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Does Ritalin Have Side Effects?

Reviewed by: Shirin Hasan, MD
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My son has just been diagnosed with ADHD, and the doctor put him on Ritalin. Are there any side effects I should know about?

Ritalin is one of many medicines doctors use to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Ritalin (also known as methylphenidate) helps kids with ADHD concentrate and focus at school and at home.

Ritalin is a stimulant, a type of medicine that increases alertness. As with other medicines, each child can respond to it differently. Many kids using Ritalin have few, if any, side effects. Others have side effects like stomachaches, insomnia, tics, decreased appetite, irritability, and blood pressure problems. Rarely, they can have growth problems.

Be sure to talk with your son's doctor if you need more information about ADHD, as well as its treatments and their possible side effects.

Reviewed by: Shirin Hasan, MD
Date reviewed: July 2020