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Pemoline chemical structure

IUPAC name
CAS number
ATC code


Chemical formula {{{chemical_formula}}}
Molecular weight 176.172 g/mol
Bioavailability 50% bound to plasma proteins
Metabolism Hepatic
Elimination half-life 12 hours
Excretion ?
Pregnancy category B U.S.
Legal status Schedule IV (United States)
Schedule IV (Canada)
Lista II (Argentina)
Routes of administration Oral

Pemoline (sold as Cylert®) is a medication used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances, it is a Schedule IV drug [1].

Pemoline has some advantages over other stimulants in that it does not reduce the appetite or cause dry mouth. However, in some patients Pemoline is suspected of causing hepatotoxicity, so regular liver tests are performed on those treated with it. Since receiving FDA approval in 1975, it has been linked with 21 cases of liver failure, of which 13 resulted in liver replacement or death. In 2005, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) withdrew approval for pemoline due to pressure from certain public advocacy groups, including Public Citizen. The patient support group "Narcolepsy Network" [2] tried to persuade the FDA not to ban it, on the grounds that some patients find all other treatments ineffective or to have dehabilitating side effects. The medication was used by an estimated 10,000 Americans afflicted with narcolepsy. A more potent analogue of pemoline, 4-methylaminorex has appeared as a black market drug with abuse potential similar to methamphetamine.

In March 2005, Abbott Laboratories (Cylert® marketer) had discontinued the production of Cylert arguing economic reasons.

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