ADHD Home > Ritalin SR and Depression

In clinical studies on the potential side effects of Ritalin SR, depression was reported. However, it is difficult to tell how common this is, so it is important to know the symptoms of depression so that you can notify your healthcare provider if they occur. Even though the exact link between Ritalin SR and depression is not known, the medicine may be prescribed "off-label" to treat symptoms of depression.

Ritalin SR and Depression: An Overview

Several different side effects are possible when taking Ritalin SR® (methylphenidate extended-release), and depression has been reported in clinical studies on Ritalin SR. Interestingly, however, the medication is also sometimes used to help treat depression.

Ritalin SR and Depression: Understanding Clinical Studies

Before medicines are approved, they must go through several clinical studies in which thousands of people are given a particular medicine and compared to a group of people not given the medicine. In these studies, side effects are always documented. This way, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine. Side effects are then usually separated into those that occur in more than 1 percent of people (common side effects) and those that occur in less than 1 percent of people (rare side effects).
For people taking Ritalin SR, depression was a reported side effect (although the specific frequency was not reported). Based on this data, it is difficult to say how common it is for people taking the drug to experience depression. Depression can also be a side effect of Ritalin withdrawal.
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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