About Ritalin

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Ritalin, the brand name for methylphenidate, is a very habit-forming drug used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. See how Ritalin works, and understand its side effects, with information from the CEO of a pharmacy company in this free video on medicine.

Part of the Video Series: Prescription Drugs & Side Effects
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Video Transcript

This is Lois Adams, President/CEO of Freedom Pharmacy and Wellness Centers in Orlando, Florida. Today's segment is going to be about Ritalin, the generic is Methylphenidate and that is the form that most people take. It is very very habit forming. It's use to treat children with ADHD which is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Narcolepsy; a sleep disorder where patients just fall asleep during the day and get very sleepy and they, they have just a sudden attack of sleeping and it's just hard to deal with for them. Similar drugs are Strattera and Adderall and Dexadrine and these drugs are use by children and young adults with ADHD. It comes in an immediate release and an extended release; a long acting tablet and a chewable table. The dosage is usually two to three, thirty or forty minutes before eating with the last dose taken seven hours before bedtime. The extended release is one dose before bedtime and there's a reason for that because many times a dose pep up the central nervous system and patients have a tendency to just stay awake. There's a great controversy as to whether or not children and teenagers should be taking these medication. It can cause sudden death in children and teenagers with heart defects or serious heart problems. Ritalin should not be used to treat depression or excessive tiredness not caused by Narcolepsy. In other words, if you don't have Narcolepsy, then you should not be taking it for a failure to be able to sleep. You should not eat grapefruit while taking this drug. That's another issue that, that many people don't know; is that grapefruit does change the older, the metabolism of many many drugs not just this one. Patients may need a low salt and high calcium diet and that's a little bit about the drug Ritalin.


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