What Does Ritalin Feel Like?

People who abuse Ritalin may be at an increased risk of negative side effects compared to people who take the drug as intended.

What Does Ritalin Feel Like?

Taking Ritalin can feel like your concentration, energy, alertness, and attention span are improved. Ritalin can also cause you to feel more aggressive, panicked, and prone to sweating.

You may feel these effects over a longer period of time if you are taking extended-release Ritalin, instead of the immediate-release formulation.

The intended effects and side effects of Ritalin may apply to patients taking the drug to relieve their attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. Ritalin can counteract the effects of ADHD, such as executive dysfunction and difficulty focusing on tasks.

Ritalin is a popular target for drug abuse, especially for people looking to increase their productivity. People who abuse Ritalin may be at an increased risk of negative side effects compared to people who take the drug as intended.

Intended Effects Of Ritalin

Ritalin is a brand name stimulant drug that is prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, a sleep disorder. Its main active ingredient is methylphenidate.

Ritalin works by affecting dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain, two neurotransmitters linked to motivation, reward, blood pressure, heart rate, and other important processes.

In the treatment of ADHD, Ritalin can reduce hyperactivity while improving focus. ADHD patients on Ritalin may feel like their attention span and problem-solving have improved. People who abuse Ritalin as an “upper” or “study drug” may experience increased energy and alertness.

Side Effects Of Ritalin

Ritalin’s central nervous system stimulant properties can cause side effects in anyone taking the drug. Common side effects of Ritalin include:

  • loss of appetite
  • dry mouth
  • nervousness
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • increased heart rate

These side effects can make patients feel jittery, aggressive, thirsty, and overly excited. Side effects may be more pronounced in people who abuse Ritalin, who tend to take it in higher doses.

Serious Side Effects Of Ritalin

Ritalin has potentially serious side effects in both the short-term and long-term, including several forms of psychosis and cardiovascular failure. Serious side effects of Ritalin include:

  • mood swings
  • onset of bipolar disorder
  • delirium
  • weight loss
  • heart problems
  • high blood pressure
  • Ritalin addiction
  • withdrawal symptoms

These side effects can occur in pediatric, adolescent, or adult ADHD doses. Similar to common side effects, serious side effects may be more likely in people who take Ritalin in high doses.

Experiencing serious side effects of Ritalin can feel like your mental health is declining, or that your life is starting to revolve around taking Ritalin.

Treatment Options For Stimulant Medication Abuse

Ritalin is slightly different from other ADHD medications, as it is not an amphetamine. However, both Ritalin and other ADHD medications are potent drugs with a high risk of substance abuse.

If you or a loved one are a victim of Ritalin abuse, you may benefit from a professional treatment program. Substance abuse treatment programs can help you successfully recover from long-term drug abuse. To learn about our outpatient programs, please contact us today.

Written by
Northeast Addition Editorial Team

Published on

©2023 Northeast Addition Center | All Rights Reserved

This page does not provide medical advice.

Ready to make a change? Talk to a specialist now.