Ritalin (methylphenidate) is a central nervous system stimulant. It works by changing the amounts of certain natural substances in the brain.
Uses of Ritalin
Ritalin Dosing Information
Pediatric Patients 6 years and Older:
Start with 5 mg orally twice daily (before breakfast and lunch). Increase dosage gradually, in increments of 5 to 10 mg weekly. Daily dosage above 60 mg is not recommended.
Average dosage is 20 to 30 mg daily.
Administer orally in divided doses 2 or 3 times daily, preferably 30 to 45 minutes before meals. Maximum total daily dosage is 60 mg.
Patients who are unable to sleep if medication is taken late in the day should take the last dose before 6 p.m.
How to use Ritalin
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking methylphenidate and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually 2 or 3 times a day. This medication is best taken 30 to 45 minutes before a meal. However, if you have stomach upset, you may take this medication with or after a meal or snack. Taking this medication late in the day may cause trouble sleeping (insomnia).
Important information before taking this drug
Do not use drugs if you have glaucoma, tics or Tourette’s syndrome, or severe anxiety, tension, or agitation.
Do not use this drugs if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days, such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, or tranylcypromine.
Methylphenidate can be habit-forming, and this medicine is a drug of abuse. Tell your doctor if you have had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
Methylphenidate may cause new or worsening psychosis (unusual thoughts or behavior), especially if you have a history of depression, mental illness, or bipolar disorder.
Stimulants have caused stroke, heart attack, and sudden death in people with high blood pressure, heart disease, or a heart defect.
You may have blood circulation problems that can cause numbness, pain, or discoloration in your fingers or toes.
Ritalin side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Ritalin: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Common side effects of Ritalin:
- mood swings, feeling nervous or irritable, sleep problems (insomnia);
- fast heart rate, increased blood pressure;
- loss of appetite, weight loss;
nausea, stomach pain; or headache
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