ADHD Medication and Treatment Reviews

Metadate CD

Generic Name: methylphenidate

Editor’s note: The brand name Metadate CD was discontinued by its manufacturer in April 2017. However, multiple generics are available.

What is Metadate CD?

Metadate CD (Generic Name: methylphenidate) is a central nervous system stimulant primarily used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD) in children ages 6-12, adolescents, and adults up to age 65. Metadate CD may improve focus, and decrease impulsivity and hyperactive behavior, two hallmark symptoms in some patients with the condition. It contains the same active ingredient as medications like Ritalin and Daytrana. According to the FDA, Metadate CD is a federally controlled substance (CII) because it can be abused or lead to dependence. It has not been studied in children under the age of 6.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends treatment with behavioral therapy before medication for children under the age of 6. For children ages 6 to 11, the AAP says “The primary care clinician should prescribe US Food and Drug Administration–approved medications for ADHD and/or evidence-based parent- and/or teacher-administered behavior therapy as treatment for ADHD, preferably both.” Likewise, the National Institute of Mental Health finds the most successful treatment plans use a combination of ADHD medication, like Metadate CD, and behavior therapies.

Metadate CD can also be used to treat narcolepsy.

Has Metadate CD Been Discontinued?

The brand name Metadate CD was discontinued by its manufacturer in April 2017. However, multiple generics are available, and if a physician writes a prescription for Metadate CD, it will be filled with a generic. UCB, the company that originally produced Metadate CD, sold Metadate CD to Lannett Pharmaceutical Co. as an authorized generic. Although Lannett sells the medication as a generic, it is actually identical to the brand name Metadate CD.

How Do You Use Metadate CD?

Before starting or refilling a Metadate CD prescription, read the medication guide included with your pills, as it may be updated with new information.

This guide should not replace a conversation with your doctor, who has a holistic view of your or your child’s medical history, other diagnoses, and other prescriptions. If you have questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist before you begin taking the medication.

What Is the Dosage for Metadate CD?

As with all medications, follow your Metadate CD prescription instructions exactly. Metadate CD is taken orally, with or without food, once daily. The first dose is typically taken first thing in the morning; it should be taken at the same time each day for the best results.

For updated information about dosages, interactions, and precautions, see the Metadate CD monograph on WebMD.

Capsules should be swallowed whole with water or other liquids. If your child is unable to swallow the capsule, it can be opened and sprinkled over a spoonful of applesauce. Taken this way, the mixture should be swallowed whole without chewing, followed by a drink of water or other liquid. Tablets should never by crushed or chewed.

Do not drink alcohol while taking this medication, as it can cause the medicine to be released too quickly.

The time-release formulation is designed to maintain a steady level of medication in your body throughout the day.

During treatment, your doctor may periodically ask you to stop taking Metadate CD so that he or she can monitor ADHD symptoms; check vital statistics including blood, heart, and blood pressure; or evaluate height and weight. If any problems are found, your doctor may recommend discontinuing treatment.

Some patients report developing a tolerance to Metadate CD after long-term use. If you notice that your dosage is no longer controlling your symptoms, talk to your doctor to plan a course of action.

What Is the Duration of Metadate CD?

Metadate CD is an extended-release methylphenidate medication that lasts about 8–9 hours after an oral dose, according to information provided by the drug’s manufacturer.

How Is Metadate CD Different from Ritalin LA?

Metadate CD uses the same medication release mechanism as Ritalin LA, a mixture of two types of coated beads, one that is immediate release and the other that is extended-release. The immediate-release beads function just like plain methylphenidate or Ritalin, taking about 20–30 minutes to take effect and lasting about 3–4 hours. The extended-release beads are coated to delay the onset for about 3–4 hours and last another four hours. The combination of the two beads results in a medication that takes effect in 20–30 minutes and lasts for 8–9 hours after an oral dose. In this way, Metadate CD is very similar to Ritalin LA. The only difference is that the bead mixture in Ritalin LA is 50% immediate release and 50% extended release, whereas Metadate CD is 30% immediate release and 70% extended release. Because Metadate CD has relatively more extended-release beads, it has a slightly longer effect (8–9 hours) than Ritalin LA (7–8 hours).

