ADHD Home > Ritalin and Alcohol

Taking Ritalin and alcohol together may increase the effects of Ritalin, thereby affecting your ability to perform tasks that require complete concentration. Until you know how the stimulant affects you, you should avoid alcohol. Although there are no specific interactions between Ritalin and alcohol, people with a history of alcohol abuse may not be prescribed the drug, due to the possibility for abuse.

Ritalin and Alcohol: An Overview

Ritalin® (methylphenidate hydrochloride) is a prescription medication licensed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It may also be used in an "off-label" fashion to treat adult ADHD. Some forms of Ritalin are also licensed to treat narcolepsy. Although there is no specific interaction between Ritalin and alcohol, there are reasons why you may want to avoid the combination.

Interactions Between Ritalin and Alcohol

Stimulants such as Ritalin may affect your ability to perform tasks that require complete concentration, such as driving, operating machinery, or piloting an airplane, especially during the first few weeks of treatment. Alcohol could intensify these effects, and it may be a good idea to avoid combining Ritalin and alcohol until you know how Ritalin will affect you. It is never a good idea to mix alcohol with a medication that you have never taken before (or that has not been prescribed specifically for you).
It is also important to note that people who have problems with alcohol abuse should avoid Ritalin. The drug is a stimulant and can be abused (see Ritalin Abuse). People who have problems with drug abuse or alcohol abuse may be more likely to abuse Ritalin.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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