What is Ritalin 20mg and how is it used?
Ritalin 20mg is a prescription medicine used to treat the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Narcolepsy. It may be used alone or with other medications.
This belongs to a class of drugs called Stimulants, ADHD Agents.
It is not known if Ritalin 20mg is safe and effective in children younger than 6 years of age.
What are the possible side effects of Ritalin 20mg?
This may cause serious side effects including:
New behavioral problems
Slowed growth (in children)
Skin color changes
Get medical help right away, if you have any of the symptoms listed above.
The most common side effects of Ritalin 20mg include:
Feeling nervous or irritable
Fast heart rate
Fluttering in your chest
Increased blood pressure
Loss of appetite
Tell the doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
These are not all the possible side effects of Ritalin 20mg. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Ritalin 20mg (methylphenidate hydrochloride) extended-release capsules is indicated for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
A diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD; DSM-IV) implies the presence of hyperactive-impulsive or inattentive symptoms that caused impairment and were present before age 7 years. The symptoms must cause clinically significant impairment, e.g., in social, academic, or occupational functioning, and be present in two or more settings, e.g., school (or work) and at home.
The symptoms must not be better accounted for by another mental disorder. For the Inattentive Type, at least six of the following symptoms must have persisted for at least 6 months: lack of attention to details/careless mistakes; lack of sustained attention; poor listener; failure to follow through on tasks; poor organization; avoids tasks requiring sustained mental effort; loses things; easily distracted; forgetful.
For the Hyperactive-Impulsive Type, at least six of the following symptoms must have persisted for at least 6 months: fidgeting/squirming; leaving seat; inappropriate running/climbing; difficulty with quiet activities; “on the go;” excessive talking; blurting answers; can't wait turn; intrusive. The Combined Types requires both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive criteria to be met.
The clinical program for Ritalin 20mg (methylphenidate hydrochloride) extended-release capsules consisted of six studies: two controlled clinical studies conducted in children with ADHD aged 6-12 years and four clinical pharmacology studies conducted in healthy adult volunteers. These studies included a total of 256 subjects; 195 children with ADHD and 61 healthy adult volunteers. The subjects received Ritalin in doses of 10-40 mg per day. Safety of Ritalin was assessed by evaluating frequency and nature of adverse events, routine laboratory tests, vital signs, and body weight.
Adverse events during exposure were obtained primarily by general inquiry and recorded by clinical investigators using terminology of their own choosing. Consequently, it is not possible to provide a meaningful estimate of the proportion of individuals experiencing adverse events without first grouping similar types of events into a smaller number of standardized event categories.
In the tables and listings that follow, MEDDRA terminology has been used to classify reported adverse events. The stated frequencies of adverse events represent the proportion of individuals who experienced, at least once, a treatment-emergent adverse event of the type listed. An event was considered treatment emergent if it occurred for the first time or worsened while receiving therapy following baseline evaluation.
The prescriber should be aware that these figures cannot be used to predict the incidence of adverse events in the course of usual medical practice where patient characteristics and other factors differ from those which prevailed in the clinical trials. Similarly, the cited frequencies cannot be compared with figures obtained from other clinical investigations involving different treatments, uses, and investigators. The cited figures, however, do provide the prescribing physician with some basis for estimating the relative contribution of drug and non-drug factors to the adverse event incidence rate in the population studied.
Adverse Events with Other Methylphenidate HCl Dosage Forms
Nervousness and insomnia are the most common adverse reactions reported with other methylphenidate products. In children, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, weight loss during prolonged therapy, insomnia, and tachycardia may occur more frequently; however, any of the other adverse reactions listed below may also occur.
Other reactions include:
Cardiac: angina, arrhythmia, palpitations, pulse increased or decreased, tachycardia
Gastrointestinal: abdominal pain, nausea
Immune: hypersensitivity reactions including skin rash, urticaria, fever, arthralgia, exfoliative dermatitis, erythema multiforme with histopathological findings of necrotizing vasculitis, and thrombocytopenic purpura.
