View trusted insights from KidsHealth.org, the No. 1 most viewed health site for children, created by the experts at Nemours.
From Nemours' KidsHealth
- Raising a Child With Autism: Paige and Iain's Story
- Is There a Connection Between Vaccines and Autism?
- Does Ritalin Have Side Effects?
- Could ADHD Be Hereditary?
- Teaching Your Child Self-Control
- What Is ADHD?
- Sending Your Child With Special Needs to Camp
- Delayed Speech or Language Development
- Camps for Kids With Special Needs
- Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
- Understanding Dyslexia
- Asperger Syndrome
- Auditory Processing Disorder
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 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
Have a question? Email us.
Although we can't reply personally, you may see your question posted to this page in the future. If you're looking for medical advice, a diagnosis, or treatment, consult your doctor or other qualified medical professional. If this is an emergency, contact emergency services in your area.