Biphentin: The Newest ADD/ADHD Medication in Canada

Despite there being many medications available to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD or ADHD) in the US, there are relatively few medicines in Canada. We had one new medicine added to our arsenal in Canada around September 2006 – Biphentin. This article will summarize what role Biphentin can play in treating ADD/ADHD.

What is Biphentin?

Biphentin is a new formulation of methylphenidate. Methylphenidate is the same medication that is found in Ritalin. Methylphenidate has been around for over 50 years. Despite many concerns and warnings discussed in the media, it is a safe medicine, when taken as prescribed and monitored by a physician. It also can work very well. Approximately 70-80% of people with ADD/ADHD will have significant improvement when they take this medicine.

In Canada, methylphenidate also comes as: Ritalin, Ritalin SR, and Concerta.

In the US, methylphenidate also comes as: Ritalin, Ritalin LA, Concerta, Metadate CD, Focalin XR, Daytrana, Methylin and others.

Biphentin is being marketed in Canada, and is made by Purdue Pharma. It is not being marketed in the US. I was told (in a personal communication – certainly not official!) that Biphentin may eventually be marketed in Europe, but likely not in the US. Why not the US? I was told that it is very competitive in the US to market another form of Methylphenidate.

What are the characteristics of Biphentin?

Biphentin is a long acting form of methylphenidate. It lasts 8-10 hours with once daily dosing.

Biphentin is a capsule – with little beads inside. This allows the medicine to be ‘sprinkled’ onto soft foods like: apple sauce, yogurt or ice cream. This can help with children who cannot swallow the pills. In Canada, this is the only medication option for methylphenidate that can be taken by children who cannot swallow pills. (As a side note, Adderall XR and Vyvanse – which are amphetamine medications, can also be opened and sprinkled.)

Biphentin comes in multiple strengths. This flexibility of dosing may make it easier for your doctor to find the right strength for you.

The strengths are: 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg, 50 mg, 60 mg and 80 mg.

Who is Biphentin approved for?

Health Canada has approved Biphentin for the treatment of ADD/ADHD across the lifespan. Specifically, Biphentin is approved to treat ADD/ADHD in children, adolescents and adults (i.e. 6 years old to 65 years old).

What are the side effects of Biphentin?

Biphentin’s side effects are the same as the side effects of the other methylphenidate products. The common side effects include: decreased appetite, insomnia, worsening of tics, approx. 2% risk of slowing growth. There are rare concerns of agitation, mood symptoms, etc. [N.B. This post is for educational purposes only - speak to your Doctor about side effects in detail]

How much does Biphentin cost?

Biphentin will most likely be covered under private insurance plans through your work. If it isn’t, I am happy to report that in general, it is cheaper than the newer forms of ADD/ADHD medication. The price does depend on the strength of the pill.

The cost of Biphentin for 30 days of treatment is estimated as follows:

  • Biphentin 10 mg once daily for 30 days: $29.40
  • Biphentin 15 mg once daily for 30 days: $38.40
  • Biphentin 20 mg once daily for 30 days: $46.80
  • Biphentin 30 mg once daily for 30 days: $60.90
  • Biphentin 40 mg once daily for 30 days: $75.00
  • Biphentin 50 mg once daily for 30 days: $89.10
  • Biphentin 60 mg once daily for 30 days: $103.50

These prices are listed in Canadian dollars. These are estimates, and the prices may vary at your pharmacy.

As a brief comparison of cost – here are estimated costs of some of the other ADD/ADHD medications in Canada:

  • Concerta 18 mg once daily for 30 days: $71.70
  • Concerta 36 mg once daily for 30 days: $90.90
  • Concerta 54 mg once daily for 30 days: $110.40
  • Adderall XR 5 mg once daily for 30 days: $96.00
  • Adderall XR 30 mg once daily for 30 days: $96.00
  • Strattera 10 mg once daily for 30 days: $134.97
  • Strattera 60 mg once daily for 30 days: $134.97
  • Ritalin SR 20 mg once daily for 30 days: $25.20
  • Ritalin 10 mg once daily for 30 days: $18.30

When can Biphentin be used?

Biphentin can be used to treat ADD/ADHD at any age – it is approved for the treatment of kids, teens and adults.

Biphentin can be used as a ‘first line’ treatment – i.e. the first medicine given for someone with ADD/ADHD.

Because Biphentin is a once a day treatment – the patient doesn’t have to worry about taking a pill in the middle of the day. This is particularly helpful for children who can take their pill in the morning, and then not have to go to the office at school to get their noon medicine. This makes it easier for a child at school.

If someone has been on a different form of methylphenidate and had problems, it may be reasonable to try Biphentin to see if this long acting formulation may work better.

If your child has trouble swallowing pills, but your doctor thinks that methylphenidate is the right choice of medication, then Biphentin is the best choice.

Can Biphentin Be Abused?

One of the concerns with any stimulant medicine is the risk that it may be abused. If someone takes too much of the medicine, and tries to take it as a drug – i.e. snort it – then it can produce a ‘high’.

I am happy to report, that similar to the other long acting preparations of stimulant medicines (like Concerta and Adderall XR), Biphentin is not abusable. That means that someone couldn’t use it to get a ‘high’.

It is important for you to also know that Biphentin is not addictive.

How does Biphentin compare to Ritalin, Ritalin SR and Concerta?

All of Biphentin, Ritalin, Ritalin SR and Concerta are the same medication – i.e. methylphenidate. The difference is the preparation and how it acts in the body.

Ritalin is a short acting medicine, and is required to be taken two or three times daily for symptom control. The advantage is that it is cheap. It doesn’t work as well as the long acting forms.

Ritalin SR is a long acting preparation of methylphenidate which has been around for a long time. It doesn’t work very well for many people. Sometimes it lasts 6 hours, but often it doesn’t work well at all. The advantage is that it’s cheap.

