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From Nemours' KidsHealth
- Disciplining Your Child
- 5 Ways to Bully-Proof Your Kid
- Helping Kids Deal With Bullies
- Helping Kids Cope With Cliques
- Cough and Cold Medicine Abuse
- Teaching Kids Not to Bully
- Taming Tempers
- Disciplining Your Toddler
- Your Child's Habits
- Taking Your Child to a Therapist
- Connecting With Your Preteen
- Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
- How Can I Help My Child Overcome Shyness?
- My Child Is Stealing
- Teaching Your Child Self-Control
- 504 Education Plans
- Developing Your Child's Self-Esteem
- Helping Teens Who Cut
- Could ADHD Be Hereditary?
- Talking to Your Child About Drugs
- Autism Special Needs Factsheet
- Anxiety, Fears, and Phobias
- Anxiety Disorders Special Needs Factsheet
- What Is ADHD?
- Does Ritalin Have Side Effects?
- Marijuana: What Parents Need to Know
- Eating Disorders
- Drugs: What Parents Need to Know
- Cutting Special Needs Factsheet
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Oppositional Defiant Disorder Special Needs Factsheet
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Special Needs Factsheet
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Special Needs Factsheet
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Kids and Alcohol
- About Teen Suicide
- ADHD Special Needs Factsheet
- Social Phobia Special Needs Factsheet
- Separation Anxiety
- Temper Tantrums
- Childhood Stress
- A to Z: Panic Disorder
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