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Advanced Alternative Medicine Center

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ADD/ADHD Medicines and Safety 

The Medical Perspective

Methylphenidate  Stimulants

ADD/ADHD Medicines and Safety 

The FDA has issued a warning about the risk of drug abuse with amphetamine stimulants. FDA safety advisors are also concerned about the possibility that all amphetamine and methylphenidate stimulants used for ADHD may increase the risk of heart and psychiatric problems.

The FDA has also issued a warning about a connection between antidepressants (including the non-stimulant Strattera) and an increased risk of suicide in adults aged 18-24, especially in the first one or two months of treatment.

While these risks may seem alarming, keep in mind that experts generally consider these medicines safe. Serious problems are rare. Still, you should discuss the risks and benefits of these drugs with your doctor.

Metadate ER

An Introduction to Metadate ER Side Effects

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with Metadate ER® (methylphenidate extended-release). However, not everyone who takes the medication will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor, meaning they require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.

(The Metadate ER side effects discussed below are not a complete list of reported side effects. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Common Metadate ER Side Effects

Metadate ER has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials, in which the side effects of a group of people taking the drug are documented and compared to another group not taking the medicine. This way, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine.

Based on these studies, the most common side effects of Metadate ER include: 



Loss of appetite





Abdominal pain (stomach pain)

Weight loss

Metadate ER can also cause a temporary slowing down of growth in children. This is usually small (less than an inch and less than two pounds), and children usually catch up to normal growth rates with time.

Serious Metadate ER Side Effects

Some Metadate ER side effects, while not as common, are potentially serious and should be reported to your healthcare provider. These include: 

Suicidal thoughts


Chest tightness, chest pain, or heart palpitations

Shortness of breath


More outgoing or aggressive behavior than normal

Strange behavior

Hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not really there)

Agitation or restlessness



Uncontrolled movements of the head, neck, mouth, arms, or legs (known as tics)

Signs of an allergic reaction, including:  

Unexplained skin rash



Wheezing or difficulty breathing

Unexplained swelling.

Rare Metadate ER Side Effects

Some Metadate ER side effects are quite rare and were reported in very few people taking the medicine. Given how uncommon they occur, it can be difficult to tell whether these side effects are actually caused by the medication or by something else. 

Some of these rare side effects include, but are not limited to: 

Changes in liver function (including hepatitis)

Hair loss


If you suffer from seizures, heart problems, or mental problems, Metadate ER can aggravate the symptoms associated with these conditions. 

Metadate ER Side Effects: A Summary

You may experience some or none of the Metadate ER side effects listed in this article. Unfortunately, there is no way for your healthcare provider to know beforehand if you will have side effects from a medicine that you have never tried. Therefore, be sure to let your healthcare provider know if you develop any side effects. Also, let your healthcare provider know if you develop something that "just does not seem right." While it may not be a side effect, your healthcare provider will be able to diagnose and treat the problem.

The Alternative Perspective Your Solution

If you are currently taking prescription medication for your symptoms and are interested in building more health and perhaps getting off your medication by addressing the cause of your health concern, please call the office and let us discuss your options.  I will work with your medical doctor to restore your health and reduce or eliminate the need for medication.

When Your Health Matters

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