You will get the best effect from your methylphenidate if you do not miss any doses.
Try to get into a routine to help you remember to take your medicine, such as taking it with meals or when you brush your teeth.
Make sure that you know your dose. If it is not written on the label, check with your pharmacist or doctor.
Taking methylphenidate with food can help you to avoid side effects of feeling sick, being sick, or having stomach pains (but see below if you take the Equasym XL® brand of methylphenidate).
Avoid taking your methylphenidate doses after 4pm. If you take methylphenidate after 4pm, it could make it harder for you to get to sleep.
The ‘plain’ methylphenidate tablets need to be taken two or three times a day. Plain methylphenidate tablets can be taken with or without food, but taking them with meals might help you to remember to take them.
The plain methylphenidate tablets can be broken in half or crushed and mixed with a small amount of soft food such as yogurt, honey or jam to make them easier to swallow.
There are several brands of ‘slow-release’ methylphenidate tablets or capsules (they may also be referred to as ‘modified-release’ or ‘XL’). These release some of the methylphenidate straight away but release the rest slowly throughout the day. For this reason, they can be taken less often.
The Equasym XL® brand of methylphenidate needs to be taken in the morning before breakfast. Some people who take this brand may find that it wears off in the late afternoon or early evening, in which case the doctor may prescribe a dose of the plain methylphenidate tablet for you to take at this time.
The Medikinet XL® brand of methylphenidate should be taken in the morning, with or after breakfast.
The Concerta XL®, Xenidate XL®, and Matoride XL® brands of methylphenidate should be taken in the morning, but this can be before, with, or after breakfast.
It is important not to break or chew the slow-release methylphenidate tablets or capsules. This is because they have a special system in them to deliver the medicine into your body over a few hours, which could be damaged if you chew or break them.
However, you can empty out the contents of Equasym XL®, Ritalin XL® and Medikinet XL® capsules on to a tablespoon of apple sauce and swallow it without chewing. Ritalin XL® and Medikinet XL® can also be added to yogurt.