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Ritalin is a doctor’s prescribed medication used to treat ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and narcolepsy. Ritalin belongs to a class of medications called stimulants. It is the brand name of Methylphenidate. It works by changing the amount of certain natural substances in the brain.

It helps increase the ability to pay attention, stay focused on an activity, and control behaviour problems. It also helps you to organize your tasks and improve your listening skills. It affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control.

Ritalin was first synthesized in the U.S.A in 1944 and was approved for medical use in 1955. As per the report, it was one of the most prescribed medicine in the U.S.A in the year 2019.

How To Buy Ritalin?

Buying Ritalin offline is much more difficult without any verified prescription but buying Ritalin online is very simple. Ritalin is available on many online pharmacy websites. They sell Ritalin both with and without prescription. But buying it without a prescription is always risky as these sites can cost you extra charges for not providing a prescription.

Strengths Of Ritalin Available:

Ritalin is available both online and offline in the market in 2 different varieties. These are

  • Ritalin 10 mg, a small sphere-shaped, white-coloured tablet, CIBA 3 inscribed on it.
  • Ritalin 20 mg, a white-coloured capsule, NVR R20 written on it.

How To Take Ritalin?

Take Ritalin exactly as prescribed by the doctor in the prescription. Any overdose or underdose or completely stopping it immediately can harm the health of a person.

Points to remember before taking Ritalin are:

  • Read the medication guide before taking it.
  • Take the chewable tablet with water or other liquid. It helps to chew the tablet completely.
  • Take the tablet half an hour before eating your food/meal.
  • If you are taking Ritalin for Narcolepsy, take it before evening.
  • Shake the oral liquid gently before using it and take the correctly measured dose by measuring spoon or medicine cup and take it 30-45 mins before food.

Composition Of Ritalin:

The composition of Ritalin is different for different dosages.

  • Each Ritalin tablet contains 5/ 10 mg of Methylphenidate as the active ingredient.
  • Ritalin 10 mg contains lactose, magnesium stearate, polyethene glycol and starch as inactive ingredients.
  • Ritalin 5 mg contains sucrose, talc, and tragacanth as inactive ingredients.
  • Ritalin Sr tablets contain cellulose compounds, cetostearyl alcohol, lactose, magnesium stearate, mineral oil, povidone, titanium dioxide, and zein as inactive ingredients.

Dosages Of Taking Ritalin:

The dosage of taking Ritalin varies from adults to children and is different for different diseases.

For ADHD In Children:

  • For immediate release, 5 mg orally twice a day, maybe increased according to the physician. The maximum dose is 60 mg per day.
  • For extended release, 20 mg tablet per day may be increased according to the physician. The maximum dose is 60 mg per day.

For ADHD In Adults:

  • For immediate release,  20-30 mg twice or thrice per day which may be increased according to the doctor. The maximum dose is 60 mg per day.
  • For extended release, 20 mg tablet per day may be increased according to the physician. The maximum dose is 60 mg per day.

For Narcolepsy In Children:

  • For immediate release, initially, 5 mg orally twice a day which may be increased according to the physician. The maximum dose is 60 mg per day.
  • For extended-release, initially, 20 mg tablet per day, which may be increased according to the doctor. The maximum dose is 60 mg per day.

For Narcolepsy In Adults:

  • For immediate release, initially, 20-30 mg twice or thrice per day which may be increased according to the doctor. The maximum dose is 60 mg per day.
  • For extended release, initially, 20 mg tablet per day may be increased according to the physician. The maximum dose is 60 mg per day.

The Function Of Ritalin In The Human Body:

Ritalin is a Central Nervous System Stimulant. It alters certain naturally-occurring chemicals in your brain by enhancing the effects of neurotransmitters like dopamine, norepinephrine, and, to a lesser degree, serotonin.


Storage of every medicine and medicinal product is an important aspect and is different for different medications. So we need to remember some points before storing any medicine.

Points to remember before storing Ritalin are:

  • Store it at a temperature between 20- 25 degrees Celcius i.e. 68- 77 degrees Fahrenheit i.e. at room temperature.
  • Keep it away from light and moisture.
  • Keep it in a place where children cannot reach it.
  • Do not store it in the bathroom.
  • Do not keep it inside the refrigerator.
  • Keep it in a tight, light-resistant container.

