Methylphenidate (Ritalin) hydrochloride was administered intramuscularly to a group of 54 moderately or heavily medicated obstetric patients. It effectively reduced the depression of their newborn infants. The optimum dose appeared to be 0.1 to 0.2 mg. per pound (0.045 to 0.090 mg. per kilogram) of body weight. Subsequently it was found more practical to administer the drug intramuscularly directly to depressed infants after performing adequate oxygenation. Methylphenidate is not a substitute for oxygenation. Methylphenidate produced a marked increase in respiratory activity within 1 or 2 minutes and increased crying and body activity within 5 to 10 minutes. If the depression recurs, repeated administration of the drug is suggested. The drug produced mild side-effects, consisting in mild rise of the blood pressure and momentary nausea or retching. Methylphenidate may be used to supplement a specific narcotic antagonist, if the depression is attributable to a narcotic or to a combination of a narcotic and other depressants.
JAMA – American Medical Association
Published: Jul 18, 1959