Quillivant XR (methylphenidate hydrochloride) is the only liquid, extended-release methylphenidate product available to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD) in children ages 6+ and adults. Quillivant XR may improve focus, and decrease impulsivity and hyperactive behavior.
It contains the same active ingredient as Ritalin. Quillivant XR is a federally controlled substance (CII) because it can be abused or lead to dependence, according to the FDA. It has not been studied in children under the age of 6.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends treatment with behavioral therapy before medication for children under the age of 6. For children ages 6 to 11, the AAP says “The primary care clinician should prescribe US Food and Drug Administration–approved medications for ADHD and/or evidence-based parent- and/or teacher-administered behavior therapy as a treatment for ADHD, preferably both.” Likewise, the National Institute of Mental Health finds the most successful treatment plans use a combination of ADHD medication, like Quillivant XR, and behavior therapies.
Quillivant XR can also be used to treat narcolepsy.
How to Use Quillivant XR
- Before starting or refilling a Quillivant XR prescription, read the medication guide included with your pills, as it may be updated with new information.
- This guide should not replace a conversation with your doctor, who has a holistic view of your or your child’s medical history, other diagnoses, and other prescriptions. If you have questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist before you begin taking the medication.
Dosage for Quillivant XR
- As with all medications, follow your Quillivant XR prescription instructions exactly. Quillivant XR is a liquid formulation that is especially useful for the one-third of children who can’t swallow pills and for people of any age who need very low doses of methylphenidate medication.
- Quillivant XR releases the first dose of methylphenidate in 45 minutes and slowly keeps working for up to 12 hours. It is taken once daily in the morning with or without food. Shake the bottle well for at least 10 seconds, and then measure the medicine with the included syringe. The time-release formulation is designed to maintain a steady level of medication in your body throughout the day.
- The recommended starting dose of Quillivant XR for patients 6 years and above is 20 mg once daily in the morning. The dose may be titrated weekly in increments of 10 mg to 20 mg. Daily dosages above 60 mg have not been studied and are not recommended.
- The optimal dosage varies patient by patient. It is not determined by age, weight, or height, but rather by how a person metabolizes the medication, and the condition treated. Your doctor may adjust your daily dosage until you or your child experiences the best response that is, the lowest dosage at which you experience the greatest improvement in symptoms without side effects.
- During treatment, your doctor may periodically ask you to stop taking your Quillivant XR so that he or she can monitor ADHD symptoms; check vital statistics including blood, heart, and blood pressure; or evaluate height and weight. If any problems are found, your doctor may recommend discontinuing treatment.
Some patients report developing a tolerance to Quillivant XR after long-term use. If you notice that your dosage is no longer controlling your symptoms, talk to your doctor to plan a course of action.
- Decreased appetite
- Upset stomach
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Quickly changing moods
- Eye pain
- The urge to scratch your skin
- Increased heart rate, and increased blood pressure.