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Brand Name(s): Methylin, Ritalin
Generic Name Methylphenidate
What are methylphenidate tablets?
METHYLPHENIDATE (Methylin™, Ritalin®) is a stimulant. It can improve attention span, concentration, and emotional control, and reduce restless or overactive behavior. This medicine treats attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It can also help a condition called narcolepsy, an illness that makes it difficult to stay awake during normal daytime hours. Federal law prohibits the transfer of methylphenidate to any person other than the person for whom it was prescribed. Do not share this medicine with anyone else. Generic methylphenidate tablets are available.
What should my health care professional know before I take methylphenidate?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
How should I take this medicine?
Take methylphenidate tablets by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow the tablets with a drink of water. It is best to take methylphenidate 30 to 45 minutes before meals, unless directed otherwise by your prescriber or health care professional. Take your doses at regular intervals. Usually the last dose of the day will be taken at least 46 hours before your normal bedtime, so it will not interfere with sleep. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.
Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed. This medicine is commonly prescribed for children >= 6 years old.
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 drug(s) may interact with methylphenidate?
Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.
What side effects may I notice from taking methylphenidate?
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
Less Common or Rare:
More Common, especially in the first few weeks of treatment:
What should I watch for while taking methylphenidate?
Visit your prescriber or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. This prescription requires that you follow special procedures with your prescriber and pharmacy; you will need to have a new written prescription from your prescriber every time you need a refill.
Methylphenidate 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 prescriber 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 advice from your prescriber or health care professional. Do not suddenly stop your medication. You must gradually reduce the dose or you may feel withdrawal effects. Ask your prescriber or health care professional for advice.
Decreased appetite is a common side effect when starting this medicine. Eating small, frequent meals or snacks can help. Talk to your prescriber if you continue to have poor eating habits. Height and weight growth of a child taking this medication will be monitored closely.
If you are going to have surgery or other medical procedures, tell your health care professional that you are taking methylphenidate.
Where can I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children in a container that small children cannot open.
Store at room temperature below 30 °C (86 °F). Protect from light and moisture. Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
(Note: The above information is not intended to replace the advice of your physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. It is not meant to indicate that the use of the product is safe, appropriate, or effective for you.)