Ethylphenidate can be formed in vivo when ethanol and methylphenidate are coingested, via hepatictransesterification. Ethylphenidate formation appears to be more common when large quantities of methylphenidate and alcohol are consumed at the same time, such as in non-medical use or overdose scenarios. This carboxylesterase-dependent transesterification process is also known to occur when cocaine and alcohol are consumed together, forming cocaethylene. However, the transesterfication process of methylphenidate to ethylphenidate, as tested in mice liver, was dominant in the inactive (−)-enantiomer but showed a prolonged and increased maximal plasma concentration of the active (+)-enanatiomer of methylphenidate. Additionally, only a few percent of the consumed methylphenidate is converted to ethylphenidate so a pharmacologically significant dose would never be produced.
All available data on ethylphenidate's pharmacokinetics are drawn from studies conducted on rodents. Ethylphenidate is more selective to the dopamine transporter (DAT) than methylphenidate, having approximately the same efficacy as the parent compound, but has significantly less activity on the norepinephrine transporter (NET). Its dopaminergicpharmacodynamic profile is nearly identical to methylphenidate, and is primarily responsible for its euphoric and reinforcing effects.
Ethylphenidate is not controlled in the Netherlands, as the Opium Law does not cover it, nor is there any law covering analogs of controlled drugs (methylphenidate is covered).
Ethylphenidate is not explicitly controlled in US but it could possibly be considered an analog of a Schedule II substance (methylphenidate) under the Federal Analog Act.
Ethylphenidate is illegal in Sweden as of 15 December 2012.
Ethylphenidate is not controlled in the UK, as there is no generic legislation for ritalinic esters, nor is it explicitly named in the Misuse of Drugs Act
Ethylphenidate is illegal in Jersey under the Misuse of Drugs (Jersey) Law 1978.
Australian state and federal legislation contains provisions that mean that analogues of controlled drugs are also covered by the legislation. Ethylphenidate would be an analogue of methylphenidate under this legislation.
Ethylphenidate is not controlled in Canada under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act as the inclusion of methylphenidate in Schedule III only bans salts, not analogues (unlike drugs covered by Schedule I).
Ethylphenidate is illegal in Germany as of 05.07.2013 
Ethylphenidate is illegal in Austria by the "Neue Psychoaktive Substanzen Gesetz" (=new psychoactive substances act) NPSG since 1 January 2012
Ethylphenidate is illegal in Denmark as of 1 February 2013.
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^Markowitz, J. S.; Logan, B. K.; Diamond, F.; Patrick, K. S. (1999). "Detection of the novel metabolite ethylphenidate after methylphenidate overdose with alcohol coingestion". Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology19 (4): 362–366. doi:10.1097/00004714-199908000-00013. PMID10440465. edit
^Bourland, J.; Martin, D.; Mayersohn, M. (1997). "Carboxylesterase-mediated transesterification of meperidine (Demerol) and methylphenidate (Ritalin) in the presence of 2H6ethanol: preliminary in vitro findings using a rat liver preparation". Journal of pharmaceutical sciences86 (12): 1494–1496. doi:10.1021/js970072x. PMID9423167. edit
^ abWilliard, R.; Middaugh, L.; Zhu, H.; Patrick, K. (2007). "Methylphenidate and its ethanol transesterification metabolite ethylphenidate: brain disposition, monoamine transporters and motor activity". Behavioural Pharmacology18 (1): 39–51. doi:10.1097/FBP.0b013e3280143226. PMID17218796. edit
^Jatlow, P.; Elsworth, J. D.; Bradberry, C. W.; Winger, G.; Taylor, J. R.; Russell, R.; Roth, R. H. (1991). "Cocaethylene: a neuropharmacologically active metabolite associated with concurrent cocaine-ethanol ingestion". Life Sciences48 (18): 1787–1794. doi:10.1016/0024-3205(91)90217-Y. PMID2020260. edit