Comment from: Georgia Girl, 25-34 on Treatment for 10+ years (Patient) Published: June 23

I was just reading through some of these comments about Ritalin, and I wanted to add my experiences. I was diagnosed with ADD my senior year of college (over 10 years ago) and had been taken Ritalin ever since. I agree with all the comments about experiencing the jitters and how you can operate with little sleep. Despite the side effects, it was a miracle! I had always taken the max dosage 20 mg/x3. Over the years I started to see a decrease in effectiveness and even tried other drugs - strattera, adderall, wellbuterin...nothing as effective as ritalin. Even now I feel somewhat addicted and have even exceeded the max dosage signifcantly. (For those others who had concerns - ritalin is addictive, esp mentally in my case.) Needless to say, I've gotten off of it completely for approximately 2 months. I've been struggling like all of us with true ADD, but I had to prove that I could function without it. For those of you in the same boat as me, take a break from it. Once you get back on the ritalin after a break it becomes more effective again. (Just make sure you regulate yourself...I have to divide up my doses by week, and hide the rest. If I run out then I have to make do without!) Hopefully this helps! (Please share your experiences here if anyone knows of anything else that helps with ADD/Depression.) Thanks, and Good Luck! :)

Related Reading: ritalin | strattera | adderall

Comment from: NW_Joe, 35-44 Female on Treatment for 5-10 years (Patient) Published: April 28

I have been on Ritalin 10mg 3x per day for over 8 years. They just upped the dose to 20mg 3x and 60mg Strattera. It was like turning a light switch off in my head. This medication has changed my life in the best way possible. My wife was the one telling me to get tested for ADHD. I was diagnosed with ADD without Hyperactivity @ age 30. It was very hard to find a MD doctor that believed in giving Ritalin to someone over the age of 18. I finally found a psychiatrist that would. Before I started my meds I had very hard times with home(not able to complete choirs), school (Very poor grades & placed in special class), work (avg job lasting 2-3 months), projects (I would start them and never finish them), and couldn't keep any long term relationships my whole life. My parents refused that I have had any issues with ADD or ADHD my whole life. They thought I was just the way my brain developed and I was "Lazy, Procrastinator, Unreliable, Absentminded, Never finish anything I started" I think they may have been embarrassed of the term "ADD & ADHD" in the 1970's. My family, friends, and I cannot believe the changes that the medication has done. It has changed me 180. I have some books that I also found that has helped me deal with and understand ADD. One book is called "A.D.D. & Romance" by Jonathan Halverstadt, "You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!" by Kate Kelly & Peggy Ramundo.

Related Reading: strattera

Published: January 23

Taking 10mg tab @ rate 6/day of immediate release. I'm a 200lb male. Not quite enough mg's to get through day but better than the "2 pot a day" coffee habit that I had before. I did not seek treatment until 30 years of age and so I did not take Ritalin until then. At 30yrs of age I finally had a neuropsyc exam to see if there were any learning disabilities. Diag'ed with ADHD but also with assessed IQ at above 90% of population. ADD is real and any who doubt it have no clue. It's a shame they can't experience it for one day. It was not until the neuropsyc exam, resultant ADHD diagnoses, and Ritalin script; that I found peace. Prior to I might as well have had an IQ of 50. This whole time I thought that I was below average IQ & ability. I barely grad'ed H.S. At this time my social skills were poor, I had great hyperactivity, and also no ability to focus. Resultant poor self-esteem leading to anger/frustration and then illicit drug use to "self-medicate" as they say. My life was problematic before due to impulsivity as well and the usual inability to focus. Everyone around me would joke of ADD but I didn't take it seriously. After starting Ritalin I am now a college student w/3.0 avg GPA in the hardest Mathematics sequence that exists on this planet. God Bless Ritalin. I hope that parents out there with a kid who fits this description of my past doesn't fall victim to the hype that this drug is destructive. Sure, any substance can be misused. However, if a doc recommends it for these symptoms in a person, it's worth a shot; a shot at life. My life is just beginning at and it could have started so long ago had this pharmaceutical solution been taken earlier on in my life. Look at the long-term studies of this drug. It's track record is good and my worst day on Ritalin is still better than my better days off of it. Exercise helps, Ritalin solves. If this becomes a permanent solution then so be it. I don't want to go back to the way it was... ever.

