Prescription Drug Information: Methylphenidate Hydrochloride

METHYLPHENIDATE HYDROCHLORIDE- methylphenidate hydrochloride tablet, extended release
American Health Packaging

Methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets should be given cautiously to patients with a history of drug dependence or alcoholism. Chronic abusive use can lead to marked tolerance and psychological dependence with varying degrees of abnormal behavior. Frank psychotic episodes can occur, especially with parenteral abuse. Careful supervision is required during withdrawal from abusive use since severe depression may occur. Withdrawal following chronic therapeutic use may unmask symptoms of the underlying disorder that may require follow-up.

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

Methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets is indicated for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children 6 years of age and older, adolescents, and adults up to the age of 65 [see Clinical Studies (14)].

A diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD; DSM-IV) implies the presence of hyperactive-impulsive or inattentive symptoms that caused impairment and were present before age 7 years. The symptoms must cause clinically significant impairment, e.g., in social, academic, or occupational functioning, and be present in two or more settings, e.g., school (or work) and at home. The symptoms must not be better accounted for by another mental disorder. For the Inattentive Type, at least six of the following symptoms must have persisted for at least 6 months: lack of attention to details/careless mistakes; lack of sustained attention; poor listener; failure to follow through on tasks; poor organization; avoids tasks requiring sustained mental effort; loses things; easily distracted; forgetful. For the Hyperactive-Impulsive Type, at least six of the following symptoms must have persisted for at least 6 months: fidgeting/squirming; leaving seat; inappropriate running/climbing; difficulty with quiet activities; “on the go;” excessive talking; blurting answers; can’t wait turn; intrusive. The Combined Type requires both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive criteria to be met.

1.1 Special Diagnostic Considerations

Specific etiology of this syndrome is unknown, and there is no single diagnostic test. Adequate diagnosis requires the use of medical and special psychological, educational, and social resources. Learning may or may not be impaired. The diagnosis must be based upon a complete history and evaluation of the patient and not solely on the presence of the required number of DSM-IV characteristics.

1.2 Need for Comprehensive Treatment Program

Methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets is indicated as an integral part of a total treatment program for ADHD that may include other measures (psychological, educational, social). Drug treatment may not be indicated for all patients with ADHD. Stimulants are not intended for use in patients who exhibit symptoms secondary to environmental factors and/or other primary psychiatric disorders, including psychosis. Appropriate educational placement is essential and psychosocial intervention is often helpful. When remedial measures alone are insufficient, the decision to prescribe stimulant medication will depend upon the physician’s assessment of the chronicity and severity of the patient’s symptoms.

2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

2.1 General Dosing Information

Methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets should be administered orally once daily in the morning with or without food.

Methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets must be swallowed whole with the aid of liquids, and must not be chewed, divided, or crushed [see Patient Counseling Information (17)].

2.2 Patients New to Methylphenidate

The recommended starting dose of methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets for patients who are not currently taking methylphenidate or stimulants other than methylphenidate is 18 mg once daily for children and adolescents and 18 or 36 mg once daily for adults (see Table 1).

Table 1. Methylphenidate Hydrochloride Extended-Release Tablets Recommended Starting Doses and Dose Ranges

Patient Age

Recommended Starting Dose

Dose Range

Children 6-12 years of age

18 mg/day

18 mg — 54 mg/day

Adolescents 13-17 years of age

18 mg/day

18 mg — 72 mg/day not to exceed 2 mg/kg/day

Adults 18-65 years of age

18 or 36 mg/day

18 mg — 72 mg/day

2.3 Patients Currently Using Methylphenidate

The recommended dose of methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets for patients who are currently taking methylphenidate twice daily or three times daily at doses of 10 to 60 mg/day is provided in Table 2. Dosing recommendations are based on current dose regimen and clinical judgment. Conversion dosage should not exceed 72 mg daily.

Table 2. Recommended Dose Conversion from Methylphenidate Regimens to Methylphenidate Hydrochloride Extended-Release Tablets

Previous Methylphenidate Daily Dose

Recommended Methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets Starting Dose

5 mg Methylphenidate twice daily or three times daily

18 mg every morning

10 mg Methylphenidate twice daily or three times daily

36 mg every morning

15 mg Methylphenidate twice daily or three times daily

54 mg every morning

20 mg Methylphenidate twice daily or three times daily

72 mg every morning

Other methylphenidate regimens: Clinical judgment should be used when selecting the starting dose.

2.4 Dose Titration

Doses may be increased in 18 mg increments at weekly intervals for patients who have not achieved an optimal response at a lower dose. Daily dosages above 54 mg in children and 72 mg in adolescents have not been studied and are not recommended. Daily dosages above 72 mg in adults are not recommended.

A 27 mg dosage strength is available for physicians who wish to prescribe between the 18 mg and 36 mg dosages.

2.5 Maintenance/Extended Treatment

There is no body of evidence available from controlled trials to indicate how long the patient with ADHD should be treated with methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets. It is generally agreed, however, that pharmacological treatment of ADHD may be needed for extended periods.

The effectiveness of methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets for long-term use, i.e., for more than 7 weeks, has not been systematically evaluated in controlled trials. The physician who elects to use methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets for extended periods in patients with ADHD should periodically re-evaluate the long-term usefulness of the drug for the individual patient with trials off medication to assess the patient’s functioning without pharmacotherapy. Improvement may be sustained when the drug is either temporarily or permanently discontinued.

2.6 Dose Reduction and Discontinuation

If paradoxical aggravation of symptoms or other adverse events occur, the dosage should be reduced, or, if necessary, the drug should be discontinued.

If improvement is not observed after appropriate dosage adjustment over a one-month period, the drug should be discontinued.

3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS

Methylphenidate Hydrochloride Extended-Release Tablets, USP are available in 18 mg, 27 mg, 36 mg and 54 mg of methylphenidate hydrochloride, USP.

  • The 18 mg tablets are light yellow to yellow film coated round cylindrical biconvex tablets printed with “212” in black ink.
  • The 27 mg tablets are light pink to pink film coated round cylindrical biconvex tablets printed with “213” in black ink.
  • The 36 mg tablets are white to off white film coated round cylindrical biconvex tablets printed with “214” in black ink.
  • The 54 mg tablets are light to dark brown film coated round cylindrical biconvex tablets printed with “215” in black ink.

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

4.1 Hypersensitivity to Methylphenidate

Hypersensitivity reactions, such as angioedema and anaphylactic reactions, have been observed in patients treated with methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets. Therefore, methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets are contraindicated in patients known to be hypersensitive to methylphenidate or other components of the product [see Adverse Reactions (6.6)].

4.2 Agitation

Methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets are contraindicated in patients with marked anxiety, tension, and agitation, since the drug may aggravate these symptoms.

4.3 Glaucoma

Methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets are contraindicated in patients with glaucoma.

4.4 Tics

Methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets are contraindicated in patients with motor tics or with a family history or diagnosis of Tourette’s syndrome [see Adverse Reactions (6.4)].

4.5 Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors

Methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets are contraindicated during treatment with monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, and also within a minimum of 14 days following discontinuation of a MAO inhibitor (hypertensive crises may result) [see Drug Interactions (7.1)].

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