Generic Name: Pemoline (PEM-oh-leen)

Drug Class: Stimulant


Drug Uses

Pemoline is a stimulant used to treat attention-deficit disorder. Along with taking this medicine, patient's should take part in a treatment program which includes counseling. Pemoline may be prescribed for other condtions as well.

General Information

This information is for educational purposes only. Not every known side effect, adverse effect, or drug interaction is in this database. If you have questions about your medicines, talk to your health care provider.

How it Works

Pemoline is similar to amphetamines or Ritalin. The exact way pemoline alters behavior in children is not known. Pemoline works in the brain and has been shown to decrease fatigue, increase alertness, and increase mood.

How to Take It

Pemoline comes as a tablet and is usually taken once a day. Taking this medicine in the morning is recommended to avoid trouble sleeping at night. Your child should take this medicine exactly as directed. Your child should not take more or less than prescribed by your doctor. Continue to give this medicine to your child even if your child is feeling better. Do not stop this medicine, until you have spoken with your doctor. This medication comes with a consent form. Make sure to read and sign the consent form before your child begins taking pemoline.

Possible Side Effects

    • Tell your doctor if any of these side effects are severe or don't go away:
      • diarrhea
      • upset stomach
      • weight loss
      • insomnia

    • If your child experiences any of the following symptoms call your doctor immediately:
      • agitation
      • dizziness
      • excitement
      • fast hearbeat
      • hallucinations
      • seizures

    • If your child experiences other bothersome side effects, contact your health care provider.


    • Important Warning:
      • Pemoline can cause serious and sometimes deadly liver damage. Tell your doctor if your child has or has ever had liver disease. Keep all lab appointments. Your child's doctor will order lab tests before and during treatment to check if pemoline is affecting his/her liver. If your child experiences and of the following symptoms call his/her doctor immediately: loss of appetite
      • excessive tiredness
      • lack of energy
      • upset stomach
      • dark urine
      • and yellowing of the skin or eyes

    • Before starting this medication:
      • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to pemoline
      • Tell your doctor if your child has ever had liver or kidney disease.
    • Do not exceed the recommended dose of this medicine.

    • Do NOT abruptly stop this medicine without talking to your doctor.


    • Seek medical attention immediately. For non emergencies, contact your local or regional poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Drug Interactions

    • Tell your doctor about all medications that you are taken, including prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, vitamins and herbal preparations.

Missed Dose

Take your next dose as soon as you remember. If it is time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not double doses.


Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.


Tell your doctor if your child is pregnant. If your child becomes pregnant while taking pemoline, notify your doctor. It is unknown if this medicine is excreted in breast milk. Before breastfeeding, talk to your doctor or pediatrician.

More Information

For more information, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or health care provider.

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 19 May 2015
    Published on All rights reserved.