Effects Of Ritalin On The Body

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
  • Headache
  • Moodiness
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Nervousness
  • 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
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Delusions or hallucinations, etc.

Respiratory System

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.

Digestive System

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.

Adderall Dosage For ADHD and Narcolepsy

Adderall is a prescription medicine used in the treatment of ADHD and narcolepsy. This medicine is a mixture of central nervous system stimulants – amphetamine and dextroamphetamine.

Dosage for Adderall:

Adderall is taken as a treatment for two types of disorder. ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and Narcolepsy symptoms are managed using this medicine. The dosage of Adderall should be adjusted as per the need of the patient. Doctors should also mark the response that the patient is getting after having a dose of Adderall.

The dose of Adderall should be avoided late in the evening as it can be a cause for insomnia. You must talk to your doctor before starting with the use of Adderall. Patients who suffer from ADHD and Narcolepsy are given a different amount of dosage for the treatment. It is so because both disorders are way too different from each other.

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder):

Treatment of Adderall is not recommended for children below the age of 3. It is mostly seen that the symptoms of ADHD start occurring at a younger age. The dose for children is defined according to their age and severity of their situation. For the age group of 3 to 5 years, the initial dose shall be 2.5mg/day.

The increment of dosage should not be maximized more than 2.5mg on a weekly basis. It would be best if you take a recommendation from your health expert regarding the use of the drug. There should be a defined interval before you increase the dose of Adderall.

The dosage for children of 6 years of age and above is allowed to be taken twice in a day. The total amount of dosage in a day should not be increased by more than 5mg. Also, the rise in the amount of dosage should not increase more than 5mg on a weekly basis.

However, there can be people who may be given a high amount of Adderall dosage for their condition. It is always recommended to take Adderall dosage once you have talked to your health expert about the condition.

ADHD in Girl

How Does Adderall Affect Someone With ADHD?

Adderall belongs to the stimulant class of medicines. It contains a combination of Dextroamphetamine and Amphetamine. Adderall is most commonly used to treat Attention Deficiency Hyperactivity Syndrome, also known as ADHD independent studies conducted from time to time on the working of Adderall have shown that it improves focus, attention and reduces impulse behavior. It is why Adderall is the best option (as per the experts) to treat ADHD. Between seventy-five to eighty percent of children who had ADHD had shown positive symptoms of improvement after they are taking Adderall and such other stimulants.

Is Adderall Safe For ADHD?

Yes, Adderall is safe for treating ADHD in children and in adults too. Some studies show that Adderall can manage 75% to 80% of children who are suffering from ADHD. It is always better to discuss with your doctor before you start administering this medicine to your child or anyone else. Though, how Amphetamine helps to improve the impairments of ADHD is yet not known. Adderall produces its stimulating effects in children; still, it is unknown and why Adderall can do so.

Does Adderall Make ADHD Worse?

Missed A Dose?

It is just a myth that the consumption of Adderall makes Attention Deficiency Hyperactivity Syndrome worse. Adderall is one of the best medicines that are available in the market for treating ADHD in children, adults, and adolescents. At the same time, rely on Adderall only for treating ADHD. Instead, it must be given or taken as a part of a complete treatment plan that may inculcate exercise, diet, supplement, parent training, school accommodations, and behavioral therapy, among other medicines. It may be noted here that stoping the intake of Adderall all of a sudden may worsen your ADHD for some time.

Why Does Adderall Work For ADHD?

Adderall is the brand name of the combination of Dextroamphetamine and Amphetamine. Adderall is used to treat hyperactivity, inattention, impulsivity, lack of focus, forgetfulness, excessive talking, disorganization, fidgeting, or interrupting frequently, which are the characteristic of ADHD or ADD. Yet to date, the actual functioning of Adderall in the human brain is, however, unknown to the researchers. Some researchers suggested that it works by the neurotransmitters in the brain. Well, this explains how this medication works for producing a stimulating effect, but how is it able to treat ADHD/ADD is not known to us.

Is Adderall Good For Adults With ADHD?

Yes, Adderall is equally useful for adults as it is for children. Adderall can be used by anyone who has ADHD, irrespective of their age. Adderall is approved by the Food and Drug Association (FDA) for being consumed by adults, children, and adolescents. At the same time, Adderall should not only be counted on for treating ADHD.

Instead, it must be given or taken as a part of a complete treatment plan that may inculcate diet, supplement, parent training, school accommodation exercise, and behavioral therapy, among other medicines. A person who is taking Adderall for treating ADHD must not stop it abruptly as it may worsen his medical condition.


The dose of Adderall that is prescribed to patients suffering from Narcolepsy range between 5mg to 60mg in a day. It depends on the individual’s health, and the way his/her body reacts to the content of the drug.

Just like ADHD, Narcolepsy also seldom occurs at a younger age. Doctors suggest children between the age of 6 to 12 with a daily dose of 5mg. This dosage shall be increased weekly as per the condition of the patient. For children above the age of 12, the prescribed dosage can be 10mg for a day.

People should keep in mind that taking a higher dosage at once can affect their internal organs. If in case you notice any sudden reactions that are not appropriate, report it to the doctor. Taking medical help as soon as you observe the adverse effect of the drug will help you in managing it at the right time.

While you take Adderall for Narcolepsy for a sleep disorder, do not take any other drug for the same issue as it may cause side effects that can be dangerous.

How Does Adderall Affect Narcolepsy?

The demise of a particular type of brain cell is a condition called Narcolepsy. The brain cells which produce the chemical called hypocretin sometimes die due to specific reasons. Hypocretin is an essential enzyme for regulating the cycles of sleeping and waking. When the hypocretin-producing cells die, it causes sleep or wake disorders in a person.

Adderall is a stimulant medication that boosts the brain’s chemical norepinephrine, which helps in promoting wakefulness. The norepinephrine levels in the brain get higher by the intake of Adderall at the start of the day; it results in daytime wakefulness, which also helps the person sleep better at night.

Is Narcolepsy A Mental Illness?

Narcolepsy is a sleeping disorder that affects approximately 1 out of 2000 people around the world. Narcolepsy causes excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), inadvertent daytime lapses into sleep, frequent urges to sleep, sleep fragmentation, sleep-related hallucinations, cataplexy, and sleep paralysis. It is a neurological disorder that affects the brain.

The patients with Narcolepsy are most likely to be diagnosed with mental illness. It is a disabling neurodegenerative state having a high co-morbidity with mental illness or psychiatric diseases.

What is The Best Treatment For Narcolepsy?

There is no complete cure for Narcolepsy, but certain medications and lifestyle changes can help manage the symptoms of the disorder.

  • Stimulants like Adderall are the drugs that stimulate the CNS (Central Nervous System). They are the most preferred medications for the treatment of Narcolepsy. These medications are beneficial but sometimes can be addictive. The side effects are infrequent, including nausea, headache, and anxiety.
  • Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs) or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are often prescribed by the doctors to help alleviate cataplexy, suppress REM sleep, repress symptoms of sleep disorders and hypnagogic hallucinations.
  • Sodium Oxybate is very efficient in treating cataplexy. It improves night sleep and in higher doses, also controls the daytime sleepiness.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms of Narcolepsy?

The common signs and symptoms of Narcolepsy include:

  • Excessive sleepiness in the daytime
  • Sleep paralysis
  • Loss on muscle tone (cataplexy)
  • Sleep-related hallucinations
  • Night-time sleep disorder
  • Memory problems
  • Change in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep.