Generic name: Methylphenidate Controlled-Release Tablets [ meth-il-FEN-i-date ]
Brand names: Methylin ER, Ritalin SR
Drug class: CNS stimulants
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Mar 2, 2023.
The Ritalin-SR brand name has been discontinued in the U.S. If generic versions of this product have been approved by the FDA, there may be generic equivalents available.
- This medicine has a risk of abuse and misuse. Use Ritalin SR (methylphenidate controlled-release tablets) only as you were told by your doctor. Tell your doctor if you have ever abused or been addicted to any drugs or alcohol.
Uses of Ritalin SR:
- It is used to treat attention deficit problems with hyperactivity.
- It is used to treat narcolepsy.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Ritalin SR?
- If you have an allergy to methylphenidate or any other part of Ritalin SR (methylphenidate controlled-release tablets).
- If you are allergic to Ritalin SR (methylphenidate controlled-release tablets); any part of Ritalin SR (methylphenidate controlled-release tablets); or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
- If you have any of these health problems: Glaucoma, agitation, anxiety, or overactive thyroid.
- If you or a family member have any of these health problems: Blood vessel disease, high blood pressure, heart structure problems or other heart problems, or Tourette's syndrome or tics.
- If you have ever had a stroke.
- If you have taken certain drugs for depression or Parkinson's disease in the last 14 days. This includes isocarboxazid, phenelzine, tranylcypromine, selegiline, or rasagiline. Very high blood pressure may happen.
- If you are taking any of these drugs: Linezolid or methylene blue.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with Ritalin SR (methylphenidate controlled-release tablets).
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Ritalin SR (methylphenidate controlled-release tablets) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Ritalin SR?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take Ritalin SR (methylphenidate controlled-release tablets). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how Ritalin SR (methylphenidate controlled-release tablets) affects you.
- Heart attacks, strokes, and sudden deaths have happened in adults taking Ritalin SR (methylphenidate controlled-release tablets). Sudden deaths have also happened in children with some heart problems or heart defects. Call your doctor right away if you have a fast, slow, or abnormal heartbeat; weakness on 1 side of the body; trouble speaking or thinking; change in balance; drooping on 1 side of the face; change in eyesight; chest pain or pressure; shortness of breath; or severe dizziness or passing out.
- You may need to have some heart tests before starting Ritalin SR (methylphenidate controlled-release tablets). If you have questions, talk with your doctor.
- Check blood pressure and heart rate as the doctor has told you.
- This medicine may raise the chance of seizures in some people, including people who have had seizures in the past. Talk to your doctor to see if you have a greater chance of seizures while taking Ritalin SR (methylphenidate controlled-release tablets).
- Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Ritalin SR (methylphenidate controlled-release tablets).
- A severe and sometimes deadly problem called serotonin syndrome may happen if you take Ritalin SR (methylphenidate controlled-release tablets) with certain other drugs. Call your doctor right away if you have agitation; change in balance; confusion; hallucinations; fever; fast or abnormal heartbeat; flushing; muscle twitching or stiffness; seizures; shivering or shaking; sweating a lot; severe diarrhea, upset stomach, or throwing up; or severe headache.
- Rarely, low blood cell counts have happened with Ritalin SR (methylphenidate controlled-release tablets). Call your doctor right away if you have any unexplained bruising or bleeding; signs of infection like fever, chills, or sore throat; or feel very tired or weak.
- This medicine may affect growth in children and teens in some cases. They may need regular growth checks. Talk with the doctor.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to you and the baby.
How is this medicine (Ritalin SR) best taken?
Use Ritalin SR (methylphenidate controlled-release tablets) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Take in the morning.
- Some drugs may need to be taken with food or on an empty stomach. For some drugs it does not matter. Check with your pharmacist about how to take Ritalin SR (methylphenidate controlled-release tablets).
- Swallow whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
- If you have been taking Ritalin SR (methylphenidate controlled-release tablets) for a long time or at high doses, it may not work as well and you may need higher doses to get the same effect. This is known as tolerance. Call your doctor if Ritalin SR (methylphenidate controlled-release tablets) stops working well. Do not take more than ordered.
- Limit your use of caffeine (for example, tea, coffee, cola) and chocolate. Use with Ritalin SR (methylphenidate controlled-release tablets) may cause nervousness, shakiness, and a fast heartbeat.
- Have your blood work checked if you are on Ritalin SR (methylphenidate controlled-release tablets) for a long time. Talk with your doctor.
- If you are taking Ritalin SR (methylphenidate controlled-release tablets) and have high blood pressure, talk with your doctor before using OTC products that may raise blood pressure. These include cough or cold drugs, diet pills, stimulants, ibuprofen or like products, and some natural products or aids.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of high blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, or change in eyesight.
- Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
- Joint pain.
- Purple patches on the skin or mouth.
- Change in eyesight.
- Trouble controlling body movements.
- Sweating a lot.
- Change in color of hands or feet from pale to blue or red.
- Numbness, pain, tingling, or cold feeling of the hands or feet.
- Any sores or wounds on the fingers or toes.
- Muscle pain or weakness, dark urine, or trouble passing urine.
- Change in sex interest.
- Call your doctor right away if you have a painful erection (hard penis) or an erection that lasts for longer than 4 hours. This may happen even when you are not having sex. If this is not treated right away, it may lead to lasting sex problems and you may not be able to have sex.
- New or worse behavior and mood changes like change in thinking, anger, and hallucinations have happened with Ritalin SR (methylphenidate controlled-release tablets). Tell your doctor if you or a family member have any mental or mood problems like depression or bipolar illness, or if a family member has committed suicide. Call your doctor right away if you have hallucinations; change in the way you act; or signs of mood changes like depression, thoughts of suicide, nervousness, emotional ups and downs, thinking that is not normal, anxiety, or lack of interest in life.
What are some other side effects of Ritalin SR?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Feeling sleepy.
- Dry mouth.
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Weight loss.
- Feeling nervous and excitable.
- Not hungry.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Stomach pain or heartburn.
- Nose or throat irritation.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Ritalin SR?
- Store at room temperature.
- Protect from light.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- This medicine comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time Ritalin SR (methylphenidate controlled-release tablets) is refilled. If you have any questions about Ritalin SR (methylphenidate controlled-release tablets), please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
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- Drug class: CNS stimulants
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