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What Is Dexmethylphenidate Hydrochloride?

By Meshell Powell
Updated May 17, 2024
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Dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride is a type of prescription medication known as a central nervous system stimulant and is used primarily to treat a condition known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This drug is not approved for children who are younger than six years of age. Some of the most frequently reported side effects of the drug include nausea, headache, and insomnia. More severe side effects may include tremors, uncontrollable muscle movements, and mood swings. A doctor should be consulted to answer any questions about the use of dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride in any individual situation.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, more commonly referred to as ADHD, is a medical condition that is usually diagnosed in children, although symptoms may carry over into adulthood for some patients. Characteristics of this disorder often include a short attention span, difficulty controlling impulses, and hyperactivity. Dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride may be prescribed, alone or in combination with other medications to treat these symptoms. Behavior therapy and dietary changes are sometimes recommended in addition to the use of prescription medications for those who suffer from behavior disorders such as ADHD.

While most people are able to take dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride without experiencing significant side effects, any new or bothersome symptoms that develop after beginning treatment with this medication should be reported to a doctor for further evaluation. Side effects, such as headache, insomnia, or nausea, may be controlled with additional drugs if they become severe enough to interrupt normal activities. Tremors or uncontrollable muscle spasms or movements often indicate that the dosage needs to be adjusted. This should only be done under the direct supervision of the prescribing physician, however. Some patients may experience mood swings or personality changes that sometimes require discontinuation of this drug. There are studies that have suggested that dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride may begin to lose some of its effectiveness when used for an extended period of time.

Those who have been diagnosed with a mental condition known as bipolar disorder may not be able to safely take medications such as dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride as the drug can sometimes induce a manic episode. Patients with a history of high blood pressure or other cardiac problems should be monitored closely while using it. Allergic reactions to this medication are rare, but symptoms such as facial swelling, chest pain, or difficulty breathing require emergency medical assistance, as a severe type of allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis can prove fatal within a matter of minutes.

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