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A New “Ritalin”: Extended-Release Liquid

Posted Jan 17 2013 12:00am

“The good news is that there has never been a better time to have ADHD,” I said last night to a client consulting with me about her new diagnosis. Yes, I sought to boost her optimism about making the life changes she desired. But it’s the truth. Never has there been such a huge number of ADHD-related published studies, of evidence-based strategies, of support sources, and of medications.

Case in point: I mentioned to her a new medication I learned about at the CHADD conference exhibit hall: Quillivant XR. It is based on the oldest, most well-studied medical treatment for ADHD: the stimulant called methlyphenidate. (Other methylphenidate medications include Ritalin , Concerta , and the Daytrana patch.)

With the recent introduction of Quillivant XR, we now have a liquid, extended-release formulation designed to last 12 hours (as always, your mileage may vary, given your unique neurochemistry). Basically, it comes as a powder that your pharmacist will mix for you into a liquid. You will be given 1 bottle (containing the liquid), 1 oral dosing dispenser, and 1 bottle adapter. The question-and-answer page on this product is here .

One obvious appeal for this liquid stimulant option is for children who have a hard time swallowing pills or capsules. But a liquid also enables more  precise and individualized dosing – for children, teens, or adults. After all, sometimes a person’s ideal dose lies somewhere between the available dosage strengths of the pills or capsules. This isn’t the first liquid-stimulant formulation, but it’s the most sophisticated in its extended-release profile.

It’s always interesting to look at a medication’s profile–that is, the pattern the medication follows from the time it’s taken to the time it wears off.  Below is the profile for Quillivant XR, compared to an immediate-release (IR) methylphenidate liquid solution.

Note that the Quillivant avoids the “roller coaster” ups and downs that are so common with the IR products. The other extended-release methylphenidate options, such as Concerta, also show more sustained and smooth profiles.  So do some amphetamine-class stimulants such as Vyvanse . (In the future, I’ll share with you more medication profiles.) You can read more details about Quillivant XR here.

I have heard no first-hand reports about Quillavant XR. If you’ve tried it, please share your experiences. (Please note that I accept no funding from pharmaceutical manufacturers. My advocacy is entirely self-funded.)

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