Ritalin is one of the most commonly prescribed medications to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The drug contains methylphenidate, a central nervous system stimulant that acts on certain parts of the brain. While the medication is effective in treating ADHD, the drug also has several negative side effects including a high risk of addiction and cardiovascular problems. Fortunately, there are several alternatives to Ritalin that provide similar benefits without the risks.
Alternatives to Ritalin
Many people who have an addiction to Ritalin Ritalin replacements find themselves asking, “What are the alternatives to Ritalin?” Ritalin is a prescription-only drug and should only be used by individuals who are properly diagnosed with ADHD or narcolepsy. When used according to a doctor’s instructions, the drug has a calming effect and can help people focus on tasks. Ritalin is available in tablet, capsule, and sustained-release forms and is used by children, teenagers, and adults.
When Ritalin was first developed, it was designed with kindergarteners and first graders in mind. However, as students get older, they need to stay focused longer in school. Consequently, technology has been developed to deliver a dose that will last for 3-4 hours or more. This is a significant improvement over the original formulation which only lasted three or four hours at best.
Like other CNS stimulants, Ritalin works by increasing the amount of dopamine that reaches neuron receptors in the brain. Dopamine is a naturally occurring chemical that stimulates the reward center in the brain. It is associated with feelings of pleasure, motivation, and control. In those with ADHD, dopamine is not produced in sufficient quantities to activate the brain’s reward system. Ritalin helps dopamine reach receptors, which can lead to feelings of pleasure and increased motivation.
The effects of Ritalin last between three and four hours. During this time, it is important to avoid foods or drinks with caffeine as it can increase the drug’s effects. It is also important to stay hydrated while taking the drug. In addition, it is vital to report any signs of heart problems to a physician as the drug can increase heart rate and blood pressure. This is especially true for people with structural cardiac abnormalities, high blood pressure, a family history of heart disease, or if they have ever had a heart attack, stroke, or other heart-related problems.
In addition, Ritalin can interfere with the production of serotonin and dopamine, two chemicals that are responsible for feelings of calm and well-being. Therefore, it is important to report any changes in mood to a physician. It is also important to inform a physician if an individual has a history of mental illness, such as bipolar disorder or depression. Lastly, people who are taking a MAO inhibitor should not take this medication as it can cause a dangerous reaction. These MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, and tranylcypromine. Taking these medications together can result in dangerously high blood pressure and heart rates.