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Methylphenidate (Molecule of the Month for February 1999)


Methylphenidate is a mild Central Nervous System stimulant. The mode of action in man is not completely understood, but methylphenidate presumably activates the brain stem arousal system and cortex to produce its stimulant effect. There is neither specific evidence which clearly establishes the mechanism where by methylphenidate produces its mental and behavioral effects in children, nor conclusive evidence regarding how these effects relate to the condition of the Central Neverous System.

Methylphenidate is used for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as an integral part of a total treatment program. This typically includes other remedial measures (psychological, educational, social) for a stabilizing effect in children with a behavioral syndrome characterized by the following group of developmentally inappropriate symptoms: moderate-to-severe distractibility, short attention span, hyperactivity, emotional lability, and impulsivity.

Formal Chemical Name (IUPAC)

Picture of Methylphenidate 3D model

click on the picture of  Methylphenidate above to interact
with the 3D model of the
Methylphenidate structure
(this will open a new browser window)

Picture of Methylphenidate

Update by Karl Harrison
(Molecule of the Month for February 1999 )

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