Methylphenidate and Autism Ranking: Mildly Hazardous Strong positive evidence

Cost and Time


The cost of using methylphenidate will depend on a number of factors including the supplier, the brand, the dosage, and the length and frequency of treatment.

According to the BNF website accessed on 21 May 2018, the NHS indicative price for three of the commonly used brands was as follows

  • Concerta XL 18mg tablets, £31.19 for 30 tablets
  • Delmosart 18mg modified-release tablets, £15.50 for 30 tablets
  • Xaggitin XL 18mg tablets, £15.58 for 30 tablets

Within the UK, methylphenidate is available free of charge to patients via the National Health Service. In other countries the costs may be covered by some insurance policies.


The amount of time it takes to use methylphenidate will depend on a number of factors including the overall length of treatment, the frequency of treatments and the time taken to administer a single dose,  as well as the needs of the person undertaking it.

Methylphenidate Immediate action tablets or liquid are usually taken 2-3 times a day, preferably 35-40 minutes before meals, with the last dose several hours before bedtime. Intermediate or long acting methylphenidate in tablet or capsule form is usually taken once a day in the morning.

NICE (2000) recommended that

"Methylphenidate should be discontinued if there is no response after 1 month, and treatment should be suspended periodically to assess the child's condition."

In addition, the U.S. National Library of Medicine (2017) issued the following warning about prolonged use of methylphenidate.

“Methylphenidate can be habit-forming. Do not take a larger dose, take it more often, take it for a longer time, or take it in a different way than prescribed by your doctor. If you take too much methylphenidate, you may find that the medication no longer controls your symptoms, you may feel a need to take large amounts of the medication, and you may experience unusual changes in your behavior."

24 Dec 2018
Last Review
01 Dec 2018
Next Review
01 Dec 2021