Methylphenidate and Metabolite, Serum or Plasma, Quantitative
Ordering Recommendation

Monitor patient adherence.

Quantitative Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry
Mon, Thu 
1-7 days
New York DOH Approval Status
This test is New York DOH approved.
Submit With Order
ARUP Consult®
Disease Topics
Specimen Required
Patient Preparation
Collect specimen 1-6 hours after dose administration. 
Gray (sodium fluoride/potassium oxalate). Also acceptable: Plain red, green (sodium heparin), lavender (EDTA), or pink (K2EDTA). 
Specimen Preparation
Separate serum or plasma from cells ASAP or within 2 hours of collection. Transfer 2 mL serum or plasma to an ARUP Standard Transport Tube and freeze within 6 hours of collection. (Min: 1 mL) 
Storage/Transport Temperature
CRITICAL FROZEN. Separate specimens must be submitted when multiple tests are ordered. 
Unacceptable Conditions
Lt. blue (sodium citrate). Hemolyzed specimens. 
Please indicate in the supplied fields
1.  Dose - List drug amount of drug and include the units of measure
2.  Route - List the route of administration (IV, oral, etc.)
3.  Dose Frequency -  Indicate  how often the dose is administered (per day, per week or as needed, etc.)
4.  Type of Draw - Indicate the type of blood draw (Peak, Trough, Random, etc.) 
After separation from cells: Ambient: Unacceptable; Refrigerated: Unacceptable; Frozen: 3 months 
Reference Interval
Effective August 17, 2015
Drugs CoveredCutoff Concentrations
Methylphenidate1 ng/mL
Ritalinic acid10 ng/mL

Interpretive Data
Methodology: Quantitative Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry
Positive Cutoff: Methylphenidate: 1 ng/mL
Ritalinic acid: 10 ng/mL

For medical purposes only; not valid for forensic use.

The absence of expected drug(s) and/or drug metabolite(s) may indicate non-compliance, inappropriate timing of specimen collection relative to drug administration, poor drug absorption, or limitations of testing. The concentration value must be greater than or equal to the cutoff to be reported as positive. Interpretive questions should be directed to the laboratory.

Compliance Statement B: This test was developed and its performance characteristics determined by ARUP Laboratories. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved or cleared this test; however, FDA clearance or approval is not currently required for clinical use. The results are not intended to be used as the sole means for clinical diagnosis or patient management decisions.

CPT Code(s)
Component Test Code*Component Chart NameLOINC
2003022Ritalinic acid, S/P, Quant32153-9
2003023Methylphenidate, S/P, Quant3807-5
2011527Methylphenidate Dose
2011528Methylphenidate Dose Frequency
2011529Methylphenidate Route
2011530Methylphenidate Type of Draw
* Component test codes cannot be used to order tests. The information provided here is not sufficient for interface builds; for a complete test mix, please click the sidebar link to access the Interface Map.
  • Attenade
  • Concerta
  • Daytrana
  • Dexmethylphenidate
  • Focalin
  • Metadate
  • Methylin
  • Methylphenidate
  • Ritalin
  • Ritalin blood level
  • Ritalinic Acid