, although the time until the between peak minimum, and the time until the second peak were delayed and more variable in children compared to adults. After administration of the same dose to children and adults, concentrations in children were approximately twice the concentrations observed in adults. This higher exposure is almost completely due to smaller body size as no relevant age-related differences in dexmethylphenidate pharmacokinetic parameters (i.e., clearance and volume of distribution) are observed after normalization to dose and weight.
There is no experience with the use of Focalin XR in patients with renal insufficiency. After oral administration of radiolabeled racemic methylphenidate in humans, methylphenidate was extensively metabolized and approximately 80% of the radioactivity was excreted in the urine in the form of racemic ritalinic acid which is pharmacologically inactive. Very little unchanged drug is excreted in the urine, thus renal insufficiency is expected to have little effect on the pharmacokinetics of Focalin XR.
There is no experience with the use of Focalin XR in patients with hepatic insufficiency. (See PRECAUTIONS , Drug Interactions .)
The effectiveness of Focalin XR (dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride) extended-release capsules in the treatment of ADHD was established in randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in children and adolescents and in adults who met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 4 th edition (DSM-IV) criteria for ADHD (see INDICATIONS AND USAGE ) .
Children and Adolescents
The effectiveness of Focalin XR was established in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study in 103 pediatric patients (ages 6 to 12, n=86; ages 13 to 17, n=17) who met DSM-IV criteria for ADHD. Patients were randomized to receive either a flexible dose of Focalin XR (5 to 30 mg/day) or placebo once daily for 7 weeks. During the first 5 weeks of treatment patients were titrated to their optimal dose and in the last 2 weeks of the study patients remained on their optimal dose without dose changes or interruption.
Signs and symptoms of ADHD were evaluated by comparing the mean change from baseline to endpoint for Focalin XR- and placebo-treated patients using an intent-to-treat analysis of the primary efficacy outcome measure, the DSM-IV total subscale score of the Conners ADHD/DSM-IV Scales for teachers (CADS-T).
There was a statistically significant treatment effect in favor of Focalin XR. There were insufficient adolescents enrolled in this study to assess the efficacy for Focalin XR in the adolescent population. However, pharmacokinetic considerations and evidence of effectiveness of immediate-release Focalin in adolescents support the effectiveness of Focalin XR in this population.
A separate study of 54 pediatric patients ages 6-12 who received a single dose of 20 mg Focalin XR or placebo in a cross-over design demonstrated a statistically significant treatment effect at 1 hour after dosing on the Swanson, Kotkin, Agler, M-Flynn & Pelham (SKAMP) rating scale combined score.
The effectiveness of Focalin XR was established in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study in 221 adult patients (ages 18 to 60) who met DSM-IV criteria for ADHD. Patients were randomized to receive either a fixed dose of Focalin XR (20, 30, or 40 mg/day) or placebo once daily for 5 weeks. Patients randomized to Focalin XR were initiated on a 10 mg/day starting dose and titrated in increments of 10 mg/week to the randomly assigned fixed dose. Patients were maintained on their fixed dose (20, 30 or 40 mg/day) for a minimum of 2 weeks.
Signs and symptoms of ADHD were evaluated by comparing the mean change from baseline to endpoint for Focalin XR- and placebo-treated patients using an intent-to-treat analysis of the primary efficacy outcome measure, the investigator-administered DSM-IV Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Rating Scale (DSM-IV ADHD RS).
All three Focalin XR doses were statistically significantly superior to placebo. There was no obvious increase in effectiveness with increasing dose.
INDICATIONS AND USAGE
Focalin XR (dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride) extended-release capsules is indicated for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in patients aged 6 years and older.
The effectiveness of Focalin XR in the treatment of ADHD in patients aged 6 years and older was established in two placebo-controlled studies in patients meeting DSM-IV criteria for ADHD (see CLINICAL STUDIES ) .
A diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD; DSM-IV) implies the presence of hyperactive-impulsive or inattentive symptoms that caused impairment and were present before age 7 years. The symptoms must cause clinically significant impairment, e.g., in social, academic, or occupational functioning, and be present in two or more settings, e.g., school (or work) and at home. The symptoms must not be better accounted for by another mental disorder. For the Inattentive Type, at least six of the following symptoms must have persisted for at least 6 months: lack of attention to details/careless mistakes; lack of sustained attention; poor listener; failure to follow through on tasks; poor organization; avoids tasks requiring sustained mental effort; loses things; easily distracted; forgetful. For the Hyperactive-Impulsive Type, at least six of the following symptoms must have persisted for at least 6 months: fidgeting/squirming; leaving seat; inappropriate running/climbing; difficulty with quiet activities; "on the go;" excessive talking; blurting answers; can't wait turn; intrusive. The Combined Types requires both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive criteria to be met.
Special Diagnostic Considerations
Specific etiology of this syndrome is unknown, and there is no single diagnostic test. Adequate diagnosis requires the use not only of medical but of special psychological, educational, and social resources. Learning may or may not be impaired. The diagnosis must be based upon a complete history and evaluation of the child and not solely on the presence of the required number of DSM-IV characteristics.
Need for Comprehensive Treatment Program
Focalin XR is indicated as an integral part of a total treatment program for ADHD that may include other measures (psychological, educational, social) for patients with this syndrome. Drug treatment may not be indicated for all children with this syndrome. Stimulants are not intended for use in the child who exhibits symptoms secondary to environmental factors and/or other primary psychiatric disorders, including psychosis. Appropriate educational placement is essential and psychosocial intervention is often helpful. When remedial measures alone are insufficient, the decision to prescribe stimulant medication will depend upon the physician's assessment of the chronicity and severity of the child's symptoms.
The effectiveness of Focalin XR for long-term use, i.e., for more than 7 weeks, has not been systematically evaluated in controlled trials. Therefore, the physician who elects to use Focalin XR for extended periods should periodically re-evaluate the long-term usefulness of the drug for the individual patient (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION ) .
Focalin XR (dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride) extended-release capsules is contraindicated in patients with marked anxiety, tension, and agitation, since the drug may aggravate these symptoms.
Hypersensitivity to Methylphenidate
Focalin XR is contraindicated in patients known to be hypersensitive to methylphenidate, or other components of the product.
Focalin XR is contraindicated in patients with glaucoma.
Focalin XR is contraindicated in patients with motor tics or with a family history or diagnosis of Tourette's syndrome. (See ADVERSE REACTIONS .)
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors
Focalin XR is contraindicated during treatment with monoamine oxidase inhibitors, and also within a minimum of 14 days following discontinuation of treatment with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (hypertensive crises may result).
Focalin XR (dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride) extended-release capsules should not be used to treat severe depression.
Focalin XR should not be used for the prevention or treatment of normal fatigue states.
Long-Term Suppression of Growth
Sufficient data on the long-term effects on growth of dex-methylphenidate in children are not yet available. Although a causal relationship has not been established, suppression of growth (i.e., weight gain, and/or height) has been reported with the long-term use of stimulants in children. Therefore, patients requiring long-term therapy should be carefully monitored. Patients who are not growing or gaining weight as expected should have their treatment interrupted. In the 7-week double-blind placebo-controlled study of Focalin XR, the mean weight gain was greater for patients receiving placebo (+0.4 kg) than for patients receiving Focalin XR (-0.5 kg).
Clinical experience suggests that in psychotic patients, administration of methylphenidate may exacerbate symptoms of behavior disturbance and thought disorder.
There is some clinical evidence that methylphenidate may lower the convulsive threshold in patients with prior history of seizures, in patients with prior EEG abnormalities in the absence of a history of seizures, and, very rarely, in patients without a history of seizures and no prior EEG evidence of seizures. Safe concomitant use of anticonvulsants and methylphenidate has not been established. In the presence of seizures, Focalin XR should be discontinued.
Hypertension and Other Cardiovascular Conditions
Caution is indicated in treating patients whose underlying medical conditions might be compromised by increases in blood pressure or heart rate, e.g., those with pre-existing hypertension, heart failure, recent myocardial infarction, or hyperthyroidism. Blood pressure should be monitored at appropriate intervals in patients taking Focalin XR, especially patients with hypertension. Studies of Focalin XR and methylphenidate have shown small, mean, dose-related, increases of resting pulse and blood pressure in both pediatric patients and adults.
Symptoms of visual disturbances have been encountered in rare cases. Difficulties with accommodation and blurring of vision have been reported with methylphenidate.
Use in Children Under Six Years of Age
Focalin XR should not be used in children under 6 years of age, since safety and efficacy in this age group have not been established.
Periodic CBC, differential, and platelet counts are advised during prolonged therapy.
Information for Patients
Patient information is provided at the end of this insert. To assure safe and effective use of Focalin XR (dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride) extended-release capsules, the patient information should be discussed with patients.
