Ritalin for adult ADD? — ADD tip of the day 179

Most of my ADD or ADHD patients use Ritalin and find it very helpful.  Some need quite low doses and some quite high doses; everybody is different.  I am not using it.  When I tried it the small benefits (slightly better focus and slightly better get startedness) did not outweigh the small side effects (mild GI distress and slight jitteriness).  Probably this is partly because I already had developed a lot of strategies to deal with the problems over the years so there was not as much room for the medicine to help.

 A relative of mine uses a lot of vitamins and other “natural substances” which he says has helped his ADD immensely, and I assume it has.  Although watching him it might seem simpler to just take a few Ritalin.  But some people do not like the idea of “non-natural chemicals” – which I will write more about soon.  There is a lot on the net about these alternative approaches – suggestion: be cautious about the miracle cures and the costs. 

As an example of this different viewpoint, you might check out Yoly at http://mytruthseeking.wordpress.com/, who is into the alternative approach.


there is a lot of controversy about Ritalin, especially for kids.  If you look at the evidence (instead of just listening to people’s uninformed but strongly held opinions), it seems pretty clear that there are a fair number of kids on ritalin who do not need it and a fair number who need it who are not on it, probably more of the latter.  The harm done by the error is probably higher in the latter group.  In other words, the harm of omission is probably worse than the harm of commission.  But anyway, we are here to talk about adults. 

About doug with ADHD

I am a psychiatric physician. I learned I have ADHD at age 64, and then wrote two ADHD books for adults, focusing on strategies for making your life better. I just published my first novel, Alma Means Soul. Your Life Can Be Better; strategies for adults with ADD/ADHD available at amazon.com, or smashwords.com (for e books) Living Daily With Adult ADD or ADHD: 365 Tips O the Day ( e-book). This is one tip at a time, one page at a time, at your own pace. It's meant to last a year. As a child, I was a bully. Then there was a transformation. Now I am committed to helping people instead abusing them. The Bully was published in January, 2016. It's in print or e book, on Amazon.
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26 Responses to Ritalin for adult ADD? — ADD tip of the day 179

  1. Pingback: Stimulant Medicine for ADD ADHD and New Research — ADD Tip O the Day 587 | ADDadultstrategies

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  6. Pingback: Ritalin Again — ADD Tip o the Day 420 | ADDadultstrategies

  7. iamjjstone says:

    I’m really glad I found your blog. Wow, I thought I was late in finding out about my ADHD (at 33)! I’m looking forward to catching up on your posts and reading new ones.


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  10. Bobby says:

    You will also lower your cholesterol and risk of heart disease because you will be eliminating unhealthy fats from your diet.

    Instead of wolfing down your food you chew it 20 to 30
    times or more until it becomes a liquid in your mouth
    and mixed well with saliva. The truth is by doing something like this you
    actually can lose some weight fast but it can have
    unfavorable affects on your health in the long run.


    • bobby-i need strategies to help me control my weight and the chewing is certainly one, plus slowing down increases my enjoyment, gives my brain a chance to recognize i’m full before i’ve eaten a lot more.
      thank you for commenting


  11. My brother was on ritalin when he was in school and it helped him A LOT. Once he stopped, he dropped out of hs and cannot even drive his car.. I personally found that Vyvanse helped me. It nearly changed my life.


    • chica,
      we each need to find the right med, right dose, right schedule – but it can be like a miracle. sorry about your brother. often when we find something that helps us, we stop doing it; seems to be human nature.
      best wishes


  12. Pamela E says:

    I have been taking Norpramin for 17 years for my Adult ADHD and now it’s being discontinued…Would Ritalin work for me? I cannot function on a daily basis or concentrate,
    bring any project to completion or focus on one thing at a time…Therefore, going without meds is not an option….


    • i didn’t know about the discontinue???? did you mean off the market or just discontinue for you? the generic is desipramine, which should be available.
      ritalin will probably work for you, it does for most people with ADD/ADHD. here is a previous comment :
      “good thinking and good courage on your part. for some people the meds are like a miracle, for others, not so much. it always means finding the right medicine, the right dose, the right timing. and for some medicine is not the way. each person is unique.”

      otherwise, you might try strattera which would be a lot like norpramin, but probably a lot more expensive. (also the generic ritalin is a lot less than the brand name)
      i hope you have a good doctor who is knowledgeable about ADD/ADHD
      best wishes and thank you for commenting


    • pamela, no way to tell if ritalin will work, but probably is well worth a try. everyone is unique. it is specific for the ADHD and might work better than the norpramin. (it also has some antidepressant effect.) the main cautions would be if you have hi blood pressure or heart disease, need to be careful.
      best wishes


  13. Pingback: ritalin – cons and pros —– ADD Tip o the Day 314 | ADDadultstrategies

  14. Pingback: Topics from ADDerWorld —- ADD Tip o the Day 291 | ADDadultstrategies

  15. Betsy Davenport, PhD says:

    I have many times said to people who are declining to try medications for their AD/HD or refusing to let their child try medications for AD/HD that until and unless they have tried medications long enough to find the right medication at the right dose and frequency, then they aren’t making an informed choice. This has offended a few, turned on a lightbulb for most. Once I knew I had ADD, I was ready to take medications. The fellow evaluating me cautioned me not to start right away because, “they are more effective if the person is really positive and ready to give them a try.” I leaned across the desk and said, in a loud whisper, “I’m positive I’m ready.” Heavens, at my age I had tried everything else. I got a psychiatrist who was ADD friendly and agreed to let me try all the meds then available to see which worked best for me. Not just, does it work? But, does it work better than the others?


    • good thinking and good courage on your part. for some people the meds are like a miracle, for others, not so much. it always means finding the right medicine, the right dose, the right timing. and for some medicine is not the way. each person is unique.


  16. caribbe says:

    Important post, Doug. As a psychologist/social worker, I, too, am familiar with the arguments for and against the use of pharmaceutical treatment for adults and youth with ADD. Many individuals suffer without becoming more informed. I choose to take Ritilin ( generic = methylphenidate), and I tout its effectiveness. Fortunatlely, I have a well-informed prescriber and openly discuss these pros and cons.


    • thanks, good input. ritalin doesnt work for weveryone, but sometimes it is a miracle, other times maybe just helpful. like most things in life, it has its pros and cons. i want to discuss the concept of “drugs” ie medicines in more detail soon.
      thank you for commenting


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