"Jan. 21, 2013 -- The number of children with ADHD is rising rapidly, according to a study of more than 840,000 California children.
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Ritalin LA® (methylphenidate hydrochloride) extended-release capsules is indicated for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
A diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD; DSM-IV) implies the presence of hyperactive-impulsive or inattentive symptoms that caused impairment and were present before age 7 years. The symptoms must cause clinically significant impairment, e.g., in social, academic, or occupational functioning, and be present in two or more settings, e.g., school (or work) and at home.
The symptoms must not be better accounted for by another mental disorder. For the Inattentive Type, at least six of the following symptoms must have persisted for at least 6 months: lack of attention to details/careless mistakes; lack of sustained attention; poor listener; failure to follow through on tasks; poor organization; avoids tasks requiring sustained mental effort; loses things; easily distracted; forgetful. For the Hyperactive-Impulsive Type, at least six of the following symptoms must have persisted for at least 6 months: fidgeting/squirming; leaving seat; inappropriate running/climbing; difficulty with quiet activities; “on the go;” excessive talking; blurting answers; can't wait turn; intrusive. The Combined Types requires both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive criteria to be met.
Special Diagnostic Considerations
Specific etiology of this syndrome is unknown, and there is no single diagnostic test. Adequate diagnosis requires the use not only of medical but of special psychological, educational, and social resources. Learning may or may not be impaired. The diagnosis must be based upon a complete history and evaluation of the child and not solely on the presence of the required number of DSM-IV characteristics.
Need for Comprehensive Treatment Program
Ritalin LA is indicated as an integral part of a total treatment program for ADHD that may include other measures (psychological, educational, social) for patients with this syndrome. Drug treatment may not be indicated for all children with this syndrome. Stimulants are not intended for use in the child who exhibits symptoms secondary to environmental factors and/or other primary psychiatric disorders, including psychosis. Appropriate educational placement is essential and psychosocial intervention is often helpful. When remedial measures alone are insufficient, the decision to prescribe stimulant medication will depend upon the physician's assessment of the chronicity and severity of the child's symptoms.
The effectiveness of Ritalin LA for long-term use, i.e., for more than 2 weeks, has not been systematically evaluated in controlled trials. Therefore, the physician who elects to use Ritalin LA for extended periods should periodically re-evaluate the long-term usefulness of the drug for the individual patient (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION
Administration of Dose
Ritalin LA® (methylphenidate hydrochloride) extended-release capsules is for oral administration once daily in the morning. Ritalin LA may be swallowed as whole capsules or alternatively may be administered by sprinkling the capsule contents on a small amount of applesauce (see specific instructions below). Ritalin LA and/or their contents should not be crushed, chewed, or divided.
The capsules may be carefully opened and the beads sprinkled over a spoonful of applesauce. The applesauce should not be warm because it could affect the modified release properties of this formulation. The mixture of drug and applesauce should be consumed immediately in its entirety. The drug and applesauce mixture should not be stored for future use. Patients should be advised to avoid alcohol while taking Ritalin LA.
Dosage should be individualized according to the needs and responses of the patients.
The recommended starting dose of Ritalin LA is 20 mg once daily. Dosage may be adjusted in weekly 10 mg increments to a maximum of 60 mg/day taken once daily in the morning, depending on tolerability and degree of efficacy observed. Daily dosage above 60 mg is not recommended. When in the judgement of the clinician a lower initial dose is appropriate, patients may begin treatment with Ritalin LA 10 mg.
Patients Currently Receiving Methylphenidate
The recommended dose of Ritalin LA for patients currently taking methylphenidate b.i.d. or sustained release (SR) is provided below.
|Previous Methylphenidate Dose||Recommended Ritalin LA® Dose|
|5 mg methylphenidate-b.i.d.||10 mg q.d.|
|10 mg methylphenidate b.i.d. or 20 mg methylphenidate-SR||20 mg q.d.|
|15 mg methylphenidate b.i.d.||30 mg q.d.|
|20 mg methylphenidate b.i.d. or 40 mg of methylphenidate-SR||40 mg q.d.|
|30 mg methylphenidate b.i.d. or 60 mg methylphenidate-SR||60 mg q.d.|
For other methylphenidate regimens, clinical judgment should be used when selecting the starting dose. Ritalin LA dosage may be adjusted at weekly intervals in 10 mg increments.
Daily dosage above 60 mg is not recommended.
There is no body of evidence available from controlled trials to indicate how long the patient with ADHD should be treated with Ritalin LA. It is generally agreed, however, that pharmacological treatment of ADHD may be needed for extended periods. Nevertheless, the physician who elects to use Ritalin LA for extended periods in patients with ADHD should periodically re-evaluate the long-term usefulness of the drug for the individual patient with trials off medication to assess the patient's functioning without pharmacotherapy. Improvement may be sustained when the drug is either temporarily or permanently discontinued.
Dose Reduction and Discontinuation
If paradoxical aggravation of symptoms or other adverse events occur, the dosage should be reduced, or, if necessary, the drug should be discontinued. If improvement is not observed after appropriate dosage adjustment over a one-month period, the drug should be discontinued.
Ritalin LA capsules 10 mg: white/light brown (imprinted NVR R10)
Bottles of 100………………………………………NDC 0078-0424-05
Ritalin LA capsules 20 mg: white (imprinted NVR R20)
Bottles of 100………………………………………NDC 0078-0370-05
Ritalin LA capsules 30 mg: yellow (imprinted NVR R30)
Bottles of 100………………………………………NDC 0078-0371-05
Ritalin LA capsules 40 mg: light brown (imprinted NVR R40)
Bottles of 100………………………………………NDC 0078-0372-05
Store at 25°C (77°F), excursions permitted 15°C-30°C (59°F-86°F). [See USP controlled room temperature]
Dispense in tight container (USP).
American Psychiatric Association. Diagnosis and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 4th edition. Washington DC: American Psychiatric Association 1994.
Manufactured for : Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, East Hanover, New Jersey 07936. By ELAN HOLDINGS INC., Pharmaceutical Division, Gainesville, GA 30504
Last reviewed on RxList: 6/14/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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