Ritalin LA Dosage

Generic name: methylphenidate hydrochloride
Dosage form: capsule, extended release

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The information at Drugs.com is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Administration of Dose

Ritalin LA (methylphenidate hydrochloride) extended-release capsules are for oral administration once daily in the morning. Ritalin LA may be swallowed as whole capsules or alternatively may be administered by sprinkling the capsule contents on a small amount of applesauce (see specific instructions below). Ritalin LA and/or their contents should not be crushed, chewed, or divided.

The capsules may be carefully opened and the beads sprinkled over a spoonful of applesauce. The applesauce should not be warm because it could affect the modified release properties of this formulation. The mixture of drug and applesauce should be consumed immediately in its entirety. The drug and applesauce mixture should not be stored for future use. Patients should be advised to avoid alcohol while taking Ritalin LA.

Dosing Recommendations

Dosage should be individualized according to the needs and responses of the patients.

Initial Treatment

The recommended starting dose of Ritalin LA is 20 mg once daily. Dosage may be adjusted in weekly 10 mg increments to a maximum of 60 mg/day taken once daily in the morning, depending on tolerability and degree of efficacy observed. Daily dosage above 60 mg is not recommended. When in the judgement of the clinician a lower initial dose is appropriate, patients may begin treatment with Ritalin LA 10 mg.

Patients Currently Receiving Methylphenidate

The recommended dose of Ritalin LA for patients currently taking methylphenidate b.i.d. or sustained release (SR) is provided below.

Previous Methylphenidate Dose Recommended Ritalin LA Dose
5 mg methylphenidate-b.i.d. 10 mg q.d.
10 mg methylphenidate b.i.d.
or 20 mg methylphenidate-SR
20 mg q.d.
15 mg methylphenidate b.i.d. 30 mg q.d.
20 mg methylphenidate b.i.d.
or 40 mg of methylphenidate-SR
40 mg q.d.
30 mg methylphenidate b.i.d.
or 60 mg methylphenidate-SR
60 mg q.d.

For other methylphenidate regimens, clinical judgment should be used when selecting the starting dose. Ritalin LA dosage may be adjusted at weekly intervals in 10 mg increments.

Daily dosage above 60 mg is not recommended.

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 Ritalin LA. It is generally agreed, however, that pharmacological treatment of ADHD may be needed for extended periods. Nevertheless, the physician who elects to use Ritalin LA 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.

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 1-month period, the drug should be discontinued.

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