View trusted insights from KidsHealth.org, the No. 1 most-viewed health site for children, created by the experts at Nemours. We've also provided information from the most-respected nonprofit organizations.
From Nemours' KidsHealth
- 5 Ways to Bully-Proof Your Kid
- Helping Kids Deal With Bullies
- Your Child's Habits
- Taking Your Child to a Therapist
- Teaching Kids Not to Bully
- Childhood Stress
- Talking to Your Child About Drugs
- About Teen Suicide
- Temper Tantrums
- Taming Tempers
- Developing Your Child's Self-Esteem
- 504 Education Plans
- Cutting Special Needs Factsheet
- Cough and Cold Medicine Abuse
- Helping Teens Who Cut
- Could ADHD Be Hereditary?
- Social Phobia Special Needs Factsheet
- Teaching Your Child Self-Control
- How Can I Help My Child Overcome Shyness?
- My Child Is Stealing
- Disciplining Your Toddler
- Eating Disorders
- Disciplining Your Child
- Drugs: What Parents Need to Know
- Marijuana: What Parents Need to Know
- Does Ritalin Have Side Effects?
- Connecting With Your Preteen
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Special Needs Factsheet
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Helping Kids Cope With Cliques
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Oppositional Defiant Disorder Special Needs Factsheet
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Special Needs Factsheet
- Separation Anxiety
- Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
- ADHD Special Needs Factsheet
- What Is ADHD?
- Anxiety Disorders Special Needs Factsheet
- Anxiety, Fears, and Phobias
- Kids and Alcohol
- Autism Special Needs Factsheet
- A to Z: Panic Disorder
Trusted External Resources
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?
Ritalin is just one of many medications doctors use to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Ritalin, also known as methylphenidate, works by allowing kids 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: August 11, 2016