Available only by prescription, Ritalin® (methylphenidate hydrochloride) is a stimulant used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children. Ritalin has been shown to be effective for treating common ADHD symptoms, such as:
Hyperactivity (having trouble sitting still)
Difficulty paying attention
In adults, this drug is an effective treatment for narcolepsy, a condition that involves falling asleep uncontrollably and at unusual times.
Common side effects of Ritalin include weight loss, insomnia, nervousness, and dizziness. However, most people are able to take it safely and without any serious problems. To help ensure that this drug is right for your particular situation, your healthcare provider needs complete information on your medical history, including any other conditions you may have and if you are taking any other medications, including vitamins or supplements.
(To learn more, click Ritalin. This article also lists the available strengths of Ritalin and offers tips on when and how to take your dosage.)
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Ritalin [package insert]. East Hanover, NJ: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation;2013 June.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed January 23, 2007.
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