What Is Ritalin?
Ritalin is is a medication used for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is classified in the drug group known as
methylphenidate which is a stimulant. As it is a nervous system stimulant it changes some substances in the brain, thus increasing the ability to focus and impulse control. It helps you organize and improve your attention span. People who have ADHD cannot spend too much time on a single task. They have trouble focusing their attention on a simple task. Ritalin is also used to treat narcolepsy. This medication influences norepinephrine and dopamine. Norepinephrine is a stimulant whereas dopamine affects the pleasure receptors and movement in the brain.
Usage of Ritalin
Ritalin should be taken 30 to 40 minutes before having a meal. It is to be taken twice or thrice a day. It is better to take the first dose of Ritalin early in the morning. If taken later in the day, it might cause insomnia. The dosage varies from patient to patient, consult your doctor before starting Ritalin. For children, the initial dose should be 5mg twice a day every day. The dosage can be increased from 5 to 10 mg on a weekly basis. For adults, the daily dose varies from 20 to 30 mg twice a day. The dose should not exceed 60 mg in a day. If you do not see any betterment in your condition even after using Ritalin then contact your doctor immediately.
Who should avoid using Ritalin?
If you are suffering from Tourette's syndrome, tic, severe anxiety, tension, agitation, or glaucoma then you should not use Ritalin. This medicine may contribute to addiction. People who have a history of substance abuse should retain from using Ritalin. If you have used an MAO inhibitor such as selegiline, linezolid, rasagiline, etc. in the last 14 days then you should not use Ritalin. If you have a history of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or mental disorder then avoid using Ritalin as it can worsen the side effects. If you have high blood
pressure, heart problems, a family history of heart problems, epilepsy, seizures, issues with stomach, intestines, or blood circulation issues in the feet or hands. Pregnant women should avoid using Ritalin as it can have harmful effects on the unborn. The side effects can also pass down through breastmilk. Breastfeeding mothers should also avoid using Ritalin. Consult your doctor before starting the treatment with Ritalin if the benefits outweigh the health risk of the baby then the doctor will start your treatment.
How to use Ritalin and what to do if someone overdoses on it?
Ritalin should not be used by children under the age of six. Take Ritalin just as your doctor has prescribed. Do not take high doses with your doctor’s prescription. Do not share this medicine with anyone else, selling this medicine to others is illegal. Ritalin should not be crushed, broken, or chewed; it needs to be swallowed whole because too much drug can be released if the tablet is broken. Visit your doctor regularly to keep your health in check. Overdosing to Ritalin (methylphenidate) can be fatal so seek medical attention immediately if you or someone you know has overdosed. Ritalin can affect your reaction and thinking skills so, using heavy machinery or driving should be completely avoided during the use of Ritalin.
What are the side effects of Ritalin?
Some common side effects caused by Ritalin include headaches, excessive sweating, loss of appetite, stomach pain, nausea, fever, skin rashes, joint problems, dry mouth, mood changes, and insomnia. Some side effects caused by Ritalin include blurry vision, weight loss, chest pain, trouble breathing, hallucinations, seizures, muscle twitches, numbness, fidgeting, discoloration of the skin, unexplained wounds, fast heart rate, high blood pressure, peeling of skin, paranoia, aggression, muscle cramps, urine problems, and hostility. It is
not common but some people might have an allergic reaction to Ritalin, if you see swelling in your neck, lips, tongue, eye or face, hives, or difficulty in breathing then sought medical help immediately. It can prove to be addictive and so stopping the use of Ritalin can be very difficult.
What should be the dosage of Ritalin and what are its withdrawal effects?
Ritalin comes in 5mg, 10 mg, and 20 mg tablets with yellow, green, and pale yellow colors. It should be stored at room temperature and in a dry place away from heat that means Ritalin cannot be kept in the washroom. If you miss a dose then take the missed dose when you remember, do not take the missed dose if it is almost evening, and do not take double doses to compensate for the missed dose. If you have stopped using Ritalin then you might face some withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, fatigue, strong cravings,
muscle twitching, jitters, delay in movement, paranoia, hallucinations, and tiredness.
Ritalin does help people with ADHD and narcolepsy but it also makes them addicted to the medication. In the states, the highest drug abuse is due to these prescription medicines. These are easily accessible to all age groups so it is easier to misuse them. This is the reason why a doctor’s prescription is very important. If you feel that any symptoms have worsened then contact your doctor as soon as possible. The most important thing to stop this addiction is detox. Detoxing is a major part of full recovery. Other factors like joining
groups of counseling, exercise, and other activities can help with addiction.