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What Is Methylphenidate ER Oral Suspension Used For?

How Does This Medicine Work?

Methylphenidate ER oral suspension is a stimulant medication. While stimulants can cause hyperactivity, they appear to have a calming effect when used in the doses for ADHD. The exact way methylphenidate ER oral suspension produces a calming effect is unknown. What is known is that the medication affects certain chemical messengers in the brain known as neurotransmitters.
More specifically, methylphenidate ER oral suspension acts on the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine. Having too little of these neurotransmitters in certain areas of the brain is thought to lead to inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsive behavior -- the core symptoms of ADHD.
Methylphenidate ER oral suspension works by increasing the amount of dopamine and norepinephrine in certain areas of the brain. This increase in dopamine and norepinephrine would be expected to cause hyperactivity and overstimulation; however, in people with ADHD (who may not have enough dopamine and norepinephrine), increasing dopamine and norepinephrine can improve focus and reduce hyperactive and impulsive behaviors.

Can Children Use It?

Methylphenidate ER oral suspension is approved for use in children who are at least six years old. It is not approved for use in children younger than age six, as it has not been adequately studied in this age group. Talk to your healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of using the drug in young children.

Is It Safe for Older Adults to Use Methylphenidate ER Oral Suspension?

Methylphenidate ER oral suspension has not been adequately studied in adults older than 65 years old. Due to the cardiovascular risks associated with the medication, it may not be appropriate for some older adults.

What About Off-Label Uses?

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend this medicine for treating something other than the uses discussed in this article. This is called an "off-label" use. Possible off-label uses for methylphenidate ER oral suspension include:
  • Treating adult ADHD
  • Treating narcolepsy
  • Treating depression
  • Improving fatigue in people with certain conditions, such as cancer or HIV
  • Improving impaired cognition and incoordination in children with intellectual disabilities
  • Improving attention and cognition in people who have had a traumatic brain injury.
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Methylphenidate ER Oral Suspension Information

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