When is Ritalin prescribed?
Ritalin is a brand name of the drug called Methylphenidate. It acts as a stimulant of the CNS of a patient. The drug makes brain and body active and lively.
Doctors may prescribe this medicine for a person suffering from multiple disorders. You can get the full list during your counseling with a health assistant. We just mention a few conditions that can be improved with Ritalin:
- attention deficit disorder;
- attention deficit hyperactivity disorder;
In most cases, Ritalin won’t be the only remedy. For example, when dealing with ADHD, the drug is just a part of the complex treatment.
When is it dangerous to use the drug?
Despite its positive effect on the brain and body, Ritalin is not equally effective for all patients. There are many potential dangers you should know about.
First of all, the drug can be highly addictive. The risk of forming dependence on the medicine increases if you already had the cases of addiction (drug or alcohol).
People with the heart-related issues and high blood pressure have more chances to experience side effects and unwanted reactions. If misused, the drug can lead to heart attacks and even death.
Apart from physical inconveniences, Ritalin may also worsen your mental state. Patients with a history of depression, bipolar disorder or other mental issues are the most perceptive to the work of Ritalin.
Think of your own safety and take care of people around you. Don’t leave your tablets unattended.
Before treatment: tips and recommendations
Talk to your doctor before you begin taking the pills: he will determine the best possible solution based on your condition and medical history.
If you are allergic to methylphenidate or were using an MAO inhibitor (antidepressant) in the past 2 weeks, Ritalin is not a suitable medication for you.
Preventing unpleasant side effects may be possible if you tell your doctor about the medications you are taking at the moment. All kinds of medicines counts, even herbs and vitamins. Simultaneous work of several drugs is dangerous for health.
Pregnant women also need counseling with a doctor. Ritalin may be a cause of an early birth of low weight of the baby during birth. Breastfeeding is another period when a mother should be extremely cautious. All drugs will affect not only her but the baby as well.
Children under 6 cannot take Ritalin. For them, another option should be found.
What is the safe way to take Ritalin?
The best way to have an effective and safe treatment is to follow the instructions given by the doctor. Sometimes, he may adjust the dosage of the drug. In this case, you should remember to take a reduced (or increased) amount.
Sticking to the doctor’s recommendations is necessary for preventing dependence on the medicine or severe conditions (like stroke or heart attack).
You need to take Ritalin exactly as your doctor says. Normally, there are two types of medicine: IR tablets and long-acting XR capsules. They differ in strength and amount of time required to start working. That’s why the course of treatment will vary for each of these types.
When taking IR pills, you can swallow one pill before the meal (no more than 2-3 times per day). If you use long-acting XR capsules, the amount of Ritalin is bigger there. In this case, one pill per day is more than enough. Remember to take your drugs at the approximately the same time.
Medicine should be stored away from other people – kids, seniors, and vulnerable groups of adults. The best place to keep your package is a dry area at room temperature. Light, heat, and moisture exposure are not good for the medicine.
For more information, read the leaflet that comes with every package of the drug.
A missed dose: instructions
- Take the tablet as soon as you can;
- Skip the missed dose if you already need to take another one.
- Taking pills to “compensate” is not allowed.
The dangers and signs of overdose
An OD can be quite serious and lead to numerous problems (including death).
There are dozens of symptoms that point to the overdose of Ritalin. We will mention some of them: sickness, vomiting, nervousness, irritation, migraines, increased breathing and heart rate, muscle pain and weakness, vertigo, seizures, etc.
In all these cases, an emergency medical care is necessary.
General recommendations when taking Ritalin
- During your treatment, avoid alcohol.
- At the beginning of your course, don’t drive after taking the pill. You don’t know yet how your body reacts to the drug.
- Any kind of heavy machinery or dangerous tools should be avoided until you learn how the drug affects your mind and body.
The list of all side effects of Ritalin
If you get an allergic reaction to the drug, seek emergency medical help and stop taking Ritalin. The main signs of allergy include: swollen tongue and throat, hives, difficulty breathing.
If you have one of the following conditions, contact your doctor right away:
- issues with heart;
- signs of psychosis;
- signs of problems with blood circulation;
- painful erection that last for more than 4 hours.
Medical attention may be needed if you experience one of the following unpleasant conditions: agitation, hallucinations, feverishness, trembling, accelerated heart rate, and muscle pain.
The most “innocent” and mildest side effects of Ritalin include:
- sweating, increased blood pressure;
- anxiety, nervousness or irritation;
- increased heart rate;
- loss of appetite;
- stomachache, indigestion, diarrhea;
- headaches, vertigo.
Can Ritalin be taken with other drugs?
Yes but your doctor needs to know your medical history and current conditions before prescribing the medicine. Tell him about every drug you are taking – prescription or OTC medication, vitamins, supplements, herbs, etc. Your doctor will be able to determine the best course of treatment in every individual case.