Ads from Google:

Google ad
End of ad
Google Adsense ad
End of ads.

Concerta, Methylphenidate, Ritalin Side Effects

Abstract: For most patients, Ritalin side effects are mild and stop after a short period of use.

Web4Health logo
psychologist Independent medical expert answers on psychiatry and psychology

Concerta, Methylphenidate, Ritalin Side Effects

Intelligent natural language question-answering in the area of psychology and psychiatry. Ask a simple question  Local help Info

Go the top of the page Top Forum iconDiscuss this Forum iconGet expert advice Printer Print
Written by: Martin Winkler
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 22 Jul 2008.

What are typical Concerta, Methylphenidate, Ritalin side effects?


Typical side effects of psychopharmacotherapy with stimulants like methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta) or amphetamines are usually mild and restricted to the first days or weeks of therapy. Typical adverse effects can be explained by the stimulation of the autonomic nervous system (sympathetic and parasympathetic).

The activation of the sympathetic nervous system can cause a mild increase of the pulse. But some patients report palpitations or tachycardia (trembling or fast, irregular heartbeat). Usually, this will not cause any severe problems. Blood pressure might increase slightly, but usually not more than 5 mm Hg. This is relevant for patients with hypertension problems.

Sometimes there may be symptoms of dizziness. The most common side effects due to the activation of the sympathetic nervous system are sleep problems (insomnia). So, usually stimulants should not be taken in the late afternoon or evening. (But some patients have less sleeping problems if they take a low dose of stimulants in the late afternoon because their brain calms down). Typical reactions of the parasympathetic system are:

  • low appetite and stomach problems
  • sometimes headaches

    Severe or long-lasting side effects are extremely rare! However, every medication may cause an allergic reaction. Usually, these are not caused by the stimulant, but by the additional substances in the tablet.

  • Severe toxic effects

    of methylphendiate have not been described in the scientific literature. An older, other psychostimulant called Pemolin (Cylert) has rare liver complications, so that special monitoring is required if doctors prescribe this stimulant. However, methlphenidate causes no damage or alterations of this kind.

  • Neurotoxicity

    Some people are afraid of possible alterations of nerve cell growth or brain development using methylphenidate. Actually, a German neurobiologist tried to get attention in the media by saying that methylphenidate might cause Parkinsonism. Yes, dopamine is of special importance for ADHD. Yes, psychostimulants act on the dopamine transporter in the brain. But NO, there is no connection between ADHD and Parkinson's disease. There is not a single case cited, where any ADHD child developed symptoms of Parkinson's in later life.

  • Growth Supression Read this article.
Intelligent natural language question-answering in the area of psychology and psychiatry. Ask a simple question:
Local help Info
Google ad
End of ad
Disclaimer: The documents contained in this web site are presented for information purposes only. The material is in no way intended to replace professional medical care or attention by a qualified psychiatrist or psychotherapist. It can not and should not be used as a basis for diagnosis or choice of treatment. If you find anything wrong, please notify us at .
Go to top of page To top of page
Web4Health in other languages: Finnish German Greek Italian Polish Russian Swedish

adhd-stim-sideeffect Copyright 2003-2017 Web4Health
Copyright 2003-2017 Web4Health.
Web4Health was selected as finalist for the 2008 Stockholm Challenge Award
Translate Web4Health
We seek voluntary translators who are interested in translating Web4Health to new languages. We can provide the servers, and pay you 50 % of the income from ads on pages, which you have translated. We are especially interested in translators from German To English, From German, Swedish or English to French, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Finnish, Polish, Farsi, Russian.

Advertise here
Reach 300 000 visitors reading one million pages for a cost of 600 US $/month.