HeadMeds gives young people in the United Kingdom general information about medication. HeadMeds does not give you medical advice. Please talk to your Doctor or anyone else who is supporting you about your own situation because everyone is different. Please read more important details about our site.


Medication type:

Central Nervous Stimulant

Other names:
  • Equasym XL "ECK-wa-sim"
  • Medikinet XL "medi-KIE-net"
  • Matoride XL "MAT-o-ride"
  • Xenidate XL "ZEN-i-date"
  • Ritalin ® "RIT-a-lin"
  • Concerta XL ® "con-SERT-a"
Treating adhd add playicon listing
Taking Medikinet to treat ADHD
It makes me feel slower and helps me focus with my work

What can it be used for?

  • 18 & Over
    If you are over 18, there is less research about its use and effectiveness in adults. Even so, specialists might prescribe it ‘off label’ if it is the best medicine for you.
  • Under 18
    If you are 18 or under, the doctor can prescribe methylphenidate for you as a licensed medicine for treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Ways to take and what's in it?

  • Tablets

    5mg, 10mg and 20mg strengths Modified-release Tablets (18mg, 27mg and 36mg strengths) Ritalin™ and Concerta™ XL tablets may not be suitable for you if you have problems eating some sugars or dairy (milk-based) foods, as they contain lactose. Ritalin™ tablets contain wheat starch. This is still OK to take if you have coeliac disease, but not if you have chronic fatty loose poo (diarrhoea). Ritalin™ tablets contain gelatine. Some empty tablet cases might turn up in your poo. • Concerta™ XL tablets may not fully dissolve in the gut. • This means that the methylphenidate goes into the body, but the empty tablet ‘case’ goes straight through. • So you may see the empty case in the toilet when you go for a poo. • Do not worry – it has still worked. Ritalin™ tablets can be broken in half - or crushed and mixed with a small amount of soft food such as yogurt, honey or jam - to make them easier to swallow.

  • Capsules

    Modified-release Capsules (5mg, 10mg, 20mg, 30mg and 40mg strengths) Equasym XL™ capsules and Medikinet XL™ capsules contain gelatine. Equasym XL™ and Medikinet XL™ capsules can be opened, and the contents can be sprinkled on a tablespoon of apple sauce for swallowing without chewing.