Concerta is an excellent preparation of methylphenidate. It is a once daily, long acting medicine. It works for up to 12 hours. It is well tolerated and has been a great medicine in the treatment of ADHD for the past 3 years or so in Canada, and longer in the US.

Biphentin is a once daily, long acting medicine. One major advantage over Concerta is that the capsule can be opened and sprinkled in apple sauce, yogurt or ice cream. This will help children with trouble swallowing. It is also approved for the treatment of adult ADHD, and Concerta is as well.

One final difference between Biphentin and Concerta is that Biphentin releases approximately 40% of its medicine in the early part of the day, whereas Concerta only releases 22%. This may mean that Biphentin may work better for ADD/ADHD in the morning, whereas Concerta may last a little longer into the day.

The Bottom Line About Biphentin:

Treatment of ADD/ADHD requires many components – including psychotherapy, behavioral management, academic supports, and medication. This article has been focusing on medication for the purpose of describing a new treatment for ADHD in Canada. For more information on the other treatments of ADD/ADHD: 1) sign up for my ADD/ADHD newsletter at, and 2) peruse this blog for more articles about ADD/ADHD.

Biphentin is a new great option for the treatment of ADD/ADHD in Canada. It has its unique features, as described above. It is welcomed, as in Canada, we have fewer medicines available than in the US. Biphentin may help in the treatment of your ADD/ADHD (or that of your loved one).

If you are considering the use of Biphentin, ask your doctor. You may want to print this article, and take a copy with you to your next doctor’s appointment.


  1. Sorry to bug you one last time but I would like to ask:
    Can the “reaction” be from toxicity as opposed to an allergy?
    If I would have taken a lower dose maybe I wouldn’t have had that reaction?

  2. Hi Dr. Handelman, I’ve heard from a physician that Purdue is developing an advanced formulation of Biphentin. Do you know if this is true? Many thanks in advance, Andrew

  3. My son has been off Biphentin all summer, can I start again at his last dose strenght, or do I have to go up from 10mg capsules?

  4. Good day,

    I have just been prescribed for the first time ever this medication for my son. My son was diagnosted with ADHD and starting friday september 23,2011 he will be starting this medication. I am a very worried mother and I am very concerned about any medication…
    My son is 6 years old and the doctor prescribed me this medication 10mg a day. I need to be reasure that this is a good medication….
    other note my son is in perfect health aside from his ADHD.
    thank you

    • hi jocelyn, my son is 9 and was diagnosed at 6 with adhd and odd. we have run the gamit of so many meds and almost a yr ago he tried biphentin. we did 10, 20 now 30 and he is a completely different kid, he chooses the meds b/c he says he can focus and be calm. i am the type of worrisome mom too and i at time still worry for him. thats what makes us moms. i see your post was back in september but i hope you guys are doing ok now and he is well ;)

      • I hear you both. We have struggled with my son for years and he is now nine. I began noticing symptoms since he was about 5 or 6 but no one would diagnose him as having ADHD. He is now 9 and has just been diagnosed and prescribed Biphentin. I too am worried about all the side effects but hope that after trying diets, supplements, homeopathy, etc. that this finally gives him the peace of mind he so deserves. Good luck to all with children who are afflicted with ADHD. :)

        • My 11 year old son was diagnosed with ADHD (inattentive type) with LD last Dec 2011. As a mother, I am worried about the long term effects and quite hesitant to put him on medication. But he is having problems at school to focus and became very frustrated with himself. His doctor prescribed 20, 30, 40 mg biphentin. He is reacts very well at 40 mg biphentin and doing fine at school.

  5. I want to know if there is a Canadian equivalent to Focalin – it is the US drug that is the D isomer of methylphenidate. There is some indication that it works better on executive functioning and less on mood.

  6. Dr. Handelman,
    My daughter just turned 15 years old and weighs 146 pounds. She is Adhd – impulsive and is taking 30 mg of Biphentin in the morning. I am glad to hear that this medication is not addictive and can not be abused. Her focus and not being hyper has really improved, yet she doesn’t feel that it prevents her from being impulsive or having mood swings? When should this drug leave her system? When should she be able to sleep? Am I noticing agitation, aggression and mood swings because she is coming down off this drug? She has anxiety as well and worries about most everything, sometimes to the point of crying uncontrollably. She doesn’t eat during the day and although she consumes more around 5pm., what can I give her nutritious when she takes her pill, but that won’t lessen the effects of the medication throughout the day? What dosage should she be taking each day? Maybe I should try Concerta and if so, how much? Maybe a non-stimulant like Stratterra would work better, if so how much? Your knowledge would be very helpful. Thank you.

      • Dr. Handelman,
        I always consult with her doctor, yet your opinion would be helpful too. In reading many of the comments on your blog, I too am wondering if my daughter’s dosage of 30 mg daily should be increased, as she is 145 lbs? Her doctor increased her dosage to 40 mg daily, yet according to dosage given by weight that she should be taking
        70 mg = 1.06 up to 80 mg = 1.2 . After trying a higher dosage for 4 days and if anxiety and even tears are still displayed on this 4th day, is it likely that her dosage would be too high or is this just not the medication for her? Thank you.

    • biphentin can be abused i know someone that does it all the time.
      you get the pellets and grind em n snort em

  7. Dr. Handleman, I am an adult with adhd and also taking 300 mg wellbutrin. Is it okay to take these together? I am having a very difficult time sleeping. I am supposed to increase 10mg of biphentin to 20mg. I am concerned I will get no sleep if I do this. What do you think?

