Ritalin (methylphenidate) is a central nervous system stimulant. It affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control.
Ritalin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use Ritalin if you have glaucoma, tics or Tourette’s syndrome, or severe anxiety, tension, or agitation.
Methylphenidate may be habit-forming, and this medicine is a drug of abuse. Tell your doctor if you have had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
Stimulants have caused stroke, heart attack, and sudden death in people with high blood pressure, heart disease, or a heart defect.
Do not use Ritalin if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days, such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, or tranylcypromine.
Methylphenidate may cause new or worsening psychosis (unusual thoughts or behavior), especially if you have a history of depression, mental illness, or bipolar disorder.
You may have blood circulation problems that can cause numbness, pain, or discoloration in your fingers or toes.
Call your doctor right away if you have: signs of heart problems – chest pain, feeling light-headed or short of breath; signs of psychosis – paranoia, aggression, new behavior problems, seeing or hearing things that are not real; signs of circulation problems – unexplained wounds on your fingers or toes.
Before taking this medicine
Do not use Ritalin if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.
You may not be able to use Ritalin if you are allergic to methylphenidate, or if you have:
- a personal or family history of tics (muscle twitches) or Tourette’s syndrome; or
- severe anxiety, tension, or agitation (stimulant medicine can make these symptoms worse).
Stimulants have caused stroke, heart attack, and sudden death in certain people. Tell your doctor if you have:
- heart problems or a congenital heart defect;
- high blood pressure; or
- a family history of heart disease or sudden death.
To make sure Ritalin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has ever had:
- depression, mental illness, bipolar disorder, psychosis, or suicidal thoughts or actions;
- motor tics (muscle twitches) or Tourette’s syndrome;
- blood circulation problems in the hands or feet;
- seizures or epilepsy;
- problems with the esophagus, stomach, or intestines;
- an abnormal brain wave test (EEG); or
- a history of drug or alcohol addiction.