Doctors often prescribe Ritalin for the treatment of ADHD and sometimes for narcolepsy. Ritalin can cause various side effects and also has the potential for misuse and addiction.

Ritalin is the brand name for methylphenidate, a medication that stimulates the production of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. Experts believe that these two chemicals play an important role in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Some people misuse Ritalin because of the stimulant effect it has on the brain.

In this article, we look at the side effects of Ritalin along with its uses, dosage, and precautions. We also discuss Ritalin addiction, whether long-term use is harmful, and when to see a doctor.

As with all medications, Ritalin can cause side effects in some people. The following table lists the of Ritalin:

Very commonCommonRare
nervousnessanxietyconvulsions
sleeplessnessagitationtics
stomach upsetrestlessness and feeling jitterystroke
dry mouthheadachevisual disturbances
upper respiratory infectionsdrowsinessblurred vision
decreased appetitedizzinessabnormal liver function
uncontrolled, involuntary movementsdrug-induced skin diseases
coughmuscle cramps
abdominal painsevere allergic reactions
vomitingblood disorders
heartburn
toothache
rapid heartbeat
increased blood pressure
rash
fever
hair loss
excessive sweating
joint pain

ritalin side effects tablets
Doctors prescribe Ritalin for the treatment of ADHD in children and adults.

The have approved Ritalin for the treatment of ADHD in children and adults.

ADHD is a behavioral disorder that affects a person's ability to focus and pay attention. Other symptoms can include impulsivity and hyperactivity.

Doctors also prescribe Ritalin as a second-line treatment option for people with narcolepsy.

Narcolepsy is a rare, neurological disorder that affects a person's sleeping and waking patterns. People may feel tired throughout the day and can be prone to suddenly falling asleep in the middle of daily activities.

Doctors may sometimes also prescribe Ritalin off-label to help reduce fatigue in people with cancer or to treat symptoms of depression in older adults.

Some people misuse Ritalin for its stimulant and memory effects. In the United States, the federal government classify Ritalin as a , which means that it has a high risk of misuse and can cause severe psychological and physical dependence.

People should monitor their fingers and toes in cold temperatures when taking Ritalin.

Anyone who has an allergy to Ritalin or medications containing methylphenidate should not take Ritalin.

People taking monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) antidepressants should also avoid Ritalin because the two drugs interact with each other. The that people stop taking MAOIs 14 days before starting Ritalin.

Ritalin can cause small increases in blood pressure and heart rate, so doctors will exercise caution when prescribing this medication to individuals with hypertension and tachycardia.

There have been of sudden death in children with heart conditions who were taking Ritalin.

Similarly, people with structural abnormalities of the heart should not take Ritalin.

Before a doctor prescribes Ritalin, they will assess the person for preexisting psychotic or bipolar disorders, as Ritalin can worsen symptoms of these conditions.

In rare cases, Ritalin can cause or worsen Raynaud phenomenon. Raynaud phenomenon is a condition where the blood vessels in the fingers and toes restrict blood flow in response to cold temperatures and stress.

When people are taking Ritalin, they should monitor their fingers and toes in cold temperatures and when under stress and report any changes to their doctor.