Methylphenidate ER (Methylphenidate Extended Release) is a prescription medication used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) and narcolepsy.
It is the active ingredient in popular ADHD medications such as Ritalin, Concerta, Daytrana, and others.
It works by interacting with the chemicals in the brain that contribute to ADHD symptoms such as hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsive behavior.
Concerta and Ritalin Long-Acting are popular versions of extended release Methylphenidate. The drug works by gradually releasing the dose over an extended period of about 9 hours.
Ritalin LA and Concerta are typically available in tablet form, while Daytrana is a transdermal patch (skin patch) that is worn on the body and releases the drug gradually over time.
Methylphenidate side effects can include insomnia, nausea, loss of appetite, weight loss, dizziness, vomiting, and headache.
More serious reactions can include rapid heart rate, excessive sweating, fever, twitching, seizures, hallucinations, vision changes, and mood/behavior changes.
Keep in mind that such reactions are rare and only occur in a small percentage of users. Report any and all side effects to your doctor right away, particularly any serious or severe reactions.
Because Methylphenidate is a stimulant, it carries the risk of abuse and addiction. In order to avoid the risks of abuse, only take methylphenidate exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not exceed the recommended dosage.
Withdrawal can occur when a person abruptly stops taking
Methylphenidate. Withdrawal symptoms can include depression, abnormal
heart rate, tiredness, and other reactions.
In order to avoid withdrawal, doctors gradually reduce the dosage over time in order to prevent any unpleasant reactions.
Keep in mind, however, withdrawal from Methylphenidate is most likely to occur in those taking excessive
amounts, and not in those who are following their prescription
As a safety precaution, be sure to notify your doctor if you experience any withdrawal symptoms.
Notify Your Doctor If…
Before taking this medication, notify your doctor if you have used MAOI inhibitors within the past 14 days, and if you have a history of glaucoma, high blood pressure, heart problems, thyroid problems, tics, Tourette's syndrome, anxiety, epilepsy, seizures, and substance abuse/addiction.
In addition, notify your doctor of any severe or unusual reactions, especially is you experience serious reactions such as severe pain, abnormal heart rate, difficulty breathing or swallowing, swelling of body parts especially tongue and limbs, hallucinations, confusion, etc.