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Ritalin is the most commonly prescribed stimulant ADHD medication used to treat symptoms of ADD in children, adolescents, and adults. Generic Name: methylphenidate

30 Comments & Reviews: Ritalin

  1. I am 23 and was diagnosed with ADHD (inattentive) about 4 months ago. I had a trial period of taking 10mg Ritalin twice a day, but found it made me really sluggish all the time. I also had bouts of blurry vision. I’ve since switched to Dexamphetamine and have seen much better results.

  2. As an adult patient, I have taken Ritalin for ADHD.

    I had positive results with it–I had a longer attention span, more energy, and found myself motivated more often to do little tasks that I usually put off. It definitely improved my quality of life.

    I metabolize drugs quickly. My biggest issue with Ritalin was that it never seemed to affect me too strongly. When it did, it was unpredictable. Besides keeping me alert, I might not notice any improvement with my ADHD symptoms for 13 days straight… but on the 14th day, I might be extra-alert and productive, so I kept taking it. I started off on a smaller dose but was taking two doses of 20mg each with a third dose as-needed. Even then, it didn’t always necessarily work.

    This was the generic Methylphenidate.

    I didn’t tend to experience any side effects except that it would sometimes make me jittery/make my heart race, but only as much as a shot of espresso might, and this was rare. I only went off of Ritalin to try something more potent (focalin).

    There were also issues being able to refill my prescription. My pharmacy sometimes wouldn’t have enough Ritalin to fill my script, but the electronic prescription couldn’t be transferred to another store due to it being a Schedule IIN substance. This also means that every time I filled the prescription, I was cutting things close, since I couldn’t pick it up more than a day or two early.

    My doctor also made a typo on the prescription once, and it couldn’t be filled until her office sent over a correction. In the meantime, everybody I talked to at my pharmacy and at my doctor’s office was treating me like an addict lying to get a fix. It was humiliating.

    That’s not the fault of the drug itself, but I think it’s a relevant experience if you’re going to be prescribed Ritalin in the United States.

  3. My ADD (cocurrent anxiety) lay hidden under the trauma of child abuse and later PTSD for 61 years. When I did start treatment Ritalin super charged my rumination and in response my doctor raised my SSRI medication.

    That combo ended badly.

    Mirtazapine replaced Zoloft and I spent the next year titrating Ritalin downward toward doses of 2.5mg four times a day. While concentration and focuss improved the benefit was lost to rumination on past trauma which continued to spiral out of control.

    Then in March this year I tried 50mg of Modafinil. Within 12 hours the mind bending rumination ceased. Yes it was almost that cut and dry. 

    Go figure!

    Over the following months including with professional help I gradually began to re establish trust in myself and others. Soon after I started and maintain a regular exercise regime. Next I put a list in my pocket of words associated with joy which I refer to regularly. Soon I discovered that the agony of writing had turned on its head into a joyful and coherent pursuit. More recently expressing gratitude has become another healthy habit along a return to church where I express that gratitude with like minded others. All this culminated last week in a game changer decision that altered how my mind reacts to Ritalin.

    I resolutely resolved that it is NOT the ‘boogey man’ waiting behind the next life event – but God. Now if you grew up with monsters you’ll appreciate how one might fall into a fearful mind set – I certainly had and it impacted my life in many negative ways.

    On a hunch I tried Ritalin again. I tried it for three days – more than enough to trigger fear. Other than my back feeling like it was on fire I found myself fear free and focussed. That said, for me modafinil is a smooth shiraz whereas ritalin is more like rot gut whisky – both can chill me but one leaves a monster hang over!

    Satisfied that how I think can alter how medication helps or hinders I have returned to my daily 50mg of Modafinil. 

    Or as I affectionately call it – MOD

  4. Ritaline 10 mg for all day long. 1 pill : accentuation of my ADHD/ 2 :better control on my emotions and my mother told me she can follow me through when I speak/ 3: feeling that I have too many things to do and becomes irritated.
    I still can’t work on my tasks

  5. I was diagnosed with ADHD four months ago aged 24.
    I was initially put on Ritalin which I reacted very badly to, I became very lethargic and cried for four days straight and became very erratic which is rare for me as I am not an emotional person. On day four I developed a tick which quickly escalated into a involuntary and continuous head motion and I became very confused. I work in a Hospital so luckily I had medical assistance on hand.

