ADHD Home > Alternatives to Focalin

There are several alternatives to Focalin, including lifestyle changes, other stimulant ADHD medications, and a nonstimulant ADHD medication. Some lifestyle changes can include different types of therapy for ADHD, including psychotherapy, social skills training, and behavioral interventions. Stimulants such as Adderall and Dexedrine are effective, but they are also controlled substances and have the potential to be abused.

Alternatives to Focalin: An Overview

Focalin® (dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride) is a prescription medication used for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Focalin is part of a group of ADHD medications called stimulants. For most children, Focalin is well-tolerated and is effective at treating ADHD symptoms.
However, as with all medicines, it is possible that side effects will occur during treatment with Focalin or that the medicine may not adequately control ADHD symptoms. Fortunately, there are several alternatives to Focalin for ADHD treatment.
Some of these Focalin alternatives include:
  • Lifestyle changes, including therapy
  • Other stimulant ADHD medications
  • Nonstimulant ADHD medications.

Lifestyle Changes

Whether or not ADHD medications are used, there are several steps that can be taken to help children with ADHD. Helping the child to develop a routine is often useful. Developing systems to keep the child organized (such as notebooks or binders for homework) can also be helpful.
Be sure to talk to your child's school about a 504 plan. Named after the law that requires public schools to accommodate children with disabilities, a 504 plan outlines the steps the school will take to help your child to do his or her best at school. The 504 plan also addresses how your child will receive medication at school.
Any behavioral change involves a well-balanced ADHD treatment plan, including social, educational, and mental therapy. There are several different types of therapy for ADHD. Some of these types of therapy include:
  • Psychotherapy
  • Behavior therapy
  • Social skills training
  • Support groups
  • Parenting skill training
  • Behavioral interventions.
Sometimes, only the child with ADHD needs counseling support. But in many cases -- because the problem affects the family as a whole -- the entire family may need help. If lifestyle changes alone are not effective at improving ADHD symptoms, medications, such as Focalin, may be necessary.
(Click Behavior Therapy for ADHD for more information about the different types of ADHD therapy.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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