Ritalin (methylphenidate) is a central nervous system stimulant. It affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control.
Ritalin is used to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Ritalin is also used in the treatment of a sleep disorder called narcolepsy (an uncontrollable desire to sleep). When given for attention deficit disorders, Ritalin should be an integral part of a total treatment program that may include counseling or other therapies.
Do not use Ritalin if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) within the past 14 days. Serious, life-threatening side effects can occur if you use Ritalin before the MAO inhibitor has cleared from your body. Do not use this medication if you are allergic to Ritalin or if you have glaucoma, overactive thyroid, severe high blood pressure, tics or Tourette's syndrome, angina, heart failure, heart rhythm disorder, recent heart attack, a hereditary condition such as fructose intolerance, glucose-galactose malabsorption, or sucrase-isomaltase deficiency, or severe anxiety, tension, or agitation