prescription drugs
Free drug information service 
All available medical information about prescription drugs 

Methylphenidate

What is Methylphenidate

Methylphenidate is a mild stimulant to the central nervous system (brain and nerves). The exact way that Methylphenidate works is unknown.

Methylphenidate is used to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and narcolepsy.

Methylphenidate may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

General medical information about Methylphenidate

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Methylphenidate may cause dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision, or impair your ability to concentrate. If you experience dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision, or impaired concentration, avoid these activities.

Do not crush, chew, or break the sustained- or extended-release formulations of Methylphenidate (Ritalin SR, Ritalin LA, Metadate ER, Metadate CD, Methylin ER, Concerta). Swallow these whole with water or another beverage. They are specially formulated to release medication slowly in the body. Alternatively, the Ritalin LA and Metadate CD capsules may be opened and the contents sprinkled onto a tablespoon of applesauce (not warm), and the mixture swallowed immediately. Do not save the mixture for later use. The capsule contents should be swallowed whole and not crushed or chewed.

What you should find out before taking Methylphenidate

Do not take Methylphenidate if you have taken a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days.

Do not take Methylphenidate without first talking to your doctor if you have
- an allergy to Methylphenidate;
- severe tension, agitation, or anxiety;
- glaucoma;
- motor tics or have been diagnosed with Tourette's syndrome;
- depression;
- a psychotic condition such as schizophrenia;
- epilepsy or another seizure disorder;
- high blood pressure (hypertension);
- a history of alcohol or drug abuse; or
- a narrowing or blockage of your gastrointestinal tract (esophagus, stomach, or intestines).

You may not be able to take Methylphenidate, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Methylphenidate is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether Methylphenidate will be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take Methylphenidate without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether Methylphenidate passes into breast milk. Do not take Methylphenidate without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should take Methylphenidate

Take Methylphenidate exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain the instructions to you.

Take each dose with a full glass (8 ounces) of water.

Take each dose of Ritalin or Methylin 30 to 45 minutes before a meal.

The sustained-release forms of Methylphenidate (Ritalin-SR, Metadate ER, Metadate CD, Methylin ER, Concerta) can be taken with or without food.

Do not crush, chew, or break the sustained- or extended-release formulations of Methylphenidate (Ritalin SR, Ritalin LA, Metadate ER, Metadate CD, Methylin ER, Concerta). Swallow these whole with water or another beverage. They are specially formulated to release medication slowly in the body. Alternatively, the Ritalin LA and Metadate CD capsules may be opened and the contents sprinkled onto a tablespoon of applesauce (not warm), and the mixture swallowed immediately. Do not save the mixture for later use. The capsule contents should be swallowed whole and not crushed or chewed.

If you are taking Concerta, do not be alarmed if you see in your stool

What looks like a tablet. This is the outer shell of the tablet, the medication has been absorbed by your body.

Store Methylphenidate at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

If you miss a dose:

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take only the next regularly schedule dose unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

What happens if you overdose:

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of a Methylphenidate overdose include agitation, tremors (shaking), muscle twitches, seizures, confusion, hallucinations, sweating, flushing, headache, fast or irregular heartbeat, large pupils, and dryness of the mouth and eyes.

Avoid while taking Methylphenidate

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Methylphenidate may cause dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision, or impair your ability to concentrate. If you experience dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision, or impaired concentration, avoid these activities.

Possible side effects of Methylphenidate

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking Methylphenidate and seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately:
- an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
- an irregular or fast heartbeat;
- chest pains or very high blood pressure (blurred vision, severe headache, flushing);
- unusual behavior or confusion; or
- liver damage (yellowing of the skin or eyes, nausea, abdominal pain or discomfort, unusual bleeding or bruising, severe fatigue).

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take Methylphenidate and talk to your doctor if you experience
- insomnia (difficulty sleeping);
- nervousness;
- drowsiness;
- dizziness;
- headache;
- blurred vision;
- tics (repetitive movements);
- abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting;
- decreased appetite or weight loss; or
- slower weight gain and/or growth.

Methylphenidate may cause drug dependence.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect Methylphenidate

Do not take Methylphenidate if you have taken a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days.

