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April 1991

Intravenous Methylphenidate Abuse: Prototype for Prescription Drug Abuse

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, Francis Scott Key Medical Center and The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md. Dr Parran is now with St Vincent Charity Hospital and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio.

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)

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