Methylphenidate: what it is, what it is for, how to take it and side effects!

Methylphenidate is a central nervous system stimulant. It affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control. It is used to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. It can also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information about methylphenidate:

Methylphenidate can be habit, and this medication is a drug of abuse. Tell your doctor if you’ve had problems with drug or alcohol abuse. Stimulants have caused stroke , heart attack, and sudden death in people with high blood pressure, heart disease, or a heart defect.

Do not use methylphenidate if you have used an MAO inhibitor within the last 14 days, such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, or tranylcypromine.

In addition, it can cause new or worsening psychosis (unusual thoughts or behaviors), especially if you have a history of depression , mental illness, or bipolar disorder . You may have blood circulation problems that can cause numbness, pain, or discoloration in your fingers or toes.

Call your doctor right away if you have: signs of heart problems – chest pain, feeling dizzy or short of breath; signs of psychosis – paranoia, aggression, new behavior problems, seeing or hearing things that are not real; signs of circulatory problems – unexplained injuries to fingers or toes.

How to take methylphenidate?

Take methylphenidate exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all instructions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Do not take this medication in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Methylphenidate can be addictive. Never share this medication with anyone else, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep medication in a place where others cannot get to it. Selling or donating this medicine is against the law.

Read all patient information, medication guides and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. To avoid sleep problems, take this medicine in the morning.

What happens if I miss a dose of methylphenidate?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is after 6:00 pm. Do not take extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose on methylphenidate?

Seek emergency medical attention. An overdose of methylphenidate can be fatal.

What to avoid while taking methylphenidate?

Avoid drinking alcohol, especially if you take extended-release methylphenidate . Alcohol can cause the drug to be released into the bloodstream too quickly. Also, it can impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Methylphenidate side effects:

  • Signs of heart problems – chest pain, difficulty breathing, feeling faint;
  • Psychosis – hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not real), new behavior problems, aggression, hostility, paranoia;
  • Signs of circulatory problems – numbness, pain, feeling cold, unexplained sores or changes in skin color (appearing pale, red or blue) in the fingers or toes;
  • A seizure (seizures);
  • Muscle contractions (tics);
  • Changes in your vision;
  • Penile erection that is painful or lasts 4 hours or longer (rare).

Methylphenidate can affect growth in children. Tell your doctor if your child is not growing at a normal rate while taking this medicine.

Common side effects can include:

  • Mood swings, feeling nervous or irritable, sleeping problems ( insomnia );
  • Fast heart rate, increased blood pressure;
  • Loss of appetite, weight loss;
  • Nausea , stomach pain;
  • Headache .

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

What other drugs will affect methylphenidate?

Ask your doctor before using a stomach acid remedy (including Alka-Seltzer or baking soda). Some of these medications can change the way the body absorbs methylphenidate and can increase side effects.

Many drugs can interact with methylphenidate . This includes prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide. Tell your doctor about all your current medications and any medications you start or stop using.

Other information:

Useful links: 

Remember to keep this and all other medications out of the reach of children, never share your medications with others, and use methylphenidate only for the indication prescribed. Also, always consult your physician to ensure that the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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