Focalin XR should not be used in patients being treated (currently or within the preceding two weeks) with MAO Inhibitors (see CONTRAINDICATIONS , Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors ) .
Because of possible effects on blood pressure, Focalin XR should be used cautiously with pressor agents.
Methylphenidate may decrease the effectiveness of drugs used to treat hypertension.
Dexmethylphenidate is metabolized primarily to d -ritalinic acid by de-esterification and not through oxidative pathways.
The effects of gastrointestinal pH alterations on the absorption of dexmethylphenidate from Focalin XR have not been studied. Since the modified release characteristics of Focalin XR are pH dependent, the coadministration of antacids or acid suppressants could alter the release of dexmethylphenidate.
Human pharmacologic studies have shown that racemic methylphenidate may inhibit the metabolism of coumarin anticoagulants, anticonvulsants (e.g., phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone), and tricyclic drugs (e.g., imipramine, clomipramine, desipramine). Downward dose adjustments of these drugs may be required when given concomitantly with methylphenidate. It may be necessary to adjust the dosage and monitor plasma drug concentration (or, in the case of coumarin, coagulation times), when initiating or discontinuing methylphenidate.
Serious adverse events have been reported in concomitant use with clonidine, although no causality for the combination has been established. The safety of using methylphenidate in combination with clonidine or other centrally-acting alpha-2-agonists has not been systematically evaluated.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, and Impairment of Fertility
Lifetime carcinogenicity studies have not been carried out with dexmethylphenidate. In a lifetime carcinogenicity study carried out in B6C3F1 mice, racemic methylphenidate caused an increase in hepatocellular adenomas, and in males only, an increase in hepatoblastomas at a daily dose of approximately 60 mg/kg/day. Hepatoblastoma is a relatively rare rodent malignant tumor type. There was no increase in total malignant hepatic tumors. The mouse strain used is sensitive to the development of hepatic tumors, and the significance of these results to humans is unknown.
Racemic methylphenidate did not cause any increase in tumors in a lifetime carcinogenicity study carried out in F344 rats; the highest dose used was approximately 45 mg/kg/day.
In a 24-week study of racemic methylphenidate in the transgenic mouse strain p53+/-, which is sensitive to genotoxic carcinogens, there was no evidence of carcinogenicity. Mice were fed diets containing the same concentrations as in the lifetime carcinogenicity study; the high-dose group was exposed to 60-74 mg/kg/day of racemic methylphenidate.
Dexmethylphenidate was not mutagenic in the in vitro Ames reverse mutation assay, the in vitro mouse lymphoma cell forward mutation assay, or the in vivo mouse bone marrow micronucleus test.
Racemic methylphenidate was not mutagenic in the in vitro Ames reverse mutation assay or the in vitro mouse lymphoma cell forward mutation assay, and was negative in vivo in the mouse bone marrow micronucleus assay. However, sister chromatid exchanges and chromosome aberrations were increased, indicative of a weak clastogenic response, in an in vitro assay of racemic methylphenidate in cultured Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells.
Racemic methylphenidate did not impair fertility in male or female mice that were fed diets containing the drug in an 18-week Continuous Breeding study. The study was conducted at doses of up to 160 mg/kg/day.
In the adult placebo-controlled study, 10.7% of the Focalin XR-treated patients and 7.5% of the placebo-treated patients discontinued for adverse events. Among Focalin XR-treated patients, insomnia (1.8%, n=3), feeling jittery (1.8%, n=3), anorexia (1.2%, n=2), and anxiety (1.2%, n=2) were the reasons for discontinuation reported by more than 1 patient.
Table 2 enumerates treatment-emergent adverse events for the placebo-controlled, parallel-group study in adults with ADHD at fixed Focalin XR doses of 20, 30, and 40 mg/day. The table includes only those events that occurred in 5% or more of patients in a Focalin XR dose group and for which the incidences in patients treated with Focalin XR appeared to increase with dose. The prescriber should be aware that these figures cannot be used to predict the incidence of adverse events in the course of usual medical practice where patient characteristics and other factors differ from those which prevailed in the clinical trials. Similarly, the cited frequencies cannot be compared with figures obtained from other clinical investigations involving different treatments, uses, and investigators. The cited figures, however, do provide the prescribing physician with some basis for estimating the relative contribution of drug and non-drug factors to the adverse event incidence rate in the population studied.
