As noted in the Box Warning, 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.
Signs and symptoms of methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets overdosage, resulting principally from overstimulation of the CNS and from excessive sympathomimetic effects, may include the following: vomiting, agitation, muscle twitching, convulsion, grand mal convulsion, confusional state, hallucinations (auditory and/or visual), hyperhidrosis, headache, pyrexia, tachycardia, palpitations, heart rate increased, sinus arrhythmia, hypertension, rhabdomyolysis, mydriasis, and dry mouth.
Treatment consists of appropriate supportive measures. The patient must be protected against self-injury and against external stimuli that would aggravate overstimulation already present. Gastric contents may be evacuated by gastric lavage as indicated. Before performing gastric lavage, control agitation and seizures if present and protect the airway. Other measures to detoxify the gut include administration of activated charcoal and a cathartic. Intensive care must be provided to maintain adequate circulation and respiratory exchange; external cooling procedures may be required for pyrexia.
Efficacy of peritoneal dialysis or extracorporeal hemodialysis for methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets overdosage has not been established.
The prolonged release of methylphenidate from methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets should be considered when treating patients with overdose.
As with the management of all overdosage, the possibility of multiple-drug ingestion should be considered. The physician may wish to consider contacting a poison control center for up-to-date information on the management of overdosage with methylphenidate.
Methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets, USP is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant. Methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets are available in four tablet strengths. Each extended-release tablet for once-a-day oral administration contains 18, 27, 36, or 54 mg of methylphenidate HCl USP and is designed to have a 12-hour duration of effect. Chemically, methylphenidate HCl is d, l (racemic) methyl α-phenyl-2-piperidineacetate hydrochloride. Its empirical formula is C 14 H 19 NO 2 •HCl. Its structural formula is:
Methylphenidate HCl USP is a white to off-white crystalline powder. Its solutions are acid to litmus. It is freely soluble in water and in methanol, soluble in alcohol, and slightly soluble in chloroform and in acetone. Its molecular weight is 269.77.
Methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets, USP also contains the following inert ingredients and are common to all strengths: butylated hydroxytoluene, cellulose acetate, hypromellose, phosphoric acid, polyethylene glycol, polyethylene oxides, povidone, propylene glycol, sodium chloride, stearic acid, succinic acid, ferric oxide yellow, FD&C Red No 40 and titanium dioxide. The 18 mg tablet strength also contains iron oxide yellow and Polysorbate 80. The 27 mg tablet strength also contains iron oxide red. The 36 mg tablet strength also contains talc. The 54 mg tablet strength also contains iron oxide yellow, iron oxide red and talc.
Each tablet strength also contains black iron oxide, hypromellose and propylene glycol as imprinting ink.
USP Dissolution Test Pending.
Methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets uses osmotic pressure to deliver methylphenidate HCl at a controlled rate. The system, which resembles a conventional tablet in appearance, comprises an osmotically active trilayer core surrounded by a semipermeable membrane with an immediate-release drug overcoat. The trilayer core is composed of two drug layers containing the drug and excipients, and a push layer containing osmotically active components. There is a precision-laser drilled orifice on the drug-layer end of the tablet. In an aqueous environment, such as the gastrointestinal tract, the drug overcoat dissolves within one hour, providing an initial dose of methylphenidate. Water permeates through the membrane into the tablet core. As the osmotically active polymer excipients expand, methylphenidate is released through the orifice. The membrane controls the rate at which water enters the tablet core, which in turn controls drug delivery. Furthermore, the drug release rate from the system increases with time over a period of 6 to 7 hours due to the drug-concentration gradient incorporated into the two drug layers of methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets. The biologically inert components of the tablet remain intact during gastrointestinal transit and are eliminated in the stool as a tablet shell along with insoluble core components. It is possible that methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets may be visible on abdominal x-rays under certain circumstances, especially when digital enhancing techniques are utilized.
Methylphenidate HCl is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant. The mode of therapeutic action in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is not known. Methylphenidate is thought to block the reuptake of norepinephrine and dopamine into the presynaptic neuron and increase the release of these monoamines into the extraneuronal space.
Methylphenidate is a racemic mixture comprised of the d- and l-isomers. The d-isomer is more pharmacologically active than the l-isomer.
Absorption Methylphenidate is readily absorbed. Following oral administration of methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets, plasma methylphenidate concentrations increase rapidly, reaching an initial maximum at about 1 hour, followed by gradual ascending concentrations over the next 5 to 9 hours, after which a gradual decrease begins. Mean times to reach peak plasma concentrations across all doses of methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets occurred between 6 and 10 hours.
Methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets once daily minimizes the fluctuations between peak and trough concentrations associated with immediate-release methylphenidate three times daily (see Figure 1). The relative bioavailability of methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets once daily and methylphenidate three times daily in adults is comparable.
