About Ritalin and its work
Ritalin is known as a CNS stimulant. It contains a large amount of methylphenidate – a component that boosts the brain and the nerves and makes the patient hyperactive.
Ritalin has shown good efficacy in treating the following conditions: ADD, ADHD, and narcolepsy.
The drug may be used as a part of the treatment. It means that other medicines are required along with Ritalin.
How to stay safe during treatment?
Ritalin is not a harmless drug. It may be highly addictive, especially if a patient has already been addicted to any other drug or alcohol.
The wrong dosage of Ritalin can lead to multiple negative effects (including death). Make sure that your doctor is acquainted with your medical history.
Strong stimulants can cause heart attack, stroke, or sudden death. The risk is especially high for people suffering from high blood pressure or heart disorders.
The drug may have a negative effect on the mental health of the patient. There have been cases when Retalin led to worsening psychosis or causing a new one.
Groups of high risk
If you are allergic to the main component, be sure to avoid treatment with Ritalin.
In order to prevent unwanted reactions (stroke or heart attack), tell your doctor about the following conditions you may have:
- heart-related problems;
- high blood pressure;
- heart problems or sudden death among your relatives.
Ritalin is not recommended for patients who have been taking MAO inhibitors for the past 2 weeks.
Provide your doctor with the information about any other drugs you are taking at the moment. Don’t forget to mention herbs, vitamins, opioids, or antidepressants. If you are being treated for Parkinson’s disease or serious infections, make sure your doctor knows about it too.
During breastfeeding or pregnancy, Ritalin should be taken with supervision and constant control. Methylphenidate may be dangerous for the fetus by causing premature birth or low weight during birth. Moreover, the drug that a mother takes may affect the baby via milk. If your baby is agitated, or experiences problems with sleep or feeding, be sure to contact your doctor about adjusting your Ritalin dosage.
Patients under 6 are not allowed to take Ritalin in any form or strength.
Tips on taking Ritalin
The course of treatment and the dosage is determined by the doctor only. Strictly follow his instructions and don’t increase the prescribed dosage. If your doctor changes the number of pills, be sure to stick to a new treatment routine.
Since the medicine is highly addictive, you need to keep it away from other people (especially the kids and elderly relatives). Do not sell or share any unwanted Ritalin that has been prescribed to you. Do not give your pills to people with similar problems.
Ritalin can be taken orally – as IR tablets or LA capsules. Ritalin IR pills are milder, so a patient can take up 2-3 tablets per day. Ritalin long-acting capsules should be limited to one pill per day. The IR tablets are taken before the meal. The capsules can be taken upon the patient’s desire (but at the same time every day).
It’s recommended to store Ritalin away from light, heat, and moisture. A cool, dry place will do perfectly.
Any unwanted medicine should be disposed of. Call a local pharmacy and find out if they take the leftovers back. You can also throw the medicine in the trash (be sure to place it into a hermetically sealed plastic bag).
A missed dose: instructions
Sometimes, it happens. If you forgot to take your tablet, do it right now. However, if it’s time for the next dosage, stick to the usual routine. Don’t take two tablets simultaneously or within a short period of time.
An overdose: instructions
An OD can have very serious consequences (including death).
How can you understand that you took too much? The following conditions will point to the overdose of Ritalin: vomiting, anxiousness, irritation, increased breathing or heart rate, dilated pupils, fever, excessive sweating, seizures, convulsions, or coma.
Don’t do this while taking Ritalin
1) Don’t drink any kind of alcoholic beverages.
2) Don’t drive.
3) Don’t perform any dangerous activity.
The most common side effects of Ritalin
If you get any allergic reactions to Ritalin, immediately seek emergency help.
Some of the following problems can also be a sign of negative reactions to the drug. Be sure to contact your doctor in case of:
- signs of heart problems;
- signs of psychosis;
- signs of circulation problems;
- painful erection (4+ hours).
In case of the following symptoms – fever, abnormal sweating, being agitated, sickness, diarrhea, hallucinations, or increased heart rate – seek medical help.
Other side effects of taking Ritalin may include:
- increased blood pressure;
- mood swings (anxiety, being nervous or irritated);
- problems with sleep;
- abnormal heart rate, heart palpitations;
- loss of appetite/weight;
- dry mouth, stomachache, indigestion;
- headache, vertigo.
Ritalin in interaction with other drugs
As you don’t know how methylphenidate may interact with other drugs, tell your doctor about every medication you are currently taking (or have been taking recently). The list includes both OTC and prescription drugs, supplements, herbs, vitamins, and antidepressants.