Ritalin® (methylphenidate hydrochloride) tablets are a prescription medication used for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Although Ritalin is a type of stimulant, it can produce a calming effect when used at the doses intended for ADHD treatment. For people with narcolepsy, it does act as a stimulant (because it is taken in higher doses).
Although most people tolerate this medication well, side effects are possible. Some of the common side effects of Ritalin tablets include weight loss, headaches, and insomnia. This medication is not suitable for everyone, so make sure to talk to your healthcare provider about any other medical conditions you may have or any other medications you are taking (including vitamins and herbal supplements) before starting treatment with Ritalin.
The medication comes in the form of tablets and is typically taken two or three times a day. The dosage your healthcare provider recommends will vary, based on factors such as other medications you are currently taking, other medical conditions you may have, your age, and other ADHD or narcolepsy medications you have tried. Ritalin tablets are available in three strengths:
(Click Ritalin for a more in-depth look at how this medication works and detailed information on its effects, potential side effects, and general precautions.)