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Methylphenidate Abuse and Psychiatric Side Effects.

Primary Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry 2000;2(5):159-164
10.4088/PCC.v02n0502

Methylphenidate is a central nervous system stimulant drug that has become the primary drug of choice in treating attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children. Side effects are usually mild and are generally well tolerated by patients. Along with increases in prescribing frequency, the potential for abuse has increased. Intranasal abuse produces effects rapidly that are similar to the effects of cocaine in both onset and type. The clinical picture of stimulant abuse produces a wide array of psychiatric symptoms. There is little in the literature to differentiate methylphenidate from other stimulants when they are abused. The need for education of all involved with the use of methylphenidate is discussed to help prevent an increasing pattern of methylphenidate abuse.