Devastating Side Effects Of Ritalin – What You Can Do

Medications like Ritalin are used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is a stimulant drug that works by increasing the activity of chemicals in the brain. Ritalin is prescribed to people who have problems with focus, concentration, and hyperactivity. It can help improve their symptoms and make them less likely to have accidents or lose things.

However, there are also a number of side effects associated with Ritalin use. Some of the most common side effects include insomnia, anxiety, weight gain or loss, and decreased appetite.

The potential side effects of Ritalin are many, this post will give you a comprehensive overview of how this drug can affect your body.

Things To Keep in Mind

  1. The use of Ritalin is not recommended for children younger than 6 years of age.
  2. Growth in children can be affected by Ritalin. Call your doctor if you notice your child is not growing properly.
  3. Avoid too much coffee, chocolate, teas, and colas. Ritalin with excessive caffeine can cause health problems like nausea, nervousness, insomnia, and rapid heartbeat.
  4. The severity level of interacting with alcohol is Major. Alcohol should be avoided while taking Ritalin.
  5. Consult your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or planning to get pregnant.
  6. Talk to your doctor if you are planning for surgery or taking any MAO inhibitor.
  7. Dexmethylphenidate and methylphenidate are very similar drugs. Methylphenidate should not be used with medications containing dexmethylphenidate.
  8. When you have a history of depression, mental illness, or bipolar disorder, Ritalin may worsen your psychosis.
  9. Do not take two doses of Ritalin at a time if you have just missed one. Overdose of this drug can cause severe health damage, call the emergency helpline immediately and seek emergency help if you do so.
  10. Research data shows that In addition to making you more motivated, Ritalin enhances your ability to perform tasks.

Common Side Effects Of Ritalin

Ritalin is generally safe, but it is necessary to check up regularly with the doctor. Your doctor may check blood pressure, and overall health situation. Some common side effects that can be caused by taking Ritalin are:

Common side effects of ritalin

  • Feeling cold in your hands or feet
  • Feeling nervous
  • Intense agitation
  • Stress, anxiety
  • Problems sleeping (insomnia)
  • Pain in the stomach
  • A lack of appetite
  • Loss of weight
  • Symptoms of nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Heart palpitations
  • Migraine, headache
  • Problems with vision
  • Heartbeat increase
  • An increase in blood pressure
  • Excessive sweating
  • A rash on the skin
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Feeling numb

These symptoms do not need immediate medical attention, also if you are having any of these problems after taking Ritalin that does not surely prove it is caused by it. There could be some other health issues. Consult your doctor if you have any of the symptoms that last longer than 3 days.

Serious Side Effects Of Ritalin

In rare cases, unfortunately, patients suffer from serious health issues after taking Ritalin. These side effects deserve your immediate and high attention. Seek medical help if you think you have grown any of the following symptoms:

Serious side effects of Ritalin

  • Heart attacks, strokes, and sudden death are all cardiovascular reactions
  • An increase in blood pressure
  • An increase in heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Psychiatric adverse reactions, such as worsening of a preexisting mental disorder
  • Psychotic or manic symptoms developing
  • An erection that is sustained and sometimes painful in men
  • Circulation problems, such as Raynaud’s syndrome
  • Pediatric patients with long-term growth suppression and weight loss

Ritalin During Pregnancy

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has classified Ritalin as a pregnancy category C drug.

According to a large retrospective study, infants born to mothers who took Ritalin during the first trimester of pregnancy face a small increased risk of congenital heart defects.4 Three infants will be born with congenital heart defects for every 1,000 women who take Ritalin during pregnancy.

Ritalin during the first trimester will increase the risk of congenital heart defects in three infants per 1,000 pregnant women, according to the study.

It is up to your doctor, if he/she thinks the risk can surpass the benefits then he may prescribe you. And also make sure you are monitored regularly by the doctor during your pregnancy period.

Ritalin During Lactation

There was no detectable congenital abnormality in an infant exposed to Ritalin during breastfeeding, according to a recent case report.

Due to its small size and solubility, Ritalin can enter breast milk. Ritalin has a relative infant dose of 0.7% (the amount ingested by the baby versus the maternal dose).

Data indicate that methylphenidate is compatible with breastfeeding; however, long-term neurodevelopmental effects have not been sufficiently investigated.

Side Effects Of Ritalin in Adults Without ADHD

People without ADHD use Ritalin to improve their performance in their studies.

UB’s Research Institute on Addictions explored the possible side effects of the stimulant drug Ritalin on those without ADHD and found changes in brain chemistry associated with risk-taking behavior, sleep disruption, and other effects.

It is well-known that Ritalin is effective for people with ADHD, but not as much is known about what happens to people without ADHD when they take Ritalin. However, recent studies show the use of methylphenidate without ADHD in college students.

Side Effects Of Ritalin with Alcohol

Alcohol generally does not cancel the effect of Ritalin, rather than that it increases Ritalin in the body. It can cause fatal health issues. Side Effects of alcohol with Ritalin are categorized as Major.

The side effects of Ritalin with Alcohol are Drowsiness, tiredness, weakness, and dizziness.

If you feel drowsy or weak after taking Ritalin with alcohol, don’t drive until you know how you feel.

Side Effects Of Ritalin in Children

The growth rate, weight, and final height of a child may be affected if this drug is used for a long time. Occasionally, the doctor may recommend stopping the medication to reduce the risk.

You should check the child’s weight and height regularly, and you should consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Side Effects Of Ritalin VS Adderal

What’s the difference between Ritalin and Adderall? Both are used for treating ADHD. People take them to improve their ability to focus and concentrate.

However, there is a difference between the two drugs.

It is their main ingredients that make Ritalin and Adderall different. In Adderall, amphetamine and dextroamphetamine are combined, and Ritalin contains methylphenidate hydrochloride.

Children and adolescents with ADHD respond better to methylphenidate as a first-line medication, according to a meta-analysis including 133 clinical trials.

Ritalin is cheaper than Adderal, both drugs have almost similar side effects.

FAQ About Ritalin

Yes, it can cause permanent damage if taken long-term in childhood.

Check the section “Ritalin without ADHD on this article”

No, if you do not overdose and use it properly, it won’t change your personality.

Increases the amount of dopamine release.

No, it can cause weight loss.

Yes, it may cause weight loss.

Yes, if you are taking too much caffeine with Ritalin it can lead to health damage.

Yes, it does help with anxiety both in human and animal.

Dr. Tauhid Al Araf

Dr. Tauhid Al Araf

Hi, I’m Dr. Tauhid. I’ve completed my MBBS from Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College. After completing my BCS, now working as an Upazilla Health Complex Medical Officer. I'm on a mission to Spread awareness about using and misusing drugs has become so significant nowadays. This is one of my dream projects, hopefully, this gonna help people all around the world.

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