Focalin XR (Page 4 of 7)

8.2 Lactation

Risk Summary

Dexmethylphenidate is the d-threo enantiomer of racemic methylphenidate. Limited published literature, based on milk sampling from seven mothers reports that methylphenidate is present in human milk, which resulted in infant doses of 0.16% to 0.7% of the maternal weight-adjusted dosage and a milk/plasma ratio ranging between 1.1 and 2.7. There are no reports of adverse effects on the breastfed infant and no effects on milk production. Long-term neurodevelopmental effects on infants from stimulant exposure are unknown. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for Focalin XR and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from Focalin XR or from the underlying maternal condition.

Clinical Considerations

Monitor breastfeeding infants for adverse reactions, such as agitation, insomnia, anorexia, and reduced weight gain.

8.4 Pediatric Use

The safety and effectiveness of Focalin XR in pediatric patients less than 6 years have not been established.

The safety and effectiveness of Focalin XR for the treatment of ADHD have been established in pediatric patients ages 6 to 17 years in two adequate and well-controlled clinical trials [see Clinical Studies (14.2)]. The long-term efficacy of Focalin XR in pediatric patients has not been established.

Long-Term Suppression of Growth

Growth should be monitored during treatment with stimulants, including Focalin XR. Pediatric patients who are not growing or gaining weight as expected may need to have their treatment interrupted [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)].

Juvenile Animal Toxicity Data

Rats treated with racemic methylphenidate early in the postnatal period through sexual maturation demonstrated a decrease in spontaneous locomotor activity in adulthood. A deficit in acquisition of a specific learning task was observed in females only. The doses at which these findings were observed are at least 6 times the MRHD of 60 mg/day given to children on a mg/m2 basis.

In a study conducted in young rats, racemic methylphenidate was administered orally at doses of up to 100 mg/kg/day for 9 weeks, starting early in the postnatal period (postnatal Day 7) and continuing through sexual maturity (postnatal Week 10). When these animals were tested as adults (postnatal Weeks 13 to 14), decreased spontaneous locomotor activity was observed in males and females previously treated with 50 mg/kg/day (approximately 4 times the MRHD of 60 mg/day of racemic methylphenidate given to children on a mg/m2 basis) or greater, and a deficit in the acquisition of a specific learning task was seen in females exposed to the highest dose (8 times the MRHD given to children on a mg/m2 basis). The no effect level for juvenile neurobehavioral development in rats was 5 mg/kg/day (approximately 0.5 times the MRHD given to children on a mg/m2 basis). The clinical significance of the long-term behavioral effects observed in rats is unknown.

8.5 Geriatric Use

Focalin XR has not been studied in the geriatric population.


9.1 Controlled Substance

Focalin XR contains dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride, a Schedule II controlled substance.

9.2 Abuse

CNS stimulants, including Focalin XR, other methylphenidate-containing products, and amphetamines have a high potential for abuse. Abuse is characterized by impaired control over drug use despite harm, and craving.

Signs and symptoms of CNS stimulant abuse include increased heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and/or sweating, dilated pupils, hyperactivity, restlessness, insomnia, decreased appetite, loss of coordination, tremors, flushed skin, vomiting, and/or abdominal pain. Anxiety, psychosis, hostility, aggression, and suicidal or homicidal ideation have also been observed. Abusers of CNS stimulants may chew, snort, inject, or use other unapproved routes of administration which may result in overdose and death [see Overdosage (10)].

To reduce the abuse of CNS stimulants, including Focalin XR, assess the risk of abuse prior to prescribing. After prescribing, keep careful prescription records, educate patients and their families about abuse and on proper storage and disposal of CNS stimulants [see How Supplied/Storage and Handling (16)] , monitor for signs of abuse while on therapy, and reevaluate the need for Focalin XR use.

9.3 Dependence


Tolerance (a state of adaptation in which exposure to a drug results in a reduction of the drug’s desired and/or undesired effects over time) can occur during chronic therapy with CNS stimulants, including Focalin XR.


Physical dependence (which is manifested by a withdrawal syndrome produced by abrupt cessation, rapid dose reduction, or administration of an antagonist) may occur in patients treated with CNS stimulants, including Focalin XR. Withdrawal symptoms after abrupt cessation following prolonged high-dosage administration of CNS stimulants include dysphoric mood; fatigue; vivid, unpleasant dreams; insomnia or hypersomnia; increased appetite; and psychomotor retardation or agitation.


Human Experience

Signs and symptoms of acute methylphenidate overdosage, resulting principally from overstimulation of the CNS and from excessive sympathomimetic effects, may include the following: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, anxiety, agitation, tremors, hyperreflexia, muscle twitching, convulsions (may be followed by coma), euphoria, confusion, hallucinations, delirium, sweating, flushing, headache, hyperpyrexia, tachycardia, palpitations, cardiac arrhythmias, hypertension, hypotension, tachypnea, mydriasis, dryness of mucous membranes, and rhabdomyolysis.

Overdose Management

Consult with a Certified Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) for the latest recommendations.


Focalin XR contains dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride, a CNS stimulant. Dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride is the d-threo enantiomer of racemic methylphenidate hydrochloride. Focalin XR is an extended-release formulation of dexmethylphenidate with a bi-modal release profile. 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 delayed release of dexmethylphenidate. Focalin XR is intended for oral administration and is available as 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 25 mg, 30 mg, 35 mg, and 40 mg extended-release capsules.

Chemically, dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride is methyl α-phenyl-2-piperidineacetate hydrochloride, (R,R’)-(+)-. Its molecular formula is C14 H19 NO2 •HCl. Its structural formula is:

Dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride structural formula.

Note* = asymmetric carbon center

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. Its molecular weight is 269.77 g/mol.

Inactive ingredients: ammonio methacrylate copolymer, gelatin, methacrylic acid copolymer, polyethylene glycol, sugar spheres, talc, titanium dioxide, and triethyl citrate.

Each strength capsule also contains colorant ingredients in the capsule shell as follows:

  • 5 mg: E132 FD&C Blue No. 2
  • 10 mg: FDA/E172 iron oxide yellow
  • 15 mg: FD&C Blue No. 2, FDA/E172 iron oxide yellow
  • 20 mg: contains no colorants
  • 25 mg: E132 FD&C Blue No. 2
  • 30 mg: FDA/E172 iron oxide yellow
  • 35 mg: E132 FD&C Blue No. 2, FDA/E172 iron oxide yellow
  • 40 mg: E132 FD&C Blue No. 2, FDA/E172 iron oxide yellow
Dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride structural formula.


Figure 1 Mean Dexmethylphenidate Plasma Concentration-Time Profiles After Administration of 1 x 20 mg Focalin XR (n=24) Capsules and 2 x 10 mg Focalin Immediate-Release Tablets (n=25).

12.1 Mechanism of Action

Dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride is a CNS stimulant. The mode of therapeutic action in ADHD is not known.

12.2 Pharmacodynamics

Dexmethylphenidate is the more pharmacologically active d -enantiomer of racemic methylphenidate. Methylphenidate blocks the reuptake of norepinephrine and dopamine into the presynaptic neuron and increases the release of these monoamines into the extraneuronal space.

Cardiac Electrophysiology

At the recommended maximum total daily dosage of 40 mg, Focalin XR does not prolong the QTc interval to any clinically relevant extent.

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