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
Trusted External Resources
Does Ritalin Have Side Effects?
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 just 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, decreased appetite, growth problems, irritability, and blood pressure 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: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: May 01, 2017