Ritalin SR is a stimulant, although it can have effects that are opposite from what would be expected of a stimulant. While stimulants (like caffeine) can cause hyperactivity, Ritalin SR has a calming effect when used at the doses for ADHD. While the exact way the drug achieves this is not known, it is known that Ritalin SR affects certain chemicals in the brain (see Methylphenidate and D2 Receptors).
For people with narcolepsy, this drug acts as a stimulant. This helps people to be alert and stay awake during the day.
Ritalin SR is a long-acting form of methylphenidate. The effects of the drug last about eight hours. It is taken just once a day (instead of two or three times a day, as with regular Ritalin).
General considerations for when and how to take the medicine include the following:
- The medication comes in tablet form and is usually taken by mouth once daily in the morning (taking it later may cause insomnia).
- You can take it with or without food.
- The tablets must be swallowed whole. Do not chew, crush, or break them.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Ritalin SR will not work if you stop taking it.
The dose of Ritalin SR that your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
- Your age
- Other narcolepsy or ADHD medications you have tried
- Other medical conditions you may have
- Other medications you are currently taking.
As with any medication, do not adjust your dose unless your healthcare provider specifically instructs you to do so.
(Click Ritalin SR Dosage for more information.)