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What is Serdexmethylphenidate? Uses & Abuse Potential

Serdexmethylphenidate is a prodrug of the CNS stimulant dexmethylphenidate used as a first-line treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is an early-onset neurodevelopmental disorder that often extends into adulthood and is characterized by developmentally inappropriate and impaired attention, impulsivity, and motor hyperactivity.

The underlying cause of ADHD is unclear but likely involves dysfunction in dopaminergic and noradrenergic neurotransmission, as evidenced by the clear beneficial effect of CNS stimulants such as methylphenidate and amphetamine that increase extracellular dopamine and norepinephrine levels.

1,3 Serdexmethylphenidate is a prodrug of the CNS stimulant dexmethylphenidate, a common first-line treatment for ADHD, that is combined with dexmethylphenidate to provide extended plasma concentrations and therapeutic benefit with once-daily dosing.11,12Serdexmethylphenidate was granted FDA approval on March 2, 2021, and is currently marketed as a combination capsule with dexmethylphenidate under the trademark AZSTARYS™ by KemPharm, Inc.

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What Drug Schedule Is Serdexmethylphenidate?

Serdexmethylphenidate is a Schedule IV drug which means it is is not commonly abused. Other drugs like Modafinil and Xanax are in the same class at random are also classified as Schedule IV by the DEA.

Synonyms for Serdexmethylphenidate


Serdexmethylphenidate is a Small Molecule that is categorized for Approved but can be dangerous when used recreationally or misused.

Half-Life Of Serdexmethylphenidate In The Human Body

The half-life of Serdexmethylphenidate means the amount of time that stays in your system before it is fully absorbed. The half-life of Serdexmethylphenidate is roughly 5.7 and 11.7 hours which is in line with how long most stimulants stay in your system.

How is it Serdexmethylphenidate used?

Serdexmethylphenidate is a prodrug of dexmethylphenidate that is indicated in combination with dexmethylphenidate for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in patients aged six years and older.

How Does Serdexmethylphenidate Become Activated?

Serdexmethylphenidate is a prodrug of the CNS stimulant dexmethylphenidate, which increases extracellular levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the CNS, leading to altered neurotransmission.3 As a CNS stimulant, serdexmethylphenidate carries a risk of abuse, misuse, and dependence, which should be monitored.

Also, CNS stimulants are associated with increased blood pressure, heart rate, and risk of serious cardiovascular reactions, including stroke, myocardial infarction, and sudden death; patients should be assessed before starting therapy and monitored for cardiovascular abnormalities.

Similarly, CNS stimulants may also result in peripheral vasculopathy, including Raynaud’s phenomenon. Due to its ability to alter neurological function, serdexmethylphenidate may exacerbate pre-existing psychoses, induce manic episodes in patients with bipolar disorder, or result in newly diagnosable manic or psychotic symptoms.

Frequent, sustained, and painful erections, which may require medical attention, have been observed in patients who have been treated for some time with serdexmethylphenidate, often associated with a dose increase. Finally, like other CNS stimulants, serdexmethylphenidate has been associated with weight loss and growth retardation, which may require treatment and rehab in serious cases.


What Is The Primary Difference Between Serdexmethylphenidate and Modafinil?

The drug name is Serdexmethylphenidate is a prodrug of the CNS stimulant dexmethylphenidate used as a first-line treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). which is different because Serdexmethylphenidate is a prodrug of the CNS stimulant dexmethylphenidate used as a first-line treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Modafinil is primarily used to treat narcolepsy and is not approved for long-term use like Serdexmethylphenidate.

Final Thoughts On Prescription Stimulant Abuse

Prescription stimulants have been shown to statistically be abused at an increased rate. While many stimulants are great for treating adhd and other symptoms, there is still abuse potential and individuals who take it should be aware of the side effects of speed abuse. If you are struggling with prescription stimulant addiction, contact us today. Our admissions team is standing by 24/7 to help.

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Braeckman, R., Guenther, S., Mickle, T. C., Barrett, A. C., Smith, A., & Oh, C. (2022). Dose Proportionality and Steady-State Pharmacokinetics of Serdexmethylphenidate/Dexmethylphenidate, a Novel Prodrug Combination to Treat Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology.

Shram, M. J., Setnik, B., Webster, L., Guenther, S., Mickle, T. C., Braeckman, R., … & Barrett, A. C. (2022). Oral, intranasal, and intravenous abuse potential of serdexmethylphenidate, a novel prodrug of d-methylphenidate. Current Medical Research and Opinion, (just-accepted), 1-40.

Kollins, S. H., Braeckman, R., Guenther, S., Barrett, A. C., Mickle, T. C., Oh, C., … & Brams, M. N. (2021). A randomized, controlled laboratory classroom study of serdexmethylphenidate and d-methylphenidate capsules in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 31(9), 597-609.

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Magnified Health Systems aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.

Picture of This content is verified and moderated by Dr. Brendan Bickley

This content is verified and moderated by Dr. Brendan Bickley

Dr. Bickley graduated from U.C. Irvine with honors: Phi Beta Kappa, Golden Key International Honor Society, Cum Laude. He has been featured on national radio and print media. He is also a frequent lecturer at National Conferences. He holds an A.S. degree in Drug & Alcohol Studies, and two B.A. degrees in Criminology & Psychology, and masters and doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. He is a licensed California Drug & Alcohol Counselor Level II, a licensed Clinical Supervisor and is certified in treating Eating Disorders.

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