What is Ritalin?
Ritalin is a central nervous system stimulating medication that contains the salt Methylphenidate. The salt methylphenidate works directly on the brain and the nervous system to decrease the symptoms of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and narcolepsy.
|Active Ingredients||Methylphenidate Hydrochloride|
|Uses||ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity), ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), & Narcolepsy|
|Type||CNS (Central Nervous System) Stimulant|
|Brand Names||Ritalin, Concerta, Medikinet, Attenta, Cognil, Inspiral, Methylin, Penid, Phenida, & Tradea|
|Strength Variations||10, 20, 30, 40, 50, & 60 mg|
|Legal Status||Schedule II|
|Max Daily Dosage||60 mg/day|
|Manufacturers||NOVARTIS, ACTAVIS, SUN PHARMA, SPECGX LLC, NOVEL LABS INC & MOUNTAIN|
This medication has been in the market for more than half a century and it is listed among the 50 most prescribed medications in the US. Methylphenidate is listed as a Schedule IV medication, so consumption, possession, and purchase of Ritalin are considered illegal without a prescription.
How To Consume Ritalin?
Ritalin is available in tablet form. It is available in tablets containing 5mg, 10mg, 20mg, and 30mg of Methylphenidate. Ritalin is usually taken in one or two daily doses. Patients given a single daily dosage are recommended to take this dose early in the morning before breakfast. While patients who need the second dose are asked to take it before lunch. It is recommended that a patient doesn’t take a dose in the evening, because it can cause sleeplessness during the night.
What Are Side Effects of Ritalin?
Like all medications side effects of Ritalin depend on the patient’s body and tolerance for this medication. These side effects can be really moderate and patients might not even feel them in many cases. Yet the situation might get severe for some patients and they may need emergency medical attention. So whenever using this medication try to keep track of even the slightest of the side effects. Listed below are some of the normal/moderate side effects and severe side effects.
Normal/Moderate Side Effects
If the patient suffers from any of the side effects below, try to take some extra care and keep a note of things that you feel. Mention them to your doctor during the next checkup.
- Increased Heartbeats
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of appetite
- Blurred vision
- Stomach ache
- Dry mouth
- Insomnia (sleeplessness)
Serious Side Effects
Stop using the medication if any of the side effects mentioned below develops in a patient. Call 911 or go to an ER if condition is serious.
- Irregular high heartbeats
- Dark urine
- Pounding in ears
- High Blood Pressure
- Hallucinations & Mood Swings
- Skin Rashes (allergic reaction)
- Uncontrolled muscle movements (motor tics)
Precautions for Ritalin Usage
Many people tend to take Ritalin and consume alcohol or marijuana. The combined effect can make a patient dizzy. If used for a prolonged duration it can cause loss of appetite which can cause weight loss and weakness. Both adults and children are recommended to avoid any dose above 60mg per day. Consumption above this safe dosage can cause serious and long-lasting side effects.
Ritalin Usage in Adults
In adults, Ritalin is usually prescribed for treatment of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) & Narcolepsy. Doctors prescribe the medication after analyzing the patients’ health and body. The safe daily dosage is 60mg, usually, patients are advised to takes doses between 20-30mg two or three times daily.
Ritalin Usage In Children
In children, doctors usually start with a dose do 5mg twice daily. If the patient doesn’t show any improvement the dosage is increased by 5mg every week, until patients start feeling better. Yet the daily dosage shouldn’t go over 60mg a day. Dosage should be managed properly in children as they can suffer from permanent damage to the brain in case of an overdose.