What is methylphenidate hydrochloride, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Methylphenidate is a medication used for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It stimulates the central nervous system (CNS or brain) in a manner that is similar to amphetamines; however, its actions are milder than amphetamines. Amphetamines stimulate the brain by increasing the level of neurotransmitters, dopamine and norepinephrine, in the brain (neurotransmitters are chemicals produced by nerves that are released and attach to other nearby nerves as a means of communication among nerves). The exact mechanism of action of the drug in people with ADHD is unknown. Methylphenidate is the active ingredient in Ritalin and Concerta and is also available as pills and in a patch. FDA approved Methylphenidate suspension in September 2012.

What brand names are available for methylphenidate hydrochloride?

Quillivant XR

Is methylphenidate hydrochloride available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: No

Do I need a prescription for methylphenidate hydrochloride?

Yes

What are the side effects of methylphenidate hydrochloride?

Side effects of methylphenidate are decreased appetite, sleeplessness, allergic contact dermatitis, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, dizziness, abdominal pain, emotional instability and anorexia.

Methylphenidate may be abused and it is a Schedule II controlled medication. Long term abuse can cause tolerance, psychological dependence, abnormal behavior, and psychosis. Use cautiously in people with a history of drug or alcohol abuse.

What is the dosage for methylphenidate hydrochloride?

For patients 6 years of age and above, the recommended starting dose of methylphenidate suspension is 20 mg once daily in the morning, with or without food. The dose may be titrated weekly in increments of 10 mg to 20 mg. Daily doses above 60 mg have not been studied and are not recommended.

Which drugs or supplements interact with methylphenidate hydrochloride?

Methylphenidate should not be combined with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) such as phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Zelapar, Emsam, and Eldepryl), tranylcypromine (Parnate), procarbazine (Matulane), rasagiline (Azilect), and isocarboxazid (Marplan) because of risks of hypertensive crisis. Use of methylphenidate and MAO inhibitors should be separated by at least 14 days.

Is methylphenidate hydrochloride safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies done on methylphenidate to determine safe and effective use in pregnant women.

It is not known whether methylphenidate enters breast milk; therefore, it is best to be cautious before using it in nursing mothers.

What else should I know about methylphenidate hydrochloride?

What preparations of methylphenidate hydrochloride are available?

Oral powder for suspension: 60 ml, 120 ml, 150 ml, and 180 ml containers.

How should I keep methylphenidate hydrochloride stored?

Store methylphenidate suspension between 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).

Quick GuideADHD Symptoms in Children

ADHD Symptoms in Children

Summary

Methylphenidate hydrochloride (Quillivant XR) is a prescription drug prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children six years and older. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, and storage information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.

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Medically Reviewed on 8/8/2017
References
Medically reviewed by John Cunha, DO

REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information.
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