Metabolism/Nutrition: anorexia, weight loss during prolonged therapy
Nervous System: dizziness, drowsiness, dyskinesia, headache, rare reports of Tourette's syndrome, toxic psychosis
Vascular: blood pressure increased or decreased; cerebrovascular vasculitis; cerebral occlusions; cerebral hemorrhages and cerebrovascular accidents
Although a definite causal relationship has not been established, the following have been reported in patients taking methylphenidate:
Blood/Lymphatic: leukopenia and/or anemia
Hepatobiliary: abnormal liver function, ranging from transaminase elevation to hepatic coma
Psychiatric: transient depressed mood, aggressive behavior
Skin/Subcutaneous: scalp hair loss
Serious Cardiovascular Events
Sudden Death and Pre-Existing Structural Cardiac Abnormalities or Other Serious Heart Problems
Children and Adolescents
Sudden death has been reported in association with CNS stimulant treatment at usual doses in children and adolescents with structural cardiac abnormalities or other serious heart problems. Although some serious heart problems alone carry an increased risk of sudden death, stimulant products generally should not be used in children or adolescents with known serious structural cardiac abnormalities, cardiomyopathy, serious heart rhythm abnormalities, or other serious cardiac problems that may place them at increased vulnerability to the sympathomimetic effects of a stimulant drug.
Sudden death, stroke, and myocardial infarction have been reported in adults taking stimulant drugs at usual doses for ADHD. Although the role of stimulants in these adult cases is also unknown, adults have a greater likelihood than children of having serious structural cardiac abnormalities, cardiomyopathy, serious heart rhythm abnormalities, coronary artery disease, or other serious cardiac problems. Adults with such abnormalities should also generally not be treated with stimulant drugs.
Aggressive behavior or hostility is often observed in children and adolescents with ADHD, and has been reported in clinical trials and the postmarketing experience of some medications indicated for the treatment of ADHD including methylphenidate. Although there is no systematic evidence that stimulants cause aggressive behavior or hostility, patients beginning treatment for ADHD should be monitored for the appearance of or worsening of aggressive behavior or hostility.
Periodic CBC, differential, and platelet counts are advised during prolonged therapy.
Patients should be advised to avoid alcohol while taking Ritalin 20mg. Consumption of alcohol while taking Ritalin 20mg may result in a more rapid release of the dose of methylphenidate.
Carcinogenesis/Mutagenesis/Impairment of Fertility
In a lifetime carcinogenicity study carried out in B6C3F1 mice, methylphenidate caused an increase in hepatocellular adenomas and, in males only, an increase in hepatoblastomas, at a daily dose of approximately 60 mg/kg/day.
This dose is approximately 30 times and 4 times the maximum recommended human dose on a mg/kg and mg/m² basis, respectively. Hepatoblastoma is a relatively rare rodent malignant tumor type. There was no increase in total malignant hepatic tumors. The mouse strain used is sensitive to the development of hepatic tumors, and the significance of these results to humans is unknown.
Signs and Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of acute overdose, resulting principally from overstimulation of the central nervous system and from excessive sympathomimetic effects, may include the following: vomiting, agitation, tremors, hyperreflexia, muscle twitching, convulsions (may be followed by coma), euphoria, confusion, hallucinations, delirium, sweating, flushing, headache, hyperpyrexia, tachycardia, palpitations, cardiac arrhythmias, hypertension, mydriasis, and dryness of mucous membranes.
Poison Control Center
Consult with a Certified Poison Control Center regarding treatment for up-to-date guidance and advice.
As with the management of all overdosage, the possibility of multiple drug ingestion should be considered.
When treating overdose, practitioners should bear in mind that there is a prolonged release of methylphenidate from Ritalin 20mg (methylphenidate hydrochloride) extended-release capsules.
Efficacy of peritoneal dialysis or extracorporeal hemodialysis for methylphenidate overdose has not been established; also, dialysis is considered unlikely to be of benefit due to the large volume of distribution of methylphenidate.