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Methylphenidate (By mouth)

Treats ADHD. Also treats narcolepsy.

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Methylphenidate is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It belongs to the group of medicines called central nervous system (CNS) stimulants. Methylphenidate is also used to treat narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is an uncontrollable desire for sleep or a sudden attack of deep sleep. Methylphenidate works in the treatment of ADHD by increasing attention and decreasing restlessness… Read more
Brand names include
Aptensio XR, Concerta, Cotempla XR-ODT, Metadate CD, Metadate ER, Methylin, Methylin ER, QuilliChew ER, Quillivant XR, Ritalin, Ritalin LA, Ritalin-SR
Other forms
Absorbed through the skin
Drug classes About this
CNS Stimulant, Central Nervous System Agent

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Benefits and harms of methylphenidate for children and adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

We reviewed the evidence of the effects of methylphenidate on the behaviour of children and adolescents with ADHD.

Methylphenidate for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents ‐ assessment of harmful effects

ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders in childhood and is associated with impaired functioning and negative outcomes for development. Individuals diagnosed with ADHD are often hyperactive and impulsive. Methylphenidate, a psychostimulant, is the drug most often prescribed for children and adolescents with ADHD.

Effect of methylphenidate for inattentiveness, impulsivity and/or hyperactivity in children aged 6 to 18 years with autistic spectrum disorder

Children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) often have trouble paying attention, acting impulsively and sitting still. Methylphenidate, a stimulant drug, is often prescribed to treat children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who also have these problems, so it is important to know how well it works for children with ASD.

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Summaries for consumers

Benefits and harms of methylphenidate for children and adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

We reviewed the evidence of the effects of methylphenidate on the behaviour of children and adolescents with ADHD.

Methylphenidate for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents ‐ assessment of harmful effects

ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders in childhood and is associated with impaired functioning and negative outcomes for development. Individuals diagnosed with ADHD are often hyperactive and impulsive. Methylphenidate, a psychostimulant, is the drug most often prescribed for children and adolescents with ADHD.

Effect of methylphenidate for inattentiveness, impulsivity and/or hyperactivity in children aged 6 to 18 years with autistic spectrum disorder

Children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) often have trouble paying attention, acting impulsively and sitting still. Methylphenidate, a stimulant drug, is often prescribed to treat children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who also have these problems, so it is important to know how well it works for children with ASD.

See all (26)

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