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Desoxyn vs. Ritalin

Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

Are Desoxyn and Ritalin the Same Thing?

Desoxyn (methamphetamine) and Ritalin (methylphenidate) are central nervous system stimulants used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Desoxyn is also used to treat obesity after other diets or medications have been tried without successful weight loss.

Ritalin is also used to treat narcolepsy.

Side effects of Desoxyn and Ritalin that are similar include headache, dizziness, sleep problems (insomnia), loss of appetite, or weight loss.

Side effects of Desoxyn that are different from Ritalin include dry mouth, unpleasant taste in your mouth, diarrhea, constipation, loss of interest in sex, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm.

Side effects of Ritalin that are different from Desoxyn include nervousness, agitation, anxiety, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, palpitations, vision problems, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, sweating, skin rash, psychosis, and numbness, tingling, or cold feeling in your hands or feet.

Both Desoxyn and Ritalin may interact with cold medicines (decongestants), stomach acid medicine (including Alka-Seltzer or sodium bicarbonate), antidepressants, blood pressure medicines, or seizure medicines.

Desoxyn may also interact with insulin, phenothiazines, or medications to treat mental illness.

Ritalin may also interact with blood thinners, clonidine, dobutamine, epinephrine, isoproterenol, potassium citrate, sodium acetate, citric acid and potassium citrate, sodium citrate and citric acid, stimulants, or diet pills.

Withdrawal symptoms may occur if you suddenly stop taking Desoxyn or Ritalin.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Desoxyn?

Common side effects of Desoxyn include:

  • headache,
  • dizziness,
  • sleep problems (insomnia),
  • dry mouth,
  • unpleasant taste in your mouth,
  • diarrhea,
  • constipation,
  • loss of appetite,
  • weight loss,
  • loss of interest in sex,
  • impotence, or
  • difficulty having an orgasm.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Ritalin?

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.

What Is Desoxyn?

Desoxyn (methamphetamine) is a central nervous system stimulant that is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Desoxyn is also used to treat obesity after other diets or medications have been tried without successful weight loss.

What Is Ritalin?

Ritalin is a central nervous system stimulant prescription medicine. It is used for the treatment of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Ritalin may help increase attention and decrease impulsiveness and hyperactivity in patients with ADHD.

Ritalin should be used as a part of a total treatment program for ADHD that may include counseling or other therapies.

Ritalin is also used in the treatment of a sleep disorder called narcolepsy.

Ritalin is a federally controlled substance (CII) because it can be abused or lead to dependence. Keep Ritalin in a safe place to prevent misuse and abuse. Selling or giving away Ritalin may harm others, and is against the law.

Tell your doctor if you or your child have (or have a family history of) ever abused or been dependent on alcohol, prescription medicines or street drugs.

What Drugs Interact With Desoxyn?

Desoxyn may interact with insulin, cold medicines (decongestants), phenothiazines, or antidepressants. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. Metamphetamine may be harmful to an unborn baby. It could also cause premature birth, low birth weight, or withdrawal symptoms in a newborn if the mother takes methamphetamine during pregnancy. Methamphetamine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding. Methamphetamine is a drug of abuse and can be habit-forming.

What Drugs Interact With Ritalin?

Tell your doctor about all of the medicines that you or your child takes including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Ritalin and some medicines may interact with each other and cause serious side effects. Sometimes the doses of other medicines will need to be adjusted while taking Ritalin.

Your doctor will decide whether Ritalin can be taken with other medicines.

Especially tell your doctor if you or your child takes:

  • anti-depression medicines including MAOIs
  • seizure medicines
  • blood thinner medicines
  • blood pressure medicines
  • cold or allergy medicines that contain decongestants
  • Know the medicines that you or your child takes. Keep a list of your medicines with you to show your doctor and pharmacist.

Do not start any new medicine while taking Ritalin without talking to your doctor first.

How Should Desoxyn Be Taken?

For treatment of children 6 years or older with a behavioral syndrome characterized by moderate to severe distractibility, short attention span, hyperactivity, emotional lability and impulsivity, an initial dose of 5 mg Desoxyn once or twice a day is recommended. To treat obesity in adults, one 5 mg tablet of Desoxyn should be taken one-half hour before each meal.

How Should Ritalin Be Taken?

  • Take Ritalin exactly as prescribed. Your doctor may adjust the dose until it is right for you or your child.
  • Ritalin is usually taken 2 to 3 times a day.
  • Take Ritalin 30 to 45 minutes before a meal.
  • From time to time, your doctor may stop Ritalin treatment for a while to check ADHD symptoms.
  • Your doctor may do regular checks of the blood, heart, and blood pressure while taking Ritalin. Children should have their height and weight checked often while taking Ritalin. Ritalin treatment may be stopped if a problem is found during these check-ups.
  • If you or your child takes too much Ritalin or overdoses, call your doctor or poison control center right away, or get emergency treatment.
Reviewed on 2/14/2019

References:
Dailymed. Desoxyn Drug Information.
https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/fda/fdaDrugXsl.cfm?setid=f03a68d5-ed00-8a2d-af68-28be909ea85f&type=display
Novartis. Ritalin Drug Information.
https://www.pharma.us.novartis.com/sites/www.pharma.us.novartis.com/files/ritalin_ritalin-sr.pdf

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