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?
Is methylphenidate hydrochloride available as a generic drug?
GENERIC AVAILABLE: No
Do I need a prescription for methylphenidate hydrochloride?
What are the side effects of methylphenidate hydrochloride?
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
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
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
How should I keep methylphenidate hydrochloride stored?
Store methylphenidate suspension between 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86