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Although most people tolerate Focalin well, there are some potential side effects with the medication. A few common Focalin side effects include abdominal pain (or stomach pain), nausea, and a fever. There are also some side effects that you should report to your healthcare provider, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, and hallucinations. Among the uncommon side effects of Focalin are insomnia, hair loss, and dizziness.

Focalin Side Effects: An Introduction

As with any medicine, there are possible side effects with Focalin® (dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride). However, not everyone who takes Focalin will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate the medicine well. When people do develop Focalin side effects, in most cases they are minor, meaning they require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Focalin. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of Focalin side effects with you.)

Common Side Effects of Focalin

Focalin has been thoroughly studied in clinical trials, with many people having been evaluated. In these studies, the side effects occurring in a group of people taking the drug are always documented and compared to the side effects that occur in a similar group of people not taking the medicine. 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.
Based on these studies, the most common side effects of Focalin include:
  • Abdominal pain (or stomach pain) -- in up to 15 percent of people
  • Nausea -- up to 9 percent
  • Loss of appetite -- up to 6 percent (see Focalin and Weight Loss)
  • Fever -- up to 5 percent.
Focalin can also cause a temporary slowing of growth in children. This slowing of growth is usually small (less that one inch and less than two pounds); and, in time, children usually catch up to within normal limits.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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