New Formulations of Methylphenidate for the Treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Pharmacokinetics, Efficacy, and Tolerability

Samuele Cortese, Giulia D’Acunto, Eric Konofal, Gabriele Masi, Benedetto Vitiello

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Psychostimulants are the recommended first-line pharmacological treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Methylphenidate is one of the most commonly used psychostimulants worldwide. Given that immediate-release and/or tablet/capsule formulations may decrease adherence to methylphenidate treatment, several drug companies have been developing novel long-acting and/or liquid/chewable formulations that may improve adherence as well as (for long-acting formulations) reduce abuse potential, decrease stigma associated with multiple administrations per day, and decrease the potential for adverse effects related to dosage peak. Here, we review the pharmacokinetics, efficacy, and tolerability of novel formulations of methylphenidate that are in development or have been approved by the US FDA or European Medicines Agency (EMA) in the last 5 years. We searched the websites of the FDA, EMA,, and the pertinent drug companies. We also searched PubMed, Ovid databases (MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Embase + Embase classic), and ISI Web of Knowledge (Web of Science [Science Citation Index Expanded], Biological Abstracts, Biosis, Food Science and Technology Abstracts) to retrieve any additional pertinent information. We found data from trials for the following compounds: (1) methylphenidate extended-release oral suspension (MEROS; NWP06, Quillivant™); (2) methylphenidate extended-release chewable capsules (NWP09, QuilliChew ER™); (3) methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release capsules (Aptensio XR™); (4) methylphenidate extended-release orally disintegrating tablets (XR-ODT; NT-0102, Cotempla™); (5) ORADUR technology (once-daily tamper-resistant formulation) methylphenidate sustained release (SR); and (6) methylphenidate modified-release (HLD-200; Bejorna™). Overall, available evidence based on trials suggests these compounds have good efficacy and tolerability. Future research should further explore the effectiveness and tolerability of these new formulations as well as their potential to improve adherence to treatment in the ‘real world’ via pragmatic trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-160
Number of pages12
JournalCNS Drugs
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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