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Ritalin (methylphenidate) and Alcohol/Food Interactions

There are 4 alcohol/food/lifestyle interactions with Ritalin (methylphenidate) which include:


methylphenidate food

Moderate Food Interaction

GENERALLY AVOID: Alcohol may exacerbate the adverse central nervous system effects of psychoactive drugs, including methylphenidate.

GENERALLY AVOID: Consumption of alcohol while taking certain sustained-release formulations of methylphenidate may cause rapid release of the drug, resulting in increased systemic levels of methylphenidate. In vitro studies have been conducted using Metadate CD 60 mg and Ritalin LA 40 mg capsules, as well as Concerta 18 mg tablet. At an alcohol concentration of 40%, an increase in the release rate of methylphenidate was observed in the first hour for Metadate CD and Ritalin LA, resulting in 84% and 98% of the methylphenidate being released, respectively. In contrast, there was no increased release of methylphenidate in the first hour for Concerta. These results are considered to be representative of the other available strengths of the corresponding product.

MANAGEMENT: Patients treated with methylphenidate should be advised to avoid alcohol or medications that contain alcohol.


  1. "Product Information. Ritalin LA (methylphenidate)." Quality Care Products/Lake Erie Medical , Temperance, MI.
  2. "Product Information. Concerta (methylphenidate)." Alza, Palo Alto, CA.
  3. "Product Information. Metadate CD Capsules (methylphenidate)" Celltech Pharmaceuticals, Inc, Applegate, WI.

Switch to consumer interaction data


High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

Major Potential Hazard, Moderate plausibility

CNS stimulants - cardiac disease

The use of CNS stimulants is contraindicated in patients with significant cardiovascular impairment such as uncompensated heart failure, severe coronary disease, severe hypertension (including that associated with hyperthyroidism or pheochromocytoma), cardiac structural abnormalities, serious arrhythmias, etc. Sudden death has been reported in adults and children taking CNS stimulant treatment. Additionally, stroke, myocardial infarction, chest pain, syncope, arrhythmias and other symptoms have been reported in adults under treatment. A careful assessment of the cardiovascular status should be done in patients being considered for treatment. This includes family history, physical exam and further cardiac evaluation (EKG and echocardiogram). Patients who develop symptoms should have a detailed cardiac evaluation and if needed, treatment should be suspended.


  1. "Product Information. Dopram (doxapram)." West-Ward Pharmaceutical Corporation, Eatontown, NJ.

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

Major Potential Hazard, Moderate plausibility

CNS stimulants - hypertension

CNS stimulant medications have shown to increase blood pressure, and their use might be contraindicated in patients with severe hypertension. Caution should be used when administering to patients with preexisting high blood pressure and other cardiovascular conditions. All patients under treatment should be regularly monitored for changes in blood pressure and heart rate.


  1. "Product Information. Dopram (doxapram)." West-Ward Pharmaceutical Corporation, Eatontown, NJ.

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

Major Potential Hazard, High plausibility

methylphenidate - hypertension

Methylphenidate (racemic) and dexmethylphenidate (the more pharmacologically active d-enantiomer) exhibit sympathomimetic activity and may elevate blood pressure and pulse rate. Therapy with these agents should be administered cautiously in patients with hypertension. Blood pressure should be monitored periodically during therapy.


  1. "Product Information. Ritalin (methylphenidate)." Novartis Pharmaceuticals, East Hanover, NJ.
  2. "Product Information. Focalin (dexmethylphenidate)." Mikart Inc, Atlanta, GA.

Ritalin (methylphenidate) drug interactions

There are 184 drug interactions with Ritalin (methylphenidate)

Ritalin (methylphenidate) disease interactions

There are 16 disease interactions with Ritalin (methylphenidate) which include:

Drug Interaction Classification

These classifications are only a guideline. The relevance of a particular drug interaction to a specific individual is difficult to determine. Always consult your healthcare provider before starting or stopping any medication.
Major Highly clinically significant. Avoid combinations; the risk of the interaction outweighs the benefit.
Moderate Moderately clinically significant. Usually avoid combinations; use it only under special circumstances.
Minor Minimally clinically significant. Minimize risk; assess risk and consider an alternative drug, take steps to circumvent the interaction risk and/or institute a monitoring plan.
Unknown No interaction information available.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.