Drugs A - Z
Methylphenidate Hydrochloride Oral tablet
Generic Name: methylphenidate | Brand Name: Ritalin
What is this medicine?METHYLPHENIDATE (meth il FEN i date) is used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is also used to treat narcolepsy.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- difficulty swallowing, problems with the esophagus, or a history of blockage of the stomach or intestines
- family history of suicide
- heart condition or recent history of a heart attack
- high blood pressure
- history of a drug or alcohol abuse problem
- liver disease
- mental illness, including anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, mania or schizophrenia
- motor tics, family history or diagnosis of Tourette's syndrome
- overactive thyroid
- taken an MAOI like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, or Parnate in last 14 days
- an unusual or allergic reaction to methylphenidate, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. It is best to take this medicine 30 to 45 minutes before meals, unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Usually the last dose of the day will be taken at least 4 to 6 hours before bedtime, so it will not interfere with sleep. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 6 years of age for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
What if I miss a dose?If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medicine?Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
- medicines called MAO Inhibitors like Nardil, Parnate, Marplan, Eldepryl
- other stimulant medicines like amphetamine, dextroamphetamine, dexmethylphenidate, modafinil
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
- medicines for blood pressure
- medicines to decrease appetite or cause weight loss
- medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
- medicines for seizures
What should I watch for while using this medicine?Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. This prescription requires that you follow special procedures with your doctor and pharmacy. You will need to have a new written prescription from your doctor or health care professional every time you need a refill.
This medicine may affect your concentration, or hide signs of tiredness. Until you know how this drug affects you, do not drive, ride a bicycle, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness. If you are having trouble sleeping, and this continues to be a regular and bothersome side effect, contact your health care provider to discuss your options.
Tell your doctor or health care professional if this medicine loses its effects, or if you feel you need to take more than the prescribed amount. Do not change the dosage without talking to your doctor or health care professional. Do not suddenly stop your medicine.
Decreased appetite is a common side effect when starting this medicine. Eating small, frequent meals or snacks can help. Talk to your doctor if you continue to have poor eating habits. Height and weight growth of a child taking this medicine will be monitored closely.
If you are scheduled for any surgery, tell your healthcare provider that you are taking this medicine. You may need to stop taking this medicine before the procedure.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- anxiety or severe nervousness
- chest pain
- fast, irregular heartbeat
- fever, or hot, dry skin
- high blood pressure
- uncontrollable head, mouth, neck, arm, or leg movements
- unusual bleeding or bruising
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- stomach upset
- weight loss
Where should I keep my medicine?Keep out of the reach of children. This medicine can be abused. Keep your medicine in a safe place to protect it from theft. Do not share this medicine with anyone. Selling or giving away this medicine is dangerous and against the law.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Protect from light and moisture. Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.