APTENSIO XR contains methylphenidate hydrochloride, a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant. APTENSIO XR capsules contain multi layered beads, which are composed of an immediate-release layer which contains approximately 40% of the methylphenidate dose, and a controlled release layer which contains approximately 60% of the methylphenidate dose. APTENSIO XR is available in seven capsule strengths. Each extended-release capsule for once-aday oral administration contains 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg, 50 mg, or 60 mg of methylphenidate HCl USP, which is equivalent to 8.6 mg, 13.0 mg, 17.3 mg, 25.9 mg, 34.6 mg, 43.2 mg, or 51.9 mg of methylphenidate free base, respectively. Chemically, methylphenidate HCl is d,l (racemic) methyl α-phenyl-2-piperidineacetate hydrochloride. Its molecular formula is C14H19NO2●HCl.
Methylphenidate hydrochloride USP is a white to off-white, odorless, fine crystalline powder. Its solutions are acid to litmus. It is freely soluble in water and in methanol, soluble in alcohol, and slightly soluble in chloroform and in acetone. Its molecular weight is 269.77.
Inactive Ingredients: ammonio methacrylate copolymer, type B; colloidal silicon dioxide (added if necessary); gelatin; hypromelloses; methacrylic acid copolymer, type C; polyethylene glycol; sugar spheres; talc; titanium oxide; and triethyl citrate.
Indications and usage
APTENSIO XR is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant indicated for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in patients 6 years and older.
Limitations of Use: Pediatric patients younger than 6 years of age experienced higher plasma exposure than patients 6 years and older at the same dose and high rates of adverse reactions, most notably weight loss.
Mechanism of Action
Methylphenidate HCl is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant. The mode of therapeutic action in ADHD is not known.
Dosage and administration
- Recommended starting dose for patients 6 years and older: 10 mg once daily with or without food in the morning. Dosage may be increased weekly in increments of 10 mg per day. Daily dosage above 60 mg is not recommended.
- Capsules may be swallowed whole or opened and the entire contents sprinkled onto applesauce
- Known hypersensitivity to methylphenidate or product components.
- Concurrent treatment with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), or use of an MAOI within the preceding 14 days.
The most common adverse reactions in double-blind clinical trials (> 5% and twice the rate of placebo) in pediatric patients 6 to 17 years were abdominal pain, decreased appetite, headache and insomnia.
Warnings and precautions
Potential for Abuse and Dependence: CNS stimulants, including APTENSIO XR, other methylphenidate-containing products, and amphetamines, have a high potential for abuse and dependence. Assess the risk of abuse prior to prescribing and monitor for signs of abuse and dependence while on therapy.
Serious Cardiovascular Reactions: Sudden death, stroke and myocardial infarction have been reported in adults with CNS stimulant treatment at recommended doses. Sudden death has been reported in pediatric patients with structural cardiac abnormalities and other serious heart problems taking CNS stimulants at recommended doses for ADHD. Avoid use in patients with known structural cardiac abnormalities, cardiomyopathy, serious heart arrhythmia, coronary artery disease, and other serious heart problems. Further evaluate patients who develop exertional chest pain, unexplained syncope, or arrhythmias during APTENSIO XR treatment.
Blood Pressure and Heart Rate Increases: CNS stimulants cause an increase in blood pressure (mean increase approximately 2 to 4 mmHg) and heart rate (mean increase approximately 3 to 6 bpm). Individuals may have larger increases. Monitor all patients for hypertension and tachycardia.
Exacerbation of Pre-Existing Psychosis: CNS stimulants may exacerbate symptoms of behavior disturbance and thought disorder in patients with a pre-existing psychotic disorder.
Induction of a Manic Episode in Patients with Bipolar Disorder: CNS stimulants may induce a manic or mixed episode in patients. Prior to initiating treatment, screen patients for risk factors for developing a manic episode (e.g., comorbid or history of depressive symptoms or a family history of suicide, bipolar disorder, or depression).
New Psychotic or Manic Symptoms: CNS stimulants, at recommended doses, may cause psychotic or manic symptoms (e.g., hallucinations, delusional thinking, or mania) in patients without a prior history of psychotic illness or mania. If such symptoms occur, consider discontinuing APTENSIO XR. In a pooled analysis of multiple short-term, placebo-controlled studies of CNS stimulants, psychotic or manic symptoms occurred in approximately 0.1% of CNS stimulant-treated patients, compared to 0 in placebo-treated patients.
Priapism: Prolonged and painful erections, sometimes requiring surgical intervention, have been reported with methylphenidate products, in both pediatric and adult patients. Priapism was not reported with drug initiation but developed after some time on the drug, often subsequent to an increase in dose. Priapism has also appeared during a period of drug withdrawal (drug holidays or during discontinuation). Patients who develop abnormally sustained or frequent and painful erections should seek immediate medical attention.
