Developmental Pediatrics

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Does Ritalin Have Side Effects?

My child has just been diagnosed with ADHD, and the doctor put him on Ritalin. Are there any side effects I should be concerned about?
Elena

Ritalin is just one of many medications doctors use to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Ritalin, also known as methylphenidate, works by allowing children with ADHD to concentrate and focus at school and at home.

As with other psychostimulants, each child can respond somewhat differently. Many kids using Ritalin have few, if any, side effects. Others experience side effects like stomachaches, insomnia, decreased appetite, growth problems, irritability, and blood pressure problems.

To learn more about ADHD, various treatments, and possible side effects, talk to your doctor.

Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: November 2010

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