Ritalin is one of the best drugs for the treatment of ADHD in children over 6 years of age, adolescents and adults. It can also be prescribedto treat narcolepsy in adults. Ritalin is prescribed when other treatment methods and techniques for ADHD or narcolepsy proved ineffective.


To treat neurological disorders,doctors prescribe Ritalin orallywith different doses of the active ingredient Methylphenidate. Today, this psychostimulant is available in two dosage forms:

  • Oral tablets (contain 5mg to 20mg of Methylphenidate).
  • Oral capsules (contain 10mg to 60mg of Methylphenidate).

The therapeutic effect of Ritalin tablets occurs in about 20-60 minutes after the intake, and can last for 2-4 hours. The therapeutic effect of Ritalin capsules begins about 60 minutes after oral administration and lasts about 6-8 hours.

Despite the fact that Ritalin is a stimulant, it does not exert anxiolytic, anxiolytic or antidepressant effects. Therefore, it is not intended for the treatment of mental disorders, such as anxiety, depression or psychosis.

Adults are recommended to use Ritalin capsulesfor the treatment of ADHD. However, if the patient has been taking Ritalin tablets when he was a child, he can once again start using them in adulthood (if indicated).

Where other medications for the ADHD treatment are contraindicated to patients or cause serious side effects,Ritalin can be recommended as an alternative to them.

Ritalin tablets or capsules should be taken orally once a day, preferably at breakfast. Ritalin dose for children or adolescents should be individualized.

Adult dose of Ritalin

Depending on the reaction to this psychostimulant, adults with narcolepsy need to take 10-60 mg of the drug, divided into two or three doses.

For the treatment of ADHD in adults, medical specialists prescribe Ritalin 20mg per day. The maximum daily dose of the stimulant for patients older than 18 years is 80 mg.

Pediatric dose of Ritalin

Child’s age and body weight can affect the rate of drug uptake in the body, as well as the time of the onset and intensityof Ritalin therapeutic effect:

  • At the initial stage of the ADHD treatment, children must not take more than one Ritalin 5 mgpill, or no more than one Ritalin 20mg capsule per day.
  • In case a child shows insufficient responseto the starting dose of this stimulant, it can be gradually increased by 5-10 mg per day.

Patients are recommended to avoid evening doses of Ritalin, because it can cause insomnia. To avoid overdosing, children and adults are recommended to use no more than 60 mg of this psychostimulant in 24 hours.

Nervousness and/or increased appetite are possiblein patients with high response to Ritalin. If this is the case, the dose of this psychostimulant should be reduced. Dose adjustment may also be required in patients with ADHD, who continue taking the drug after growing up.

Mechanism of action

The mechanism of Ritalin stimulating effect lies in inhibiting the reuptake of dopamine and norepinephrine hormones. This psychostimulant exerts a marked effect on mental activity. inWithin a short time, this drug will help you get rid of such neurological diseases symptoms, as:

  • distractibility,
  • impulsiveness,
  • constant drowsiness,
  • emotional lability,
  • sleep attacks without warning signs.

The results of magnetic resonance imaging in patients with narcolepsy and hyperkinetic disorder prove that long-term Ritalin use helps reduce disturbances in brain structure and quickly get rid of the symptoms of these diseases.

To achieve a maximum Ritalin efficacy, neurologists usually prescribe it in combination with psychological, educational and social counseling.