Ritalin Dosage and Responsible Use

Ritalin is a medication that is commonly used by adolescents with ADHD. Since it is a very powerful medication that comes with the potential of addiction, it’s imperative for parents to keep an eye on their child’s dose and use of Ritalin. So how do you know how much is too much?


What Is Ritalin?

Ritalin is a brand name of a prescription medication called methylphenidate that acts on the central nervous system. This common stimulant, which comes in the form of an oral tablet, is used to treat symptoms of ADHD and narcolepsy. It works by sending neurotransmitters to the brain and increasing the amount of chemicals like norepinephrine & dopamine. When used for ADHD, Ritalin quickly reduces symptoms like attention span issues, fidgeting, difficulty concentrating, and problems with listening.


How Much Ritalin Is Too Much?

The correct dose of Ritalin depends solely on the person using it. When prescribing this medication, doctors should consider a person’s age, the type of medical condition they have, the condition’s severity, and more.

Ritalin is usually started at a low dose: both because the chemicals in the drug release slowly, and because a majority of individuals who use this prescription are children under 12 years old with ADHD.

A normal dose of Ritalin is usually 5 mg, 10 mg, or 20 mg per day. Nobody should take over 30 mg of Ritalin under any circumstances. If someone purposely or accidentally uses an amount like 100 mg, they should receive emergency medical attention as soon as possible.


What Happens If You Take Too Much Ritalin?

Someone who takes more than the recommended dose of Ritalin may experience a variety of side effects, from uncomfortable to serious to fatal. First, using too much Ritalin may intensify the side effects that already come with the drug including headaches, decreased appetite, upset stomach, nervousness, nausea, moodiness, irritability, insomnia, circulation issues, psychosis, sweating, heart problems, stroke, seizures, changes in eyesight, and digestive issues.

Also, individuals who use too much Ritalin may also experience these additional side effects:

  • Feelings of euphoria
  • Restlessness
  • Muscle pain and weakness
  • Confusion
  • Faster breathing
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Addiction

The only way to avoid these symptoms is to use Ritalin responsibly and stay in contact with your doctor about any and all side effects you experience after using the medication once.


Using Ritalin Responsibly

Of course, Ritalin should always be used according to dose and should be taken by mouth 2 or 3 times per day with or without food. It should not be taken late at night due to its potential for causing insomnia. You should not stop taking it suddenly and should tell your doctor if you experience any side effects of Ritalin or want to stop using it.

Since it is a controlled substance, Ritalin use should be closely monitored by a doctor. This medication is habit-forming and can cause overdose or withdrawal. If you or someone you know develops a dependence to Ritalin, it is important to seek medical attention and mental health treatment as soon as possible. Treatment options for Ritalin dependence or abuse may include one-on-one therapy, certain medications, support groups, and more.

To learn more about Ritalin and other amphetamine addiction rehab options, contact our team of substance abuse professionals and mental health treatment representatives by calling 267.209.7312.