    • Sue, I’m on Ritalin for focus and distractability, but my ADHD specialist had me on Wellbutrin for a while in an attempt to manage the motivation aspect of ADD….but….despite months of titration, we never did find a workable dose for me.
      On the Wellbutrin, I had ridiculously restless legs that wouldn’t let me get to sleep for the longest time, each night. When I finally got to sleep, I would sleep for 2-3 hours, then wake up in the middle of the night with the inspiration to go running! (I DO *NOT* RUN. EVER). 2-3 hours later, as the rest of the world was about to wake up, I’d finally fall back to sleep for 2-3 hours. It was beyond ridiculous!
      I finally went off it, and was switched over to Cymbalta, now supplemented with 2mg of Abilify.

  8. I cannot take Dexidrene anymore because I have an issue with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and am taking meds for it. Are there any ADHD meds that I could discuss with my doctor?
    Thank you

  9. Can too high of a dose of biphentin make symptoms reapear?
    My sons dose was just increase by 5mg and he is very fidgity, started making noises and says he is bored. Could it be caused by the increase or could it just be that he is bored?

  10. My daughter’s dosage has been increased from 30mg up to 40mg and she weighs 140 pounds, should she be taking this much more of the Biphentin?

  11. I was curious on how i can get this Med….In canada…? My daughter is in a study right now… Which is working great… It is not FDA approved where we are from….

  12. We are in Ohio… I guess my main concern was would i be able to bring the medication back across to Ohio… ? Her doctors are willing to write the script… Not sure where to get started … I am working on getting my passport to travel to Canada to get the medication she needs if indeed i can come back across the border with seeing it is a class 2…

    • Philly,
      There are a couple of issues:
      1) Will a prescription from an Ohio based doctor be accepted in Ontario (or another Canadian province)? Possibly no – especially if it is for a stimulant. This relates to medical licensing – i.e. if the doctor writing the prescription is not licensed in the province – then the pharmacist would likely not take the Rx. I’d suggest you go online – and find a couple of pharmacies in the city you would go to, and ask the pharmacist if they would take your doctor’s Rx for Biphentin. If you can’t find one, you may need to see a Canadian doctor to write an Rx for you.
      2) Bringing the medicine over the border: I don’t think this is an issue (of course, I am not a border/customs/immigration specialist – please do your own research). My opinion is based on the fact that people cross the border every day – with controlled medicines in their pill bottles – like stimulants, as well as pain medicines, etc. If the pills are in the pharmacy bottle, with the label on it – it’s my understanding that the border officials don’t take issue with it. If you have random pills around, and no clear prescription documentation, then get ready for a bigtime search!
      I hope those comments help.

  13. My son (18 years old) has been taking biphentin for 4 years at 120mg in the morning ( he metabolizes it fast). We have been paying 250 a month and i know he wont be able to afford this on his own, so we would like to change to concerta since this is now covered by indian affairs in canada. But they only cover concerta for ages 6-18. Do you have any idea if concerta only works on that age or if concerta is an easy change over from biphentin?

    • Jeanie – both Biphentin and Concerta are officially indicated for Adult ADHD (i.e. over 18 years old). I don’t know the rules of the Indian Affairs medication plan, but maybe they can cover a medication by application if the doctor feels your son needs it.
      When it comes to Concerta, to get an equivalent dose to Biphentin 120 mg, you’ll need a high dose of Concerta. See my post on concerta dosing:
      To let you know how to convert Biphentin to its methylphenidate component – multiply the dose by 40% (because it’s 40% immediate release). I hope that helps!

  14. I am an adult with ADD and have tried different meds over the past 30 plus years. I am currently trying Biphentin 40 mg and my doctor and I both feel I should increase my dose. I am reluctant because of the insomnia. I like how the medication helps – but am fustrated at the inability to sleep and the feeling like I will have to take more medications to combat this side effect. would it be better to go back (way back) to ritalin?

    thanks – sleepless in Hamilton, ON

    • I am adhd adult too have tried many drugs. Just six weeks into my adhd diagnosis and prescribed prozac with Biphentin . I too suffer from bouts of sleeplessness and I take Zoplicone for the worst nights. its a very small dose but it helps me. I find that now I finally have an answer to my concerns that the biphentin might actually be helping my sleep troubles . Its a new life for me for sure.

  15. My son is 6yrs his doctor prescribed biphentin but since it was not covered he switched to trying adderall….I gave him his first dose at 8am by 1pm the same day he complained his stomach hurt…by 3pm he was vomiting he vomited again about 20mind later and then again about 20mins later…still getting through the day not sure if he will vomit anymore….he took a 5mg dose….he has complained about stomach pain dizzyness and has vomited all within 11hrs of taking the meds….does this mean he cannot take it and i have to try something else?

  16. Hello Dr. Handelman,
    Our 7 year old son is identified as gifted and as ADHD. He also experiences severe emotional disregulation (excessively happy, excited and silly or excessively angry and even violent with nothing in between). Psychological assessment, placement in a gifted class, behaviour mod, therapy and CPS have done little to help. Last fall, under the guidance of his pediatrician, we began to try various ADHD medications: 1st Concerta 18 mg followed by 27 mg for one month. Both helped the ADHD tremendously but he was angry and irritable (no more happiness), his stomach hurt and he was up until midnight every day. Next we tried Biphentin 15 mg combined with 0.5 mg of Risperdal for 6 weeks. This helped the ADHD and the anger quite a bit but his stomach still hurt. Our third try was Adderall 10 mg followed by Adderall 15 mg combined with Risperdal 0.5 mg for 2 weeks. This did not hurt his stomach and helped his ADHD but he was grumpy and very zombie-like. All of the medications have made him withdrawn (only engaging in individual activities-prior to meds he would play with his brother when he was in a happy phase). The doctor suggested that we just try the risperdal 0.5 in the morning and 0.25 in the afternoon. The first day was horrible, but I think it was withdrawl from the Adderall. The second day was good-bouncy but not out of control, happy and playing with his brother but then he fell asleep at 7:00. The third day he fell asleep at 6:00 and the fourth day he fell asleep at 4:00 on his way home from school on the bus. He also started making screeching sounds. Do you have any suggestions of where to go from here? Right now finding the right combination of medications and the correct doses seems like such an overwhelming process. He weighs 50 lbs. Thanks.

