Methylphenidate

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Warning

Misuse or abuse of methylphenidate can result in serious (possibly fatal) heart and blood pressure problems.

This medication can be habit-forming and should be used cautiously by people who have mental/mood disorders or a history of alcohol/drug abuse. Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have abused or been dependent on drugs or alcohol. Do not increase your dose, take it more often, or take it for a longer time or in a different way than prescribed. Doing so may result in a decrease in the effect of this drug, drug dependence, or abnormal thoughts/behavior.

Your doctor may monitor you for a while after the medication is stopped, especially if you have taken this drug for a long time or in high doses. (See also How to Use section.)

Precautions

Before taking methylphenidate, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to dexmethylphenidate; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: high blood pressure, blood circulation problems (such as Raynaud's disease), glaucoma, heart problems (such as irregular heartbeat, heart failure, previous heart attack, problems with heart structure), family history of heart problems (such as sudden cardiac death, irregular heartbeat), mental/mood conditions (especially anxiety, tension, agitation), personal/family history of mental/mood disorders (such as bipolar disorder, depression, psychosis), personal/family history of uncontrolled muscle movements (motor tics, Tourette's syndrome), overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), seizure disorder.

This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

If used for a long time, this drug may affect a child's growth rate, weight, and final adult height. To reduce the risk, the doctor may recommend briefly stopping the medication from time to time. Check the child's weight and height regularly, and consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially trouble sleeping, weight loss, or chest pain.

During pregnancy, methylphenidate should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Side Effects

Nervousness, trouble sleeping, loss of appetite, weight loss, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, or headache may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: numbness/pain/skin color change/sensitivity to temperature in the fingers or toes, fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat, mental/mood/behavior changes (such as agitation, aggression, mood swings, abnormal thoughts), uncontrolled muscle movements (such as twitching, shaking), sudden outbursts of words/sounds that are hard to control, vision changes (such as blurred vision).

Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: fainting, seizure, symptoms of a heart attack (such as chest/jaw/left arm pain, shortness of breath, unusual sweating), symptoms of a stroke (such as weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, sudden vision changes, confusion).

Rarely, males (including young boys and teens) may have a painful or prolonged erection lasting 4 or more hours while using this medication. Caregivers/parents should also be watchful for this serious side effect in boys. If a painful or prolonged erection occurs, stop using this drug and get medical help right away, or permanent problems could occur. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

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Information expires June 2015.