20 January, 2015

Ritalin

Methylphenidate (Ritalin) is the most commonly prescribed psychostimulant and is indicated in the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy, although off-label uses include treating lethargy, depression, neural insult and obesity. It is most commonly known as the brand name Ritalin which is an instant-release racemic mixture, although a variety of brand names, and formulations exist. Methylphenidate is a mild central nervous system stimulant thought to exert its effect by enhancing dopaminergic transmission in the brain.


Therapeutic Uses

Ritalin is the most commonly prescribed psychostimulant and works by increasing the activity of the central nervous system. It produces such effects as increasing or maintaining alertness, combating fatigue, and improving attention.


Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy, a chronic sleep disorder characterized by overwhelming daytime drowsiness and sudden attacks of sleep, is treated primarily with stimulants. Ritalin is effective in increasing wakefulness, vigilance, and performance.


Adverse Effects

The most common side effects of taking methylphenidate study pills are nervousness and insomnia. 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; and weight loss during prolonged therapy. Very rare effects include reports of Tourette's syndrome, toxic psychosis, and neuroleptic malignant syndrome.


Important information about Ritalin

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Ritalin may cause dizziness, blurred vision, or restlessness, and it may hide the symptoms of extreme tiredness. If you experience these effects, avoid hazardous activities.

Ritalin is habit forming. You can become physically and psychologically dependent on these study pills, and withdrawal effects may occur if you stop taking it suddenly after several weeks of continuous use. Talk to your doctor about stopping this medication gradually. Do not crush, chew, or open any "once-daily" Ritalin tablets or capsules. Swallow them whole.


Who should not take Ritalin?

You cannot take Ritalin if you:


- have heart disease or high blood pressure;
- have arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries);
- have glaucoma; 
- have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), tranylcypromine (Parnate), or phenelzine (Nardil) in the last 14 days; or
- have a history of drug or alcohol abuse.

 

Before taking this drug, tell your doctor if you have:

- problems with your thyroid, 
- an anxiety disorder, 
- epilepsy or another seizure disorder, or
- diabetes.

 

You may not be able to take Ritalin, or you may require a lower dose or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

 

It is not known whether Ritalin will harm an unborn baby. Do not take Ritalin without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant. It is also not known whether Ritalin passes into breast milk. Do not take Ritalin without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.


Ritalin is habit forming. You can become physically and psychologically dependent on these study pills, and withdrawal effects may occur if you stop taking it suddenly after several weeks of continuous use. Talk to your doctor about stopping this medication gradually. Do not crush, chew, or open any "once-daily" Ritalin tablets or capsules. Swallow them whole.


How Should Ritalin be Taken?

Take Ritalin exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass of water. Phendimetrazine is either taken once a day (sustained release formula) or two to three times daily (immediate-release formula) before meals on an empty stomach.

Do not take Ritalin in the evening because it may cause insomnia.

Do not crush, chew, or open any "once-daily" phendimetrazine tablets or capsules. Swallow them whole. Never take more of this medication than is prescribed for you. Too much Ritalin could be very dangerous to your health. Store Ritalin at room temperature away from moisture and heat.


What Happens if a Dose is Missed?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose or if it is already evening, skip the missed dose and take only your next regularly scheduled dose. A dose taken too late in the day will cause insomnia. Do not take a double dose of this drug.


What Happens if Someone Overdoses on Ritalin?

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of a Ritalin overdose include restlessness, tremor, rapid breathing, confusion, hallucinations, panic, aggressiveness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, an irregular heartbeat, and seizures.


What should be avoided while taking Ritalin?

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Ritalin may cause dizziness, blurred vision, or restlessness, and it may hide the symptoms of extreme tiredness. If you experience these effects, avoid hazardous activities.

Do not take Ritalin late in the day. A dose taken too late in the day can cause insomnia.


Ritalin Side Effects

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking Ritalin and seek emergency medical attention:

- an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
- an irregular heartbeat or very high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision); or
- hallucinations, abnormal behavior, or confusion.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take Ritalin and talk to your doctor if you experience:

- restlessness or tremor,
- nervousness or anxiety,
- headache or dizziness,
- insomnia,
- dry mouth or an unpleasant taste in your mouth,
- diarrhea or constipation, or
- impotence or changes in your sex drive.

Ritalin is habit forming. You can become physically and psychologically dependent on this medication, and withdrawal effects may occur if you stop taking it suddenly after several weeks of continuous use. Talk to your doctor about stopping your use gradually.


What Other Drugs will affect Ritalin?

You cannot take Ritalin if you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), tranylcypromine (Parnate), or phenelzine (Nardil) in the last 14 days. Changes in insulin and other diabetes drug therapies may be necessary during treatment with Ritalin.

Methylphenidate should not be prescribed concomitantly with tricyclic antidepressants, such as desipramine, or monoamine oxidase inhibitors, such as phenelzine or tranylcypromine, as methylphenidate may dangerously increase plasma concentrations, leading to potential toxic reactions (mainly, cardiovascular effects). Methylphenidate should not be prescribed to patients who suffer from severe arrhythmia, hypertension or liver damage. It shouldn't be prescribed to patients who demonstrate drug-seeking behaviour, pronounced agitation or nervousness.