    • I have a 7 year old son as well and he is also brilliant and has ADHD with ODD. You son seems very simular to my son with the behaviours he exhibits. We found that Biphentin works really great as well as 0.5 Risperidone at bedtime. My son takes 40 mg of biphentin. He also complains that his stomach hurts a lot but the biphentin does not seem to bother him. He also sleeps now when he takes the Risperidone at night. It is worth a try it works for us.

  17. Dr. Handelman,

    My 6 year daughter has recently been prescribed biphentin, is there any long term effects that we should be concerned about. Brain development and such.

    Thank you

  18. hi dr…..
    my daughter is now 8 yers old, has been on concerta 27mg in the a.m. for 2 months now, and recently has been prescribed ritalin 10mg in the afternoon as the concerta doesn’t seem to be carrying her through the day;teacher says she looses focus after lunch;is there any danger to combine 2 medications and will she be like a zombie or does ritalin just tied you over for a few hours?thank you for responding in advance!

  19. Hello, my 9 year old son has been taking Biphentin for almost 4 years. He weighs about 60lbs and takes 50mg of biphentin every morning. Is there a weight/size chart ratio to medication? He started at 10mg and has gradually increased over the 4 years. As I read other posts, I realize that it seems his dose is high for his weight.
    Any help or guidance is greatly appreciated.
    Thank you

    • HI, How is it going with your son? My son is 7 1/2 and 56 pounds has increased since Sept 1, 2012 from 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, now 60, we were going to switch to something else but it’s working well now, but I am worried about his growth and after reading these posts I too feel maybe it’s too much, has your son been gaining weight/height? Thanks!

    • My son is 9 and is 40lbs and doctor told me smaller children can be on higher doses different doses work for children not necessarily having to do with weight my son has been on biphentin for a year started at 5mg now at 15mg he is very small appetite is very poor he has only gained in height over one year just an inch must say this has me worried as well and he also takes melatonin 3mg an hour before bed to help him sleep if not he is up until like 3am hope that helps if you want to talk more email me always good to have someone going through same thing to talk too

  20. Can Biphentin Be Abused?
    “One of the concerns with any stimulant medicine is the risk that it may be abused. If someone takes too much of the medicine, and tries to take it as a drug – i.e. snort it – then it can produce a ‘high’.
    It is important for you to also know that Biphentin is not addictive”.

    i read of people abusing this and all forms of these drugs on forums all over. As a former abuser myself i know for a fact concerta, adderal, biphentin etc. are able to be potentiated using polar solvents and cold water extraction processes.for use by nsufflation and or IV purposes and IS as addictive as street amphetamines

    please do homework before misleading the public

    • Isn’t Concerta the one they actually recommend foer people who are former drug users or who live with drug users, so that it won’t be abused? I thought it was formulated to feel like glass shards if it was crushed and snorted…..?

    • My 14 year old son has been on ADHD meds since he was 5 1/2 years old. Concerta first for 7 years and then Biphentin for the past 3.

      They ARE addictive. I don’t care what a doc says, or what a pharmacist says, or what some pharm rep says. If they haven’t taken it themselves then they DON’T KNOW. The withdraw is extreme hunger, so therefore eating constantly and of course, gaining enormous amounts of weight in 1 month: 35 pounds. Other withdraw are crying spells, mood changes, aggression, agitation, depression. My son knows. I know. We’ve been with it long enough “to know.”

      As for dosing and weight, it is dependent on each child/teen/adult. Some need more, some need less. One comment I read above says her son weighs 60 pounds and is on 50 mg Biphentin. I would say that if he is doing good and there aren’t any crazy side effects that it’d be ok. But always check with your doctor if you have concerns. I can only speak from what I know of for myself and my son.

      When first starting these types of meds there will be some side effects that go away. Though not everyone gets these side effects. With each dose increase, as well as decrease, there will be side effects until they get used to that dose. With my son his side effects went away within about 1 to 2 weeks.

      My son had lost weight on this med but …. I got him to eat breakfast first before taking his pill and it seems to help.

      Some long term side effects for him are sometimes memory loss, knowing what he wants to say but can’t get the words out, sometimes tics. Missing a dose could make him feel like he’s high or it could make him have crying spells. It’s not predictable for him what happens if he forgets a dose.

      Overall as far as this med “helping” my son sit still, it is good for that BUT that is it. It doesn’t do much in helping him to concentrate.There are many more aspects to ADHD than just jumping around, being motor driven and not being able to “pay attention”.

      My son is “stuck” on it for the time being due to the bloody frigging withdrawal effects of extreme hunger and thus eating all the time and gaining weight.

      The people who come up with these drugs need to do much LONGER and LONG TERM test studies before “putting it out there” and letting our kids be the test rats.

      • This is so scary … Today the doctor advice me to give my 9 years old daughter 20mg. I’m still doing a research about it. I bought this med. but did not give it because I’m scared. I don’t know what to do. Last year doctor prescribed similar one I give one pill . My daughter got sick with bad headache so I stopped it , doctor got mad at me , now she gave me again this new medication I’m still worried. I don’t know what to do.

