Does Ritalin Have Side Effects?

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 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: October 2013





Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.





Bookmark and Share

Related Resources
OrganizationChildren and Adults With Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) CHADD is a national nonprofit organization representing children and adults with ADHD.
OrganizationNational Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA) This organization is built around the needs of adults and young adults with attention deficit disorders.
OrganizationAmerican Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.
Related Articles
Word! ADHD ADHD is short for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
ADHD Medicines Medicine can help kids who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. Find out more in this article.
ADHD Medications Lots of teens take medicines as part of their ADHD treatment plan. Get the facts on ADHD medications.
ADHD ADHD is a medical condition that affects how well someone can sit still, focus, and pay attention. Learn more in this article.
What Is ADHD? Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common childhood behavioral disorder, but it can be difficult to diagnose and even harder to understand. Here's information about what to do if your child has ADHD.
ADHD Special Needs Factsheet What teachers should know about ADHD, and teaching strategies to help students with ADHD succeed in school.
What Is Hyperactivity? Some kids have ADHD. This disorder makes it hard for a kid to pay attention. Find out more in this article for kids.
Is My ADHD Medication Affecting My Sleep? Find out what the experts have to say
iGrow iGrow
Sign up for our parent enewsletter