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Ritalin

Ritalin (methylphenidate) is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant. It has effects similar to, but more potent than, caffeine and less potent than amphetamines. The way Ritalin works in a user is not completely understood. What is known about how Ritalin "works" is that it produces malfunctions in the brain rather than by improving brain function. This is the only way it works.

Ritalin is available as 5, 10, and 20 mg tablets for oral administration. A 20 mg extended-release tablet for oral administration is also available. Methylphenidate hydrochloride (the chemicals that make up Ritalin) is a white, odorless, fine crystalline powder.

This medication is often prescribed for children who are believed to have attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Ironically, there is no fool proof method to determine whether a person has ADHD. Additionally, in 1998 at the National Institutes of Health Consensus on ADHD, the following statement was issued: "We do not have an independent, valid test for ADHD, and there is no data to indicate that ADHD is due to a brain malfunction".

Because stimulant medicines such as Ritalin have such a high potential for abuse, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has placed tight, Schedule II controls on their manufacture, distribution, and prescription. For example, the DEA requires special licenses for these activities, and prescription refills are not allowed. Also, each state may impose further regulations and restrictions, such as limiting the number of dosage units per prescription.

Ritalin Withdrawal

Ritalin (methylphenidate) is a central nervous system stimulant, similar to amphetamines in the nature and duration of its effects. It is believed that it works by activating the brain stem arousal system and cortex. Pharmacologically, it works on the neurotransmitter dopamine, and in that respect resembles the stimulant characteristics of cocaine. When taken in accordance with usual prescription instructions, it would be classified as having mild to moderate stimulant properties, but when snorted or injected it has a strong stimulant effect.

Ritalin is an addictive drug and mimics the action of chemicals your brain produces to send messages of pleasure to your brain's reward center. Ritalin produces an artificial feeling of pleasure. Ritalin produces its pleasurable effects by chemically acting like certain normal brain messenger chemicals, which produce positive feelings in response to signals from the brain.

The result is an addiction to Ritalin because the individual can depend on the immediate, fast, predictable high Ritalin provides. At the same time, Ritalin short circuits interests in and the motivation to make life's normal rewards work. More and more confidence is placed on Ritalin while other survival feelings are ignored and bypassed. Ritalin Withdrawal varies in severity and length. The withdrawal from Ritalin addiction depends on the amount and duration of time an the individual was addicted to Ritalin.

Ritalin Withdrawal symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • agitation, insomnia
  • abdominal cramps
  • nausea
  • severe emotional depression
  • exhaustion
  • anxiety

    Ritalin Overdose

    Ritalin (methylphenidate) is manufactured by CIBA-Geigy Corporation, and is supplied in 5 mg., 10 mg., and 20 mg. tablets, and in a sustained release form, Ritalin SR as 20 mg. tablets. It is water soluble and is intended for oral use. Many non-medical users, however, crush the tablets and either snort the resulting powder, or dissolve it in water and "cook" it for intravenous injection. It is a Schedule II Controlled Substance under both the federal Controlled Substances Acts.

    A growing number of youngsters taking the drug Ritalin® (methylphenidate) experience overdose, researchers report. The study looked at the frequency of Ritalin overdose cases reported to a regional poison control center in Detroit. Children ages 6 to 9 years were at the greatest risk of overdose, compared with other age groups. Over a two-year period, 289 cases were reported. Of these, 31% developed symptoms. Most common adverse effects included tachycardia, agitation and lethargy. Most cases were due to parents or caregivers unintentionally giving patients excessive amounts of the drug.

    Signs and symptoms of an acute overdose of Ritalin include:

  • vomiting
  • agitation
  • tremors
  • hyperreflexia
  • muscle twitching
  • convulsions (may be followed by coma)
  • confusion
  • hallucinations
  • delirium
  • sweating
  • flushing
  • headache
  • hyperpyrexia
  • tachycardia
  • palpitations
  • cardiac arrhythmias
  • hypertension
  • mydriasis
  • dryness of mucous membranes
  • exaggerated feeling of elation
  • enlarging of the pupil of the eye
  • extremely elevated body temperature
  • high blood pressure
  • Ritalin Side Effects

    Ritalin (methylphenidate) is a central nervous system stimulant, similar to amphetamines in the nature and duration of its effects. It is believed that it works by activating the brain stem arousal system and cortex. Pharmacologically, it works on the neurotransmitter dopamine, and in that respect resembles the stimulant characteristics of cocaine. When taken in accordance with usual prescription instructions, it would be classified as having mild to moderate stimulant properties, but when snorted or injected it has a strong stimulant effect.

    Ritalin side effects include but are not limited to:

  • drug addiction
  • nervousness and insomnia
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea and vomiting
  • dizziness
  • headaches
  • changes in heart rate and blood pressure (usually elevation of both, but occasionally depression)
  • skin rashes and itching
  • abdominal pain
  • weight loss
  • digestive problems
  • toxic psychosis
  • psychotic episodes
  • severe depression upon withdrawal
  • loss of appetite (may cause serious malnutrition)
  • tremors and muscle twitching
  • fevers, convulsions, and headaches (may be severe)
  • irregular heartbeat and respiration (may be profound and life threatening)
  • anxiety, restlessness
  • paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions
  • excessive repetition of movements and meaningless tasks
  • while death due to non-medical use of Ritalin is not common, it has been known to occur.