One advantage of Metadate CD is that unlike some other extended-release medications, such as Concerta, this capsule can be opened and sprinkled on a spoonful of pudding, ice cream, or applesauce.

However, the small beads must be swallowed without chewing (If they are chewed, all of the medication will be released too early and would cause the child to get more medication than intended).

What Side Effects Are Associated with Metadate CD?

The most common side effects of Metadate CD are as follows: headache, decreased appetite, stomach ache, nervousness, difficulty sleeping, and dizziness.

Other serious side effects include slowing of growth in children, seizures, priapism, and eyesight changes or blurred vision.

If side effects are bothersome, or do not go away, talk to your doctor. Most people taking this medication do not experience any of these side effects.

Report to your doctor any heart-related problems or a family history of heart and blood pressure problems. Patients with structural cardiac abnormalities and other serious heart problems have experienced sudden death, stroke, heart attack, and increased blood pressure while taking Metadate CD. Stimulants can increase blood pressure and heart rate. Physicians should monitor these vital signs closely during treatment. Call your doctor immediately if you or your child experiences warning signs such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting while taking Metadate CD.

Also disclose to your physician all mental health issues including any family history of suicide, bipolar illness, tics, or depression. Metadate CD may create new or exacerbate existing behavior problems, bipolar illness, or Tourette’s syndrome. The FDA recommends evaluating patients for bipolar disorder, tics, and Tourette’s syndrome prior to stimulant administration. It can cause psychotic or manic symptoms in children and teenagers. Call your doctor immediately if you or your child experiences new or worsening mental health symptoms including hallucinations or sudden suspicions.

Discuss circulation problems with your doctor before taking Metadate CD, which has been known to cause numbness, coolness, or pain in fingers or toes, including Raynaud’s phenomenon. Report to your doctor any new blood-flow problems, pain, skin color changes, or sensitivities to temperature while taking Metadate CD.

Stimulants like Metadate CD have a high potential for abuse and addiction, especially among people who do not have ADHD. It is a “Schedule II Stimulant,” a designation that the Drug Enforcement Agency uses for drugs with a high potential for abuse. Other Schedule II drugs include Dexedrine, Ritalin, and cocaine. People with a history of drug abuse should use caution when trying this medication. Taking the medication exactly as prescribed can reduce the potential for abuse.

The above is not a complete list of potential side effects. If you notice any health changes not listed above, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

What Precautions Are Associated with Metadate CD?

Store Metadate CD in a secure place out of the reach of children, and at room temperature. Do not share your Metadate CD prescription with anyone, even another person with ADHD. Sharing prescription medication is illegal, and can cause harm.

You should not take Metadate CD if you have any of the following conditions: allergy or hypersensitivity to methylphenidate HCI, anxiety/agitation, glaucoma, tics or history of Tourette’s syndrome, or if you are taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).

You should use caution taking Metadate CD if you have a history of heart or mental problems, seizures, abnormal brain wave tests, circulation problems, or esophagus, stomach or intestine problems.

If you’re thinking of becoming pregnant, discuss the use of Metadate CD with your doctor. Animal studies indicate a potential risk of fetal harm. Metadate CD is passed through breastmilk, so it is recommended that mothers do not nurse while taking it.

The safety of Metadate CD for children under 6 has not been established.

What Interactions Are Associated with Metadate CD?

Before taking Metadate CD, discuss all other active prescription medications with your doctor. Metadate CD can have a dangerous, possibly fatal, interaction with antidepressants including MAOIs.

Tell your doctor if you are taking seizure medications, blood thinners, blood pressure medication, or any medication containing a decongestant.

Share a list of all vitamin or herbal supplements, and prescription and non-prescription medications you take with the pharmacist when you fill your prescription, and let all doctors and physicians know you are taking Metadate CD before having any surgery or laboratory tests. Metadate CD can have a dangerous interaction with certain anesthetics. The above is not a complete list of all possible drug interactions.

More Information on Metadate CD and Other ADHD Medications: