Methylphenidate (MPD) is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant, which belongs
to the phenethylamine group and is mainly used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactive
disorder (ADHD). However, a growing number of young individuals misuse or abuse MPD to
sustain attention, enhance intellectual capacity and increase memory. Recently, the use of MPD
as a cognitive enhancement substance has received much attention and raised concerns in the
literature and academic circles worldwide. The prescribing frequency of the drug has increased
sharply as consequence of the more accurate diagnosis of the ADHD and the popularity of the
drug itself due to its beneficial short-term effect. However, careful monitoring is required, because of possible abuse.
In this review different aspects concerning the use of MPD have been approached. Data showing its abuse among college
students are given, when the drug is prescribed short term beneficial effects and side effects are provided; moreover
studies on animal-models suggesting long lasting negative effects on healthy brains are discussed. Finally, emphasis is
given to the available formulations and pharmacology.