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Ritalin Side Effects Center
Pharmacy Editor: Eni Williams, PharmD, PhD
Ritalin (methylphenidate) is a central nervous system stimulant prescribed for treating narcolepsy (uncontrollable sleepiness), and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Ritalin is available as a generic drug. Common side effects of Ritalin include nervousness, agitation, anxiety, sleep problems (insomnia), stomach pain, loss of appetite, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, palpitations, headache, vision problems, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, sweating, skin rash, psychosis, and numbness, tingling, or cold feeling in your hands or feet.
Ritalin recommended dose is 10-60 mg daily given in 2 or 3 divided doses. Drug interactions include caffeine, pseudoephedrine, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), for example, isocarboxazid (Marplan). There are no adequate studies of Ritalin in pregnant women. It is not known if methylphenidate is secreted in breast milk.
Our Ritalin Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication. articles.
What is Patient Information in Detail?
Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.
Ritalin in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop taking methylphenidate and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeats;
- feeling like you might pass out;
- fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash;
- aggression, restlessness, hallucinations, unusual behavior, or motor tics (muscle twitches);
- easy bruising, purple spots on your skin; or
- dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).
Less serious side effects may include:
- stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite;
- vision problems, dizziness, mild headache;
- sweating, mild skin rash;
- numbness, tingling, or cold feeling in your hands or feet;
- nervous feeling, sleep problems (insomnia); or
- weight loss.
Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Ritalin (Methylphenidate Hcl)
What is Patient Information Overview?
A concise overview of the drug for the patient or caregiver from First DataBank.
Ritalin Overview - Patient Information: Side Effects
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
This medication may raise your blood pressure. Check your blood pressure regularly and tell your doctor if the results are high.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: numbness/pain/skin color change/sensitivity to temperature in the fingers or toes, fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat, mental/mood/behavior changes (such as agitation, aggression, mood swings, abnormal thoughts, thoughts of suicide), uncontrolled muscle movements (such as twitching, shaking), sudden outbursts of words/sounds that are hard to control, vision changes (such as blurred vision).
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: fainting, seizure, symptoms of a heart attack (such as chest/jaw/left arm pain, shortness of breath, unusual sweating), symptoms of a stroke (such as weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, sudden vision changes, confusion).
Rarely, males (including young boys and teens) may have a painful or prolonged erection lasting 4 or more hours while using this medication. Caregivers/parents should also be watchful for this serious side effect in boys. If a painful or prolonged erection occurs, stop using this drug and get medical help right away, or permanent problems could occur. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Read the entire patient information overview for Ritalin (Methylphenidate Hcl)
What is Prescribing information?
The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.
Ritalin FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
Nervousness and insomnia are the most common adverse reactions but are usually controlled by reducing dosage and omitting the drug in the afternoon or evening. Other reactions include hypersensitivity (including skin rash, urticaria, fever, arthralgia, exfoliative dermatitis, erythema multiforme with histopathological findings of necrotizing vasculitis, and thrombocytopenic purpura); anorexia; nausea; dizziness; palpitations; headache; dyskinesia; drowsiness; blood pressure and pulse changes, both up and down; tachycardia; angina; cardiac arrhythmia; abdominal pain; weight loss during prolonged therapy; libido changes. There have been rare reports of Tourette's syndrome. Toxic psychosis has been reported. Although a definite causal relationship has not been established, the following have been reported in patients taking this drug: rhabdomyolysis, instances of abnormal liver function, ranging from transaminase elevation to hepatic coma; isolated cases of cerebral arteritis and/or occlusion; leukopenia and/or anemia; transient depressed mood; aggressive behavior; a few instances of scalp hair loss. Very rare reports of neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) have been received, and, in most of these, patients were concurrently receiving therapies associated with NMS. In a single report, a 10-year-old boy who had been taking methylphenidate for approximately 18 months experienced an NMS-like event within 45 minutes of ingesting his first dose of venlafaxine. It is uncertain whether this case represented a drug-drug interaction, a response to either drug alone, or some other cause.
In children, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, weight loss during prolonged therapy, insomnia, and tachycardia may occur more frequently; however, any of the other adverse reactions listed above may also occur.
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Ritalin (Methylphenidate Hcl)
Additional Ritalin Information
Ritalin - User Reviews
Ritalin User Reviews
Now you can gain knowledge and insight about a drug treatment with Patient Discussions.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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