How Does Dexmethylphenidate Extended-Release Work?Although dexmethylphenidate extended-release is a stimulant, it has effects that are the opposite of what would be expected of a stimulant. While stimulants like caffeine can cause hyperactivity, dexmethylphenidate extended-release has a calming effect. The exact way in which dexmethylphenidate extended-release produces a calming effect is not known; but it is known that the medication affects chemicals in the brain.
Dexmethylphenidate extended-release contains dexmethylphenidate, which is very similar to methylphenidate (the active component of Concerta®, Daytrana®, Ritalin®, Metadate®, and Methylin®). In fact, methylphenidate is actually a mixture of dexmethylphenidate and levomethylphenidate. Of these two components, dexmethylphenidate is the more active one.
Dexmethylphenidate extended-release capsules are filled with tiny beads that contain the medication. Half of these are immediate-release beads, and the other half are delayed-release beads, which do not dissolve until they reach the small intestine (about four hours later). This allows dexmethylphenidate extended-release to be taken just once a day (instead of twice a day).
Effects of Dexmethylphenidate Extended-ReleaseThere have been several studies looking at using dexmethylphenidate extended-release for ADHD symptoms. Some results of these ADHD research studies are highlighted below:
ADHD in Children and Teenagers
In clinical studies, children with ADHD who took dexmethylphenidate extended-release had significant behavior improvements, compared to children who did not take the medication. These behavior improvements were reported by teachers. In one study, no difference was seen between the teenagers who took dexmethylphenidate extended-release and the teenagers who did not, though this is probably due to the small number of teenagers in this study.