Methylphenidate (Ritalin) is an anti-ADHD medication used for children that can cause toxicosis in dogs.
This drug would have theoretical benefits in dogs with narcolepsy but side-effects outweigh the benefits compared with other drugs.
Accidental intoxication by dogs is relatively uncommon but has been reported, with symptoms occurring when doses >7.5 mg/kg have been consumed.
Severity of clinical signs was not strongly associated with dose. More severe and prolonged clinical signs are associated with ingestion of extended-release formulations.
Favourable outcomes have been reported in most cases.
- Bakhtiar R et al (2004) Toxicokinetic assessment of methylphenidate (Ritalin) in a 13-week oral toxicity study in dogs. Biomed Chromatogr 18(1):45-50
- Diniz PP et al (2003) Amphetamine poisoning in a dog: case report, literature review and veterinary medical perspectives. Vet Hum Toxicol 45(6):315-317
- Genovese DW et al (2010) Methylphenidate toxicosis in dogs: 128 cases (2001-2008). J Am Vet Med Assoc 237(12):1438-1443
- Lavy E et al (2011) Pharmacokinetics of methylphenidate after oral administration of immediate and sustained-release preparations in Beagle dogs. Vet J 189(3):336-340