Last update June 30, 2022


Very Low Risk

Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.

A central nervous system stimulant and indirect sympathomimetic with actions and indications similar to dexamfetamine. Indicated in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and in narcolepsy. Oral administration 1 to 3 times a day.

It is excreted in breastmilk in clinically insignificant amounts or not at all (Collin 2018, Bolea 2014, Spigset 2007, Hackett 2006) and no short or long term problems have been observed in infants whose mothers were taking it. (Collin 2018, Rowe 2013, Bolea 2014, Spigset 2007, Hackett 2006)

The plasma levels of these infants were undetectable or very low. (Bolea 2014, Hackett 2006)

Several medical associations and experts consider the use of this medication to be safe during breastfeeding. (Calvo 2018, Collin 2018, Ornoy 2018, Marchese 2015, Rowe 2013)

Some authors suggest clinically monitoring weight gain and possible irritability in the infant. (Marchese 2015, Rowe 2013)

Methylphenidate does not influence prolactin levels on a regular basis (Janowsky 1978), but increased milk production (Bello 2022) and galactorrhoea (Ekinci 2017) have been described.


We do not have alternatives for Methylphenidate since it is relatively safe.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Methylphenidate is also known as

Methylphenidate in other languages or writings:


Methylphenidate belongs to this group or family:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Methylphenidate in its composition:


Variable Value Unit
Oral Bioavail. 22 ± 8 %
Molecular weight 233 daltons
Protein Binding 10 - 33 %
VD 1.8 - 2.65 l/Kg
pKa 8.77 -
Tmax 2 - 3 hours
1 - 4 hours
M/P ratio 2.8 -
Theoretical Dose 0.003 mg/Kg/d
Relative Dose 0.3 %


  1. Bello G, Poirier J, Sharkey KM. Successful lactation after resuming methylphenidate in a woman with narcolepsy. J Clin Sleep Med. 2022 Apr 12. Consulted on June 30, 2022 Abstract
  2. Ornoy A. Pharmacological Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder During Pregnancy and Lactation. Pharm Res. 2018 Abstract
  3. Collin-Lévesque L, El-Ghaddaf Y, Genest M, Jutras M, Leclair G, Weisskopf E, Panchaud A, Ferreira E. Infant Exposure to Methylphenidate and Duloxetine During Lactation. Breastfeed Med. 2018 Abstract
  4. Calvo-Ferrandiz E, Peraita-Adrados R. Narcolepsy with cataplexy and pregnancy: a case-control study. J Sleep Res. 2018 Apr;27(2):268-272. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  5. Ekinci O, Gunes S, Ekinci N. Galactorrhea Probably Related with Switching from Osmotic-release Oral System Methylphenidate (MPH) to Modified-release MPH: An Adolescent Case. Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci. 2017 Aug 31;15(3):282-284. Abstract
  6. Vallersnes OM, Dines AM, Wood DM, Yates C, Heyerdahl F, Hovda KE, Giraudon I; Euro-DEN Research Group., Dargan PI. Psychosis associated with acute recreational drug toxicity: a European case series. BMC Psychiatry. 2016 Aug 18;16:293. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  7. Marchese M, Koren G, Bozzo P. Is it safe to breastfeed while taking methylphenidate? Can Fam Physician. 2015 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  8. Larsen ER, Damkier P, Pedersen LH, Fenger-Gron J, Mikkelsen RL, Nielsen RE, Linde VJ, Knudsen HE, Skaarup L, Videbech P. Use of psychotropic drugs during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Acta Psychiatr Scand Suppl. 2015 Abstract
  9. Bolea-Alamanac BM, Green A, Verma G, Maxwell P, Davies SJ. Methylphenidate use in pregnancy and lactation: a systematic review of evidence. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2014 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  10. Rowe H, Baker T, Hale TW. Maternal medication, drug use, and breastfeeding. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2013 Feb;60(1):275-94. Abstract
  11. Spigset O, Brede WR, Zahlsen K. Excretion of methylphenidate in breast milk. Am J Psychiatry. 2007 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  12. Hackett LP, Kristensen JH, Hale TW, Paterson R, Ilett KF. Methylphenidate and breast-feeding. Ann Pharmacother. 2006 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  13. Janowsky DS, Leichner P, Parker D, Judd L, Huey L, Clopton P. Methylphenidate and serum prolactin in man. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1978 Abstract

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