American Clinical Solutions Adds Ritalin to Their Drug Test Panel

Ritalin (methylphenidate) is the most commonly prescribed drug for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a major neurobehavioral disorder in childhood.

Boca Raton, FL, May 23, 2013 --( American Clinical Solutions now offers drug tests for both methylphenidate and ritalinic acid in urinary or oral fluid samples. Ritalin (methylphenidate) is the most commonly prescribed drug for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a major neurobehavioral disorder in childhood. ADHD is characterized by hyperactivity, limited attention span, and poor impulse control, which can often lead to lower academic performance of affected kids. The cause, underlying pathophysiological mechanism and even diagnostic standards of ADHD, remains controversial. Currently, methylphenidate and several other psychostimulants are preferred medications to help manage the disease. By blocking dopamine and norepinephrine reuptakes in the synaptic cleft, methylphenidate works by increasing the levels of those two neurotransmitters; which may either correct hypoactivity of neurotransmitters or initiate a self-inhibitory mechanism in neurons. Methylphenidate is readily absorbed by oral route and is rapidly biotransformed by human carboxylesterases to form its major metabolite, ritalinic acid. Elimination through urinary route accounts for 78% - 97% of a dose. Ritalinic acid is the predominant urinary component. Depending on the formulations (normal release, or extended-release, or transdermal patch), detection window for methylphenidate and its metabolite in urine is about 1-2 days after last exposure. It had been reported that in six hours, urine collected from children treated with a 10 mg dose, the concentrations for methylphenidate and ritalinic acid were measured as 3.3 and 64 μg/ml, respectively1. In oral fluid sample, both methylphenidate and ritalinic acid can be detected in 8 hours after drug exposure, with concentration of methylphenidate generally being an order higher than that of ritalinic acid. Two hours after a 20 mg dose, methylphenidate concentration in oral fluid were 218.2 and 69.5 μg/L for fast-release and extended-release formulation, respectively; and for ritalinic acid, the concentrations were 8.9 and 5.6 μg/L, respectively2. Since consuming methylphenidate can lead to increased dopamine level in brain, it therefore has high abuse potential and is currently listed as Schedule II psychostimulant in USA. Among different purposes of misuse, methylphenidate is popular among high school and college students as a so-called smart drug, used to enhance academic performance. However, so far, there has been no solid scientific evidence to support the claim of intellectual gain among people taking methylphenidate without ADHD. Potential health risks with consumption of psychostimulants such as cardiovascular events should not be overlooked.

Cheng Fang, MD., PH D., DABT |

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1. Baselt, RC. Disposition of toxic drugs and chemicals in man: 9th ed. (2011), 1091-1092.
2. Marchei E, et al. Clin Chem. (2010), 56(4):585-92.
American Clinical Solutions
Lauren Marshall