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Ritalin is a medicine that can directly stimulate the central nervous system. It affects the chemicals present in the nerves and brain which are responsible hyperactivity and impulse control. Ritalin is extensively used in the treatment of attention deficit disorder (ADD), narcolepsy as well as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Things to keep in mind before prescribing this medicine:

Ritalin should be avoided in case you have taken any MAO inhibitors such as tranylcypromine, isocarboxazid, rasagiline, phenelzine or selegiline within the past couple of weeks so as to avoid serious side effects of this medicine. If you are allergic to methylphenidate or suffering from diseases such as Tourette’s syndrome, glaucoma, muscle twitches, severe anxiety or depression, agitation and tension then this medicine should be avoided. Ritalin may be a habit-forming drug and should not be prescribed for a patient who has a history of drug abuse or alcohol addiction. Administration of Ritalin should be strictly avoided in case you are suffering from any of the following diseases or ailments: -

• Glaucoma;
• Severe anxiety, agitation, tension;
• Family history of tics or Tourette’s syndrome;
• Congenital heart defect;
• Heart failure, recent heart attack or irregular heartbeat;
• High blood pressure;
• Family history of psychotic disorder, depression, bipolar illness, suicidal tendencies;
• History of drug abuse or alcohol addiction;
• Seizure or epilepsy.
Ritalin falls under the FDA pregnancy category C; hence, this drug may cause abnormalities in the embryo during pregnancy.

How to take this medicine?

This medicine must be taken exactly as it was prescribed by the doctor. Never exceed the prescribed dose as it may adversely affect your health. Take each dose of Ritalin with a glassful of water at least half an hour before a meal. Extended-release tablets of Ritalin should be swallowed as a whole instead of crushing or chewing it. These tablets have been specially designed for slow release of the medicine into the system.

What are the possible side effects of Ritalin?

Ritalin can exhibit various types of side effects which includes the following: –
• Allergic reactions leading to swelling up of face and breathing troubles;
• Light-headed feeling, fainting;
• Shortness of breath, fast and irregular heartbeats;
• High blood pressure, headache, blurred vision, chest pain, seizure;
• Red skin rash, purple spots on skin, fever, sore throat.


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