      • Hi, I was diagnosed at 40 yrs old with ADHD after my son was diagnosed. We are both identified as having Inattentive ADHD. My personal experience is that depression and anxiety, crying fits and some of the “moodiness” are part of the ADHD package. I am on Concerta and I also have Synthroid for thyroid dysfunction from birth, and my son is on Biphentin. Being on the right medication-as opposed to an antidepressant or anti anxiety med- was the first real relief I have ever experienced. I am always hungry once my medication wears off because it suppresses my appetite. I wonder though if what many of the addictive qualities and side effects you are describing are actually part of the ADHD itself? Or result from the symptoms? It’s really hard to be calm and patient when you have to ask for help more than once for something everyone else got the first time and somehow you missed the one detail or sequence that makes it all work. Paying attention is exhausting and frustrating without medication, sleep is an issue without them too, and keeping your cool without enough sleep and under pressure to keep up to everyone else is a daily time bomb for me and often resulted in frequent emotional meltdowns, sometimes at a hospital at the end of my tether trying to figure out why I was so stressed by “ordinary” things. It was a friend who is a teacher who clued in-not any of my doctors over the years, and suggested I be evaluated for ADHD. Your child has been on this for a long time and is also going through puberty, fraught with it’s own physical and emotional changes and challenges. Maybe there is more to it than medications? I am told ADHD takes more than just medication to manage-a person also needs to learn coping and organizational strategies. Your doctor or local health unit might be able to refer you. Triple P Parenting also has fantastic programs that can help with strategies to help parents and teens manage behaviour. might be able to point you to a practitioner in your area. All the best.

      • There is a difference between “physical dependence” and “addiction.” “Addiction” is a psychological state that causes the user to abuse the drug – which means taking more than prescribed, buying it illegally, “snorting” it rather than taking the pill, committing crimes in order to get money to pay for it, etc. The “addiction” is also the “high” that people refer to.

        Stimulants do cause “physical dependence.” Other drugs, like narcotics, are the same. I was even on an anti-depressant that had a brief “withdrawal syndrome”, but that has to do with the neurotransmitters’ return to their previous state. It’s got nothing to do with “addiction.” That’s why, if the doctor wants to take the person off the drug, it has to be withdrawn VERY SLOWLY. Dose decreases need to happen incrementally, and a very few milligrams at a time. This is where breaking open the capsule can come in handy. You can literally decrease the dose 1mg at a time – then those withdrawal effects won’t happen. If you just suddenly “stop” the drug, then the withdrawal affects will be worse, but that’s not “addiction.” That’s the inevitable “physical dependence” that goes with this class of drugs. I hope that clarifies it for you.

  21. My Son is 12 and has been on Biphentin 40mg since 2010. It worked considerably better than the Concerta 54mg he was on prior to that. However my concern now is, now that my son is older and bigger could the 40mg be not enough for him. He seems to act somedays like he hasn’t even had his pill and this is causing issues at home as well as at school.
    Can you please help.

    Thank you

  22. @ Sophy

    My son is 12 and a half and he is on the 50 of Biphentin. His weight is 100 lbs. May I ask why your son is on the same dose?

  23. I am a researcher and I was wondering if you have any insight about the a new possible formulation of biphentine the triphentine?
    If you do have could you please explain me which will be the difference of that related to bipehntine?

  24. My Psychiatrist asked me to do my own research about biphentin as a possible alternative to my current Ritalin regimen.
    If a (large) adult was on 80 mg a day of Ritalin, divided into four 20 mg doses taken every three or four hours, (meaning 60 mg in 12 hours, plus one more dose to get through the evening)…and was switching to biphentin in order to reduce the symptom roller-coaster of the shorter-acting doses wearing off… would that likely translate fairly DIRECTLY to a 60 mg dose of biphentin plus one evening dose of Ritalin? Or does the difference in delivery alter the dosage between formats of MPH? THANKS!!!

    • Amanda – talk to your doctor – but probably yes – 60 mg of biphentin, and then an evening dose (that seems to make sense, but you’d have to monitor and work with your doctor to see).

  25. Dr. H:
    I started ritalin 5mg about a week ago to see if I had a positive reaction and I immediately felt a difference, optimistic, motivated, clear head, able to focus on one task even though it was short lived. My doctor just started me on Biphentin and he gave me a weeks dose of 20mg, a weeks dose of 30mg and a weeks dose of 40mg so I did not have to return for an appointment if the lower doses did not work. Obviously I was told to start at the lower dose and work my way up, but I just wanted to know if for example I didn’t feel too much effect from the 20mg and decided to jump right up to the 30mg or 40mg cap the following day, what effects would that have? Also I understand that it is a stimulant, but would it still take a few days to get the full benefit of the medication?

    • John,
      Generally, you can tell on the first day if it is going to work. That said, I like my patients to try it for several days – just so they get used to it, and also so they have a sense of what it is like on a day when they’ve slept well, they are happy or frustrated or whatever. It is probably fine to increase the dose faster, but best to check with your doctor to make sure that it is OK for you (i.e. I can’t give you medical advice on a blog – but your doctor can!).

      • Hello everyone reading this site as an adult with ADHD who is 34 and had this since childhood and has been on stimulants her whole life please understand that this medications are not based on weight, they are for the brain and your brain size is the same if your child or an adult hence why most children look like they have such big heads for there bodies. It’s about how it effects functioning of the brain it has nothing to do with weight I see a dr who specializes in ADHD who told me this and I believe he is right….. What ever you do,Do not stop giving these children these medications once they turn 18 because there brain is so use to using these pills to focus that it’s hard to cope with out them and they will find some sort of illegal drugs to feel normal I know from personal experience and marijaunna and opiates seem to be the only other thing that will slow a person with ADHD brains down hence why 20% of drug users are ppl who suffer from ADHD who can not access there medications. Just letting parents know they are doing the right thing it helps and if your child had diabetes you would give them insulin and having ADHD is no difference other then its not as life threatening but it is part of the body that’s not able to function on its own

        • I’m glad I got to read your post. My daughter was diagnosed with ADD last year and her counsellor wanted her off of them so I took her off. She been actingt up in school again. Just this week I was diagnosed with adult ADD and I’m putting her back on. My whole life I struggled in school and had verbal diarrhea as I call it lol and now I know why. I don’t want my daughter to struggle everyday like I have been doing for the past 20 years.

