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Methylphenidate in ADHD Drugs May Cause Priapism — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
December 18, 2013

Methylphenidate in ADHD Drugs May Cause Priapism

By Kristin J. Kelley

Drugs containing methylphenidate, a central nervous system stimulant used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, may infrequently cause painful and prolonged erections in males of any age, the FDA warned on Tuesday.

The chemical is the active ingredient in both Ritalin and Concerta (see all affected U.S. products in the table at the FDA link below). The warning follows an FDA review of methylphenidate products. The median age of patients who experienced priapism was 12.5 years; in two cases, patients required surgical intervention.

Priapism can cause permanent penile damage if not treated promptly, the agency warns, so patients with symptoms lasting over 4 hours should seek medical attention. The FDA advises providers to ensure that male patients and their caregivers know the signs of priapism and understand the need for immediate treatment.

Drug labels have been updated to warn of this risk.

Reader Comments (1)

Eugene H Shelburne Pharm D Other Healthcare Professional, Pharmacology/Pharmacy, Medical Business Consultant

Good to know of warning update in manufacturer's literature.

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