ADHD Home > Ritalin and Weight Loss
Ritalin is not approved as a weight-loss medication by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, your healthcare provider may prescribe the drug for weight loss for a short period of time in certain situations. When used in this fashion, it is considered an "off-label" use. Off-label is when a prescription medicine is used to treat a disease or condition for which the drug has not been approved by the 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 when he or she feels that it is appropriate for your situation.
While off-label uses for the treatment of many medical conditions are common, you should feel comfortable asking your doctor if he or she is using a medication or combination of medications in a manner that is not approved by the FDA.
Weight loss is a common side effect of Ritalin. In fact, it is such a common side effect that the drug is often abused for this purpose. While Ritalin is not approved for this use, there may be a few situations in which using Ritalin for weight loss may be acceptable.