Ritalin LA Warnings and Precautions

Specific Ritalin LA Warnings and Precautions

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking Ritalin LA include the following:
  • Stimulants (including Ritalin LA) are often abused. Taking high doses of the medication for a long time can lead to dependence (see Ritalin Abuse). Because Ritalin LA is so commonly abused, there are special rules for prescribing it (see Ritalin: A Controlled Substance). Thus, the medication should be used with caution in people who have a history of drug or alcohol abuse.
  • In people with psychotic disorders (such as schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder), Ritalin LA can make certain psychotic symptoms worse, such as thought disorders and behavior problems. The drug may also make bipolar symptoms worse, especially manic symptoms.
  • Sudden death has been reported in children, adolescents, and adults with heart problems who took normal doses of medications similar to Ritalin LA. If your child has heart problems, ask your healthcare provider if Ritalin LA is appropriate in your situation. Also, let your healthcare provider know if your child develops any chest tightness, chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting.
  • Ritalin LA can cause an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. In most cases, the increase is small and does not cause problems. However, there is an increased risk for people who already have high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, certain irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias), hyperthyroidism, or have recently had a heart attack.
  • Ritalin LA can increase the risk of seizures, especially in people who have had seizures before. Talk to your healthcare provider before taking the medication if you have a history of seizures.
  • Stimulants used to treat ADHD have been associated with problems in blood vessels in the fingers and toes, sometimes causing problems such as Raynaud's disease. Alert your healthcare provider to any signs of this problem, such as cold or numb toes or fingers.
  • There have been reports of priapism in people taking ADHD medications, including this one. This side effect is an abnormally long-lasting, painful erection and can cause serious, permanent damage to the penis. It can occur in males of any age. Young boys might not recognize this side effect, and males of any age might be hesitant to seek parental or medical attention, due to embarrassment. Prompt treatment is necessary to avoid damage.
Be especially on the lookout for this side effect whenever the dosage is increased or during a drug "holiday" or any other time when the drug is stopped.
  • Ritalin LA should not be used to treat severe depression, nor should it be used to prevent or treat fatigue.
  • Ritalin LA can cause temporarily stunted growth in children. This slowing down is usually small, and children usually catch up to normal growth rate with time.
  • Ritalin LA can cause blurred vision and other vision problems.
  • Ritalin LA can interact with certain medications (see Ritalin LA Drug Interactions).
  • Ritalin LA is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe to use during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider before using the drug during pregnancy (see Ritalin LA and Pregnancy).
  • It is not known if Ritalin LA passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider.
ADHD and Girls

Ritalin LA Information

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