Ritalin is a medicine that has as its active ingredient Methylphenidate Hydrochloride, a central nervous system stimulant, indicated for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also called ADHD, and narcolepsy.
This medicine is a type of amphetamine that works by stimulating mental activities, so it has become popular among adults who want to study or stay awake for longer; however, this use is not recommended, and these effects are not proven.
In addition to this, methylphenidate can have various dangerous side effects for those who use it without indication, such as nervousness, increased blood pressure, palpitations, muscle spasms, hallucinations, or chemical dependence. Ritalin can only be purchased at prescription pharmacies.
What is it for?
Ritalin has methylphenidate, which is a psychostimulant. This medication stimulates concentration and reduces drowsiness, which is indicated in the treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adults.
It can also be indicated to treat narcolepsy, a disorder characterized by the manifestation of symptoms of daytime sleepiness, inappropriate sleep episodes, and sudden loss of voluntary muscle tone.
Is Ritalin good for memory and studies?
Ritalin is popular among students who call this medicine ‘the intelligence pill’ because it helps with memory and concentration, being useful during the study period; however, the efficacy of this medicine in healthy people has never been proven.
In this way, the person can even spend the night awake studying, but the attention will not necessarily improve, and he may not remember the content the next day.
Therefore, Ritalin should not be used to improve memory and concentration, being used only for the treatment of diseases such as narcolepsy, attention deficit disorder, and hyperactivity, as indicated in its leaflet. If you are a student and need a remedy to stay more awake, and you need to increase your retention and concentration.
How to take Ritalin
1. Attention deficit and hyperactivity
The dosage should be indicated according to the individual needs and clinical response of each person, also varying according to age. So the recommended dose of Ritalin are the following:
Children aged six years or older: should be started with 5 mg, 1 or 2 times a day, increasing the dose weekly from 5 to 10 mg. The total daily dose ought to be administered in divided doses.
The dosage of Ritalin LA, which are the modified-release capsules is as follows:
Children aged six years or older: can be started with 10 or 20 mg, according to medical criteria, once a day in the morning.
Adults: For people who still do not have a treatment with methylphenidate, the recommended starting dose of Ritalin LA is 20 mg once daily. People who already have treatment with methylphenidate, treatment can be continued with the same daily dose.
In adults, the maximum daily dose of 80 mg should not be exceeded, and in children, both with Ritalin and Ritalin LA, the dose of 60 mg should not be exceeded.
Ritalin is only approved for the treatment of narcolepsy in adults. The daily dose is 20 to 30 mg, administered in 2 to 3 divided doses.
Some people may need a dose higher than 40 to 60 mg, while for another 10 to 15 mg daily, it is sufficient; the attending physician will determine this. In people who have difficulty sleeping, the medication should not be administered at night, and the last dose should be before 18 hours.
It is essential not to exceed the maximum daily dose of this medicine, which is 60 mg.
The most common side effects that can be caused by treatment with Ritalin include nasopharyngitis, decreased appetite, abdominal discomfort, nausea, heartburn, nervousness, insomnia, fainting, headache, drowsiness, dizziness, changes in the heartbeat. Heart, fever, allergic reactions, and decreased appetite can result in weight loss or stunted growth in children.
In addition, because it is an amphetamine, methylphenidate can cause dependence, if misused.
Ritalin is contraindicated in people with hypersensitivity to methylphenidate or any excipient, people suffering from anxiety, tension, agitation, hyperthyroidism, pre-existing cardiovascular disorders including severe hypertension, angina, occlusive arterial disease, heart failure, hemodynamically significant congenital heart disease, cardiomyopathies, myocardial infarction, life-threatening arrhythmias and complications caused by ionic channel dysfunction.
It should also not be used during treatment with monoamine oxidase inhibitors, or at least two weeks after discontinuation of therapy, due to the risk of hypertensive crises; people with glaucoma; pheochromocytoma; diagnosis or family history of Tourette syndrome; pregnant or breastfeeding.