Related Reading: learning disabilities

Comment from: 25-34 Female on Treatment for 5-10 years (Patient) Published: September 18

Started to use Ritalin in high school because of mild hyperactivity which became more severe. Experienced huge change due to Ritalin and became much more focused on school, and more successful. Have been taking Ritalin since then (through college and now at work) and could not imagine life without it.

Comment from: Dina, 25-34 on Treatment for 2-5 years (Patient) Published: May 21

The Magic Pill if you actually have ADHD/hyperactivity. I was Diagnosed 3 years ago after being advised to do so by a colloge professor. Thank God I did. I had immediate major improvement on day 1. I started on the non time lapsed dose and it made me crash hard;I would end up with headaches. I loved the effects, but the headaches were becoming daily problems. My doctor put me on the time lapsed pills and I have been good for over a year now. I graduated high school with a 1.2 G.P.A, barely getting by. Stupidity was acceptance when it came to my self image. I am currently in college finishing up my degree with a 4.0. G.P.A. Not bad considering I was expelled from my first high school and maintained less than C average most of my life. It causes some jitters at first, like way to much coffee jitters, but that subsides over time. It pulls your focus so you stay in 1 lane at a time by filing your thoughts. It feels good to finally see your mind as a gift instead of a curse. Afterall, we are some quick thinkers, so just imagine being able to organize all those precious thoughts to be saved for the right time and place. Good Luck!

Comment from: maratini, 55-64 Female on Treatment for 2-5 years (Patient) Published: December 16

I am bipolar I with very refractory symptoms, particularly moderate to severe depresseion. After trying practically every anti-depressant currently available my psychiatrist suggested I try Ritalin to increase my energy and elevate my mood. I have been on it (as well as soma and requip) as adjunct therapy to lamictal, cymbalta, and abilify. Its success, in my opinion, has been remarkable.

Related Reading: ritalin | soma | requip

Comment from: ish, 3-6 Female on Treatment for 1-2 years Published: November 26

I have started giving Ritalin to my son since last year or so. He is in year one and since he started taking this medicine, he is doing great at school. he has started getting better grade at school and teachers are happy too. i do not like to take and give drugs but i think it has been working for my 6 yr old for last one yr now. i hope it continues to work like this. no major side effects apart from loosing a bit weight but i think that is okay if it helps him overall. i honestly want him to stop using this may be in few years time but time will tell..the only reason i am writing this to let everyone know that it may help your child. i wish you all good luck and please write more reviews which can help other people...thank you.

Comment from: plovell, 25-34 Female on Treatment for 2-5 years (Patient) Published: December 20

Ritalin has proved to be a life altering treatment for me. The drug itself may fall into the "bandaid" category of treatments, as opposed to your atypical SSRI anti-depressants, but I would not consider it to be overly addictive neccessarily, such as is generally the case with Xanax and other benzodiazepines. Quite honestly....to sum it up....Ritalin has the ability to restore a hapless depression patient to full, lucid cognetive abilities, and even enhance such capabilities beyond societies accepted "norm."

Related Reading: xanax | benzodiazepines | depression

Comment from: Sleepyhead628, 45-54 Female on Treatment for 10+ years (Patient) Published: November 23

I have Narcolepsy, and used Ritalin for 13 years. The best description for this drug is "A Rollercoaster" Up and Down! The upside: The drug works quickly! in 15 to 20 minutes I was ready to go. It kept me alert, and when I got the proper sleep, works very predictably, and is easy to take. Now the downside: The drug is very ADDICTIVE! I was on a very high dose (20 MG 3 X's per day)and when it wore off...WATCH OUT! Not only were the Narcoleptic symtoms of tiredness coming back, but I was also "Coming Down" After many years my wife and I determined that arguments between us occurred most frequently when I was due to take my medication. I was "Coming Down"! The medication IS MOODS ALTERING! After many years I noticed it had an effect on my nervous system, that included muscle spasms when falling asleep (Medium severity)and an extreme sensitivity to certain loud noises when tired. Hands clapping when I was tired, could send me through the ceiling. It was a rollercoaster. You went up fast...and came down hard! I know this because I was "Weaned" off of Ritalin to Provigil. It took me 6 weeks to "De-Tox" For my family...it was hell! Daddy is reducing his meds today....STAY AWAY! After about a year off the drug, The muscle spasms stopped, and the sensitivity to noises mostly sub-sided. Awareness to these facts are important. Now do not get the wrong impression here. If other drugs are not do-able, for whatever reason. For the person with Narcolepsy this drug is a GOD-SEND! It works! It's better than a life spent fighting to stay awake...and failing. But awareness of the side effects will be a tremendous advantage. Take it from someone who has 13 years of knowledge.

Related Reading: narcolepsy | muscle spasms | provigil

Comment from: 25-34 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: August 07

I've been taking Ritalin for 2 wks and it has worked wonders for me. I often get very overwhelmed at work and it has stopped. I take it as soon as I get to work and again 4 hrs later. I take 10mg each time. I have notice I tend to get head aches a little more when I am NOT taking it. I started getting a tic in my cheek today. I also take Celexa for depression and I feel like it has even made a difference in the depression, in a better way. It has not effected my sleep. I can sleep on this medication. I wish I would have taken this medication when I was a child because it has made such a big difference in my life. I needed this medication a long time ago.

Related Reading: celexa

Comment from: Lynneliz, 65-74 on Treatment for 10+ years (Patient) Published: February 28

Have been taking Ritalin 35 mg/day for 18 yrs. for ADHD. I am now 65 y/o with a thriving psychotherapy practice. It has helped me focus and stay calm -- wish I'd started it in my 20's.


ADHD Symptoms in Children See Slideshow
Comment from: alwayslateral, 35-44 Female on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: October 26

I was diagnosed with Adult ADD when 2 months ago. I started on the standard 5mg twice a day. After about 3 days I could notice a big difference in my ablility to focus and concentrate. After a week I moved up to 10mg twice a day and then 10 mg three times daily. I experienced some of the side effects; dry mouth, not hungry, sleeplessness, racing pulse and higher blood pressure, tiredness. Sleeplessness AND tiredness, well after taking the first dose you hit your peak after about 1-2 hrs and then come back down(crash) which tires you out, take the next dose and go back on that rollercoaster. I finally figured out how to space my doses out so it would be worn off by the time I needed to get to sleep and for me that was taking the last dose by 3pm so I could hit the sheets by 10pm. I hated that roller coaster ride so I talked with my doc and he put me on 20mg extended release that I take twice daily. The effect lasts between 4-8 hrs. I get up at 5am for work and then go to night school and am home by 930. Long hours to be needing focused and the extended release is the perfect fit for me. If the effect is wearing off too fast ask about the extended release and you will be a lot happier. I do get a slight headach but goes away after eating.

Related Reading: dry mouth

Comment from: on Treatment for 1-6 months Published: November 15

My 6 year old son had problems all through kindergarten with focusing and sitting still. His teacher wanted him tested for ADD/ADHD. So we took the Conners Check List. Then we got a second opinion from a child psychologist who then diagnosised him with moderate ADHD. He had started Ritalin 4 months ago. He is taking it twice a day at 10mg ea. He is much calmer and more focused now. He enjoys reading more then he did be for. All I can say it has worked for us.

Related Reading: ritalin

Comment from: jonjk85, 19-24 Female on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: November 21

I am 24 and was diagnosed with ADHD as child. I was on meds when I was younger, but at around 12 stopped taking stimulants. I am in college and the lovely distractedness has reared it's head after so many years. I am back on ritalin and couldn't be happier. My grades are improving, I can concentrate, and I feel calm all the time.

Related Reading: ritalin

Comment from: 35-44 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: May 07

I have suffered with clinical depression for most of my life, but since the "prozac" type drugs came on the market, have had control of most depression symptoms. However, the SSRIs don't seem to improve my feelings of physical "heaviness" or my fatigue. Having ruled out most other common causes of fatigue, my doctor prescribed Ritalin for me. It has worked like a charm. Even in very low doses, I no longer feel heavy and tired during the day. I've only been taking it for a few months, and have never stopped, so I'm not sure about the withdrawl problems or whether I've developed a dependency on it. I've forgotten to take it a few times (weekends) and never noticed any problem.

Related Reading: depression | prozac | fatigue

Comment from: JamieRoss, 13-18 Female on Treatment for 2-5 years (Patient) Published: November 06

Although Ritalin is quite effective in increasing work ethic, you can expect the exact same results in any other drug boosting dopamine levels; inclusive of marijuana and cocaine which have very close links to users. Do not listen to anyone who attempts to justify that Ritalin is safe, it is not. I, alongside some close friends and family, have been prescribed for several years and it is very clear the changes in our personality. The creativity and humour we once had has been replaced by depressing thoughts, mood swings and above all a very strong dependency on a drug that now dictates our lives. In contradiction to my doctor's words, Ritalin is not safe nor necessary and believe me once you begin to take it, you will find yourself lost without it.

Related Reading: dopamine | marijuana | cocaine

Comment from: GoGoSarah, 19-24 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: March 03

I was prescribed 10 mg twice a day and now I'm up to 20 mg twice a day. I have never felt better. I'm not tired anymore, I can focus more then I have ever in my enitre life. If there is noise in the back ground will studying I can still focus. It an amazing drug. I've only been on it for two months but this is the wonder drug I have been looking for my entire life. I have struggled through my educational life but now my grades are better, my mood, my marriage. Its wonderful. I do make sure that I drink a small amount of caffefine will on it to subside the side effects. This is my 'trick' to curving the negative side effects. Best wishes to all!

Comment from: califloria, 45-54 on Treatment for 2-5 years (Patient) Published: June 30

I am in my mid-40s and have been on Ritalin for 5 years. I started taking 20mg twice a day. I am now on approx. 180mg to 240mg per day, My doctor has me on 160 mg/per day, but sometimes I take an extra one for my dosage. I have chest pains, hives, blurred vision, paranoia, panic attacks, horrible anxiety, lack of motivation, my social life has gone down the toilet, i feel like i'm going slighty crazy once in a while (a minute or two ever couple days). I don't know what to do or how to cut back or stop. I don't have insurance because my individual Blue Cross plan when from $350 to $550 per month, this month. I cannot wake up in the morning w/out it. I feel like I might die and I don't care a whole lot if I do.

Related Reading: ritalin | hives | panic attacks

Comment from: [email protected], 45-54 on Treatment for 2-5 years (Patient) Published: July 15

I have been taking Ritalin for approx. 3yrs this last time at the following dose: 2 -20mg Ritalin tabs three(3)times a day About 5yrs prior to this usage I took 1-15mg tab three(3)times a day. My present usage has helped me quite a bit with both ADHD AND Bipolar Depression; however, I Still frequently and often misplace papers of importance. This is Very frustrating and can cause situational depression, that is solved when I am able to relocate my papers. I DEFINITELY have to give this med. a 2"thumbs up" sign in all respects. I occassionally experience inappropriate anger, but can usually recognize it and adapt to it before it gets detrimental. I pay CLOSE attention tha I NEVER misuse/abuse this med. and have medication left over at the end of my "months" supply by only taking one tablet for the last dose.

Related Reading: depression

Comment from: angelomqt, 25-34 on Treatment for 2-5 years Published: February 25

My son has been taking ritalin for three years now. he only takes it during the week while in school. It has helped him greatly. He is able to sit still and focus on his school work, as well as helping him stay organized while at school. For the first two years he took 5mg and now he has been bumped up to 7.5mg. I think after awhile he kind of got "immune" to the dosage. Thats when our MD bumped the dosage up to 7.5mg. Overall I have been very pleased with the results and so has he. Without ritalin I am sure he would of had to repeat 2nd and 3rd grade.

