Ritalin (Methylphenidate) (MPH) is a prescription stimulant commonly used to treat Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, and Attention-deficit disorder, or ADD. It is also one of the primary drugs used to treat the daytime drowsiness symptoms of narcolepsy and chronic fatigue syndrome. The drug is seeing early use to treat cancer-related fatigue.
Brand names of drugs that contain methylphenidate include instant-release racemic methylphenidate Ritalin, Ritalina, Rilatine, Attenta (in Australia), Methylin, Penid, and Rubifen; and the sustained release tablets Concerta, Metadate CD, Methylin ER, Ritalin LA, and Ritalin-SR. Focalin is a preparation containing only dextro-methylphenidate, rather than the usual racemic dextro- and levo-methylphenidate mixture of other formulations. A newer way of taking methylphenidate is by using a transdermal patch (under the brand name Daytrana), similar to those used for hormone replacement therapy (HRT), nicotine release and pain relief (Fentanyl).
Methylphenidate is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant indicated in the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. When prescribed at the correct dosage, methylphenidate is usually well tolerated by patients.
In individuals with cancer, methylphenidate is commonly used to counteract opioid-induced somnolence, to increase the analgesic effects of opioids, to treat depression, and to improve cognitive function.