    I am now on Strattera and cannot believe the difference in my mood and concentration..

    Simulants are not for everyone and are very strong I would just like to reassure readers that alternative and effective medication is available… 🙂

  6. My son took Ritalin as a child several years ago. It worked wonders for him. But, it went through his system too quickly, so he had to take another dose at 11 a.m. at school and another at 2 p.m. Although gifted, he was in a special class at school because of behavioural problems. When a new assistant in that class asked the teacher why he was there because she didn’t believe he needed to be, the teacher said “Just wait ’til they forget his Ritalin one morning.” I also have ADD and since my son didn’t like taking it, it was bound to happen. This business about Ritalin being a gateway drug was bogus. My son is in his 30s now. He rarely smoked pot and hardly even drinks. He doesn’t like not being in control of his mind.

    My own experience with Ritalin has been positive. I’ve been on and off it over the past 20 years and have had much success with the regular release version. It improves my concentration immeasurably. Unfortunately, I also process it quickly and would often forget to take my mid-day dosage because it would be completely out of my system by then. It was my secretary who would remind me when I’d show up at her desk and forget why I was there. I couldn’t tolerate the Sustained Release version of Ritalin because my system would process it too quickly and release too much into my body at one time, causing such side effects as blurred vision and fatigue. So when I worked at home I’d have to set an alarm to remind myself to take my next dose. (It took me a few days too stop wondering why an alarm was going off at noon!) The only problem I found with Ritalin is that my ADD, which is the inattentive variety, seemed much worse after the med wore off. But that could be just a false perception. Oh and I also preferred driving without Ritalin in my system, because I could pay more attention to EVERYTHING that was going on around me. If I’d taken Ritalin, I found that I was concentrating too much on one section of the road at a time, I wasn’t looking everywhere as I normally would. Strange, eh?

  7. We just started our 10 year old on Ritalin La and we are seeing amazing results in the classroom.
    Our son says that he is quote”not bored in class anymore”.
    Lets hope that this will continue. This was a hard decision for me and my wife but seeing is believing.

  8. We trialed my 8 year old son on Ritalin twice on the doctor’s recommendation. For us, Ritalin was a total disaster. We saw zero positive effects, but the negative side-effects were horrendous. He became a wildcat.

    Like one other reviewer put it so eloquently “he is almost psychotic. He lashes out in anger, has no impulse control, is negative and down right mean to everyone and everything around him.”. My son suffered the same symptoms on Ritalin.

    When the doctor wouldn’t listen, we took him off and gave up the idea of meds for another 2 years (he’s now 10). We recently saw another doctor as the poor little guy was struggling so much in school I felt I had to give it one last try. He’s now been on Vyvanse for 3 months and it is working really well for him. He is able to concentrate, focus on tasks and his schoolwork is improving. There are very little side-effects for him on Vyvanse and, provided we take it early enough in the morning, he has no problems sleeping.

    As a parent, you know when your child is right or not right and I would urge everyone to find a good doctor who is willing to listen and work with you. The right medication can make a world of difference.

  9. I was diagnosed with ADD – Inattentive 16 years ago and started on 5 mg of Ritalin once a day. I also went through heavy training how to deal with the ADD. For 15 years the training the therapist gave me worked wonders. A year ago I noticed I was not at my best, time management and organization skills were being lost. Went to the VA, was assigned to a really great psychiatrist and started on Ritalin 5 mg twice a day. The only thing I noticed is I dropped a couple of pounds. She upped it to 10 mgs and I noticed that sleepiness after lunch had decreased. I am starting to improve in time management and organization again but not where I should be. In two week I see my doctor again and will probably go to 20 mg in the morning and 10 in the afternoon. I am just waiting for the moment I can say “So this is what it is like to be neurotypical again.”

  10. I went on Ritalin a few months ago and it was working great – until I started a new job a couple of months ago. It’s not working as well as it did when I first started it. I have been taking 30 mg twice per day.

  11. At 53 years I was started out on 5 mg. I had loss of appetite for couple months. Lost a few pounds, around 10 lbs. After 6 months, I went up to 10mg. I am very sensitive to meds. My heart also raced at first. I don’t have either problem anymore.

