Drug Usage Statistics, United States, 2013 - 2021

Methylphenidate Summary for 2021

Top drug rank #43 ( 2)
Estimated number of prescriptions in the United States (2021) 15,282,088
Estimated number of patients in the United States (2021) 2,440,779
Average total drug cost (USD)  
Per prescription $181.67
Per day of therapy $7.26/day
Average out-of-pocket cost (USD)  
Per prescription $20.33
Per day of therapy $0.59/day

Total Prescriptions and Patients Per Year (2013 - 2021)

Rank of Top Drugs Over Time

"Rank" refers to the frequency that a given medication is prescribed within a calendar year compared to all other medications. A rank of "4" would indicate that the medication was the fourth most commonly prescribed medication.

Year Rank Change
2013 63  4
2014 55  8
2015 57  2
2016 46  11
Year Rank Change
2017 46 0
2018 44  2
2019 51  7
2020 41  10
2021 43  2

Drug Cost Over Time (2013 - 2021)

  • Cost Per Prescription Fill: Average cost per filled prescription regardless of how many days of therapy the prescription is filled for (e.g. 10 days, 30 days, 90 days, etc.)
  • Cost per Day of Therapy: The average cost per prescription fill divided by the days of therapy. For example, a 10-day antibiotic course costing $30 would be $3 per day. Similarly, a 30-day supply of an oral antihypetensive costing $30 would be $1 per day.

  • Total cost: The average total cost of the medication including the out-of-pocket cost (see below) plus the amount paid by other parties (Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, Veterans Administration, TRICARE, other state/federal sources, Worker's compensation, and other miscellaneous sources)
  • Out-of-pocket cost: The average payment made by the patient which may include deductibles, coinsurance, copayments, or the cash price paid without insurance coverage.

Cost Per Prescription Fill (USD)

Cost Per Day of Therapy (USD/day)

Distribution of Dispensed Dosage Forms (2021)

Dosage Form Strength % of Dispensed Products
Tablet/capsule 36 mg 16.0%
Tablet/capsule 10 mg 15.6%
Tablet/capsule 20 mg 13.8%
Tablet/capsule 54 mg 11.5%
Tablet/capsule 27 mg 10.6%
Tablet/capsule 5 mg 10.4%
Tablet/capsule 30 mg 6.5%
Tablet/capsule 18 mg 6.0%
Other, unspecified, or misc. 9.6%

Distribution of Days Supplied (2021)

"Days supply" is defined as the number of days that a prescription should last. For example, a prescription of 60 tablets that is taken twice daily has a day supply of 30 days.

Related Drugs

Drug Name Total Prescriptions (2021)
Dextroamphetamine; Dextroamphetamine Saccharate; Amphetamine; Amphetamine Aspartate 30,371,089
Methylphenidate (this drug) 15,282,089
Lisdexamfetamine 9,835,531
Dexmethylphenidate 4,936,399
Acetaminophen; Butalbital; Caffeine 1,757,902

Drug Synonyms

Drug synonyms are used during the sanitation and standardization process of "cleaning" the original data source (MEPS). Occassionally, brand names may be listed below that are no longer on the market or are very infrequently used.

Brand Name Synonyms
  • Cotempla XR-odt
  • Daytrana
  • Adhansia XR
  • Aptensio XR
  • Concerta
  • Jornay PM
  • Metadate CD
  • Metadate ER
  • Methylin
  • Methylin ER
  • Quillichew ER
  • Quillivant XR
  • Relexxii
  • Ritalin
  • Ritalin LA
  • Ritalin-SR
Generic Drug Synonyms and Salts
  • Methylphenidate Hydrochloride
  • Methylphenidate

FDA Approval Information

Established Pharmacologic Class (EPC): Central Nervous System Stimulant
Initial FDA approval date: Prior to January 1, 1982
First FDA applicant: Discn
First dosage form: Tablet (oral)

Prescription data source: Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) 2013-2021. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Rockville, MD. ClinCalc DrugStats Database version 2024.01. Read more about the ClinCalc DrugStats database.

All ClinCalc DrugStats figures and graphs on this page are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0).


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Updated Sep 12, 2021
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