Molecule of the Week

Methylphenidate

May 24, 2010

The HCl salt of methylphenidate is a central nervous system stimulant sold most prominently under the trade name Ritalin. Its preparation was first reported in 1944 by L. Panizzon. Ritalin is widely prescribed for children to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Until recently, its biochemical mechanism was not understood; but recently A. Bonci, P. H. Janak, and co-workers identified two brain receptors activated by methylphenidate.