Generic Name(s): Methylphenidate hydrochloride
Drug Class: Central nervous system stimulants
Treats: ADHD, ADD and narcolepsy (sleep disorder)
Ritalin is a mild stimulant for the central nervous system that can help control behavior problems, as well as help improve the patient's listening skills and his ability to organize tasks. Ritalin changes the amounts of certain substances in the brain or affects some brain nerves and chemicals that are contributing factors to hyperactivity.
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Ritalin is used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder, narcolepsy or the uncontrollable desire to sleep. It is usually taken as a part of a treatment program which may have other therapies and counseling.
Ritalin dosage is dependent on the individual that it is being administered to. The following dosage is an average dose and could differ among individuals. Follow your medical professional's directions for best results.
Ritalin is not suitable for children who are younger than six years old. It comes in tablet or capsule form and its action is approximately eight hours. Though there are common doses like in the list below, in actual practice, Ritalin doses are individualized, and based on each patient's needs and how he responses to the drug.
- Divided doses of two or three times every day, ideally 30 45 minutes before eating
- Average daily doses 20 to 30 mg
- Some patients may find 10 to 15 mg daily to be enough, while others need 40 to mg
- Children who are six years or older are not advised to take Ritalin more than 60 mg daily
Ritalin Side Effects
Ritalin is not good for women nursing an infant as it can harm the baby. Children who use Ritalin may experience slow growth. The drug's known side effects which need medical help right away are:
- Mood swings
- behavior or personality changes
- hostility and aggression
- motor tics
- panic and extreme fear
- Slow heart rate
- chest pain
- fluttering chest and pounding heartbeats
- Cold feeling
- changes in skin color in toes and fingers
- numbness and panic
- Sudden problems with vision
- slurred speech and severe headache.
- Purple skin spots
- easy bruising
- red skin rash
- blistering and unexplained wounds Erection with pain and lasts for four hours or more
When the patient is showing signs of swelling in the lips, tongue, face or throat, as well as having hives and breathing difficulty, emergency medical help should be called. Ritalin also causes the common side effects like:
- irritability and nervousness Loss of weight and appetite Drowsiness
- dizziness or headache Vomiting
- nausea as well as stomach upset and pain
Other than mentioned, there can be other side effects of the drug which should be reported immediately to the doctor and which may require the patient to stop taking Ritalin immediately.
Like any other drug, Ritalin may interact with other drugs and substances. You should consult with your doctor or medical professional before adding any new medication, including over the counter drugs. Below is a list of drugs that have been known to interact with Ritalin . Note that this list does not include all possible drug interactions.
- Seizure medications
- Blood pressure medications
- Blood thinners