Methylphenidate, regular and slow release (By mouth)

Methylphenidate (meth-il-FEN-i-date)

Treats ADHD. Also treats narcolepsy.

Brand Name(s):

Adhansia XR, Concerta, Cotempla XR-ODT, Jornay PM, Metadate ER, Methylin, QuilliChew ER, Quillivant XR, Relexxii, Ritalin

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to methylphenidate, or if you have agitation, glaucoma, an overactive thyroid, muscle tics, or a history of Tourette syndrome.

How to Use This Medicine:

Long Acting Capsule, Liquid, Tablet, Chewable Tablet, Long Acting Tablet, Long Acting Chewable Tablet, Long Acting Dissolving Tablet

  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
  • Chewable tablet: Drink at least 8 ounces of water or other liquid when you take the tablet.
  • Chewable tablet, immediate-release tablet, or oral liquid: Take the medicine 30 to 45 minutes before meals. Take the last dose of the day before 6 PM if you have problems falling asleep.
  • Extended-release capsule:
    • Adhansia XR™: Take this medicine in the morning. You may take it with or without food, but take it the same way each time. Swallow it whole with water. If you cannot swallow the capsule whole, you may open it and sprinkle the medicine onto a tablespoon of applesauce or yogurt. Swallow this mixture without chewing, right away or within 10 minutes.
    • Metadate CD®: Take your medicine in the morning before breakfast. Swallow it whole with water or other liquid. If you cannot swallow the capsule whole, you may open it and mix the medicine with a tablespoon of applesauce. Swallow this mixture right away, and then drink some water. Do not chew or crush the mixture.
  • Extended-release tablet: Take the medicine in the morning. Swallow it whole with water or other liquid. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
  • Extended-release chewable tablet: Take this medicine in the morning. If the tablet is scored, you may cut it in half if you need to. Do not break a tablet that is not scored.
  • Extended-release disintegrating tablet: Make sure your hands are dry before you handle the disintegrating tablet. Peel back the foil from the blister pack, then remove the tablet. Do not push the tablet through the foil. Place the tablet in your mouth. After it has melted, swallow or take a drink of water. Take the medicine in the morning. Do not crush or chew it.
  • Extended-release suspension: Take the medicine in the morning. Shake the bottle well for at least 10 seconds before you measure each dose. Measure the dose with the dispenser that comes with the medicine.
  • Oral liquid: Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • If you take the extended-release tablet, part of the tablet may pass into your stools. This is normal and is nothing to worry about.
  • Use only the brand of medicine your doctor prescribed. Other brands may not work the same way.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose. If you miss a dose of Adhansia XR™, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at your usual time.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Store the extended-release disintegrating tablets in the reusable travel case after removing them from the carton. Drop off any unused medicine at a drug take-back location right away. If you do not have a drug take-back location near you, flush any unused medicine down the toilet. Check your local drug store and clinics for take-back locations. You can also check the DEA web site for locations. Here is the link to the FDA safe disposal of medicines website:

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Do not use this medicine if you are using or have used an MAO inhibitor (MAOI) within the past 14 days.
  • Some medicines can affect how methylphenidate works. The specific medicines and foods of concern are different for different brands of methylphenidate. Tell your doctor if you are using any of the following:
    • Guanethidine, phenylbutazone
    • Antacid or other stomach medicine (including esomeprazole, famotidine, omeprazole, pantoprazole, sodium bicarbonate)
    • Blood pressure medicine
    • Blood thinner (including warfarin)
    • Halogenated anesthetic medicine
    • Medicine to treat depression (including amitriptyline, clomipramine, desipramine, doxepin, imipramine, nortriptyline)
    • Medicine to treat seizures (including phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone)
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have heart or blood vessel disease, heart rhythm problems, high blood pressure, circulation problems, phenylketonuria, thyroid problems, asthma, or a history of seizures, heart attack, or stroke. Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has a history of depression, suicide, bipolar disorder, mental health problems, or drug or alcohol abuse.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Serious heart or blood vessel problems, including heart attack and stroke (especially in people who already have heart problems)
    • High blood pressure
    • Prolonged and painful erection
    • Peripheral vasculopathy (a blood circulation problem), including Raynaud's phenomenon
    • Slow growth and weight loss in children
  • This medicine can be habit-forming. Do not use more than your prescribed dose. Call your doctor if you think your medicine is not working.
  • Adhansia XR™ contains a yellow dye called tartrazine, which may cause severe allergic reactions. Tell your doctor if you have any allergies (including an aspirin allergy).
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or cause blurred vision. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • If you need surgery, tell the doctor who treats you that you are using this medicine. Medicines used during surgery can increase your blood pressure when used with this medicine.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blurred vision or vision changes
  • Chest pain that may spread, trouble breathing, nausea, unusual sweating
  • Extreme energy or restlessness, confusion, agitation, unusual moods or behaviors
  • Fast, slow, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting
  • Numb, cold, pale, or painful fingers or toes
  • Numbness or weakness on one side of your body, sudden or severe headache, problems with vision, speech, or walking
  • Painful erection or an erection that lasts longer than 4 hours
  • Seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • Seizures
  • Slow growth or weight loss in children

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Dry mouth, nausea, stomach pain
  • Loss of appetite, weight loss
  • Trouble sleeping

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 11/6/2020

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