Precautions and Warnings With Methylphenidate ER Oral Suspension
Before starting treatment with methylphenidate ER oral suspension, make sure you're aware of the warnings and precautions. For example, this drug carries a risk of dependence and abuse, and it can interact with many products. There are also certain situations in which you should not take this medicine at all. Talk with your healthcare provider about whether methylphenidate ER oral suspension is right for you.
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking methylphenidate ER oral suspension (Quillivant XR™) if you have:
- Heart problems of any kind, including heart disease, heart defects, or a heart arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm)
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- A mental health or psychiatric problem, such as depression, bipolar disorder, or a psychotic disorder
- A family history of depression, bipolar disorder, or suicide
- A history of drug or alcohol abuse or dependence
- Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
You should also tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this drug include the following:
- Medications that contain methylphenidate, such as methylphenidate ER oral suspension, have a high potential for dependence and abuse. Because of this potential, these medications are considered "controlled substances," and strict rules and regulations must be followed when using them.
Let your healthcare provider know if you have the desire to take more methylphenidate ER oral suspension than prescribed, to take it for a reason other than why it was prescribed, or if you feel you may be developing a problem with methylphenidate ER oral suspension abuse.
- Medications such as methylphenidate ER oral suspension have been reported to cause heart-related problems, including heart attacks and strokes in adults and sudden death in people with underlying heart conditions. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop signs of heart problems during treatment, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, fainting, or an abnormal heartbeat.
- Methylphenidate ER oral suspension could increase your blood pressure and heart rate (pulse). Your healthcare provider should monitor you for these potential side effects.
- This medication may worsen symptoms of bipolar or psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia. It could also cause hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not real), delusions (believing things that are not true), or mania (an abnormal elevation in mood), even in people who have never had these symptoms in the past. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop any new or worsening changes in your mood, thoughts, or behavior.
- Stimulant medications, such as methylphenidate ER oral suspension, may cause weight loss and slow down growth in children. This slowing down of growth is usually small (a decrease of about 0.8 inches in height and 5.9 pounds in weight over three years). Children who are treated with methylphenidate ER oral suspension should have their height and weight monitored throughout treatment, and may need to stop treatment if they are not growing as expected.
- 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.
- 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.
- Methylphenidate ER oral suspension may react with several other medications (see Drug Interactions With Methylphenidate ER Oral Suspension).
- Methylphenidate ER oral suspension is a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are currently unknown (see Quillivant XR and Pregnancy).
- Methylphenidate ER oral suspension passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Quillivant XR and Breastfeeding).