Ritalin Indications

The two primary approved uses (also called "indications") for Ritalin® (methylphenidate hydrochloride) are for the treatment of narcolepsy, a type of sleeping disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, a behavioral condition characterized by an inability to sit still and focus on a task for an extended period. The medication comes in tablet form, and is generally taken two or three times a day.
If narcolepsy is a condition in which a person has trouble staying awake and ADHD is a condition in which a person has trouble settling down, how can Ritalin be indicated for both conditions? The answer lies in the dosing guidelines. When used to treat narcolepsy, a higher dosage of Ritalin is used; a lower amount is prescribed for ADHD. Thus, the medication can cause either a calming effect or a stimulating one, depending on how much is taken.
(Click What Is Ritalin Used For? to learn more about how this drug works to treat these two very different conditions, its use in children, and possible off-label indications.)
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