Methylphenidate

Methylphenidate

medications

Alternate names

ADD medication, ADHD medication, Ritalin, Ritalin SR, Methylin, Methylin ER, amphetamine, amphetamines

Toxicity to pets

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.

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    Disclaimer

    The content of this page is not veterinary advice. A number of factors (amount of substance ingested, size of the animal, allergies, etc.) determine what is toxic to a particular pet. If you think your pet has eaten something potentially toxic, call Pet Poison Helpline or seek immediate veterinary treatment.