Methylphenidate – Price, Uses, Dosage, Side Effects and More

Last Updated: June 10, 2020

Authored by Olivier George, Ph.D.

Methylphenidate is a Central Nervous System (CNS) stimulant. This means it will make a user more active.
As per CDC, it’s the most common drug used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It is also prescribed to treat Narcolepsy.

Methylphenidate Mechanism Of Action

It works by increasing the activity of dopamine and noradrenaline. These are in the areas of the human brain that controls attention and behavior.

Brand Names for Methylphenidate

This drug is the active ingredient found in the following medicines:

  • Ritalin
  • Concerta
  • Aptensio XR
  • Methylin
  • QuilliChew
  • Metadate

Dosage Forms For Methylphenidate

  • Tablet
  • Chewable tablet
  • Extended Release Tablet
  • Chewable Extended Release tablet
  • Extended Release Capsule
  • Solution
  • Powder for Suspension – Extended Release

Other Medicines That can Affect Methylphenidate Work

Medicine don’t always mix well. As a result. it can lead to increased side effects. Therefore, drugs that can affect Methylphenidate include:

  • Narcotic medicines (opioid);
  • Blood pressure medication;
  • Other medicines used to treat psychiatric disorders or depression,
  • Cold and allergy medicines. Especially if it contains decongestants such as phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine;
  • Medicine for seizures.

Before Taking Methylphenidate

Before taking Methylphenidate, consult a healthcare practitioner. This way, a patient can make sure that it is safe for them to use. A doctor will let a patient know if they can continue to start using the medicine. Otherwise, they may alter a prescription in some way.

A person should not be taking this drug in the following cases:

  • A patient has a family- or personal history of muscle twitches;
  • A patient has a personal- or family history of Tourette’s Syndrome;
  • A patient has severe tension, anxiety or agitation;
  • A patient has glaucoma.

Remember to tell a doctor if one has a personal- or family history with:

  • High blood pressure;
  • Heart problems (this includes a congenital heart defect, family history of sudden death or heart disease);
  • Problems with blood circulation in hands or feet;
  • Epilepsy or seizures;
  • Depression, bipolar disorder, mental illness;
  • An alcohol or drug addiction;
  • Abnormal EEG test results;
  • Problems with intestines, esophagus or stomach.

Always keep in mind that one should have to tell a doctor if a person is pregnant or breastfeeding.

Methylphenidate Prices

An individual can buy almost any medication online on the legitimate websites. In fact, one can even use some discount codes when ordering
a r medicine. Remember to be safe and check out at least three websites before ordering a medicine.
Listed are a few stores with the price for 30 tablets of Methylphenidate ER 36mg. Please note that they are before the application of any discounts.:

  •  Walgreens – $254.00
  •  CVS Pharmacy – $250.00
  • Rite-Aid – $253.00
  • Target (CVS) – $R249.00
  • Safeway – $367.00
  • Kroger Pharmacy – $260.00
  • Walmart – $287.00
  • Publix – $320.00

Methylphenidate Side Effects

Usually, the common side effects are usually mild and tolerable for Methylphenidate. They include:

  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness, agitation, and anxiety
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Dizziness
  • Problems with vision
  • Headache
  • Palpitations
  • Increased heart rate
  • Skin rash
  • Psychosis
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Cold feeling in feet or hands
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Sweating

In some cases, severe side effects can also occur. As a result, one must immediately stop taking Methylphenidate. Then, it is imperative that a patient consults a healthcare practitioner. These include:

  • Allergic reactions such as hives. First, they include the swelling of lips, tongue, throat, lips or face. Then, one might have difficulty breathing.
  • Uneven, fast or pounding heartbeat.
  • Extreme dizziness – so bad that a person might pass out.
  • Restlessness, aggression, unusual behavior, muscle twitches, aggression.
  • Very dangerous high blood pressure. This will cause a severe headache and buzzing in ears. They might also include blurred vision, chest pain, and confusion. Otherwise, uneven heartbeat, anxiety, shortness of breath, or seizure may also happen.

