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April 1991

Intravenous Methylphenidate AbusePrototype for Prescription Drug Abuse

Arch Intern Med. 1991;151(4):781-783. doi:10.1001/archinte.1991.00400040119027

Data are presented from a case series of 22 patients who abused methylphenidate hydrochloride (Ritalin-SR). The abuse pattern and symptoms of toxicity were similar to that seen with cocaine hydrochloride and amphetamine sulfate addiction; yet, the morbidity and mortality seen in this case series were greater than usual for a group of patients involved in intravenous drug abuse. We describe the characteristics of the methylphenidate abuse syndrome in terms of the pharmacology of methylphenidate, the constituents of the Ritalin-SR preparation, and the disease of chemical dependence. We propose solutions to the problem of methylphenidate abuse.

(Arch Intern Med. 1991;151:781-783)