  26. I have been dianosed with AHAD since i was 12 I am now 32 I have gone most of that time without medication life has been a nightmare, with the help of my family and my amazing Dr I have stared on ritalin and now how changed to ?Biphentin this has been over a 6 month period I have gone from a very low funttioning person to a person that wakes up with interestes and goals and goes to sleep with feeling of accompliments and a a feeling of thankfullness that I live my life day to day as a normal person. I dont spend any time looking for lost things or spend time putting myself down becase of lack of finishing taskes I keep my house clean have my money issues in order and am now a part of my community life is good and getting better now if i could just spend some time on my spelling lol this has been a life changeing drug for me I hope it help anyone half as much as it has helped me thanks for reading ……

    • I have had a long, very long history of psychiatric health concerns never really finding any real solution only bandaids. Last year I saw a therapists who gave me several diagnosis and borderline personality disorder was a primary concern. I was absolutely thrilled having found an answer and started several meds that really didn’t do anything but costs me lots of money!. I turned fifty this year and made a very serious suicide attempt because I couldn’t cope and I couldn’t articulate what was happening to me , I knew I wasn’t right or normal. I took an overdose of biphentin that didn’t belong to me , and low and behold that was what my poor brain needed. I have been on biphentin for six weeks .I have a new lease on life. don’t give up sufferes I’ve been there, walked through many many psychiatric hospitals and finally turning fifty and finding biphentin and prozac combination has been a real life saver for me. i’m liking my life now finally at fifty. I still have t questions. bpd stuff but that has decreased too Debbie in Halifax N.S.

    • I’m a bit older female who finally found biphentin and prozac are the answers to my nightmare life. never feeling like I was right or normal I faked my way through college I faked my way through many things never really believing that I could manage. it was more some one made it easier for me. I feel normal I feel real I feel pleasure at work and at home. I cope with borderline personality disorder also so live in a black and white world . Relationships are a challenge I find myself alone more then not and that is a big issue with borderlines . But I’m okay with it now I have a new lease on life don’t give up I thought I was a sure loser at life. Debbie

  27. My son is 4 and the doctor has him on 30mg.. He has lost alot of weight going from a size 5x to a 3x.. On some days it seems as if he hasn’t taken his med’s at all.. Could the weight loss be effecting the medication and is there any foods he should avoid while taking Biphentin?

  28. One of my children has a diagnosis of ADHD. Another is in the process of being tested for what may be wrong, with ADHD being in the differential.

    As I was talking with a clinician about my child currently being tested, it was mentioned to me that it is possible I, as the parent, may also have ADD and/or ADHD. We did a little quiz, similar to ones I’d done myself online when my own questioning of whether I might have something “wrong” caused me to look it up. I scored high in the possibility realm, and went to see my doctor.

    When I asked for empirical treatment, with a trial of perhaps Concerta, my doctor didn’t want to do it, but rather referred me to see a psychiatrist.

    What are some reasons a doctor would not wish to try empirical treatment? I’d heard of it being done with other people.

      • Squirrel,
        Most doctors want to make sure that the diagnosis is right before starting stimulant medication.
        Yes, it means waiting longer, but in the case that something else is going on – i.e. depression, anxiety or something else, it can save you the hassles of major side effects or problems with the wrong treatment.
        Dr. Kenny

  29. I need some help please I have a 3 1/2 yr old grandson who is ADHD and may also have OCD anyways he is on 10 mg of Biphentin but we cant seem to give it to him.We have tried to put it in his Apple sauce yogurt and a little ice cream the problem is the boy is ver picky at what he eats if he doesnt like the smell or taste of things He WILL NOT touch it..he does Not eat puddings he doesnt like ice cream we put it in yogurts and those tubes and he spits out the bead cause he doesnt like it..he have tried telling him there little candies but he says he doesnt like candies (and he doesnt) Is there anything else we can try? Is there a liquid form of this medication? Can it be put into juices? Please help if U can cause his parents dont know what else to try and I cant keep bribing him cause even that doesnt work

    • Christine,

      I have a 5 year old adopted son with EXACTLY the same problem….i have successfully used cinnamon toast heavy on the sugar anc cinnamon…to cover the texture and taste.Or carefully put in toaster struddle..then the icing to hide it! to hide it.

      • NO!!!
        They say to mix it in to a soft food like yogurt or applesauce so that you don’t have to chew the capsules. They are NOT supposed to be chewed! If you put it on cinnamon toast or any other kind of food a child has to chew, he/she risks chewing the capsules. Please only mix them in with a soft food that doesn’t need to be chewed!

  30. I work in child care and have for many years(ECE) Kids are tricky with medicines. I believe and have had success with a no nonsense approach with kids and medicine . It ‘s non negotiable . you need this medicine to make you well and stick to that .Reward them with a hug, brides only work short term . Let them put the meds in their own mouth if that works. give them something to drink immediately. only give them enough yougurt or what ever to disguise the meds then give them the rest without to wash it down with. jam and molasses peanut butter are great cover ups good luck ! remember no nonsense approach is the best, From a mommy too, be consistent It does work 25 years in daycare centres!
    Debbie in Halifax.

  31. This drug, Biphentin, was a nightmare for us.

    1. It wore off half way through the day, so our son was unable to participate in after school recreational activity.

    2. It help our son focus, but it also boosted his aggression with frightening results. Aggression + Focus = sociopathic behaviours. He started hurting his sister and friends in creepy horror movie type ways. A school yard tiff turned into a full blown assault when his best friend pushed him and he responded in kind… then continued to kick his friend in the ribs until others had to pull him off. I would like to be clear here: my son up to this point had NO history with physical violence. We took him off the Biphentin and the aggression stopped. We switched to Concerta. So far so good.

    • Any updates since your son has been on Concerta? My son started Biphentin, and half way through the day it stops working. He becomes aggressive and uncontrollable, that uttering and strange jerky motions with his hands. He becomes dangerous… never use to be like that. It has been 2 weeks.

  32. My son is 6 and has been on biphentin, this was the first med. when he seemed o need a longer lasting med, we went to concerta, but this caused a tic( he hums uncontrollaby) which causes him embarrassment at home and school. He started his first week of grade one doing very well, but the next two weeks he’s been angry, irritable, emotional, not eating or sleeping and one day walked away from school and all the way home alone. This resulted in the school principle and five other teachers to panic and two drive around to look for him. So we spoke with the pediatrician and she recommended clonidine, and switch to intuniv in October when it becomes available in Canada. But it’s having the opposite effect. He’s falling asleep (can hardly keep his eyes open) and eating all day. He’s got zero motivation, he’s more cheerful and not fidgeting at all the the tic is gone. I have heard that clonidine and intuniv are safe to use along with a stimulant such as biphentin. Since the biphentin made he biggest difference, without a tic, I’d like to try these two together. Is it safe?

    • Brenda – most doctors are OK giving clonidine and biphentin together, though they will likely monitor heart rate and blood pressure. Talk to your doctor about it. Intuniv may not be in Canada by October – it may be longer than that…

  33. Can you comment on dosing 2 X 15mg capsules versus one 30mg capsule? We have been giving our son the 2 15 mg for a few years with limited success. It was recently suggested to tkae just one 30 mg dose… will that change anything?

  34. My 16 year old daughter is 163 pounds and is ADHD-impulsive. For at least the last year, she has been taking 30mg of Biphentin that helps a little, but not a lot and she is still struggling! She says the medication doesn’t help and that she doesn’t feel any different! In reading your blog you mention that generally the first day you can tell whether Ritilian is going to work or not; is this the same for Biphentin? If she feels it doesn’t work, can the dosage be too low to really benefit her? According the others commenting here providing their dossage and weight, it seems to me that she is on a very low dose, which isn’t really helping her. Should she be taking 90 mg of Biphentin, as 30 is three times less?

    • Dr. Handleman,

      Please help she has refused her medication time and again. Her doctor again started her for next 7 days on 20 mg of Biphentin at 6 am and 10 mg of Melatonin at 9 pm, which she can sleep 7 hours on. I see that her ADHD symptoms have decreased and things are better, but far from normal. 2nd week he has increased her dose of Biphentin, up to 30 mg and has continued the Melatonin of 10 mg for the rest of this week and then we will see where we go from there. Starting the cycle on a Saturday, doesn’t provide communication with her doctor until hopefully tomorrow, Monday. Yet with the increase, she is very cranky, apparently a side effect, yet she has become volitile and at times even more depressed about her ex-boyfriend breaking up with her several times over the last two years. In past, she couldn’t shut down at night to sleep and was perscribed 25 mg of Serquil, Quintiapine and having this at bedtime helped her sleep, but then she couldn’t get up for the next two mornings and after trying it two or three days and even cutting pill in half, she didn’t want it anymore, yet I may need to give this another chance, as from your blog, I learned this drug is a mood stablizer, which I’m seeing now, especially with the medication increase, that it’s desperately needed. Any comments appreciated, as she may get so desperate before I can speak with her doctor and I’m very worried about her. Thank you.

  35. Dr. Handelman,

    We are ruling in/out ADHD and ODD with my son Gage who is 7, who has SPD/SID diagnosed (and I suspect he has Asperger’s; giftedness is also being explored)… We started Biphentin at 10mg, and increased to 20mg which seemed to help with his anger, verbal and physical aggression, controlling, defiance, etc, but not his go-go-go. His psychiatrist said we might find he’d need an increase about a month into that dosage and we did feel that it seemed to lose its effectiveness, so we tried 30mg. 30mg clearly made him extra sensory to the point where his anxiety increased, as did his frustration level, naturally… We’re back to 20mg but I’m not convinced it’s helping–if so, then not much, or perhaps the SPD is too affected for the meds to help the ODD–? I’m so confused! Is it possible for the Biphentin to work beautifully at a certain dosage, with little to no effects on sensory issues, and then have the sensory stuff overpower the other effects, at the same dosage? Like a build-up of sensory overload? Do you think this is what I’m seeing? He’s definitely complaining more about tags on shirts and sounds, etc and craving deep pressure more, etc. I’d appreciate any advice/thoughts you might share <3 Thanks so much in advance <3

  36. I have to comment on some of the “facts” that are stated in the above overview of Biphentin. First of all, methylphenidate is methylphenidate no matter what the method of delivery or form it comes in. It absolutely has the potential for dependence and/or abuse. I was on Ritalin (instant release) for 4 years. My psychiatrist recently switched me to Biphentin. I take 80mg daily as I did with Ritalin. I’m also a recovering cocaine addict. That said, I can tell you Ritalin probably saved my life, as it’s a far milder stimulant than cocaine HCL. But to say it’s non habit forming is completely false. I don’t believe in treating children with stimulant meds in any case. As the use of these meds has been shown in studies to cause brain atrophy in developing brains of children age 5 – 12. I was diagnosed with depression as a teen and thus put on SSRI’s (I’ve been on them all over the years), and SNRI’s. I didn’t use cocaine until I was in my mid twenties. Why did I use? I can tell you it wasn’t for the euphoric, energized rush that most people use cocaine for. I found it to be therapeutic to be honest. It gave me a sense of confidence and well being I hadn’t experienced before. I also was able to focus like a laser on any given task at hand. And my motivation! Wow… Well, as we all know that doesn’t last long with cocaine and soon my family doctor had me going to a psychiatrist. I’ve abused every form of methylphenidate available in Canada. Including Biphentin. Yes, you can crush the time release beads and snort it. I even found a way to extract the medication from Concerta to snort. I’m telling you this as I have experienced the lowest of lows from a depression diagnosis as a teen that turned out to be… Anyone guess??? ADD!!! Yes, my family doctor through Paxil at me at the age of 15 instead of referring me to a shrink. Had I been put on Ritalin as a teen, I would have never abused cocaine in my twenties. So, yes any form of methylphenidate can be absolutely necessary in a lot of cases, but don’t tell people that Biphentin has no addictive properties or it can’t be abused. Just to close: How can anyone say that it’s safe to open the capsule and sprinkle the medication on a childs food when those little white beads are engineered to dissolve and enter the blood stream at specific intervals? I’m not bashing. In fact I give praise to methylphenidate and it’s wide range of treatments from ADD/ADHD to refractory depression to Narcolepsy. Just BE CAREFUL PLEASE whether it’s you as an adult being treated or putting your child on it. There are complications that can arise from stimulant therapy in children. I’m on 80mg/day and I don’t abuse it like I have in the past. But the potential is there. But thank you for the discussion and info posted. Good luck everyone!

