What is Ritalin?
Ritalin, also available under the generic name methylphenidate, is a prescription CNS stimulant. This medicine affects brian’s chemical composition and nerves that contribute to impulse and hyperactivity control.
Doctors primarily prescribe Ritalin to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD and narcolepsy. It helps people with ADHD focus on an activity and pay attention, and it can also help them organize and improve their listening skills.
People with glaucoma, tics, severe anxiety, or agitation should refrain from using Ritalin.
This medicine can be habit-forming if you use it for an extended period. Let the doctor know if you got problems with alcohol or drug abuse.
Use of stimulant medications can result in stroke, heart attack, or sudden death in people with heart disease, high blood pressure, or a heart defect.
This medicine can worsen or cause new psychosis problems, especially if a person has a history of bipolar disorder, depression, or mental illness.
Ritalin can cause blood circulation problems, causing numbness, discoloration, or pain in your toes and fingers.
What to know before taking Ritalin?
Avoid taking this medicine if you have consumed an MAO inhibitor in the last 14 days. MAO inhibitors, including methylene blue injection, isocarboxazid, tranylcypromine, phenelzine, etc., can result in dangerous interactions.
Ask a doctor if Ritalin is safe for you if you have any of the following medical conditions:
- Seizures or epilepsy
- Blood circulation problems
- Motor tics or Tourette’s syndrome
- A history of drug or alcohol addiction
- An abnormal brain wave test (EEG)
- Mental illnesses
- Issues of stomach or intestines
Try not to use this medicine without a doctor’s recommendation if you are pregnant or planning on getting pregnant because Ritalin use might have undesirable effects on the unborn kid.
This drug can pass into the breastmilk and might harm the nursing infant. Make sure to discuss Ritalin’s benefits and risks with a professional before using it if you are breastfeeding.
This medication is also not suitable for anyone below the age of six.
How to take Ritalin?
Consume this medicine as recommended by your doctor. Try following all the directions on the prescription label and medication guide. Your doctor might occasionally change the dosage to account for various variables. Never try to take this drug in more than the prescribed quantity or longer than the specified period.
Different brands or generic form of this drug might not be available in the same strengths as prescribed by your doctor. Make sure to stick to the brand and medicine strength as specified in your prescription.
Ritalin might make it difficult for you to sleep. Try using it in the morning to avoid such problems.
Doctors recommend using Ritalin Sr tables at least 30 to 45 minutes before a meal. Try not to crush, chew, or break the medication because that can worsen this medicine’s side effects.
During your treatment, the doctor might need to check your progress at regular intervals. You should also not forget to tell any doctor who treats you about using this drug. If you are to undergo surgery, make sure that your surgeon knows ahead of time that you are using this medicine. They might ask you to stop consuming Ritalin because it can cause complications during surgery.
Store Ritalin at room temperature far from heat and moisture. Also, keep track of medicinal intake, as it will help you figure out if someone is using your medication without your knowledge. Tracking the drug intake can also help you know if you are using more than the recommended amount.
Your doctor will analyze the following factors before prescribing the effective dose for your condition. These factors include:
- Your age
- The condition to treat
- The severity of the problem
- Other medical issues that you might have
- Other drugs that you are taking
- How your body reacts to the first dose
Because all these factors can severely alter this medication’s functioning, it is not advisable to change the prescribed quantity without consulting a professional.
The typical Ritalin dosage is as per the following:
- The initial dose for children is 5mg taken twice a day.
- The doctor might increase the amount by 5mg or 10mg weekly to achieve the desired outcome.
- The typical adult dose is between 20mg and 30mg.
- Try not to take more than 60mg of this drug in a single day.
- Doctors typically prescribe between 5mg and 10mg of this medication for treating narcolepsy.
If you consume more than the recommended amount of this drug, you can experience the following overdose symptoms:
- Abdominal cramps
- Rapid breathing
- Overactive reflexes
Try calling a doctor or 911 without wasting time if you have taken an excessive amount of Ritalin. Reach out to the Poison helpline @ 1-800-222-1222. A Ritalin overdose can be fatal if not treated in time.
What to avoid while using Ritalin?
This medicine can impair your reaction and thinking. Try not to undertake any activity that requires attention or cognitive abilities while using this drug.
Avoid consuming alcoholic beverages and marijuana while using this medicine because these substances can worsen Ritalin’s side effects.
Ritalin side effects
This drug can cause mild to severe side effects, depending on how much of the medicine you are consuming. Though users of Ritalin can face its adverse effects, not everyone who uses this drug will encounter the undesirable effects. Typically, people who use this medicine without consulting a doctor or higher than the recommended quantity are more prone to its adverse impacts.
Common side effects
- Dry mouth
- Stomach pain
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Fast heart rate
- Fluttering in chest
- Increased blood pressure
- Mood changes
- Excessive sweating
These symptoms generally don’t last for long. However, make sure to inform your doctor about their occurrence.
Serious side effects
- Heart problems
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Behavioral problems
- Circulation problems
The severe side might turn life-threatening if not treated in time. Make sure to seek immediate medical assistance if you experience any of these symptoms.
What drugs can interact with Ritalin?
Refrain from using any other medication without consulting a doctor during the treatment period with Ritalin. Medication interactions can change how this drug affects your body. Some medicines, when combined with Ritalin, might increase its side effects or make it less effective. Either way, causing problems.
Prescription, over-the-counter drugs, vitamin supplements, herbal substances, etc., can interact with Ritalin, so you should tell your doctor if you use any of these before starting the treatment. The doctor can mitigate the risk by managing your dosage or suggesting you to stop using certain substances.
Ritalin can have adverse interactions with the following medications:
- Lexapro (escitalopram)
- Prozac (fluoxetine)
- Wellbutrin (bupropion)
- Zoloft (sertraline)
These are not all the possible medications that can affect the working of Ritalin. Make sure to talk with a doctor about possible interactions before starting the treatment.