Overdose And Missed Dose:


Overdose is a condition when a person takes an extra dose of medicine than the doctor prescribes for him/her. An overdose of any medication is dangerous to our health, so an overdose of Ritalin also has some bad effects on our health.

Overdose of Ritalin leads to vomiting, agitation, confusion, sweating, flushing, dry mouth, nausea, diarrhoea, fever, headache, fainting, lightheadedness, dilated pupils, muscle twitching, pounding in the neck and years, the fast pounding of heartbeats, hallucinations, seizures and loss of consciousness.

Missed Dose:

Taking medicine at an improper time and irregularly leads to a missed dose. People after missing a dose usually take a double dose which leads to overdose. In case you miss a dose, do not panic. Take the dose immediately or continue with your regular dose or consult your doctor.

Withdrawal Symptoms:

Symptoms that are shown when any medicine is stopped suddenly or accidentally are called withdrawal symptoms. All anti-ADHD pills have their withdrawal symptoms, hence Ritalin. The symptoms are depression, irritability, mood change, fatigue, nausea, stomach ache and vomiting.

Side Effects Of Using Ritalin:

Any medicine when used improper way shows dangerous adverse effects hence Ritalin shows. It shows both common and serious side effects.

Common Side Effects:

The common side effects are:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Mood change
  • Feeling nervous
  • Sleeping problem
  • Fast heart rate
  • Pounding heartbeats
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Headache

Serious Side Effects:

The serious side effects are:

  • Chest pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Lightheadedness
  • Hallucinations
  • Behaviour problem.
  • Aggression
  • Hostility
  • Numbness
  • Cold feeling in fingers and toes
  • Change in skin colour in fingers and toes.

Alternatives For Ritalin:

Finding the exact alternative is not possible, but there are some similar medications which are prescribed instead of Ritalin. These are

Natural Substitutes:

The natural substitutes are:

  • Insomnia
  • Melatonin
  • Vitamin B-Complex
  • Magnesium
  • Chamomile
  • Valerian extracts

Medicinal Substitute:

The medicinal substitutes are:

  • Adderall
  • Dexedrine
  • Cylert
  • Pemoline
  • Vyvanse
  • ProCentra
  • Zenzedi

Precautions While Taking Ritalin:

Some precautions should be taken by patients suffering from ADHD and Narcolepsy before taking Ritalin. These are

Test whether you are allergic to Ritalin or any other Stimulants.

  • Describe both your physical and mental history before the doctor.
  • Tell your doctor if you were drug abused in the past as Ritalin is habit forming.
  • Consult your doctor if you have diabetes as it can result in vision loss.
  • Test whether you have any kidney disease, liver disease, glaucoma, lung/ breathing problems or mental disorder.
  • As drowsiness is one of its side effects, one should not drive, should not operate any machine or do any serious work as it can be dangerous.
  • Using Ritalin while pregnant can harm your unborn baby.
  • Breastfeeding mothers are advised to consult a doctor and follow the advice.

Other Food And Medicine Interactions:

One should make it clear to the doctor if he/she is taking any other medicines before the doctor prescribes Ritalin as it can be dangerous if some specific medicines are taken with it.

Medicine Interaction:

Medicines which should not be taken with Ritalin are:

  • Isocarboxazid
  • Linezolid
  • Metaxalone
  • Methylene blue
  • Moclobemide
  • Phenelzine
  • Procarbazine
  • Rasagiline
  • Safinamide
  • Selegiline
  • Tranylcypromine

Food And Beverage Interaction:

Food items and beverages which should not be taken with Ritalin are:

  • Acidic foods
  • Fruit juice
  • Vitamin C supplements
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol


  • Alcohol leads to drowsiness. So taking alcohol along with Ritalin can cause severe drowsiness, dizziness, tiredness and body imbalance.
  • Cigarette smoking with Ritalin may decrease the effectiveness of the drug.
  • Acidic food increases the blood levels and effects of Ritalin.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is Ritalin different from Adderall?

Ritalin and Adderall work in the same way, but the key difference between them is that Ritalin works faster as compared to Adderall and Adderall stays longer than Ritalin in the body.

Can a person take Ritalin during work?

No, Ritalin should not be taken during working hours, as it has many negative side effects if taken during work.