ADHD Home > Ritalin LA for Adults and Teens
Children with ADHD usually experience a decrease in hyperactivity and inattention after using Ritalin LA. For adults and teens, the medication can only be prescribed as an "off-label" treatment. This is because it has not been approved to treat adult ADHD. If a healthcare provider believes that the drug can help with symptoms of ADHD, however, he or she may prescribe Ritalin LA for adults and teens.
Ritalin LA® (methylphenidate extended-release) is a prescription medication licensed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. It is not approved for use in teenagers or adults.
Ritalin LA has not been adequately studied for the treatment of ADHD in adults and teens. This means that no large studies have been conducted on the benefits and risks of using it to treat adult ADHD. However, your healthcare provider may prescribe the drug for adults or teens in certain situations. When used in this fashion, it is called an "off-label" use. "Off-label" is when a prescription medicine is used to treat a disease or condition for which it has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Although the FDA regulates how a medication can be advertised or promoted by the manufacturer, these regulations do not restrict a doctor's ability to prescribe the medication in an off-label fashion: for different conditions, in different doses, or for different lengths of time. Your healthcare provider may prescribe a medicine for off-label use if he or she feels that it is appropriate for your situation.
Most stimulants (including Ritalin LA) should be used with caution in people with high blood pressure (hypertension) or heart problems (including heart disease and congestive heart failure). While this is not usually a concern for most children (who generally do not have high blood pressure or heart problems), it is definitely a cause for concern in adults. Be sure that your healthcare provider checks you for high blood pressure or heart problems before you start Ritalin LA.