ritalin – cons and pros —– ADD Tip o the Day 314

Here is my current take on ritalin for ADD or ADHD:

con- maybe you don’t like taking medicine, maybe prefer (unregulated) “naturals” .                                                        pro- none. try coffee?

con- Ritalin (methylphenidate) brand name is obscenely expensive                                                                                           pro – generic is not costly

con – maybe it won’t work for me                                                                                                        pro – that’s right.  works for most people. for some people it’s like a miracle, for some it’s pretty helpful, for some it’s no help at all.  unlike the antidepressants, you will know fast, in a day or two, if it will work for you.   you won’t know til you try it.

con – may cause side effects (most often upset stomach, jittery, or insomnia).                                                                    pro – usually doesn’t, but you can reduce dose or stop it  at anytime (no taper needed); any side effects are temporary.   usually don’t take after 2-3pm.  if it helps but causes side effects, you can try a different form.

con – may be dangerous.                                                                                                                   pro – scientific studies show that it’s not.  Still, I would  be careful if you have hypertension or heart disease. (see link below). it is unclear whether or not there is a problem with ritalin and pregnancy and/or breast feeding, causes some problems in animals, not tested in humans.

con- could be addictive or abusable                                                                                               pros – probably has low addictive potential.  studies show that it is not often abused or diverted, except in college kids.

con- i don’t want to be chained to a medicine                                                                                                               pro – you can take it or not, whenever you wish, and it will work (unlike antidepressants, which have to be taken regularly to work).  so skip it any day you don’t really need to focus if you want.

con   – doesn’t cure ADD or ADHD.                                                                                                pro – it sure doesn’t, but helps with focus vs. distractions, with motivation vs. inertia, with energy vs lethargy, and has some antidepressant effect (a “side effect”).

con – I want to do it on my own, not depend on a medicine.                                                                                          pro – and how is that working for you?  works for some people, especially if you’re using good strategies.  if ritalin works for you, it will make it a lot easier.

con – it can cause some weight loss                                                                                                      pro  – it can cause some weight loss

dougadd, adhd, adudlt add, adult adhd, deficit, attention, ritalin

earlier posts on ritalin  1 clik here   2 clik here   3 clik here     4 clik here

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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12 Responses to ritalin – cons and pros —– ADD Tip o the Day 314

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

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  6. Lisa says:

    The primary reason I switched from ritalin to strattera is the PITA that ritalin is to get. With it being a controlled substance, I couldn’t get refills, the doctor’s office can’t call or fax it to the pharmacy or e-prescribe it…the only way to get more is to call the doctor’s office before you run out (but you can’t call too far in advance since the prescription is only good for a week) and either pick it up at the doctor’s office or have them mail it to you and then take it to the pharmacy. For those of us who are taking this med because we have difficulty keeping track of things, remembering things, and planning ahead, it’s a lot to expect! I did like the quickness of it, though…strattera takes a couple of weeks to really kick in.


    • yes, there is that. wish i had thought of it to put it in the post as a con. hope the strattera works well.
      this is a pretty small town so my patients can call and i just leave a prescription on the patio for them to pick up. I didn’t know about the one week issue. here i can write a script and write on it – fill after sept 20. and that works.
      thank you for bringing this up.


  7. jncahill says:

    My partner hated Ritalin. Made him never want to eat, couldn’t sleep, and made him feel like a zombie all the time. I’m glad it helps some people. He hasn’t been on meds in a while because of his bad experience with Ritalin, but I’m hoping he will be up for trying something else. There was a new one but there was a side effect of “may cause sudden death” and so he won’t be trying that one.


    • sorry for the negative experience – some of those side effects might go away with lower dose and timing but probably not the zombie feeling. there are other meds to try that have some what different mechanism – might think of wellbutrin. BUT
      with that reaction, i would first question to make sure that the diagnosis is correct and that theres not something else going on instead of add or adhd or in addition to.


  8. Lorie’s article is very extensive and thorough. thank you Lorie


  9. lederr says:

    Here is a link to a great article on adult ADHD, diagnosis, treatment, comorbidity, etc. http://wp.me/p2IpfL-3e


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

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