[See table below]
Two other adverse reactions occurring in clinical trials with Focalin XR at a frequency greater than placebo, but which were not dose related were: Feeling jittery (12% and 2%, respectively) and Dizziness (6% and 2%, respectively).
Table 3 summarizes changes in vital signs and weight that were recorded in the adult study (N=218) of Focalin XR in the treatment of ADHD.
[See table below]
Nervousness and insomnia are the most common adverse reactions reported with other methylphenidate products. In children, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, weight loss during prolonged therapy, insomnia, and tachycardia may occur more frequently; however, any of the other adverse reactions listed below may also occur.
Other reactions include:
Cardiac: angina, arrhythmia, palpitations, pulse increased or decreased, tachycardia
Gastrointestinal: abdominal pain, nausea
Immune: hypersensitivity reactions including skin rash, urticaria, fever, arthralgia, exfoliative dermatitis, erythema multiforme with histopathological findings of necrotizing vasculitis, and thrombocytopenic purpura
Metabolism/Nutrition: anorexia, weight loss during prolonged therapy
Nervous System: dizziness, drowsiness, dyskinesia, headache, rare reports of Tourette's syndrome, toxic psychosis
Vascular: blood pressure increased or decreased, cerebral arteritis and/or occlusion
Although a definite causal relationship has not been established, the following have been reported in patients taking methylphenidate:
Blood/Lymphatic: leukopenia and/or anemia
Hepatobiliary: abnormal liver function, ranging from transaminase elevation to hepatic coma
Psychiatric: transient depressed mood
Skin/Subcutaneous: scalp hair loss
Very rare reports of neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) have been received, and, in most of these, patients were concurrently receiving therapies associated with NMS. In a single report, a ten-year-old boy who had been taking methylphenidate for approximately 18 months experienced an NMS-like event within 45 minutes of ingesting his first dose of venlafaxine. It is uncertain whether this case represented a drug-drug interaction, a response to either drug alone, or some other cause.
Focalin XR (dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride) extended-release capsules, like other methylphenidate products, is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance by Federal regulation.
See WARNINGS for boxed warning containing drug abuse and dependence information.
Signs and symptoms of acute methylphenidate overdosage, resulting principally from overstimulation of the CNS and from excessive sympathomimetic effects, may include the following: vomiting, agitation, tremors, hyperreflexia, muscle twitching, convulsions (may be followed by coma), euphoria, confusion, hallucinations, delirium, sweating, flushing, headache, hyperpyrexia, tachycardia, palpitations, cardiac arrhythmias, hypertension, mydriasis, and dryness of mucous membranes.
The physician may wish to consider contacting a poison control center for up-to-date information on the management of overdosage with methylphenidate.
As with the management of all overdosage, the possibility of multiple drug ingestion should be considered.
When treating overdose, practitioners should bear in mind that there is a prolonged release of dexmethylphenidate from Focalin XR (dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride) extended-release capsules.
Treatment consists of appropriate supportive measures. The patient must be protected against self-injury and against external stimuli that would aggravate overstimulation already present. Gastric contents may be evacuated by gastric lavage as indicated. Before performing gastric lavage, control agitation and seizures if present and protect the airway. Other measures to detoxify the gut include administration of activated charcoal and a cathartic. Intensive care must be provided to maintain adequate circulation and respiratory exchange; external cooling procedures may be required for hyperpyrexia.
Efficacy of peritoneal dialysis for Focalin overdosage has not been established.
Focalin XR (dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride) extended-release capsules is for oral administration once daily in the morning.
Focalin XR may be swallowed as whole capsules or alternatively may be administered by sprinkling the capsule contents on a small amount of applesauce (see specific instructions below) . Focalin XR and/or their contents should not be crushed, chewed, or divided.
The capsules may be carefully opened and the beads sprinkled over a spoonful of applesauce. The mixture of drug and applesauce should be consumed immediately in its entirety. The drug and applesauce mixture should not be stored for future use.
Dosage should be individualized according to the needs and responses of the patients.
The recommended starting dose of Focalin XR for patients who are not currently taking dexmethylphenidate or racemic methylphenidate, or for patients who are on stimulants other than methylphenidate, is 5 mg/day for pediatric patients and 10 mg/day for adult patients.
