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Methylphenidate : Uses, Dosage, Contraindications, Side Effects, Overdose

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  Information on Tablets A-Z






BRAND NAME :  Methylphenidate

Brand Names:

Concerta; Metadate CD; Metadate ER; Methylin; Methylin ER; Ritalin; Ritalin-LA; Ritalin-SR

IMPORTANT WARNING:

Methylphenidate can be habit-forming. Do not take a larger dose, take it more often, or take it for longer than prescribed by your doctor. If you take too much methylphenidate, you may experience unusual changes in your behavior. Tell your doctor if you drink or have ever drunk large amounts of alcohol, use or have ever used street drugs, or have overused prescription medications. Do not stop taking methylphenidate without talking to your doctor, especially if you have overused the medication. Your doctor will probably decrease your dose gradually and monitor you carefully during this time. You may develop severe depression if you suddenly stop taking methylphenidate after overusing it.

Medication prescribed:

Methylphenidate is used as part of a treatment program for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; more difficulty focusing, controlling actions, and remaining still or quiet than other people who are the same age). Methylphenidate (Ritalin, Ritalin SR, Methylin, Methylin ER) is also used to treat narcolepsy (a sleep disorder that causes excessive daytime sleepiness and sudden attacks of sleep). Methylphenidate is in a class of medications called central nervous system (CNS) stimulants. It works by changing the amounts of certain natural substances in the brain.

How should this medicine be used:

Methylphenidate comes as an immediate-release tablet, chewable tablet, and solution (liquid); an intermediate-acting (extended-release) tablet; and a long-acting (extended-release) capsule and tablet. The long-acting tablet and capsules supply some medication right away and release the remaining amount as a steady dose of medication over a long time.All of these forms of methylphenidate are taken by mouth. The regular tablets (Ritalin, Methylin), chewable tablets (Methylin), and solution (Methylin) are usually taken 23 times a day, preferably 3540 minutes before meals.The last dose should be taken at least several hours before bedtime. The intermediate-acting extended release tablets (Ritalin SR, Metadate ER, Methylin ER) are usually taken once a day in the morning with or without food. The long-acting extended release capsule (Metadate CD) is usually taken once a day before breakfast; the long-acting extended-release tablet (Concerta) and capsule (Ritalin LA) are usually taken once a day in the morning with or without food. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take methylphenidate exactly as directed. You should thoroughly chew the chewable tablets and then drink a full glass (at least 8 ounces) of water or other liquid.If you take the chewable tablet without enough liquid, the tablet may swell and block your throat and may cause you to choke. If you have chest pain, vomiting, or trouble swallowing or breathing after taking the chewable tablet, you should call your doctor or get emergency medical treatment immediately. Swallow the intermediate acting and long acting extended-release tablets and capsules whole; do not split, chew, or crush them.However, if you cannot swallow the long-acting capsules (Metadate CD, Ritalin LA), you may carefully open the capsules and sprinkle the entire contents on a tablespoon of cool or room temperature applesauce. Swallow (without chewing) this mixture immediately after preparation and then drink a glass of water to make sure you have swallowed all of the medicine. Do not store the mixture for future use. Your doctor may start you on a low dose of methylphenidate and gradually increase your dose, not more often than once every week. Your condition should improve during your treatment. Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen at any time during your treatment or do not improve after one month. Your doctor may tell you to stop taking methylphenidate from time to time to see if the medication is still needed. Follow these directions carefully.

Other uses for this medicine:

Methylphenidate should not be used to treat depression or excessive tiredness that is not caused by narcolepsy. This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Special precautions:

Before taking methylphenidate, tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to methylphenidate or any other medications. do not take methylphenidate if you are taking monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, including isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl), and tranylcypromine (Parnate), or have stopped taking them within the past 2 weeks. If you stop taking methylphenidate, you should wait at least 2 weeks before you start to take an MAO inhibitor. tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention any of the following: antidepressants ('mood elevators'); anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin); clonidine (Catapres); guanabenz; medications for seizures such as phenobarbital, phenytoin (Dilantin), and primidone(Mysoline); and methyldopa (Aldomet). If you are taking Ritalin LA, also tell your doctor if you take antacids. tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has or has ever had Tourette's syndrome (difficult to control need to perform repeated motions or to repeat sounds or words). Also tell your doctor if you have or ever have had severe anxiety, tension, or agitation; glaucoma (an eye disease); motor tics (repeated twitching of any part of your body that is difficulty to control) or spasms; seizures; high blood pressure; irregular heartbeat; a heart attack; mental illness; a narrowing or blockage of your digestive system; or heart or thyroid disease. If you are taking the chewable tablets, tell your doctor if you have trouble swallowing or if you have phenylketonuria (PKU, a disease in which you must avoid certain foods). tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking methylphenidate, call your doctor. if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking methylphenidate. you should know that methylphenidate should be used as part of a total treatment program for ADHD, which may include counseling and special education. Make sure to follow all of your doctor's and/or therapist's instructions.

If I forget a dose:

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it and take any remaining doses for that day at evenly spaced intervals, but do not take a dose at or near bedtime. However, if you remember a missed dose when it is almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects:

Methylphenidate may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away: nervousness difficulty falling alseep or staying asleep dizziness upset stomach vomiting loss of appetite stomach pain diarrhea headache cough, runny nose, and other cold symptoms painful menstruation Some side effects can be serious. The following symptoms are uncommon, but if you experience any of them, call your doctor immediately: seizures blurred vision agitation abnormal thoughts hallucinating (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist) motor tics or verbal tics (repeating of words or sounds that is difficult to control) depression heart palpitations or irregular heartbeat fever sore throat unusual bleeding or bruising muscle or joint pain hives rash itching difficulty breathing or swallowing Methylphenidate may cause slower growth (height and weight) in children, especially those who take the medication for a long time.Your child's doctor will watch his or her growth carefully. Talk to your child's doctor if you have concerns about your child's growth or weight gain.

What storage conditions:

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature, away from light and excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Store methylphenidate in a safe place so that no one else can take it accidentally or on purpose.Keep track of how many tablets or capsules are left so you will know if any are missing. Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of overdose:

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911. Symptoms of overdose may include: vomiting agitation shaking of hands that you cannot control muscle twitching seizures loss of consciousness inappropriate happiness confusion hallucinating (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist) sweating flushing headache fever fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat widening of pupils (black circles in the middle of the eyes) dry mouth

Other information:

If you are taking methylphenidate long-acting tablets (Concerta), you may notice something that looks like a tablet in your stool. This is just the empty tablet shell, and this does not mean that you did not get your complete dose of medication. Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your response to methylphenidate. Do not let anyone else take your medication. This prescription is not refillable. Be sure to schedule appointments with your doctor on a regular basis so that you do not run out of medication.

More information:    Methylphenidate








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