Methylphenidate in post liver transplant patients

Lori Plutchik, Stephen Snyder, Martin Drooker, Lawrence Chodoff, Patricia Sheiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Methylphenidate (Ritalin, manufacturer: Ciba/Geigy) has been shown effective for the treatment of depression in various medically ill populations, but to our knowledge its use in organ transplant patients has not been described. The authors retrospectively reviewed clinical records of the first eight inpatients who received methylphenidate for treatment of depressive and/or cognitive symptoms in the post liver transplant period at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Target symptoms included psychomotor and cognitive slowing as well as lack of motivation for recovery, poor rehabilitation effort, social withdrawal, and apathy. A positive response was noted in seven patients, and in one patient the response was equivocal. Side effects noted were increased blood pressure (N = 2) and subjective restlessness/agitation (N = 3). Methylphenidate appears to be an effective, rapidly acting agent in this setting at dosages of 10-20 mg/day, with minimal side effects. Methylphenidate may have a significant role in the care of an ever-increasing population of organ transplant recipients with multiple medical problems and associated disabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-123
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998


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