  12. I’m a 37 year old female that was diagnosed with ADHD. I was tried on Ritalin and was soon taken off of it as I was experiencing stroke-like symptoms. I then started on 5mg dose x2 a day and was fine on that dose and it helped! Once I was bumped up to 10mg x2 a day on the 2nd dose, my tongue felt like it was swelling and the left side of my face felt numb.

  13. I have been taking Ritalin for a few years now. I started on 5mg found it quite strong at first. I would fall asleep. Notice my speech slowing down and generally quite relaxed. In a few weeks this subsided. After 4 to 6 months I couldn’t feel it at all and increased the dose to 10mg. I stay off the Ritalin on the weekend to maintain my sensitivity.

  14. I’m 39 years old male and my doctor started me on Ritalin 5mg in the morning and another 5mg around 2pm. This is my first week and can’t really feel anything in the day but I can’t sleep.

  15. Around 5 months ago I started drug therapy for adult ADHD. In the past 1.5 months my hair loss has increased and I’m beginning to notice it feeling thinner when I make a ponytail.

  16. I am 28 and was just diagnosed with ADHD (inattentive). I have a prescription for Ritalin 10 mg 2-3x per day. I have used it for 5 days now and have experienced major crashes when the drug wears off. It seems to last 2-3 hours. When I crash after the med wears off I get headaches, mind racing, inability to focus and mood swings (depressive thoughts).

  17. I take a daily dosage of 40mg Ritalin LA in morning. The initial effect peaks at 1.5hrs, the second peak at 4hrs, and then it’s all out of my system by 6 hrs.

  18. I’m a 46 year old male. I was finally diagnosed with inattentive ADHD so I lacked the hyperactive element. I was put on 5mg IR 3 times a day and I am astounded by the difference. I do, however, notice that after about 4 or so hours I get a slump.

  19. I had been on Adderal for 20 years. I’m 71 years old. I got off of Adderal (with about three weeks of mild withdrawal symptoms) and my sex life has improved 100%.

  20. I’ve been taking 20 mg of Ritalin SR for 3 months now. I first started with the generic Ritalin SR, however it gave me horrible side effects when it was wearing off. I then began taking the brand name for Ritalin SR and also started taking 5 mg of Ritalin IR around 5pm, since the SR would wear off 6-7 hours later. The first two days of taking 20 mg Ritalin SR at 8:00 am and 5 mg Ritalin IR at 5:00 PM worked really well, I was able to focus. However after two days the positive effects decreased and now I feel tired and less motivated to do things.

  21. I presently take one 36mg Concerta XR capsule every morning, and it’s been very effective in helping me stay focused and on task at work. I noticed that when I got home from work I was struggling with keeping things organized. My doctor added a 10mg tablet of Ritalin, which I take at 4:00 in the afternoon. The extra dose has really helped with organization at home.

  22. I am now on 20mg instant release Ritalin. I can take up to five doses a day and find that 3 hours between doses is optimal. I need to be careful that if I do take a fifth dose that it is before 7pm otherwise I can be awake all night.

  23. My daughter takes 10mg of extended pill at 7am. By 4pm we have extreme mood swings, so doctor prescribed adding regular Ritalin pill to last next 4hrs.

  24. My son takes 30mg of Ritalin LA each morning and for the past week I have also been giving him the Claritin chewable tablets for children. The Ritalin seems to be wearing off quicker than it had in the weeks prior to starting the allergy medication.

  25. My 11 year old son has been taking Vyvanse for about 4 years and it worked for him. Lately he’s been having issues with anger and impulsivity when the med wears off. The doctor prescribed Ritalin LA, 10 mg(the lowest dose)The first day he took the Ritalin was Saturday so I observed him all day. It was like he had taken nothing! I couldn’t imagine sending him to school like that. On Sunday I gave him 2 pills, for the equivalent of 20mg and didn’t see much of an improvement.

  26. My 14 year old daughter just started on 10 mg of Ritalin twice a day and today I had to pick her up at school because she fainted in the library.

  27. We started our 5 year old son on Ritalin about a month ago as he was not doing well in kindergarten at all. He has responded well on this medication and is doing great in school but now, a month later, when he comes down from the medication he is almost psychotic. He lashes out in anger, has no impulse control, is negative and down right mean to everyone and everything around him.

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