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Precautions and Warnings With Dexmethylphenidate

Some Precautions and Warnings With Dexmethylphenidate

Some dexmethylphenidate warnings and precautions to be aware of include:
 
  • Stimulants (including dexmethylphenidate) are often abused. Taking high doses of dexmethylphenidate for long periods of time can lead to dependence on the drug (see Dexmethylphenidate Abuse). Because dexmethylphenidate is so commonly abused, there are special rules for prescribing the medication (see Focalin: A Controlled Substance for more information).
     
  • In people with psychotic disorders (such as schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder), dexmethylphenidate can worsen psychotic symptoms, including thought disorders and behavior problems. Also, dexmethylphenidate may make bipolar symptoms -- especially manic symptoms -- worse.
     
  • Sudden death has been reported in children and adolescents with heart problems who took normal doses of dexmethylphenidate. If your child has heart problems, talk with your healthcare provider about whether dexmethylphenidate is appropriate for your situation. Also, let your healthcare provider know if your child develops any chest tightness, chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting while taking dexmethylphenidate.
     
  • Sudden death, stroke, and heart attacks have also been reported in adults taking normal doses of medications similar to dexmethylphenidate. These events seem to occur more often in adults with heart problems. If you have heart problems, talk with your healthcare provider about whether dexmethylphenidate is appropriate in your situation. Also, let your healthcare provider know if you develop any chest tightness, chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting during treatment with dexmethylphenidate.
 
  • There have been reports of priapism in people taking ADHD medications, including this one. This side effect is an abnormally long-lasting, painful erection and can cause serious, permanent damage to the penis. It can occur in males of any age. Young boys might not recognize this side effect, and males of any age might be hesitant to seek parental or medical attention, due to embarrassment. Prompt treatment is necessary to avoid damage.
 
Be especially on the lookout for this side effect whenever the dosage is increased or during a drug "holiday" or any other time when the drug is stopped.
 
  • Stimulants used to treat ADHD have been associated with problems in blood vessels in the fingers and toes, sometimes causing problems such as Raynaud's disease. Alert your healthcare provider to any signs of this problem, such as cold or numb toes or fingers.
 
  • Dexmethylphenidate can cause an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. In most cases, the increase is small and does not cause problems. However, there is an increased risk for people who already have high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, certain irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias), or a recent history of a heart attack.
     
  • Dexmethylphenidate can cause a temporary slowing of growth in children. This slowing of growth is usually small (less that one inch and less than two pounds); and, in time, children usually catch up to within normal limits.
     
  • Dexmethylphenidate may cause an increase in aggressive behavior in people with ADHD. Let your healthcare provider know of you have any increase in aggressive behavior while on dexmethylphenidate.
     
  • Dexmethylphenidate can increase the risk of seizures, especially in people who have had seizures before. Talk with your healthcare provider before taking dexmethylphenidate if you have a history of seizures.
     
  • Dexmethylphenidate can cause blurred vision and other vision problems.
     
  • Dexmethylphenidate can interact with certain other medications (see Drug Interactions With Dexmethylphenidate).
     
  • Dexmethylphenidate is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that dexmethylphenidate may not be safe to use during pregnancy. Talk with your healthcare provider before using dexmethylphenidate during pregnancy (see Focalin and Pregnancy for more information).
     
  • It is not known if dexmethylphenidate passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about this.
     
Substance Abuse in Teens With ADHD

Dexmethylphenidate Drug Info

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