Figure 1. Mean methylphenidate plasma concentrations in 36 adults, following a single dose of methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets 18 mg once daily and immediate-release methylphenidate 5 mg three times daily administered every 4 hours.
The mean single-dose pharmacokinetic parameters in 36 healthy adults following the administration of methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets 18 mg once daily and methylphenidate 5 mg three times daily are summarized in Table 6.
Methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets (18 mg once daily) (n=36)
Methylphenidate (5 mg three times daily) (n=35)
C max (ng/mL)
3.7 ± 1.0
4.2 ± 1.0
T max (h)
6.8 ± 1.8
6.5 ± 1.8
AUC inf (ng•h/mL)
41.8 ± 13.9
38.0 ± 11.0
t ½ (h)
3.5 ± 0.4
3.0 ± 0.5
The pharmacokinetics of methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets were evaluated in healthy adults following single- and multiple-dose administration (steady state) of doses up to 144 mg/day. The mean half-life was about 3.6 hours. No differences in the pharmacokinetics of methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets were noted following single and repeated once-daily dosing, indicating no significant drug accumulation. The AUC and t 1/2 following repeated once-daily dosing are similar to those following the first dose of methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets in a dose range of 18 to 144 mg.
Following administration of methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets in single doses of 18, 36, and 54 mg/day to healthy adults, C max and AUC (0-inf) of d-methylphenidate were proportional to dose, whereas l-methylphenidate C max and AUC (0-inf) increased disproportionately with respect to dose. Following administration of methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets, plasma concentrations of the l-isomer were approximately 1/40 the plasma concentrations of the d-isomer.
In healthy adults, single and multiple dosing of once-daily methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets doses from 54 to 144 mg/day resulted in linear and dose-proportional increases in C max and AUC inf for total methylphenidate (MPH) and its major metabolite, α-phenyl-piperidine acetic acid (PPAA). There was no time dependency in the pharmacokinetics of methylphenidate. The ratio of metabolite (PPAA) to parent drug (MPH) was constant across doses from 54 to 144 mg/day, both after single dose and upon multiple dosing.
In a multiple-dose study in adolescent ADHD patients aged 13 to 16 administered their prescribed dose (18 to 72 mg/day) of methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets, mean C max and AUC TAU of d- and total methylphenidate increased proportionally with respect to dose.
Plasma methylphenidate concentrations in adults and adolescents decline biexponentially following oral administration. The half-life of methylphenidate in adults and adolescents following oral administration of methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets was approximately 3.5 hours.
Metabolism and Excretion
In humans, methylphenidate is metabolized primarily by de-esterification to PPAA, which has little or no pharmacologic activity. In adults the metabolism of methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets once daily as evaluated by metabolism to PPAA is similar to that of methylphenidate three times daily. The metabolism of single and repeated once-daily doses of methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets is similar.
After oral dosing of radiolabeled methylphenidate in humans, about 90% of the radioactivity was recovered in urine. The main urinary metabolite was PPAA, accounting for approximately 80% of the dose.
In patients, there were no differences in either the pharmacokinetics or the pharmacodynamic performance of methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets when administered after a high-fat breakfast. There is no evidence of dose dumping in the presence or absence of food.
An in vitro study was conducted to explore the effect of alcohol on the release characteristics of methylphenidate from the methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets 18 mg tablet dosage form. At an alcohol concentration up to 40% there was no increased release of methylphenidate in the first hour. The results with the 18 mg tablet strength are considered representative of the other available tablet strengths.
In healthy adults, the mean dose-adjusted AUC (0-inf) values for methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets were 36.7 ng·h/mL in men and 37.1 ng·h/mL in women, with no differences noted between the two groups.
In adults receiving methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets, dose-adjusted AUC (0-inf) was consistent across ethnic groups; however, the sample size may have been insufficient to detect ethnic variations in pharmacokinetics.
Increase in age resulted in increased apparent oral clearance (CL/F) (58% increase in adolescents compared to children). Some of these differences could be explained by body‑weight differences among these populations. This suggests that subjects with higher body weight may have lower exposures of total methylphenidate at similar doses.
The pharmacokinetics of methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets have not been studied in children less than 6 years of age.
There is no experience with the use of methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets in patients with renal insufficiency. After oral administration of radiolabeled methylphenidate in humans, methylphenidate was extensively metabolized and approximately 80% of the radioactivity was excreted in the urine in the form of PPAA. Since renal clearance is not an important route of methylphenidate clearance, renal insufficiency is expected to have little effect on the pharmacokinetics of methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets.
There is no experience with the use of methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets in patients with hepatic insufficiency.
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