ADHD Home > Ritalin LA


Based on clinical studies, children with ADHD who took Ritalin LA had significant behavior improvements compared to children who did not take the medication. Specifically, teachers noticed less hyperactivity and inattention in the children taking Ritalin LA. The drug has not been studied in adult ADHD or in teenagers over the age of 12 (see Ritalin LA for Adults and Teens).

When and How to Take Ritalin LA

General considerations for when and how to take the medication include the following:
  • Ritalin LA comes in capsule form. It should be taken once daily in the morning.
  • The capsules contain tiny beads that release the medication slowly, so it is important to swallow the capsule whole (do not chew or crush it).
  • For people who have difficultly swallowing, the capsules may be opened and the beads sprinkled on a spoonful of applesauce. The applesauce should be eaten right away and should not be chewed. The applesauce should not be warm, because this may affect the delayed-release beads.
  • You can take it with or without food. If the medication bothers your stomach, try taking it with food.
  • For the medicine to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. It will not work if you stop taking it.

Dosing Information

The dose of Ritalin LA that your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
  • Your age
  • Other medications you have tried for ADHD
  • Other medical conditions you may have
  • Other medications you are currently taking.
As is always the case, do not adjust your dose unless your healthcare provider specifically instructs you to do so.
(Click Ritalin LA Dosage for more information.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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