What is Ritalin?
Ritalin (methylphenidate) is a central nervous system stimulant. It affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control.
Ritalin is used to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and narcolepsy.
Ritalin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use Ritalin if you have glaucoma, tics or Tourette's syndrome, or severe anxiety, tension, or agitation.
Do not use Ritalin if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days, including isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.
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Methylphenidate may be habit forming. Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction.
Using Ritalin improperly can cause death or serious side effects on the heart.
Before taking this medicine
blood circulation problems in the hands or feet;
seizures or epilepsy;
an abnormal brain wave test (EEG); or
a history of drug or alcohol addiction.
It is not known whether Ritalin will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
It is not known whether methylphenidate passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Ritalin is not approved for use by anyone younger than 6 years old.
How should I take Ritalin?
Take Ritalin exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Using this medicine improperly can cause death or serious side effects on the heart.
Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
To prevent sleep problems, take this medicine in the morning.
Ritalin normal release tablets should taken at least 30 to 45 minutes before a meal. Extended-release Ritalin LA capsules or Ritalin SR tablets can be taken with or without food. Follow the directions on your medicine label
Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release Ritalin SR tablet. Swallow the tablet whole. Breaking the tablet may cause too much of the drug to
be released at one time.
To make swallowing easier, you may carefully open the Ritalin LA capsule and sprinkle the beads over a spoonful of applesauce. The applesauce should not be warm as it could affect the release properties of the medicine. Swallow the applesauce and medicine mixture without chewing. Do not save the mixture for later use. Follow with a drink of water or other liquid. Never chew or crush the capsule or the medicine beads inside the capsule.
While using this medicine, your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits. Your heart rate, blood pressure, height and weight may also need to be checked often.
If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using Ritalin. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Methylphenidate is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is later than 6:00 p.m. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of methylphenidate could be fatal.
What should I avoid while taking Ritalin?
Avoid drinking alcohol, especially if you take Ritalin LA capsules. Alcohol may cause the methylphenidate to be released into the bloodstream too fast.
Methylphenidate may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.
Ritalin side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Ritalin: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Methylphenidate can affect growth in children. Tell your doctor if your child is not growing at a normal rate while using this medicine.
Stop taking Ritalin and call your doctor at once if you have:
chest pain, trouble breathing, feeling like you might pass out;
hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not real), new behavior problems, aggression, hostility, paranoia;
a seizure (convulsions);
numbness, pain, cold feeling, unexplained wounds, or skin color changes (pale, red, or blue appearance) in your fingers or toes;