Ritalin is one of many brand names for methylphenidate hydrochloride. (Other trade names include Concerta, Daytrana, Metadate, and Methylin). It is a prescription medication used to treat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and ADD (attention deficit disorder). Certain forms of the drug may also be used to treat narcolepsy. Amphetamine stimulants such as Ritalin are known to cause withdrawal symptoms in people taking high or even abusive doses, who then stop taking it too quickly. People taking the medication at the prescribed dose for a legitimate medical purpose do not usually have withdrawal symptoms when stopping Ritalin.
Symptoms of Ritalin Withdrawal
Symptoms of Ritalin withdrawal can include but are not limited to:
- Extreme fatigue
- Changes in heart rhythm
- Psychomotor retardation: the slowing down of thoughts, movements; unintentional or purposeless physical motions
- Increased appetite
- Sleeping excessively
- Unpleasant dreams
The American Psychiatric Association specifies the major complication of Ritalin withdrawal as suicide. People withdrawing from Ritalin should be monitored for signs of suicidal thoughts or behavior. However, Ritalin withdrawal is generally not life threatening, but it can be uncomfortable. It can be so uncomfortable that people may start taking the drug again in order to relieve the withdrawal symptoms.
Ritalin Withdrawal in Newborns
A baby born to a woman taking Ritalin may experience withdrawal symptoms after birth. Pregnant women should talk with their healthcare provider about drug safety during pregnancy.
Controlling Ritalin Withdrawal Symptoms
Healthcare providers may recommend medications to help with withdrawal symptoms (such as antidepressants) and may be able to help with addiction or dependence problems. If you have been taking very high doses of Ritalin, slowly stopping the drug by decreasing the amount taken each day can help prevent symptoms of Ritalin withdrawal. This Ritalin detoxification is best handled under medical supervision at a detox treatment center.
Ritalin Abuse Help
If you are someone you know is struggling with a Ritalin abuse, please know that we are here to help. We are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about Ritalin abuse treatment.
Please call our 24 hour-helpline at 1 (888) 858-5702.