Methylphenidate is a central nervous system stimulant medication that is used to treat attention hyperactivity deficit disorder, or ADHD. It is also used to treat narcolepsy, a condition where a person suddenly feels sleepy and loses consciousness. This medication changes the chemical balance in the brain to improve alertness and ability to focus.
Methylphenidate can be both physically and psychologically addictive. It should not be prescribed to patients who have a history of drug abuse or who are emotionally unstable. Patients should take the medication only as directed and should not change the amount they take without consulting a doctor. Abuse of this medication can be fatal; in addition, patients may have psychotic episodes if they misuse the medication.
Abruptly stopping the use of this medication can cause severe depression. Patients should be monitored carefully while tapering off this medication for symptoms of depression as well as a resurgence of the original symptoms the medication was prescribed for.