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Focalin vs Ritalin: Difference Between Focalin and Ritalin

Focalin vs Ritalin

Focalin and Ritalin are the two common medicines used to treat symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in patients. Both medicines have similar medicinal uses but different ingredients for the treatment of ADHD symptoms. They also cause similar side effects, but individuals experience them in different ways. Now, we are going to compare Focalin vs Ritalin medicines based on their function, dosages, and side effects.

Brief Overview of Focalin Medicine with its physical properties

Focalin is a prescribed medicine, which is used for the treatment of ADHD symptoms. It contains an active ingredient called Dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride. This medicine is used by people suffering from ADHD condition. Its molar mass is 233.31 g/mol.

Properties of Focalin Medicine

Focalin medicine consists of various physical properties. These are as follows:

  • Focalin medicine is slightly soluble in acetone and chloroform but freely soluble in water and methanol.
  • The melting point of Focalin medicine is less than 203 degrees Celsius.
  • The refractive index of Focalin medicine is 1.523.
  • Focalin medicine is a white color medicine.

Brief Overview of Ritalin Medicine with its physical properties

Ritalin is a medicine that is used to treat common symptoms of ADHD and narcolepsy in people. The active ingredient of this medicine is Methylphenidate hydrochloride. This medicine is applied on the skin or used as a chewing tablet. Its molar mass is 233.31 g/mol.

Properties of Ritalin Medicine

There are different physical properties of Ritalin medicine. These include the following:

  • It is soluble in ether, alcohol, and ethyl acetate, but insoluble in water.
  • The melting point and boiling point of Ritalin medicine is 74 degrees Celsius and 136 degrees Celsius, respectively.
  • It is an odorless and white crystalline medicine.
  • The relative density of Ritalin medicine is 0.790.

Comparison Between Focalin and Ritalin Medicines

Below are the comparisons between Focalin and Ritalin medicines based on dosages, function, and side effects that include the following:

1. FDA approval


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Focalin medicine in the year 2001.


Ritalin medicine was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the year 1955.

2. Brand names


Focalin XR is the only brand name of Focalin medicine.


Ritalin medicine consists of different brand names. These include Ritalin LA, Metadate CD, Aptensio XR, QuilliChew ER, Quillivant XR, Adhansia XR, Methylin ER, etc.

3. Dosages


Focalin medicine consists of several dosages for the treatment of ADHD problems in adults and children. They are available in the form of extended-release capsules and oral tablets.

The dosage strengths of extended-release capsules include 30mg, 40mg, 35mg, 5mg, 10mg, 20mg, 15mg, and 25mg capsules, whereas the dosage strengths of oral tablets are 20mg, 2.5mg, 15mg, 17.5mg, 12.5mg, 5mg, 10mg, and 7.5mg tablets.


There are several dosages available in the form of extended-release capsules, delayed-release capsules, chewable tablets, oral solutions, and oral tablets, which treat ADHD and narcolepsy problems in adults and children.

The dosage strengths of oral tablets are 20mg, 5mg, and 10mg tablets and the dosage strengths of the oral solution include 5mg/ml and 10mg/ml solution. The dosage strengths of extended-release capsules are 10mg, 20mg, 25mg, 80mg, 85mg, 50mg, 55mg, 60mg and 65mg capsules.

4. Cost


The average cost of Focalin medicine is $80.85 for 100 2.5mg tablets.


The average cost of Ritalin medicine is $173.13 for 100 20mg tablets.

5. Half-life


The half-life of Focalin medicine is 3 hours.


The half-life of Ritalin medicine is 4 hours.

6. Function


The function of Focalin medicine is to balance neurotransmitters (norepinephrine and dopamine) in the brain. This reduces the symptoms of ADHD such as hyperactivity and impulsivity in individuals. This medicine also controls behavior problems in people.


Ritalin medicine increases the dopamine and norepinephrine levels to control the central part of the nervous system. This helps people to pay attention and improve their focus on various activities.

Ritalin drug controls impulsive behavior and promotes wakefulness in persons.

Drug Interactions


Focalin medicine consists of small, medium, and large generic medicinal drugs. These include triamterene, salmeterol, phenytoin, phenylpropanolamine, pseudoephedrine, polythiazide, ozanimod, mephentermine, etc.


There are different generic medicinal drugs available in Ritalin medicine. These include clomipramine, benzphetamine, cyclosporine, fosinopril, isocarboxazid, isradipine, ketamine, nicardipine, etc.

Side effects


Focalin medicine causes many side effects. These are as follows:

  • Drowsiness
  • Blurred Vision
  • Breathing Problem
  • Speaking Problem
  • Sweating
  • Pain in arms, jaws, or back
  • Skin redness
  • Yellow skin or eyes
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • Irritation
  • Anxiety


Many side effects of Ritalin medicine occur in people. These include the following:

  • Fever
  • Chest pain
  • Eye redness
  • Finger or toe pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Gum bleeding
  • Nose bleeding
  • Skin rash
  • Concentration problem
  • Unusual weakness



Focalin medicine uses psychological, social, and educational treatment to reduce ADHD symptoms. This helps the patients to avoid distractions and control their impulsive behavior.


Ritalin medicine is used for the treatment of ADHD, narcolepsy, fatigue, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and other problems that occur in patients.


This blog describes the comparison between two medicines, which include Focalin and Ritalin. They contain several ingredients and generic medicines for the treatment of ADHD symptoms in people.

Ritalin and Focalin medicines also cause side effects in people. Avoid taking these medicines and consult with a doctor, when experiencing side effects.

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