About Ritalin (Methylphenidate Hcl)
Ritalin is one of the most prescribed medications for ADHD management. ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Ritalin is used as a brand name for the drug known as methylphenidate. Doctors also prescribed it for the management narcolepsy. Ritalin affects the parts of the brain and central nervous system (CNS) that control hyperactivity and impulses.
Methylphenidate, the generic drug was first approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration in 1995 for treating what was then referred to as hyperactivity.
Effects Of Ritalin On The Body
Ritalin is primarily used to prevent symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Beside it, this medication can also cause some side effects. It can be misused, and that can lead to the risk of more severe side effects throughout the body. Ritalin should only be used under medical supervision.
When someone first starts using Ritalin for ADHD management, the adverse effects are usually temporary. Users should take medical attention if any symptoms worsen or last beyond a few days.
Find out more about the further symptoms and side effects that you might be at risk for a while using this medication.
Some Facts About Ritalin
- Ritalin is a brand name prescription medication that targets dopamine and Norepinephrine in the brain to reduce common ADHD symptoms.
- It is a nervous system stimulant that is commonly used to treat ADHD in adults and children.
- It is a stimulant when used in ADHD management; the drug can help with fidgeting, concentration, attention, and listening skills.
- The centers for disease control & prevention report has proven that about 6.1 million children 2 to 17 years of age were diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder as of 2016.
- This medication is sometimes used for the management of narcolepsy or sleep disorder.
- It is just one form of treatment for ADHD. Users should also take help of behavioral therapy.
- As with all stimulants, Ritalin is a federally controlled substance due to the risk of misuse. Misuse of this medication can cause some severe conditions.
- It can lead to the risk of side effects even if you use it correctly and don’t misuse it.
- At all, it should be taken with medical supervision. Your healthcare advisor will likely see you every few months to make sure the medication is working correctly.
Effects On The Central Nervous System
Ritalin influences both norepinephrine and dopamine activity inside the human brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter responsible for interference in pleasure, attention span, and movements when Norepinephrine is a stimulant.
Ritalin blocks neurotransmitters’ reabsorption into your brain’s neurons and increases the action of neurotransmitters. The level of these chemicals increases slowly, so your healthcare will initiate you on the lowest effective dose and increase it in small increments when needed.
This medication may make it easier for users to concentrate, and gain control of their actions, be less fidgety. It may also help students to contrate longer and learn things quickly.
It can worsen your condition if you already have a problem with anxiety, agitation, or any psychological disorder. Ritalin can cause severe unwanted effects if you have a history of seizures. It can create blurred vision and other physical conditions like;
- Trouble sleeping
- Increased blood pressure
- Racing heartbeat (in rare cases)
Ritalin can temporarily slow a child’s growth, especially in the first two years after initiating the treatment. Therefore, your doctor should keep an eye on their height. Your doctor can suggest taking a break from the therapy through medicine; to encourage a child’s growth and check how a child acts when stop using Ritalin.
This medication may also be habit-forming like other central nervous system stimulants. Taking drugs through over or more frequent doses can be habit-forming and cause drug addiction. Withdrawal symptom risk can be increased when stop using medicine suddenly after long-term use. Drug withdrawal symptoms can include; Anger or irritation, Anxiety, Fatigue or low energy, Foggy thinking, Depression, Increased appetite, Cravings, Concentration problems, Mood swings, loss of motivation, etc.
Very high doses can lead to;
- Mood changes
- Shakiness or severe twitching
- Delusions or hallucinations, etc.
Ritalin does not generally cause a problem associated with the respiratory system when taken it properly as prescribed. It can open airways and increase your breathing slightly. They are temporary and will go away after 2 to 10 days. Sometimes, it can cause some irregular breathing when using it for longer through overdoses.
Muscular And Skeletal Systems
When someone starts taking treatment through Ritalin, he might experience improved mood and almost a sense of euphoria. It can translate to daily life physical activities being more comfortable to accomplish.
This medication can reduce appetite in some users. It can side effects like nausea and stomach aches. Misusing Ritalin can also cause vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
It can also lead to malnutrition and related health problems when abusing it.