Introduction to – Ritalin
Ritalin (methylphenidate) is a substance which was developed by experts in a laboratory and patented in 1954. Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporation is the company producing ritalin in the U.S. Ritalin is a widely prescribed drug. In the United States of America alone an approximate of 2.5 million individuals, both adults and children, consume Ritalin. This prescribed drug is branded for methylphenidate. Methylphenidate is actually being produced by several companies. The generic drugs produced by other companies are highly similar and are available at a lower cost.
Purpose of Ritalin
Ritalin is mainly used to treat two types of disorders ADD (Attention deficit disorder) and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Scientists believe that people do suffer from either of the two disorders because they lack some chemicals substances in their brain. The lack of the chemicals hinders proper use of the neurotransmitters (nerves communicating in the brain) and ritalin helps to revitalize this lack. Ritalin is only a temporarily cure for ADD and ADHD. It does not act as a permanent solution.
Classification of Ritalin
The United State, DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) ranks methylphenidate as a second class drug. Drugs are ranked by the association of harm, in scales ranging between 1 and 4. Ritalin is thus a controlled and regulated substance which can only be bought with the prescription by a doctor. The substance does thus carry equivalent side-effects such as amphetamine, which imposes breathing and heart problems. The drug is thus illegal for general consumption, similarly to other drug in the same class such as cocaine, opium and morphine. The interesting point is that users consuming the drug can become addict to it. However, people with either ADD or ADHD do not have this particular concern. They cannot become addict to Ritalin.
Drugs interacting with Ritalin
Ritalin is classified as a second grade drug. It has some various implications when interacted with other drugs. First of all, methylphenidate should not be consumed together with MAO inhibitors. This is because Ritalin will have various effects on the actual blood pressure. This implies that methylphenidate may diminish the strength of drugs that are geared towards treating hypertension. It is highly advised not to consume ritalin together with clonidine. The negative effect can be drastic although no apparent casualty has been encountered yet.
Side effects of Ritalin
There are various side-effects associated with ritalin. The ones that are most frequently experienced are both insomnia and nervousness which do stimulate sleeping troubles. There is list of other less frequent adverse effects of ritalin below:
- Alteration in both blood pressure and heart beat
- Abdominal pain
- Hypersensitivity (fever, skin rash among others)
- Weight loss
There have even been reports of highlighting a possibility link to Tourette’s syndrome. The link has, however, not been established. The most rarely occurring side-effect is NMS (neuroleptic malignant syndrome). There has eventually only been one report showing this particular drawback of ritalin. It is unclear how and why this shortcoming occurred. But ritalin can cause other weakening health effect to the human, apart from those listed above. The above ones are the reported and unveiled drawback of ritalin.
General information about Ritalin
Ritalin is mainly sold in capsules of 5mg, 10mg and up to 20 mg. These are taken usually more than once during a day, two or three times daily. The drug is, nevertheless, sold today by various producers and the form and strength of the ritalin may differ. This particular medicine should however, not be consumed by children below the age of 6 and by people who are prone to any of the above mentioned side-effects.