ADHD Home > Quillivant XR

Quillivant XR is a prescription drug licensed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In a clinical study, children with ADHD who took the medication had improved attention and behavior, compared to children who did not take it. This medication is taken once a day in the morning. Common side effects include insomnia, mood swings, and decreased appetite.


What Is Quillivant XR?

Quillivant XR™ (methylphenidate ER oral suspension) is a prescription medication approved to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It contains methylphenidate, a stimulant medicine, in an extended-release liquid form that only needs to be taken only once a day.
Because it has the potential to be abused, Quillivant XR is a federally controlled substance. As a controlled substance, there are strict laws and regulations controlling the use of the medication. Like most other stimulants, Quillivant XR is a Schedule II controlled substance. Schedule II controlled substances are considered to have the highest abuse potential of all prescription medications.  
(Click Quillivant XR Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes This Medication?

Quillivant XR is made by Tris Pharma, Inc., and distributed by NextWave Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a subsidiary of Pfizer, Inc.

How Does Quillivant XR Work?

Quillivant XR is a stimulant medication. While stimulants can cause hyperactivity, they appear to have a calming effect when used in the doses for ADHD. The exact way Quillivant XR produces a calming effect is unknown. What is known is that the medication affects certain chemical messengers in the brain known as neurotransmitters.
More specifically, Quillivant XR acts on the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine. Having too little of these neurotransmitters in certain areas of the brain is thought to lead to inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsive behavior -- the core symptoms of ADHD.
Quillivant XR works by increasing the amount of dopamine and norepinephrine in certain areas of the brain. This increase in dopamine and norepinephrine would be expected to cause hyperactivity and overstimulation; however, in people with ADHD (who may not have enough dopamine and norepinephrine), increasing dopamine and norepinephrine can improve focus and reduce hyperactive and impulsive behaviors.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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