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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking methylphenidate?
Do not take methylphenidate if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) within the past 14 days. Serious, life-threatening side effects can occur if you use methylphenidate before the MAO inhibitor has cleared from your body.
Do not use this medication if you are allergic to methylphenidate or if you have:
Some stimulants have caused sudden death in children and adolescents with serious heart problems or congenital heart defects. Tell your doctor if you have a congenital heart defect.
If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests:
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether methylphenidate will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
It is not known whether methylphenidate passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Long-term use of methylphenidate can slow a child's growth. Tell your doctor if the child using this medication is not growing or gaining weight properly.
Do not give methylphenidate to a child younger than 6 years old without the advice of a doctor.
How should I take methylphenidate?
Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Take this medication at least 30 minutes before a meal. The extended-release forms of methylphenidate (Ritalin-SR, Metadate ER, Metadate CD, Methylin ER, Concerta) can be taken with or without food.
The chewable tablet must be chewed before you swallow it.
Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow it whole. Breaking the pill may cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.
You may open the extended-release capsule and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of pudding or applesauce to make swallowing easier. Swallow right away without chewing. Do not save the mixture for later use. Discard the empty capsule.
Measure liquid medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
To prevent sleep problems, take this medication early in the day, no later than 6:00 pm.
If you need to have any type of surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using methylphenidate. You may need to stop using the medicine the day of your surgery.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Methylphenidate is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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