This blogsite is dedicated to Ritalin and it is intended to provide as much information about this medication as possible, covering all the aspects of Ritalin use, talking about what conditions may be treated by this medication, which side effects are possible when using it, how you are supposed to use it, etc. However, this article is an introductory one, giving the short overview of the drug and giving basic information about it.
Ritalin is a psychostimulant drug which means that it basically acts on the central nervous system and improves some of its functions. It belongs to the piperidine class of medications and it is structurally very similar to amphetamines, although it has different mechanism of action and different effects from this class of drugs.
The way in which Ritalin works is by blocking the reuptake of certain chemicals in the synapses, which leads to an increase in levels of these chemicals, ultimately leading to a number of beneficial effects of Ritalin. The chemicals whose levels it increases are mainly dopamine and norepinephrine, while some scientists also claim Ritalin also affects the levels of serotonin in the central nervous system. Among these effects of Ritalin, you will find such as increased alertness and attention, which is why one of the main uses for Ritalin is in treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, usually in children and adolescents. It has been shown to be very effective in such cases.
Ritalin is also used in treating patients who are suffering from narcolepsy, a disorder that affects a number of people that is greater than; let’s say multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease, but which is much less publicized than those conditions. Narcolepsy involves increased sleepiness during daytime, sleep disturbances during night, as well as cataplexy in certain percentage of narcolepsy patients. Cataplexy is a rather severe condition which involves the weakness of the muscles which occurs without warning and can vary in intensity and the muscles in the body that are involved. In most severe cases, it can lead to complete collapse of the body, or even temporary paralysis.
In addition to these uses, there are several more uses for Ritalin which are not that common and some of which are off-label uses. This includes using Ritalin as an adjunct in treating major depressive disorder, as well as depression in people suffering from cancer, strokes or HIV. Ritalin is also sometimes used in treating patients with substance dependence, most prominently people addicted to cocaine.
It has to be noted that Ritalin is a rather potent medication and that it is important to be very careful when using it. For instance, it has been shown that there is possibility of developing dependency to Ritalin, although this risk is very low if the medication is used exactly as prescribed. It is also very important not to use more of the medication than prescribed as this may lead to side effects that can be quite disturbing and severe if too much of the drug is taken.
As you can see, Ritalin is a medication that can make a lot of difference for people suffering from certain conditions, but it still has to be taken carefully and adhering to the prescribed regimen.