ADHD Home > Ritalin SR for Adults

Healthcare providers may prescribe Ritalin SR for adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as an "off-label" use. While the drug is not licensed to treat adult ADHD, it can be prescribed if a healthcare provider believes that the medication is appropriate. Stimulants should be used with caution in people with high blood pressure or heart problems, so it's important to check for these conditions before prescribing Ritalin SR for adults.

Ritalin SR for Adults: An Overview

Ritalin SR® (methylphenidate extended-release) is a prescription medication licensed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and teenagers. The drug is not approved for use in adults with ADHD, although it is approved to treat narcolepsy in adults.
 

Ritalin SR for Adults With ADHD

The use of Ritalin SR for adults with ADHD has not been adequately studied, meaning that no large studies have been conducted on the benefits and risks of using the medication to treat adult ADHD. However, your healthcare provider may prescribe Ritalin SR for adult ADHD in certain situations. When used in this fashion, this is considered an "off-label" use of the drug. Off-label is when a prescription medicine is used to treat a disease or condition (or in an age group) 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 an off-label use if he or she feels that the medicine is appropriate for your situation.
 
Most stimulants (including Ritalin SR) should be used with caution in people with high blood pressure (hypertension) or heart problems (including heart disease and 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 your healthcare provider checks you for high blood pressure or heart problems before you start Ritalin SR.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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