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dexmethylphenidate (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking dexmethylphenidate (Focalin, Focalin XR)?

Do not use dexmethylphenidate if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) within the past 14 days. Serious, life-threatening side effects can occur if you take dexmethylphenidate before the MAO inhibitor has cleared from your body.

You should not take dexmethylphenidate if you are allergic to dexmethylphenidate or methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta), or if you have:

Some stimulants have caused sudden death in children and adolescents with serious heart problems or congenital heart defects. Before taking dexmethylphenidate, tell your doctor if you have any type of heart problems.

If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use dexmethylphenidate:

  • severe depression or a history of mental illness;
  • a history of drug or alcohol addiction;
  • seizures or epilepsy;
  • high blood pressure;
  • heart disease, heart rhythm problems, or congestive heart failure; or
  • if you have recently had a heart attack.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether dexmethylphenidate is harmful to an unborn baby. Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether dexmethylphenidate passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Long-term use of dexmethylphenidate can slow a child's growth. Tell your doctor if the child using this medication is not growing or gaining weight properly.

Do not give this medication to a child younger than 6 years old.

Dexmethylphenidate may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Dexmethylphenidate should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.

Keep track of how many pills have been used from each new bottle of this medicine. Dexmethylphenidate is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if any person in the household is using this medicine improperly or without a prescription.

How should I take dexmethylphenidate (Focalin, Focalin XR)?

Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from this medication.

Take this medicine with a full glass of water.

This medication is usually taken in the morning before breakfast. You may take it with or without food.

You may open the dexmethylphenidate capsule and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of applesauce to make swallowing easier. Swallow this mixture right away without chewing. Do not save the mixture for later use. Discard the empty capsule.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your doctor will need to check your progress on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

Store dexmethylphenidate at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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