Sleep Home > Methylphenidate and Alcohol

Although the exact interactions between methylphenidate and alcohol are not known, alcohol may intensify the effects of the medication and affect your ability to perform tasks that require complete concentration. You should never mix alcohol with a medication that is not specifically prescribed for you or that you have never taken before. People with a history of alcohol abuse should also avoid methylphenidate because stimulants can easily be abused.

Methylphenidate and Alcohol: An Overview

Methylphenidate (Concerta®, Daytrana®, Metadate ER®, Metadate CD®, Methylin®, Methylin ER®, Ritalin®, Ritalin LA®, and Ritalin SR®) is a prescription medication licensed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It may also be used in an "off-label" fashion to treat adult ADHD. Some forms of methylphenidate are also licensed to treat narcolepsy. Although there are no specific interactions between methylphenidate and alcohol, there are reasons why you may want to avoid the combination.

Interactions Between Methylphenidate and Alcohol

Stimulants such as methylphenidate may affect your ability to perform tasks that require complete concentration, such as driving, operating machinery, or piloting an airplane, especially during the first few weeks of treatment. Alcohol could intensify these effects, and it may be a good idea to avoid alcohol until you know how the medication will affect you. It is never a good idea to mix alcohol with a medication you have never taken before (or one that has not been prescribed specifically for you).
It is also important to note that people who have problems with alcohol abuse should probably avoid methylphenidate. The drug is a stimulant and can be abused (see Ritalin Abuse). People who have problems with drug abuse or alcohol abuse may be more likely to abuse methylphenidate.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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