Ritalin Side Effects and Warnings.

1. Used For :
Attention deficit disorder
Narcolepsy

2. How Ritalin Works :
I don’t know exactly why it produces the effects it does. Methylphenidate (Ritalin) was first synthesized in 1944 in an (unsuccessful) attempt to create a stimulant that would not induce addiction or tolerance. Ritalin is very closely related to amphetamine: similar in chemical structure, metabolization and clinical effects. This close connection is the chief reason Ritalin use raises concern among patients and others.

3. Do Not Use If
You have high blood pressure or any form of heart disease, are very nervous or have severe insomnia, have a history of addiction to drugs or alcohol. Do not combine with monoamine oxidase inhibitors.

4. Common Side Effects :
Addiction
Nervousness including agitation, anxiety and irritability
Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
Decreased appetite
Headache
Stomach ache
Nausea
Dizziness
Heart palpitations

4. Other Serious Side Effects Include :
Slowing of growth (height and weight) in children
Seizures, mainly in patients with a history of seizures
Eyesight changes or blurred vision
Less Common Side Effects
High blood pressure
Rapid pulse rate (and other heart problems)
Tolerance (constant need to raise the dose)
Feelings of suspicion and paranoia
Visual hallucinations (seeing things that are not there)
Depression
Cocaine craving
Dermatoses (infected or diseased skin)
Urinary tract infection
Infection or viral infection
Elevated ALT enzyme levels in the blood (signaling liver damage)

5. Overdose Side Effects :
Methylphenidate drugs have been extensively abused. Extreme psychological dependence and severe social disability have resulted. Abuse of methylphenidate drugs may cause a sudden heart attack even in those with no signs of heart disease. Symptoms of overdose that require immediate medical assistance include:
Restlessness
Tremor
Aggression
Hallucinations
Panic states
Hyperreflexia (overactive reflexes, which can include twitching or spasms)
Personality changes
Symptoms of depression
Seizures or abnormal EEGs
High blood pressure
Rapid heart beat
Swelling of hands/feet/ankles (for example, numbing of the fingertips)
Delusions
Sweating
Vomiting
Dehydration
Unexplained muscle pain
Lower abdominal pain
Rhabdomyolysis and kidney damage
Chronic abuse can manifest itself as psychosis, often indistinguishable from schizophrenia

6. What to Do About Side Effects :
The last dose of the drug every day should be taken several hours before bedtime to prevent insomnia.
Nervousness usually goes away and appetite often returns so that weight loss is rarely dangerous.
If high blood pressure, rapid pulse, paranoia, or tolerance becomes a problem, the drug is usually stopped.
Nothing can be done about the addiction except to remember not to stop taking any version of methylphenidate abruptly.

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