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ADD/ADHD News

May 11th 2000 - 7:00 p.m. BST

No More Halving Tablets

The practice of having to break in half tablets of methylphenidate hydrochloride, well known currently as Ritalin®, is now in the past thanks to an old established British company, Celltech Pharmaceuticals. Last week they released Equasym®, a brand of methylphenidate hydrochloride to rival Ritalin® currently produced in the UK by Novartis. Tablet strengths available for Equasym® are 10mg, 20mg and also 5mg negating the need to break a 10mg tablet in half.

Celltech have also taken a very responsible attitude in the information provided for Equasym®. For instance in the summary of the product characteristics they state at the very beginning that "Equasym is indicated as part of a comprehensive treatment programme for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) when remedial measures alone prove insufficient. Treatment must be under the supervision of a specialist in childhood behavioural disorders. Diagnosis should be made according to DSM-IV criteria or the guidelines in ICD-10........

....... A comprehensive treatment programme typically includes psychological, educational and social measures......."

The release of this new brand also demolishes the myth so often touted by the media surrounding methylphenidate hydrochloride's legal classification. It is often quoted as being a Class A drug in the UK when in fact it is classified as Class B relating to the levels of penalties for offences under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

Simon Hensby for adders.org




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