Metadate (Methylphenidate) Prescription Facts

Metadate CD is a prescription central nervous system stimulant. It’s a controlled-release drug, with properties of both an immediate-release and extended-release drug. Specifically, 30% of the beads in a Metadate capsule are immediate release and 70% are extended release. Metadate CD delivers consistent effects throughout the day when it’s only taken once a day. There are varying capsule strengths of Metadate CD. These include 10 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg, 50 mg and 60 mg. Metadate is prescribed primarily for the treatment of ADHD symptoms. The generic name for the drug is methylphenidate. Metadate can be prescribed to children aged six years and older, as well as adults. Metadate is believed to block the reuptake of norepinephrine and dopamine and, in doing so, reduces symptoms of ADHD such as impulsivity and hyperactivity.

Metadate Regulations

Methylphenidate is a Schedule II drug in the U.S., as defined by the Controlled Substances Act. As a Schedule II controlled substance, the DEA has determined that the drug has medical uses, but also risks. Namely, Schedule II drugs are determined to have a high potential for abuse. Abusing these substances can lead to severe psychological and physical dependence. Other Schedule II drugs include opiates like hydrocodone and stimulants like cocaine, amphetamine and methamphetamine.

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Prescription Stimulant Abuse

There are quite a few different prescription stimulants used to treat ADHD. Stimulants like Metadate, Ritalin, Adderall and Dexedrine all affect the central nervous system. When someone abuses them in high doses, the drugs can create a euphoric high. People who abuse stimulants may also experience other effects that they feel are desirable, such as sociability and energy. Prescription stimulant abuse can cause weight loss because these drugs are appetite suppressants and some people believe that using prescription stimulants provides them with performance and cognitive benefits at school or work.

How Metadate Affects the Brain and Body

Metadate CD is a unique prescription stimulant. Rather than being either immediate-release or extended-release, it’s a combination. This allows the individual to take it once a day and receive some of the effects immediately, and the rest throughout the day. As well as changing the activity and availability of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, Metadate CD can speed up certain processes. Someone may experience respiration, agitation and a faster heart rate or increased blood pressure levels as a result. Metadate can suppress the appetite and can keep people awake and alert for long periods of time. Metadate can cause symptoms like blurred vision, anxiety, nervousness, and headaches. Serious effects of Metadate can include cardiac problems, stroke, or seizure. These risks are higher in people who recreationally abuse very high doses of the drug.

Half-Life of Metadate

The half-life of Metadate is important to know because it can provide an estimate of how long the drug will stay in the system. The half-life of Metadate CD is, on average, 6.8 hours. This means that when someone takes Metadate, half of the dose will be eliminated from their system in under seven hours. It usually takes around five half-lives for a drug to be fully eliminated. That means that the elimination time, on average, for a dose of Metadate could be around 35 hours. The half-life of Metadate CD is a few hours longer than the average half-life of immediate-release methylphenidate.

Factors That Influence How Long Metadate Stays in Your System

Half-life averages are just estimates of how long a drug like Metadate CD could stay in the system. Many individual factors play a role as well. Some of the factors that can influence how long Metadate stays in your system include:

  • How the drug is used—for example, if someone abused it intravenously it starts working faster and leaves the system faster.
  • How often the drug is used—if someone uses Metadate often they may have a tolerance, requiring them to use higher doses and that takes longer to be eliminated from the system.
  • The rate of metabolism—people with faster metabolisms tend to excrete drugs more quickly.
  • Body mass—smaller people may take longer to eliminate substances from their systems.
  • Age—older people may metabolize drugs more slowly than younger people.
  • Health conditions—if someone has health issues, it may take their body longer to process a drug like Metadate.

How Long Does Metadate Stay in Your Urine, Hair, and Blood?

Metadate CD might not show up on a standard five-panel drug screening, but if amphetamines are being tested for it, it likely will. The active ingredient, methylphenidate, can show up in urine tests for anywhere from one to three days after it’s used. Metadate may show up longer than this because it is a controlled-release drug. Methylphenidate can show up in a blood test usually for only a few hours after the drug is used, so it’s not the most common way to test for something like this. In a hair test, Metadate CD can show up for around 90 days after someone has last taken it.

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Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.