Discovering the best Methylphenidate dosage often depends on the individual.
More often than not, a little trial and error is involved in order to find the best balance for each individual. The reason is that medications effect everyone differently due to various factors.
These factors can include age, severity of condition, sex, medical history, overall physical condition, mental health history, and the specific condition for which one is taking Methylphenidate.
What is Methylphenidate?
Methylphenidate is a central nervous system stimulant. It affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control.
In children, Methylphenidate is used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADD/ADHD. In adults, Methylphenidate is used to treat ADHD, narcoplepsy, and sometimes depression.
For our purposes as an ADHD info portal, we will examine the best Methylphenidate dosages in the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Keep in the mind that these Methylphenidate dosages are not set in stone. There are, however, general medical guidelines that work for the majority of those taking the medication.
Immediate Release Tablets (Ritalin)
For immediate release tablets, a common starting dose is 2.5 to 5 mg orally twice daily, taken 30 to 45 minutes before breakfast and lunch.
Over time as the body adjusts and develops more tolerance, a maintenance dose is given. The starting dose may be increased weekly in increments of 5 to 10 mg. The max daily dose is typically no more than 60 mg.
Ritalin Sustained Release Tablets
Methylphenidate is also available as a 10 mg and 20 mg sustained release tablet, with a duration of action of approximately 8 hours. The effects of sustained release tablets are designed to last longer than immediate release tablets.
Like the maintenance dose for immediate release tabs, the sustained release dose may be increased in weekly increments of 10 mg. The max dose is 60 mg per day.
Concerta Extended Release Tablets
The initial dose of Concerta is typically 18 mg once daily in the morning before breakfast. The maximum dose for children 6 to 12 years of age is 54 mg; for children over the age of 12 the max dose is typically 72 mg.
Daytrana Skin Patch (Transdermal Methylphenidate)
Daytrana comes in the form of wearable skin patch. For week 1 the dose is 10 mg, for week 2 the dose is 15 mg, for week 3 the dose is 20 mg, for week 4 the dose is 30 mg. The patch is typically worn for no more than 9 hours per day.
Ritalin Immediate Release Tablets
The initial dose is typically 10 mg orally 2 or 3 times daily, preferably 30 to 45 minutes before breakfast and lunch, and a third dose, if necessary, between 2 and 4 PM.
A maintenance dose may be increased in increments of 5 to 10 mg; up to a maximum of 60 mg per day.
Sustained Release Tablets (Ritalin SR, Metadate ER)
The initial dose is generally 10 mg and 20 mg and the sustained release tablets have a duration of approximately 8 hours. A maintenance dose may be increased in weekly increments of 10 mg, up to a maximum of 60 mg per day. The first dose is taken before breakfast.
Ritalin LA Extended Release Capsules
An initial dose is typically 20 mg once a day in the morning before breakfast. The maintenance dose may be increased in weekly increments up to 10 mg. The max dose is 60 mg.
Concerta Extended Release Tablets
The starting dose is generally 18 mg per day, once in the morning before breakfast. The maintenance dose may be increased in weekly intervals by 18 mg, up to a maximum of 72 mg once per day.
Daytrana Skin Patch/Transdermal System
The dose is gradually increased each week. Week 1 10 mg, week 2 15 mg, week 3 20 mg, week 4 30 mg. The patch should be removed 9 hours after application.
Warnings And Precautions
Do not adjust your Methylphenidate dosage without first consulting your doctor.
should not be used in patients who suffer from glaucoma, motor tics,
and Tourette's syndrome. It should not be taken within 14 days of
taking MAO inhibitors. Report to your doctor any history of hearts problems, high blood pressure, and thyroid problems.
In addition, long term use of Methylphenidate may stunt growth in children; height and weight should be monitored in those taking this medication. Methylphenidate is generally not prescribed for children under 6 years of age.
Also, since Methylphenidate is a stimulant, great caution should be taken in those with a history of substance abuse and addiction.
Also, report to your doctor if you are pregnant or planning on getting pregnant while taking this medication, as the effects on developing fetuses are not yet known.
As always, you should consult your doctor and pharmacist if you have any questions.