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Related terms
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    Related terms
    • Brand Names: U.S.: Concerta®;Daytrana®;Metadate CD®;Metadate® ER;Methylin®;Ritalin LA®;Ritalin-SR®;Ritalin®
    • Brand Names: Canada: Apo-Methylphenidate®;Apo-Methylphenidate® SR;Biphentin®;Concerta®;PHL-Methylphenidate;PMS-Methylphenidate;ratio-Methylphenidate;Ritalin®;Ritalin® SR;Sandoz-Methylphenidate SR;Teva-Methylphenidate ER-C

    • It is used to treat attention deficit problems with hyperactivity. It may take 3 weeks to see the full effect.
    • It is used to treat narcolepsy.
    • It is used to treat low mood (depression).
    • Methylphenidate fires up the brain to make you more alert.
    • It has a calming effect with attention deficit problems.
    • It raises chemicals in the brain.


    How to take

    • Oral:
    • To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
    • Take tablet early in the day to stop sleep problems. Take at least 6 hours before bedtime.
    • Take tablet and long-acting products 30 to 45 minutes before meals.
    • Long-acting products: Swallow whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
    • Take Concerta® once a day in the morning. Take with or without food. Take with water, milk, or juice.
    • Take Ritalin® LA with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.
    • Metadate® CD and Ritalin® LA: You may sprinkle contents of capsule on soft food or liquid. Do not chew.
    • Methylin® chewable tablet: Take with a glass of water or other liquid.
    • Metadate® CD: Take before breakfast.
    • Metadate® ER: Take before breakfast and lunch.
    • Skin patch:
    • Follow how to use as you have been told by your doctor or read the package insert.
    • Do not use patches that are cut or do not look right.
    • Wash your hands before and after use.
    • You may bathe, shower, or swim for short periods after putting on the patch. Cover the patch with plastic wrap and tape to help keep it in place.
    • Put patch on clean, dry, healthy skin on the hip. Do not put the patch on the waistline.
    • Put patch on in the morning and take off 9 hours later or as you have been told by your doctor.
    • Move the patch site with each patch.
    • If the patch falls off, put on a new one on some other part of the same hip.

    Missed Dose

    • Use a missed dose as soon as you think about it. Do not take this drug after 6 PM.
    • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
    • Do not use 2 doses or extra doses.
    • Do not change the dose or stop this drug. Talk with the doctor.


    • Store at room temperature.
    • Protect from light.
    • Protect capsules and tablets from water. Do not store in a bathroom or kitchen.
    • Keep patches in the pouch. Use within 2 months of opening tray.
    • After you take off a skin patch, be sure to fold the sticky sides of the patch to each other.
    • Throw away unused patches when they are no longer needed by flushing down a toilet or sink. Take them from the pouch, take off liner, and fold in half.
    • In Canada, take any unused drugs to the pharmacy. Also, visit to learn about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.



    • This drug may be habit-forming; avoid long-term use. Tell your doctor if you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse. This drug may cause unsafe heart-related side effects. Tell your doctor if you have any heart disease.
    • Sometimes drugs are not safe when you take them with certain other drugs. Taking them together can cause bad side effects. This is one of those drugs. Be sure to talk to your doctor about all the drugs you take.
    • Please read the medication guide.


    • If you have an allergy to methylphenidate or any other part of this drug.
    • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs. Make sure to tell about the allergy and what signs you had. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
    • If you have any of these health problems: Drug abuse, a fast heartbeat, glaucoma, heart disease, nervous problem, structure problems of the heart, tics, or Tourette's syndrome.
    • If you have small bowel disease, short gut syndrome, peritonitis, cystic fibrosis, long-term bowel pseudo-block, or Meckel's diverticulum, talk with your doctor. Do not take Concerta®.
    • If you have chest pain, overactive thyroid gland, recent heart attack, very high blood pressure, or weak heart, talk with your doctor. Do not take Metadate®.
    • If you have taken isocarboxazid, phenelzine, or tranylcypromine in the last 14 days. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (eg, isocarboxazid, phenelzine, and tranylcypromine) must be stopped 14 days before this drug is started. Taking both at the same time could cause risky high blood pressure.


    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • All products:
    • This drug may be habit-forming with long-term use.
    • If you have been taking this drug for many weeks, talk with your doctor before stopping. You may want to slowly stop this drug.
    • You may have some heart tests before starting this drug. Talk with your doctor.
    • If you have high blood pressure, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have mental illness, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have PKU, talk with your doctor. Some products have phenylalanine.
    • If you have seizures, talk with your doctor.
    • Have your blood pressure and heart rate checked often. Talk with your doctor.
    • Check all drugs you are taking with your doctor. This drug may not mix well with some other drugs.
    • If you are taking this drug and have high blood pressure, talk with your doctor before using OTC products that may raise blood pressure. These include cough or cold drugs, diet pills, stimulants, ibuprofen or like products, and some natural products or aids.
    • Avoid beer, wine, or mixed drinks.
    • Limit your use of caffeine (for example, tea, coffee, cola) and chocolate. Use with this drug may cause nervousness, shakiness, and a fast heartbeat.
    • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.
    • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.
    • Skin patch:
    • Avoid use of heat sources (such as sunlamps, tanning beds, heating pads, electric blankets, heat lamps, saunas, hot tubs, heated waterbeds). Avoid long, hot baths or sunbathing. Your temperature may rise and cause too much drug to pass into your body.

    Side Effects

    • Feeling dizzy. Rise slowly over a few minutes when sitting or lying down. Be careful climbing.
    • High blood pressure.
    • Emotional ups and downs.
    • Upset stomach or throwing up. Many small meals, good mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help.
    • Weight loss.
    • Extra muscle action.
    • Nervous and excitable.
    • Not hungry.
    • Not able to sleep.
    • Tablet shell of ConcertaT in the stool.
    • Skin irritation.

    Contact a healthcare provider

    • If you think there was an overdose, call your local poison control center or ER right away.
    • Signs of a very bad reaction to the drug. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue or gray skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
    • Very bad problems with how you act.
    • Signs of low mood (depression), thoughts of killing yourself, nervousness, emotional ups and downs, thinking that is not normal, anxiety, or lack of interest in life.
    • Chest pain or pressure, a fast heartbeat, or passing out.
    • Very nervous and excitable.
    • Very bad skin irritation.
    • Very bad headache.
    • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
    • Sudden change in eyesight.
    • If seizures are new or worse after starting this drug.
    • Any rash.
    • Side effect or health problem is not better or you are feeling worse.

    General Statements

    • If you have a very bad allergy, wear an allergy ID at all times.
    • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
    • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Call your doctor for help with any side effects. If in the U.S., you may also call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or if in Canada, you may also call Health Canada's Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.
    • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including OTC, natural products, or vitamins.

    Author information
    • Copyright © 1978-2013 Lexi-Comp Inc. All rights reserved.

    Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (

    The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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