ADHD Home > Ritalin SR Uses

Ritalin SR uses include the treatment of narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). As a stimulant, the medication helps people with narcolepsy stay alert during the day. When taken in lower doses, however, it can produced a calming effect in children with ADHD to help them focus and concentrate. Occasionally, a healthcare provider may recommend off-label Ritalin SR uses, such as the treatment of depression or adult ADHD.

An Overview of Ritalin SR Uses

Ritalin SR® (methylphenidate extended-release) is a prescription medicine that is used for the following:
  • Treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Treatment of narcolepsy.

Ritalin SR Uses for ADHD

ADHD is a condition involving difficulty paying attention, sitting still, and controlling behavior. With ADHD, these problems are worse than expected for a typical child of the same age. Usually, these symptoms must be present before the age of seven to qualify as ADHD. The symptoms must also affect school, work, or social life in a negative way (see ADHD and School and Relationships and ADHD for more information).
Although ADHD is generally thought of as a problem in children, teenagers and adults can also have it. The process used to diagnose ADHD in adults is different from that used to diagnose it in children. However, Ritalin SR is not approved for adult ADHD (see Ritalin SR for Adults).
Any behavioral change involves a well-balanced ADHD treatment plan, including social, educational, and mental therapy (see Behavior Therapy for ADHD). If lifestyle changes alone are not effective in changing behavior, ADHD medications (such as Ritalin SR) may be necessary.
Although Ritalin SR is a stimulant, it can have effects that are opposite from what would be expected of a stimulant. While stimulants (like caffeine) can cause hyperactivity, when used at doses for ADHD treatment, Ritalin SR usually has a calming effect. It is not known exactly how the medication achieves this, but it is known that it affects certain chemicals in the brain (see Methylphenidate and D2 Receptors for more information).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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