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My doctor put me on focolin xl  i lost about 30 pounds but  some has come back.  Why didnt i keep losing?
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5801192 tn?1389204087
Dear gordorae58:

Currently, 2 out of 3 American adults are overweight or obese, so you are not alone.

HBO put forth an enlightening documentary called "Weight of the Nation". This project, in partnership with Institute of Medicine (IOM), was to help educate the public on this epidemic we are facing in United States.

Please go to: The Weight of the Nation

Due to the obesity epidemic, there are many research on obesity and weight loss management. However, the bottom line is: to lose weight, we must use more calories than taking in.

There are many factors that can contribute to weight gain, such as behaviors (eating too much, not exercising enough), genetics, medications, environment, and culture. However, one gains weight when we eat more calories than we use.

Dexmethylphenidate (Focalin, Focalin XR) is approved by FDA to treat "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in patients aged 6 years and older". It is in the class of stimulants. One of the common side effects of dexmethylphenidate is decreased appetite (30% in patients taking Focalin XR vs. placebo) and weight loss (various result). Focalin and Focalin XR are NOT FDA approved to treat weight loss.

Please note that dexmethylphenidate has a black box warning from FDA:

Focalin XR should be given cautiously to patients with a history of drug dependence or alcoholism. Chronic abusive use can lead to marked tolerance and psychological dependence with varying degrees of abnormal behavior. Frank psychotic episodes can occur, especially with parenteral abuse. Careful supervision is required during withdrawal from abusive use, since severe depression may occur. Withdrawal following chronic therapeutic use may unmask symptoms of the underlying disorder that may require follow-up."

A 30 pounds weight loss is very significant, especially over a short period of time. Our body is well designed, such that when a significant amount of weight has been lost, it will gear up to gain those weight back. And that is why you gain some of the weight back.

I want to emphasize that there are no magic bullet in medicine nor in any of the fad diet plans. The only way to lose weight is to use more calories than you take in. To achieve healthy weight, it is a lifestyle change, not short-term starvation nor medication usage.

Healthy weight loss recommendations include:
1. Eating healthy: more whole food (fruits and vegetables), less processed food (cakes, chips, frozen food, etc).

2. Daily physical activities, i.e. walking for 10-20 minutes

3. Use daily journal to track calories in (meals and snacks) and calories out (exercise)

4. Set slow and steady weight loss goal, i.e. lose 1 to 2 pounds per week.

5. Get additional support, i.e. nutritionist, psychotherapist, exercise buddies or coaches.

CDC or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a wonderful web page on "Healthy Weight - it's not a diet, it's a lifestyle!". Please learn about how to lose weight in healthy ways.

Good luck and take care!

For more information, please also go to:
1. Dexmethylphenidate

2. Focalin XR - Daily Med

3. Overweight, Obesity, and Weight Loss - Fact Sheet, WomensHealth.gov

4. Weight Management, Nutrition.gov
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