ADHD Home > Focalin XR and Depression

It is difficult to determine how commonly people taking Focalin XR experience depression. While depression was a reported side effect in clinical studies of methylphenidate (a medication that is very similar to Focalin XR), depression was not reported as a common side effect of Focalin XR in short-term studies. Interestingly, one off-label use of Focalin XR is treating depression. If you are taking Focalin XR and depression symptoms occur, talk with your healthcare provider.

Overview of Focalin XR for Depression

There are several possible side effects for people taking Focalin XR® (dexmethylphenidate extended-release). Depression is one of the side effects reported in clinical studies of methylphenidate (which is very similar to Focalin XR). Interestingly, medications like Focalin XR are also sometimes used to help treat depression.

Is Depression a Focalin XR Side Effect?

Before medicines are approved, they must go through several clinical studies in which thousands of people are given a particular medicine and are then compared to a group of people not given the medicine. In these studies, side effects are always documented. 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. Side effects are then usually separated into those that occur in more than 1 percent of people and those that occur in less than 1 percent of people.
For people taking methylphenidate (which is very similar to Focalin XR), depression was a reported side effect (although the specific frequency was not reported). For Focalin XR specifically, depression was not reported as a common side effect in short-term studies. Based on this data, it is difficult to say how common it is for people taking Focalin XR to experience depression.
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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