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In the U.S.-
Methylphenidate (meth-il-FEN-i-date) belongs to the group of medicines called central nervous system (CNS) stimulants. It is used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy (uncontrollable desire for sleep or sudden attacks of deep sleep), and other conditions as determined by the doctor.
Methylphenidate works in the treatment of ADHD by increasing attention and decreasing restlessness in children and adults who are overactive, cannot concentrate for very long or are easily distracted, and are impulsive. This medicine is used as part of a total treatment program that also includes social, educational, and psychological treatment.
This medicine is available only with a doctor's prescription. Prescriptions cannot be refilled. A new written prescription must be obtained from your doctor each time you or your child needs this medicine.
Methylphenidate is available in the following dosage forms:
Before Using This Medicine
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For methylphenidate, the following should be considered:
Allergies- Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to methylphenidate. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.
Pregnancy- Studies on effects in pregnancy have not been done in either humans or animals.
Breast-feeding- It is not known whether methylphenidate passes into breast milk. Although most medicines pass into breast milk in small amounts, many of them may be used safely while breast-feeding. Mothers who are taking this medicine and who wish to breast-feed should discuss this with the doctor.
Children- Loss of appetite, trouble in sleeping, stomach pain, fast heartbeat, and weight loss may be especially likely to occur in children, who are usually more sensitive than adults to the effects of methylphenidate. Some children who used medicines like methylphenidate for a long time grew more slowly than expected. It is not known whether long-term use of methylphenidate causes slowed growth. The doctor should regularly measure the height and weight of children who are taking methylphenidate. Some doctors recommend stopping treatment with methylphenidate during times when the child is not under stress, such as on weekends.
Older adults- Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of methylphenidate in the elderly with use in other age groups.
Other medicines- Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking methylphenidate, it is especially important that your health care professional know if you are taking any of the following:
Other medical problems- The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of methylphenidate. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Proper Use of This Medicine
Take this medicine only as directed by your doctor . Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. If too much is taken, it may become habit-forming.
Take this medicine with or after a meal or a snack.
To help prevent trouble in sleeping, take the last dose of the short-acting tablets before 6 p.m., unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
If you think this medicine is not working properly after you have taken it for several weeks, do not increase the dose . Instead, check with your doctor.
If you are taking the long-acting form of this medicine:
The dose of methylphenidate will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of methylphenidate. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The number of tablets that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using methylphenidate .
If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. Then take any remaining doses for that day at regularly spaced intervals. Do not double doses.
To store this medicine:
Precautions While Using This Medicine
Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits and make sure that this medicine does not cause unwanted effects, such as high blood pressure.
Methylphenidate may cause dizziness, drowsiness, or changes in vision. Do not drive a car, ride a bicycle, operate machinery, or do other things that might be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
If you take this medicine in large doses and/or for a long time, do not stop taking it without first checking with your doctor . Your doctor may want you to reduce gradually the amount you are taking before you stop completely. This is to help reduce unwanted effects.
If you think you may have become mentally or physically dependent on this medicine, check with your doctor . Some signs of dependence on methylphenidate are:
Side Effects of This Medicine
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:
After you stop using this medicine, your body may need time to adjust. The length of time this takes depends on the amount of medicine you were using and how long you used it. During this period of time check with your doctor if you notice any of the following side effects:
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.
Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although not specifically included in product labeling, methylphenidate may be used in certain patients with the following condition:
Other than the above information, there is no additional information relating to proper use, precautions, or side effects for this use.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT