What does Ritalin do?

Ritalin is a commonly prescribed drug used to treat ADHD in adults and children. Ritalin is one trade name for Methyphendate. Methyphendate is one of the five medicines licensed for the treatment of ADHD in the United Kingdom. It is a stimulant and increases activities in the parts of the brain that control attention and behaviour. It is a prescription only medicine so must be prescribed by a doctor.

When used as a treatment for ADHD, Ritalin can help with attention and focus, concentration and fidgeting. This medicine has an influence on dopamine and norepinephrine activity the brain. The former affects our sensation of pleasure, our movement and our attention span. The latter is a stimulant. Someone who takes Ritalin may feel calmer and be less impulsive. A child with ADHD should be able to concentrate better when taking Ritalin. This will have a positive impact on their general behaviour and their focus in the classroom.

When prescribed, it is important to have regular check ups with your GP to be sure that the treatment is working effectively. There are possible side effects from taking Ritalin and it is essential that these are monitored and reported to your GP. Dosage can be altered or the treatment stopped if necessary. An alternative medicine can be found.

Ritalin (Methyphendate) can have side effects.

  • headaches
  • irritability
  • mood swings
  • trouble sleeping
  • increased blood pressure

As with any medication, there can be other side effects. This is why it is important to consult regularly with your mediacal practitioner.

Ritalin is an effective treatment for ADHD and its positive effects are complemented by different behavioural therapies.