Slideshows Images Quizzes

Ritalin

Last reviewed on RxList: 1/20/2017
Ritalin Side Effects Center

Pharmacy Editor: Eni Williams, PharmD, PhD

Last reviewed on RxList 9/9/2016

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:

Ritalin recommended dose is 10-60 mg daily given in 2 or 3 divided doses. Ritalin may interact with blood thinners, clonidine, dobutamine, epinephrine, isoproterenol, cold/allergy medicine that contains phenylephrine (a decongestant), potassium citrate, sodium acetate, sodium bicarbonate, citric acid and potassium citrate, sodium citrate and citric acid, medications to treat high or low blood pressure, stimulant medications, diet pills, seizure medicines, or antidepressants. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. There are no adequate studies of Ritalin in pregnant women. It is not known if methylphenidate is secreted in breast milk.Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Our Ritalin Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication. articles.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Ritalin Consumer Information

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.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Ritalin (Methylphenidate Hcl)

Ritalin Professional 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: serotonin syndrome in combination with serotonergic drugs, rhabdomyolysis, instances of abnormal liver function, ranging from transaminase elevation to severe hepatic injury; 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)

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors