Methylphenidate use in the elderly population: What do we know now?
Stimulants have been used for centuries medicinally, recreationally, and to alleviate fatigue. Because of its favorable pharmacokinetics and low abuse potential, methylphenidate became a highly prescribed drug for the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) during the 1990s, and that clinical usage continues today. Although most methylphenidate prescriptions are written for children and adolescents, it is also used for the treatment of ADHD in adults. Despite the prevalent use of methylphenidate and its relatively low adverse-effect profile, its use in the older population has been slow to evolve, largely due to concerns about cardiovascular risk. This brief review presents an overview of methylphenidate use, its adverse-effect risk in older adults, and its potential usefulness for palliative care, poststroke recovery, cancer care, fall prevention, and ADHD treatment.
Swartzwelder, RA; Galanos, AN
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