ADHD Home > Metadate CD

Metadate CD is commonly prescribed for people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). By affecting certain chemicals in the brain, the medication produces a calming effect in children with the condition. Unlike other ADHD medicines, these capsules only need to be taken once a day because they consist of both immediate-release and extended-release beads, which dissolve more slowly. Potential side effects include headache, insomnia, and loss of appetite.

What Is Metadate CD?

Metadate CD® (methylphenidate extended-release) is a prescription medication that is used for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The capsules are specially designed to release 30 percent of the medication immediately and the other 70 percent slowly, which allows the drug to be taken just once a day.
Because Metadate CD is a stimulant and is commonly abused, there are special rules for prescribing it (see Metadate: A Controlled Substance).
(Click Metadate CD Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses for the drug.)

Who Makes It?

Metadate CD is manufactured by UCB, Inc.

How Does Metadate CD Work?

Metadate CD is a stimulant, although it has effects that are opposite from what would be expected of a stimulant. While stimulants (like caffeine) can cause hyperactivity, this medication has a calming effect. It is not known exactly how the drug achieves this, but it is known that Metadate CD affects certain chemicals in the brain (see Methylphenidate and D2 Receptors).
The capsules consist of tiny beads that contain the medication. While 30 percent of these are immediate-release beads, the other 70 percent are extended-release beads, which dissolve more slowly. As a result, the drug only needs to be taken once a day (instead of twice a day).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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