What is dexmethylphenidate, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Dexmethylphenidate is a medication used for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is chemically similar to methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta). It stimulates the central nervous system (CNS or brain) in a manner that is similar to amphetamines; however, its actions are milder than amphetamines.

It stimulates the brain by increasing the level of neurotransmitters, dopamine and norepinephrine, in the brain neurotransmitters are chemicals produced by nerves that are released and attach to other nearby nerves as a means of communication among nerves). The exact mechanism of action of the drug in people with ADHD is unknown. FDA approved dexmethylphenidate extended-release capsules in May 2005.

What brand names are available for dexmethylphenidatel?

Focalin, Focalin XR

Is dexmethylphenidate available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for dexmethylphenidate?


Which drugs or supplements interact with dexmethylphenidate?

Dexmethylphenidate should not be combined with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) such as phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Zelapar, Emsam, and Eldepryl), tranylcypromine (Parnate), procarbazine (Matulane), rasagiline (Azilect), and isocarboxazid (Marplan) because of risks of hypertensive crisis. Dexmethylphenidate and MAO inhibitors should be separated by at least 14 days.

Dexmethylphenidate should be used with caution with blood pressure medications or individuals with high blood pressure because it can increase blood pressure and decrease effectiveness of blood pressure medications.

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Is dexmethylphenidate safe to take if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies done on dexmethylphenidate to determine safe and effective use in pregnant women.

It is not known whether dexmethylphenidate enters breast milk; therefore, it is best to be cautious before using it in nursing mothers.

What else should I know about dexmethylphenidate?

What preparations of dexmethylphenidate are available?

Tablet: 2.5, 5, 10 mg. Capsules (extended-release) dexmethylphenidate: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40 mg

How should I keep dexmethylphenidate stored?

Store dexmethylphenidate between temperatures of 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).


The abbreviated term ADHD denotes the condition commonly known as: See Answer

Medically Reviewed on 7/9/2019



FDA Prescribing Information.