Ritalin Pros and Cons  ritalin can turn into an embarrassing problem

Before we can figure out Ritalin pros and cons we need to know what it is.  Ritalin also known as methylphenidate is a stimulant derived from the same family as cocaine. Ritalin, like other stimulant medications, works by increasing the production of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and norepinephrine, in the brain.

Who needs Ritalin?

Little Johnny is getting into trouble at school. He fidgets and talks and moves around all the time. He won’t listen to the teacher and is constantly being put on time out.  He is disruptive and a letter goes home to take him to a Doctor as he probably has ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder).

So you take little Johnny to the Doctors and within five minutes he says, “yes he is defiantly ADHD, so (hands you a prescription) tells you he will feel much better and learn and concentrate easier with this.  Come back in a month and we shall see how he is doing.”

You have just joined the rising ADD, ADHD club; where up to 15 percent of all kids in school are on the same drug as little Johnny.  Ritalin is generally the first choice of Doctors in treating the disorders.

What is ADHD?

The three main features of ADHD are:

  • Impulsivity, the children often act before they consider consequences
  • Hyperactivity, the children struggle to sit still
  • Inattentiveness, the children have difficulty focusing on a subject because of the overload of stimuli in the environment.

Ritalin Pros and Cons

What are the Pros?

There are some obvious pros to taking Ritalin; the first is that it is relatively inexpensive.  It has been around a long time and it works quickly so you should see the result.  If your child is having troubles at school and is diagnosed with ADD or ADHD then the following maybe some of the benefits they will receive:

  • They will have more focus and listening ability
  • They will have less trouble finishing classwork and homework
  • They will fidget and squirm less
  • They will talk less
  • They will control their emotions better
  • They will be far less impatient and impulsive
  • They will have a better relationship with family and friends
  • They will have better self-esteem.

What are the cons?

Cons are sometimes hard to put into words.  The side effects can be listed.  But many parents just seem to have a hard time with the idea of medicating their children.  They didn’t have them to have zombies and that is a real fear for some.  For some the responsibility of the drug is more than they wish to have in the home.   However, The Physicians Desk Reference lists the possible side effects of taking Ritalin:

  • Anorexia, getting rid of the food they eat
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Headache
  • Dyskinesia, impairment of control over ordinary muscle movement, often resulting in spasmodic movements or tics
  • Drowsiness, sleeps all the time
  • Blood pressure
  • Pulse changes
  • Tachycardia (racing heart),
  • Angina, heart pain
  • Abdominal pain and stomach aches
  • Restlessness, sometimes severe
  • Insomnia, just can’t sleep
  • Loss of appetite and
  • Arrhythmia, irregular heart beat
  • Hallucinations and toxic psychosis may also occur in patients taking Ritalin.

So now you can see all the Ritalin pros and cons of putting your child on the drug.  The knowledge is yours, the responsibility is yours. The future of children lies in your decision.  Educate yourself and never let anyone force or tell you what to do.

Filed under: Teen Issues

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!