Methylphenidate Hydrochloride is used for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ADHD is a chronic condition that affects millions of children. It often continues into adulthood. This condition includes a combination of persistent problems such as hyperactivity, difficulty sustaining attention, and impulsive behavior. Children with this disorder may also struggle with low self-esteem and poor performance in school. Symptoms sometimes lessen with age. ADHD symptoms start before the age of 12 and for some, they are noticeable as early as 3 years of age. The symptoms can be mild, moderate, or severe. This occurs more often in males than in females and behaviors can be different in boys and girls. Here are some common signs of ADHD:
- Self-focused behavior
- Trouble waiting their turn
- Emotional turmoil
- Problems playing quietly
- Unfinished tasks
- Lack of focus
- Trouble getting organized
This medication may also be used sometimes for the treatment of narcolepsy. It is a sleep disorder that is characterized by overwhelming daytime drowsiness and sudden attacks of sleep. People with this disorder often find it difficult to stay awake for long periods of time regardless of the circumstances. Sometimes, this condition can be accompanied by a sudden loss of muscle tone which can be triggered by strong emotion. The signs and symptoms of narcolepsy may worsen for the first few years and then continue for life.
Methylphenidate Hydrochloride belongs to the class of medications known as stimulants. This changes the amount of certain natural substances in the brain. it can help increase your ability to pay attention, control behavior problems, and stay focused on an activity. It may also help you to organize your tasks and improve your listening skills. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this prescription. This product is supplied as an extended-release tablet for oral use. Each tablet is available in the dosage strengths of 10 mg, 18 mg, 20 mg, 27 mg, 36 mg, 54 mg, and 72 mg.
How does Methylphenidate Hydrochloride work?
A stimulant like Methylphenidate Hydrochloride increases the activity in the brain. Usually, it makes people more alert and active. This is how they work for people with narcolepsy.
In ADHD, this medication seems to work by increasing activity in underactive areas of the brain that play a part in controlling attention and behavior. It increases the activity of neurotransmitters called dopamine and noradrenaline. In which it improves the functioning of the underactive parts of the brain that enable self-control.
Stimulant medications become effective fairly quickly often in less than an hour.
How to use Methylphenidate Hydrochloride?
The recommended dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to the treatment. Your doctor may direct you to start at a lower dose and eventually increase it. You should take the right dose, not more or less. Do not suddenly stop taking this medication without the consent of your doctor. It may cause another complication or may worsen your current condition. For the best benefit from this product, take it regularly.
Methylphenidate Hydrochloride is usually taken 2 to 3 times a day or as directed by your doctor. This medication is best taken 30 to 45 minutes before a meal. You must take each tablet by mouth. Swallow the tablet as a whole with a full glass of water. Do not break, chew, or crush it. Drink plenty of fluids while having this medication. Doing so may lessen the risk of certain side effects. Remember to take it at the same time and in the same way each day. If you missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed dose. Let your doctor know if your condition does not improve or if it gets worse.
What are the side effects of Methylphenidate Hydrochloride?
Common side effects:
- Weight loss
- Rapid heart rate
- Mood swings
- Decreased appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Dry mouth
- Insomnia or trouble sleeping
- Blurred vision
- Increased sweating
- Increased blood pressure
- Spinning sensation
Tell your doctor right away if you have these unlikely but serious side effects such as:
- Stroke (slurred speech and weakness on one side of the body)
- Heart problems (increased blood pressure and heart rate, shortness of breath, or pain in your left arm, jaw, or chest)
- Changes in eyesight or blurred vision
- Slowed growth
Warnings and Precautions
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Methylphenidate Hydrochloride should be used during pregnancy if only needed. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, call your doctor right away.
- For women who are breastfeeding, you need to talk to your doctor first for some instructions.
- This may raise your blood pressure. Check your blood pressure regularly and tell your doctor if the results are high.
- Before taking Methylphenidate Hydrochloride, let your doctor know if you have ever had an allergic reaction to it. Tell as well if you have any allergies.
- If you have any medical history especially of blood circulation problems, heart problems, glaucoma, high blood pressure, or seizure disorder, tell it to your doctor right away.
- This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol can make you dizzier. Do not drive or do any activity that requires your alertness. Limit alcoholic beverages.
- If you have any current medications including vitamins and herbal supplements, inform your doctor before taking this product.
- If used for a long time this drug may affect a child’s growth rate, weight, and final adult height. To lessen the risk, the doctor may recommend briefly stopping the medication from time to time. The height and weight of the child are to be checked regularly.
- This should not be used in children under 6 years of age, people with an overactive thyroid gland, a history of depression, and cardiovascular disease.
- Do not share this with others even if they have the same disease as yours.