Behavioral, Neurochemical and Developmental Effects of Chronic Oral Methylphenidate: A Review

Daniela Senior, Rania Ahmed, Eliz Arnavut, Alexandra Carvalho, Wen Xuan Lee, Kenneth Blum, David E. Komatsu, Michael Hadjiargyrou, Rajendra D. Badgaiyan, Panayotis K. Thanos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The majority of animal studies on methylphenidate (MP) use intraperitoneal (IP) injections, subcutaneous (SC) injections, or the oral gavage route of administration. While all these methods allow for delivery of MP, it is the oral route that is clinically relevant. IP injections commonly deliver an immediate and maximum dose of MP due to their quick absorption. This quick-localized effect can give timely results but will only display a small window of the psychostimulant’s effects on the animal model. On the opposite side of the spectrum, a SC injection does not accurately represent the pathophysiology of an oral exposure because the metabolic rate of the drug would be much slower. The oral-gavage method, while providing an oral route, possesses some adverse effects such as potential animal injury and can be stressful to the animal compared to voluntary drinking. It is thus important to allow the animal to have free consumption of MP, and drinking it to more accurately mirror human treatment. The use of a two-bottle drinking method allows for this. Rodents typically have a faster metabolism than humans, which means this needs to be considered when administering MP orally while reaching target pharmacokinetic levels in plasma. With this oral two-bottle approach, the pathophysiological effects of MP on development, behavior, neurochemistry and brain function can be studied. The present review summarizes these effects of oral MP which have important implications in medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number574
JournalJournal of Personalized Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • ADHD
  • Ritalin
  • animal model
  • behavior
  • dopamine
  • methylphenidate
  • neurochemistry
  • psychostimulant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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