Before taking Methylphenidate, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:
- warfarin (Coumadin);
- phenytoin (Dilantin);
- phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton);
- primidone (Mysoline);
- a tricyclic antidepressant such as nortriptyline (Pamelor), amitriptyline (Elavil, Endep), doxepin (Sinequan), desipramine (Norpramin), clomipramine (Anafranil), or imipramine (Tofranil);
- a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor such as fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), or sertraline (Zoloft);
- clonidine (Catapres); or
- guanethidine (Ismelin).

You may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with Methylphenidate. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products.

All prescription drugs:

A
abilify accupril accutane acetaminophen aciphex actifed actonel actos acyclovir adalat adderall adipex advair advil albuterol alesse aleve allegra allopurinol amaryl ambien amiodarone amitriptyline amoxicillin amoxil amphetamine anacin aprazolam aricept asacol aspirin atenolol ativan atorvastatin atrovent augmentin avandia avapro avastin avelox azmacort
B
baclofen
bactrim bactroban baycol benadryl bextra biaxin boniva bontril buspar buspirone
C
caduet campral camptosar capoten captopril cardizem cardura carisoprodol casodex catapress cefzil celebrex celexa cellcept cephalexin cialis cipro ciprodex clarinex claritin climara clindamycin clonazepam clonidine codeine codeprex combivent combivir concerta copaxone coreg coricidin cotrim coumadin cozaar crestor cubicin cyclobenzaprine cymbalta
D
darvocet demerol depakote desogen detrol dextromethorphan diazepam diclofenac didrex diflucan digoxin dilantin diltiazem dimetapp diovan diprivan ditropan doxazosin doxycycline drixoral duragesic dyazide
E
effexor elavil elocon eloxatin emend enalapril enbrel endocet engerix-b entex epogen epzicom erbitux ertaczo ery-tab erythromycin estradiol evista 
F
fabrazyme famotidine fazaclo fenofibrate fioricet fiorinal flexeril flomax flonase flovent fluoxetine fosamax fosrenol furosemide  
G
gabapentin gamimune gemfibrozil gemzar glipizide glucophage glucotrol glucovance glyburide glyburide guaifenesin guaifenex 
H
herceptin humalog humira hydroxyzine hyzaar  
I
ibuprofen imdur imitrex imodium inderal insulin integrilin iressa 
K
kaletra keflex kenalog keppra ketek klonopin kytril  
L
lamictal lamisil lanoxin lantus lasix lescol levaquin levitra levothyroxine levoxyl lexapro lidoderm lipitor lisinopril lithium lorazepam lortab lotensin lotrel lotrisone lovenox lupron luveris  
M
macrobid magnevist meclizine medroxyprogesterone meridia metformin methadone methamphetamine methotrexate methylphenidate methylprednisolone metoclopramide metoprolol metronidazole miacalcin minocycline mobic monopril morphine motrin myfortic  
N
naproxen nasacort nasonex natrecor neulasta neupogen neurontin nexium nifedipine nitrofurantoin norco nortriptyline norvasc  
O
omeprazole omnicef orthovisc oxybutynin oxycodone oxycontin oxytrol  
P
paraplatin patanol paxil pegasys penicillin pepcid percocet percodan percogesic phendimetrazine phenergan phentermine phenytoin plavix plendil potassium pravachol prednisone premarin prempro prevacid prilosec prinivil procrit promethazine propecia propofol propoxyphene propranolol protonix proventil provigil prozac pseudoephedrine pulmicort  
R
ranitidine rebetol reglan relafen relpax remeron remicade renagel renova rhinocort riomet risperdal risperidone ritalin rituxan rocephin rogaine roxicet  
S
sanctura seasonale sensipar serevent seroquel serzone singulair skelaxin soma somavert sonata spiriva spironolactone strattera striant sustiva synagis synthroid 
T
tamoxifen tavist taxol taxotere tegretol temazepam tenormin tenuate tequin terazosin tetracycline tiazac tindamax titralac tobradex topamax toprol tramadol trazodone triamcinolone triaminic triamterene tricor trileptal trimox triphasil trizivir truvada tylenol 
U
ultane ultracet ultram uroxatral
V
valium valtrex vaniqa vasotec velcade verapamil viagra vicodin vicoprofen vidaza viracept viread vytorin  
W
warfarin wellbutrin  
X
xalatan xanax xenical xifaxan xolair xopenex xyrem  
Y
yasmin 
Z
zanaflex zantac zavesca zelnorm zemplar zerit zestoretic zestril zetia ziac zithromax zocor zofran zoladex zoloft zometa zorbtive zosyn zovirax zyrtec zyvox