Related Reading: ritalin

Comment from: krb3311, 45-54 on Treatment for 5-10 years (Patient) Published: December 06

I have severe obstructive sleep apnea with severe hypersomnia and have been under treatment for 8 years with Ritalin. Recently, I have had an accident and have been off work. I decided to stop the Ritalin while not working. I did not suffer any withdrawal symptoms; however, I did experience a return of the severe hypersomnia, would fall asleep several times a day without my CPAP and developed hypoxic headaches as a result. I am a RN, and while I would prefer not to have to take any drug, life without the Ritalin has not been satisfying.

Related Reading: sleep apnea | hypersomnia

Comment from: blondie3, 25-34 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: June 10

I have LOVED being on Ritalin! It gives me a mental focus like "i can do this!" I have also not changed anything and lost weight on it. It gives me so much more energy and as a mom I needed a little pick me up :)

Comment from: MinaO, 25-34 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: October 10

I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was 25 years old. It finally explained my "oddness," if you will... : ). My Dr. started me out on Adderall XR @ 1st and it worked wonders, but gave me severe, daily headaches. I already suffer from migraines as it is, so that was terrible! I went off the adderall and on Zoloft. I then went about a year without any meds. I failed the state Bar exam both times I took it AND work has been a NIGHTMARE! My co-workers are always questioning my speed on work (not fast enough, not productive enough, etc...). I always feel like a failure at the end of the day! I recently started taking Ritalin and I can focus extremely well, I WANT to study for the bar and can actually sit through long sessions without being extremely bored. Downside? Sleep. Not getting any. Hence, writing in here at 2 am, when I have to be up at 6:30. : )

Related Reading: adderall | zoloft

Comment from: slightly medicated, 25-34 on Treatment for 10+ years (Patient) Published: October 20

I started taking this medication in high school. At the time I didn't realize how important it was and how badly I needed to be medicated. In college it helped me tremendously with studying, reading, testing and paying attention. At works it totally keeps me focused and gives me energy. I can follow conversations like "normal" people, pay attention and follow to movies and tv. It does reduce appetite but I make an effort to eat before I take it. And obviously it affects sleep. I try not to take my meds too late, also, my Dr also has me on trazadone (sleepy pill) There is always a possibility of addiction but your Dr should be monitoring you. (I've had countless people try to buy my Rx...even steal. Lastly, let's say you run out of your meds and you can't get them filed for a few days... in my experience I have had horrible withdrawal. I couldn't stop sleeping but when I was awake all I wanted to do was eat. I became listless and fricken exhausted for a few days. The good outweighs the bad with this drug. It's definitely abused by the wrong people.


The abbreviated term ADHD denotes the condition commonly known as: See Answer
Comment from: Amandazon247, 35-44 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: June 16

I am 37 years old and after having my son diagnosed with ADHD and going through several doctors and FINALLY going to a psychiatrist he stopped me after my sons appoinment and asked me to come see him alone he would like to test me. I was then also diagnosed with ADD. I am in the beginning of trying to control this for myself though I have been researching and controlling it for my son for over 5 years. My son takes concerta and it seems to be working for now but I have earned that sometimes you have to switch up meds to keep them effective. I would also suggest anyone needing this kind of treatment see an actual Psychiatrist he has been a life saver for me ... Anyway Ritilin is working for me so far.. I do experience the tight jaw... mild headaches and nausia. I found if I eat something about 30 minutes after taking it no headache or nausia.. I do tend to not sleep well if I take my last dose too late. But I can concentrate so much better and I get so much more accomplished. At first it did cause me to be irratable but I think that was more me being able to focus on everything going on around me instead of feeling like there was a movie playing in the background. I go back for a check up soon and it will be 3 weeks of taking this med. but so far so good.. Its not perfect or a miracle but it is helping.

Related Reading: concerta | headache


Pharmacy Editor: Eni Williams, PharmD, PhD

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