Dosage may be adjusted in 5 mg increments to a maximum of 20 mg/day for pediatric patients and in 10 mg increments to a maximum of 20 mg/day for adult patients. In general, dosage adjustments may proceed at approximately weekly intervals. The patient should be observed for a sufficient duration at a given dose to ensure that a maximal benefit has been achieved before a dose increase is considered.
For patients currently using methylphenidate, the recommended starting dose of Focalin XR is half the total daily dose of racemic methylphenidate. Patients currently using Focalin (dexmethylphenidate) may be switched to the same daily dose of Focalin XR. The maximum recommended dose is 20 mg/day for pediatric and adult patients.
There is no body of evidence available from controlled trials to indicate how long the patient with ADHD should be treated with Focalin XR. It is generally agreed, however, that pharmacological treatment of ADHD may be needed for extended periods. Nevertheless, the physician who elects to use Focalin XR for extended periods in patients with ADHD should periodically reevaluate the long-term usefulness of the drug for the individual patient with periods off medication to assess the patient's functioning without pharmacotherapy. Improvement may be sustained when the drug is either temporarily or permanently discontinued.
If paradoxical aggravation of symptoms or other adverse events occur, the dosage should be reduced, or, if necessary, the drug should be discontinued.
If improvement is not observed after appropriate dosage adjustment over a 1-month period, the drug should be discontinued.
Focalin XR capsules 5 mg: light blue (imprinted NVR D5)
Bottles of 100 NDC 0078-0430-05
Focalin XR capsules 10 mg: light caramel (imprinted NVR D10)
Bottles of 100 NDC 0078-0431-05
Focalin XR capsules 20 mg: white (imprinted NVR D20)
Bottles of 100 NDC 0078-0432-05
Store at 25°C (77°F), excursions permitted 15°-30°C (59°-86°F). [See USP Controlled Room Temperature.]
Dispense in tight container (USP).
Focalin XR is a trademark of Novartis AG
SODAS® is a trademark of Elan Corporation, plc.
This product is covered by US patents including 5,837,284, 5,908,850, 6,228,398, 6,355,656, and 6,635,284.
American Psychiatric Association. Diagnosis and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 4th ed. Washington DC: American Psychiatric Association 1994.
MAY 2005 T2005-32
Focalin XR CII
This information for patients or their parents or caregivers is about Focalin XR. Please read this before you start taking Focalin XR. Also, read the information you get each time you renew your prescription, in case anything has changed. Remember, this information does not take the place of your doctor's instructions. If you have any questions about this information or about Focalin XR, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Focalin XR is a once-a-day treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD. Focalin XR contains the drug dexmethylphenidate (Focalin), a central nervous system stimulant. Dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride is also found in methylphenidate which has been used to treat ADHD for more than 30 years. Focalin XR is available as 5, 10, and 20 mg extended-release capsules. Focalin XR is taken by mouth, once each day in the morning, before breakfast.
ADHD has three main types of symptoms: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. Symptoms of inattention include not paying attention, making careless mistakes, not listening, not finishing tasks, not following directions, and being easily distracted. Symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsiveness include fidgeting, talking excessively, running around at inappropriate times, and interrupting others. Some patients have more symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsiveness while others have more symptoms of inattentiveness. Some patients have all three types of symptoms.
Many people have symptoms like these from time to time, but patients with ADHD have these symptoms more than others their age. Symptoms must be present for at least 6 months to be certain of the diagnosis.
When you take a Focalin XR capsule, half of the beads provide an immediate dose of dexmethylphenidate and the other half provide a delayed second release of the drug to continue to help lessen the symptoms of ADHD during the day. Dexmethylphenidate, the active ingredient in Focalin XR, helps increase attention and decrease impulsiveness and hyperactivity in patients with ADHD.
BEFORE FOCALIN XR TREATMENT
It is very important that ADHD be accurately diagnosed and that the need for medication be carefully assessed. It is important to remember that Focalin XR is only part of the overall management of ADHD. Parents, teachers, physicians and other professionals are part of a team that must work together.
Before Focalin XR treatment, your doctor should be made aware of any current or past physical or mental problems. Tell your doctor if there is a history of drug or alcohol abuse, depression, psychosis, epilepsy or seizure disorders, high blood pressure, glaucoma, facial tics (involuntary movements), or a family history of Tourette's syndrome.
Both your doctor and your pharmacist should also be informed of all medicines that you are taking, even if these drugs are not taken on a regular basis and are available without prescription. Your doctor will decide whether you can take Focalin XR with other medicines. Methylphenidate is known to interact with a number of other drugs. These include medicines to treat depression, such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors; to control seizures; and to thin blood. Sometimes these interactions may require a change in dosage, or occasionally stopping one of the drugs involved.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or nursing a baby.
You should NOT take Focalin XR if:
Talk to your doctor if you believe any of these conditions apply to you.
Take Focalin XR once each day in the morning.
Take the dose prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor may adjust the amount of drug you take until it is right for you. From time to time, your doctor may interrupt your treatment to check your symptoms while you are not taking the drug.
Focalin XR capsules may be taken at the same time as food or without food, although food may delay the absorption of Focalin XR. The Focalin XR capsule may be swallowed as whole capsules or the capsule may be opened and sprinkled on a small amount of applesauce. The capsule should not be crushed or chewed or its contents divided.
To sprinkle the contents of the capsule, open the capsule carefully and sprinkle the beads over a spoonful of applesauce. The mixture of drug and applesauce should be consumed immediately in its entirety. The drug and applesauce mixture should not be stored for future use.
If you also take antacids or drugs that suppress stomach acids, you should discuss with your physician or pharmacist how to take these drugs with Focalin XR.
The most common side effects of Focalin XR in clinical trials in children over 6 years old were upset stomach, nausea, decreased appetite, headache and anxiety.
The most common side effects in clinical study of adults were dry mouth, dyspepsia, feeling jittery, dizziness, anxiety and throat pain.
Other side effects seen with dexmethylphenidate include vomiting, dizziness, sleeplessness, nervousness, tics, allergic reactions, increased blood pressure and psychosis (abnormal thinking or hallucinations).
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. Ask your doctor about other side effects. If you develop any side effect, talk to your doctor.
Abuse of dexmethylphenidate can lead to dependence. Tell your doctor if you have ever abused or been dependent on alcohol or drugs, or if you are now abusing or dependent on alcohol or drugs.
Tell your doctor if you have blurred vision when taking Focalin XR. This could be a sign of a serious problem.
Slower growth (weight gain and/or height) has been reported with long-term use of methylphenidate in children. Your doctor will be carefully watching your height and weight. If you are not growing or gaining weight as your doctor expects, your doctor may stop your Focalin XR treatment.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. Ask your doctor about other side effects. If you develop any side effect, talk to your doctor.
Talk to your doctor before taking Focalin XR if you:
Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the above conditions or symptoms while taking Focalin XR.
Tell your doctor about all medicines that you are taking or intend to take. Your doctor should decide whether you can take Focalin XR with other medicines. These include:
Monoamine Oxidase (MAO) Inhibitors
You should not take Focalin XR with (MAO) inhibitors or within 14 days of stopping a MAO inhibitor.
Starting a New Medicine
While on Focalin XR, do not start taking a new medicine or herbal remedy before checking with your doctor.
Other Medicines You May Be Taking
Focalin XR may change the way your body reacts to certain medicines. These include medicines used to treat depression, prevent seizures, or prevent blood clots (commonly called "blood thinners"). Your doctor may need to change your dose of these medicines if you are taking them with Focalin XR.
Other Important Safety Information
Pregnancy and Nursing
Before taking Focalin XR, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant. If you take dexmethylphenidate, it may be in your breast milk. Tell your doctor if you are nursing a baby.
Call a Poison Control Center or your doctor immediately if you take more than the amount of Focalin XR prescribed by your doctor.
Focalin XR has not been studied in children under 6 years of age.
Focalin XR may be a part of your overall treatment for ADHD. Your doctor may also recommend that you have counseling or other therapy.
As with all medicines, never share Focalin XR with anyone else and take only the number of Focalin XR capsules prescribed by your doctor.
Focalin XR should be stored in a safe place at room temperature (between 59°-86°F). Do not store this medicine in hot, damp, or humid places. Keep the container of Focalin XR in a safe place, away from high-traffic areas where other people could have accidental or unauthorized access to the medication. Keep track of the number of capsules so that you will know if any are missing. Someone who has easy access to Focalin XR may be able to give the capsules to others or misuse the medication.
Keep out of the reach of children.
This leaflet summarizes the most important information about Focalin XR. If you would like more information, talk with your doctor. You can ask your pharmacist or doctor for information about Focalin XR that is written for health professionals. You can also call 1-888-NOW-NOVA (1-888-669-6682).
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Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
East Hanover, New Jersey 07936
By ELAN HOLDINGS INC.
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