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Ritalin (methylphenidate)

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Old 02-05-12, 12:27 AM
MlSSYPlSSY MlSSYPlSSY is offline
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Mallinckrodt Methylphenidate ER: inneffective? plus, pills are crumbling?!

Well, the title pretty much says it all! But this is my first post and I want to make a good impression.

For reasons you will read further down in this post, I am under-medicated at the moment. I apologize for the meandering parenthetical asides and tangents. I have attempted to utilize ADHD-friendly formatting, like bold for the important stuff and italics when I'm going off into a tangent.

Brief history: Diagnosed ADHD-PI on 9-13-11 (age 30). Focalin XR was the first thing I tried--its pricy but it worked pretty well, so I went with it. After considering my needs as a full-time student with a full-time job, my Dr and I settled on 20mg Focalin XR in the morning, then Ritalin IR 20-30mg every 3-4 hrs, up to 60mg daily. (I get the 20mg generic IR methylphenidate by Watson/Danbury, bc that's what the pharmacy gives me).

Mid Jan. 2012, I was laid off. I asked Dr. to suggest a cheaper alternative to Focalin XR, & she wrote my Rx for Ritalin SR. The pharmacy subbed Methylphenidate ER by Mallinckrodt AND IT DID NOT WORK. (OH how I wanted it to work, but it was like drinking a caffeine-free sugar-free energy drink...I didn't even get a placebo effect...the IR boosters are the only reason I'm still functioning!)

At my Dr's urging, I still take the methylphenidate ER each morning, just in case it magically starts to work. A funny thing happened today when I went to take my morning dose of Mallinckrodt's 20mg methylphenidate ER. I got the pill out of the bottle and was about to take it, AND THE PILL FELL APART IN MY HAND!!! I mean, crumbled into like, 3 big chunks and a bunch of mushy dust. Then the big chunks crumbled with just a tiny bit of pressure.

What the hell, Mallinckrodt?! (It has been raining in Houston for the past week, but I've lived in humid Houston for 30 years and I have NEVER had a pill fall apart in my hands before, NOT even the ones that are supposed to dissolve in the mouth).

I called the pharmacy to ask if it's safe to take the ER formulation of methylphenidate when the pill is crumbled. The pharmacist was not helpful at all...FIRST I had to I convince him that I wasn't requesting replacement pills or a refund. (How embarrassing to be accused of that, right off the bat!)

The pharmacist's eventual response was like legal-speak, "I can't tell you it isn't safe, but I can't guarantee the effectiveness. It will probably still work, but I can't recommend that you take a medication if it has crumbled." yadda yadda, ugh... I left a message with my Dr., but she probably won't call back til Monday.

I've searched the forums but have not seen anyone else posting about Mallinckrodt's pills falling apart. I know you can't post medical advice here unless you have the right training and background, so I'm not asking anyone to tell me whether it's safe to take crumbled pills. I mean, it says "DO NOT CRUSH OR CHEW" right on the bottle. I figure that's my answer.

What I DO want to know is, has anyone actually experienced SATISFACTORY RESULTS with Mallinckrodt methylphenidate ER pills? Also, has anyone heard of, or personally experienced the pills crumbling?

Mostly I wanted to share this experience I had with Mallinckrodt's crap methylphenidate ER generic. It's disturbing that a Schedule II controlled drug might be manufactured so shoddily that it falls apart with normal handling!
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Old 02-05-12, 12:41 AM
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Re: Mallinckrodt Methylphenidate ER: inneffective? plus, pills are crumbling?!

Wow. I've not heard of that happening. If no one has heard of this, I'd be tempted to call Mallinckrodt and tell them what happened. It could be something that's been happening and just not widely reported.

Was it just the one pill? When you took out another pill, did it crumble as well?

I don't know a lot about humidity and the affects on medications, but if you've stored them in a sealed container or the original container from the pharmacy and never had this happen with other medications, I'd say it was the medication it's self. I'd think that humidity would cause it to get gummy and start to dissolve or clump, not crumble.

I know that when after months of having split my Adderall IR tabs (discussed with doc), they suddenly quit splitting evenly. One half would crumble into little bits. It was the same mg and same manufacturer as I'd always taken. Since about September, I can't effectively split them anymore. I was able to previously. However, they don't crumble when I go to take them if I don't try to split them.

Very odd indeed.....
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Old 02-05-12, 03:09 AM
DryBones DryBones is offline
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Re: Mallinckrodt Methylphenidate ER: inneffective? plus, pills are crumbling?!

Very interesting. All I know is one time I spilled my entire damn bottle of Ritalin when I was getting my pills out for the day. I keep my meds in a rifle safe (with a desecant device) in the closet so humidity in the bathroom (showers/sink) isn't a problem and it will be a little harder for a thief to get ahold of them. Obviously, with this type of medication doctors don't like to be writing early refills.

Anyways, because it was in my closet I didn't find all the pills right away, probably 97 out of 100. So over the next couple of weeks I'd find one here and there while rummaging through stuff in the closet. Finally, I found the last one about 1.5 months after I spilled the bottle, and it behaved exactly as you described.Sounds to me like your meds had some serious humidity problems.

I had the same manufacturer as you, and they were effective. However the crumbly ones were not. I'm sure there is a way to report bad meds, some authority.
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