  37. My sever year old daughter had improvement in her symptoms through the day, but he cannot fall asleep at night. She has been a good sleeper the last two years until this medication. Now she gets frustrated because she is up until at least midnight. We give it to her at about 6:30am and this sleep deprivation. Is starting to catch up to all of us. Will there be a change as she is on it longer? It’s been a week and I am ready to quit it all together.

    Any suggestions?

  38. The author has no clue what he/she is talking about, long acting medications CAN be abused, Adderall XR is one of the most abused Meds out there.

  39. I was wondering, my family doctor ok’ed the fact that my daughter can stop taking the biphentin, but will she have any side effects from stoping the meds?

  40. I looked at the prices that you have posted. My step son is currently on Biphenton and we were charged for 30 @ 20mg capsules for 30 days cost us 108.48. I thought it would be cheaper. Its about 60 dollars more than whats posted on site here. I live currently in alberta, would you be able to point me to a drug store that sells them cheaper?


  41. Hi Dr. Handelman,
    I’m in my 40′s and started taking Biphentin a few weeks ago. I’m on 20mg and according to my dr and an assessment I had done I have a mild, high functioning ADHD. I’ve had anxiety ruled out as a diagnosis but I’ve felt it a bit when I’m under extra stress. Since starting this medication I am feeling more anxious. Have you seen this with other adults? I’m not sure if the small improvement in memory and concentration is worth that side effect for me.


  42. Hello Dr. Handelman

    I have a question about the Biphentin,

    My son is in the Canadian Air Cadets and want to be an airforce pilot he is 16yrs old

    Now is this medication prohibited for flying aircrafts,

    I believe that he uses it only for concentration purposes,

    but when he was a kid he was diagnosed with ADHD but now he seems a lot better as some days he does not take his medication and can operate almost normally,

    We need to find a way to make my son’s dream happen

    Thank you for your answer

  43. Hi there,
    I am a 25 year old male who has been struggling really bad as of late. I have been always mediocre throughout school as a child barely passing any of my classes. Had parent teacher meetings almost weekly for behaviour such as acting out / poor performance in class. Now here I am….juggling through life with no direction. I’ve bee laid off a few times due to poor / lack of work quality. I am constantly spending money on things I do not need just to feel satisfied and can’t get my life in order. I have a new job that I’ve been working for almost a month and almost got fired again for poor work quality. I am not by any means a lazy person. I have managed 2 stores for my previous employer and always seemed to get by with delegating tasks to others. Any tasks that required my attention would never be fully complete. I tend to jump back and forth between tasks and have a huge difficulty completing them. Im a strong good willed individual but I’m almost at my breaking point. I don’t and never have liked to admit defeat but I don’t even know where to start. I’m worried if I talk to my doctor he will assume I am a pill seeker and push me out. I have never abused nor asked for any medications but I am wondering how to bring it up with my doctor without seeming desperate. I feel like this could actually benefit me and hopefully give me that little bit of a kick to focus and complete assigned tasks and focus on my future & financials.

  44. It says Biphentin is a once daily medication, is it not suppose to be prescribed for more then once a day? Also if my son soon to be 7 years old starts having side effects such as vibrating, shaking, extremely hyper, extremely emotional (which is unusual for him. ) should I be concerned and bring him to a doctor. His pediatrician who prescribed it cannot see him for over a month. Should I bring him to a clinic or hospital?

  45. My son is 10 & on 40 mg and I’m worried how he “feels” his dr wants me to up it to 50 and honestly I don’t even want him on it at all !! I feel 40 is too high about an hr after he takes it he look like he is flying high he is totally different very quiet won’t eat , I don’t like it , I just moved and I haven’t gave him his pill in about a week , I only give it to him on school days , his dr said i can and it’s fine , but he hasn’t had it in about 6-7 days and he’s been having anxiety saying he is scared to die and he feels like someone is going to brake in and kill him ? ( maybe paranoia? ) with draws ? Is this normal ? Is he addicted to his pills and having with draws ? I am really worried about this me and his father both had ADD and ADHD

  46. My daughter s not yet 3 but has been given a prescription for Biphentin recently. We have not filled it yet and are not really sure we want to. I would love to hear from anyone who has younger children on it. She is already tiny and does not sleep well has a whispering murmur and struggles with aggression and has some red flags for ASD. Is there any information around for Biphentin use in a situation like ours?

  47. hi.
    I am currently using biphentin and it is causing me to have intense chest pains. Is it a side effect to the medication or is it just me having chest pains? I am using 50 and I am 14 years old. I’m a bit worried because it hurts a lot. If you know anything about chest pains being related to biphentin, please reply:) thank you!

  48. Can this be made into a liquid form??? My son was taking Ridilin and the doctor just changed to Biphentin.

  49. Hello my son is 7 yrs old he is ADD and ODD he has been taking biphentin and has no issues or side effects he is at 20mg dose. Lately his aggression and outbursts have been more frequent. His doctor has decided to try risperdal with the biphentin .5mg but twice a day he said morning and evwning. He takes biphentin in the am my question iS; is ok to take both meds at same time???

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