Methylphenidate Risks In the Long Run

In the long run, Methylphenidate use and abuse can cause some mental conditions. This is when people do not take it as prescribed.:

  • Hallucination
  • Paranoia and delusion
  • Disorientation
  • Mania followed by depression
  • Thoughts of self-harm and suicide
  • Changes in personal and social behavior
  • Apathy towards everyday life, relationships, work and family
  • Diminishing quality of life
  • Noticeable weight loss that can lead to anorexia
  • Seizures

Is Methylphenidate Addictive?

Presently, they have highlighted the potential for abuse throughout the research literature. Therefore, they serve as a warning that abuse may occur. In fact, more than 16% of college students in the USA have used Methylphenidates for fun. This is according to some research.

Using these medications in any other way than how the doctor prescribed it, will cause a person to get high and may lead to dangerous health and legal conseqences.

People abuse this drug in many ways. First, they can swallow more tablets than prescribed. Then, they can crush/ground to turn into powder form, which people usually snort. Other people will dissolve the tablets in water. Then, they will inject this mixture intravenous. Strangely enough, when one snorts it, the drug has a similar effect on the brain like that of cocaine. However, an individual can get these drugs legally.

Signs and Symptoms of Methylphenidate Addiction

How to know if a loved one has become an addict of Methylphenidate? Like many other drugs, one can tell. Therefore, here are the signs to look out for:

  • Decreased performance at school or work. This seems strange. It is because a lot of college students use Methylphenidates to enhance concentration. For example, they might use Ritalin. However, in the long run, addiction will decrease performance.
  • Changes in priorities and impaired judgment. Addicts might decide that getting more Methylphenidate is the most important. Second, it is to recover from its effects. Which brings us to the next point:
  • Withdrawal from family and friends. As a result, this drug becomes the number one thing in their life. It might also be an attempt to hide the addiction.
  • The compulsion to seek the drug. Abusers might consult many different doctors to get prescriptions.
  • Financial hardship. Drugs cost money. Therefore, to sustain a habit, a Methylphenidate abuser might fall into financial hardship.
  • Profound mood changes. For one, when the dopamine levels changes, so is the mood. Another reason for these mood changes is the side effects and withdrawal

Methylphenidate Overdose

What are the Signs and symptoms of Methylphenidate overdose? They include:

  • Severe muscle twitching
  • Rapid heartbeat seems out of control
  • Vomiting
  • Shortness of breath and crushing chest pain
  • Tremors
  • Notably dilated pupils that are unresponsive to light
  • Convulsions followed by a coma
  • Dryness of the mouth and nose
  • Hallucination, confusion, delirium
  • Extreme headache
  • Sweating and flushing, fever
  • Loss of consciousness

Rehabilitation from Methylphenidate Abuse

Currently, Methylphenidate is relatively easy to get. However, outpatient rehab isn’t always the best option to break the cycle of abuse. Inpatient rehab gives patients more structured environments, removing their access to the drug.

The rehabilitation process will begin with detox. This is a process where the patient stops using the drug abruptly. After, the doctor will carefully track the withdrawal symptoms.

After the detox, patients will begin with therapy. Individual therapy will help the patient get to the root of the addiction. Meanwhile, group sessions may also be useful. Usually, this will help the patient relate to others that have been in a similar situation.
Aftercare is very important when it comes to addiction rehab. There are many support groups and sober living facilities out there. They will help people overcome addictions while getting their lives back on track.

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Published on: May 9th, 2017

Updated on: June 10th, 2020

About Author

Olivier George, Ph.D.

Olivier George is a medical writer and head manager of the rehab center in California. He spends a lot of time in collecting and analyzing the traditional approaches for substance abuse treatment and assessing their efficiency.


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