Peripheral Vasculopathy, including Raynaud’s Phenomenon: CNS stimulants, including APTENSIO XR, used to treat ADHD are associated with peripheral vasculopathy, including Raynaud’s phenomenon. Signs and symptoms are usually intermittent and mild; however, very rare sequelae include digital ulceration and/or soft tissue breakdown. Effects of peripheral vasculopathy, including Raynaud’s phenomenon, were observed in post-marketing reports at different times and at therapeutic doses in all age groups throughout the course of treatment. Signs and symptoms generally improve after reduction in dose or discontinuation of drug. Careful observation for digital changes is necessary during treatment with ADHD stimulants. Further clinical evaluation (e.g., rheumatology referral) may be appropriate for certain patients.
Long-Term Suppression of Growth: CNS stimulants have been associated with weight loss and slowing of growth rate in pediatric patients.
Careful follow-up of weight and height in pediatric patients ages 7 to 10 years who were randomized to either methylphenidate or non-medication treatment groups over 14 months, as well as in naturalistic subgroups of newly methylphenidate-treated and non-medication treated pediatric patients over 36 months (to the ages of 10 to 13 years), suggests that consistently medicated pediatric patients (i.e., treatment for 7 days per week throughout the year) have a temporary slowing in growth rate (on average, a total of about 2 cm less growth in height and 2.7 kg less growth in weight over 3 years), without evidence of growth rebound during this period of development.
Closely monitor growth (weight and height) in pediatric patients treated with CNS stimulants, including APTENSIO XR. Patients who are not growing or gaining height or weight as expected may need to have their treatment interrupted.
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs): Do not administer APTENSIO XR concomitantly or within 14 days after discontinuing MAOI treatment. Concomitant use of MAOIs and CNS stimulants can cause hypertensive crisis. Potential outcomes include death, stroke, myocardial infarction, aortic dissection, ophthalmological complications, eclampsia, pulmonary edema, and renal failure.
Use in specific populations
Pregnancy: Limited published studies report on the use of methylphenidate in pregnant women; however, the data are insufficient to inform any drug-associated risks.
CNS stimulants, such as APTENSIO XR, can cause vasoconstriction and thereby decrease placental perfusion. No fetal and/or neonatal adverse reactions have been reported with the use of therapeutic doses of methylphenidate during pregnancy; however, premature delivery and low birth weight infants have been reported in amphetamine-dependent mothers.
Lactation: Limited published literature, based on breast milk sampling from five mothers, reports that methylphenidate is present in human milk, which resulted in infant doses of 0.16% to 0.7% of the maternal weight-adjusted dosage and a milk/plasma ratio ranging between 1.1 and 2.7. There are no reports of adverse effects on the breastfed infant and no effects on milk production. However, long-term neurodevelopmental effects on infants from stimulant exposure are unknown. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for APTENSIO XR and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from APTENSIO XR or from the underlying maternal condition.
Pediatric Use: The safety and effectiveness of APTENSIO XR in pediatric patients under 6 years have not been established.
Drug abuse and dependence
Controlled Substance: APTENSIO XR contains methylphenidate a Schedule II controlled substance.
CNS stimulants including APTENSIO XR, other methylphenidate-containing products, and amphetamines have a high potential for abuse. Abuse is characterized by impaired control over drug use despite harm, and craving.
Signs and symptoms of CNS stimulant abuse include increased heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and/or sweating, dilated pupils, hyperactivity, restlessness, insomnia, decreased appetite, loss of coordination, tremors, flushed skin, vomiting, and/or abdominal pain. Anxiety, psychosis, hostility, aggression, suicidal or homicidal ideation have also been observed. Abusers of CNS stimulants may chew, snort, inject, or use other unapproved routes of administration which can result in overdose and death.
Tolerance: Tolerance (a state of adaptation in which exposure to a drug results in a reduction of the drug’s desired and/or undesired effects over time) can occur during chronic therapy with CNS stimulants including APTENSIO XR.
Dependence: Physical dependence (a state of adaptation manifested by a withdrawal syndrome produced by abrupt cessation, rapid dose reduction, or administration of an antagonist) can occur in patients treated with CNS stimulants including APTENSIO XR. Withdrawal symptoms after abrupt cessation following prolonged high-dosage administration of CNS stimulants include extreme fatigue and depression.
Signs and symptoms of acute methylphenidate overdose, resulting principally from overstimulation of the CNS and from excessive sympathomimetic effects, may include the following: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, anxiety, agitation, tremors, hyperreflexia, muscle twitching, convulsions (may be followed by coma), euphoria, confusion, hallucinations, delirium, sweating, flushing, headache, hyperpyrexia, tachycardia, palpitations, cardiac arrhythmias, hypertension, hypotension, tachypnea, mydriasis, dryness of mucous membranes, and rhabdomyolysis.
Management of Overdose
Consult with a Certified Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) for up-to-date guidance and advice on the management of overdosage with methylphenidate. Provide supportive care, including close medical supervision and monitoring. Treatment should consist of those general measures employed in the management of overdosage with any drug. Consider the possibility of multiple drug overdosages. Ensure an adequate airway, oxygenation, and ventilation. Monitor cardiac rhythm and vital signs. Use supportive and symptomatic measures.
Gastric contents may be evacuated by gastric lavage as indicated. Before performing gastric lavage, control agitation and seizures if present and protect the airway. Other measures to detoxify the gut include administration of activated charcoal and a cathartic. Intensive care must be provided to maintain adequate circulation and respiratory exchange; external cooling procedures may be required for pyrexia.