Pictured: Methylphenidate

Poisonous to: Cats, Dogs

Common signs to watch for:

  • Agitation
  • Aggression
  • Panting
  • Sedation
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Hypertension
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Death

Methylphenidate is a central nervous system stimulant used in human medicine for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder/attention deficit disorder, and used in veterinary medicine for narcolepsy, cataplexy, and hyperkinesis-hyperactivity. It is very similar to amphetamines, which are used for a variety of medical and illicit reasons. Legal forms include prescription medications for ADD/ADHD, weight loss, and narcolepsy. Illegal forms of amphetamines include street drugs like methamphetamine, crystal meth, and ecstasy. This class of drugs results in over-stimulation of the nervous system. With amphetamine poisoning in dogs and cats, severe clinical signs can be seen including: central nervous system (e.g., agitation, dilated pupils, tremors, seizures), cardiovascular (e.g., elevated heart rate, high blood pressure), gastrointestinal (e.g., drooling, vomiting, diarrhea), and respiratory (e.g., panting). Aggressive treatment includes decontamination (if appropriate), IV fluids, sedation, thermoregulation (and cooling measures, if needed), electrocardiogram/blood pressure monitoring, and symptomatic/supportive care.

Poison type: medications

Alternate names: ADD medication, ADHD medication, Ritalin, Ritalin SR, Methylin, Methylin ER, amphetamine, amphetamines