Methylphenidate effects can be mild to severe, depending on the individual.
All medications, in particular psychiatric medications, tend to affect everyone differently so it is difficult to predict just how a person will react.
What Is Methylphenidate?
It works by interacting with the chemicals in the brain that contribute to hyperactiivity, inattention, and impulsivity, which are the three hallmark symptoms of ADHD.
Common side effects of Methylphenidate can include restlessness, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, decreased appetite, and headache. In addition, nausea, stomach aches, dizziness, and a rapid heart beat are also common to a percentage of Methylphenidate users.
To help avoid insomnia one should stop taking stimulant medications several hours prior to bedtime. If you continue to experience sleep disturbances, notify your doctor who can make adjustments to your dosage or dosage times.
Serious Side Effects
Serious side effects of this drug can include stunted or slowed growth in children who take this medication, possible seizures (particularly in those with a history of seizures), and possible blurred vision or other changes in eyesight.
Less common, but still serious side effects, can include high blood pressure, rashes or skin irritation, depressed mood, urinary tract infections, aggression, feelings of paranoia, and visual hallucinations.
Symptoms of a possible overdose include extreme restlessness, anxiety, agitation, aggression, paranoia, twitching, and mood swings or personality changes.
An overdose can also involve feelings of depression, rapid heart beat, sudden heart attack, sweating, vomiting, swelling in various parts of the body, muscle pain, hallucinations, and psychosis (a loss of contact with reality).
Safety Issues: Black Box Warning
Methylphenidate is classified as a Schedule II drug. Schedule II drugs have a high potential for abuse, have restrictions with respect to medical use, and abuse can lead to psychological or physical dependence. Other Schedule II drugs include dangerous drugs such as cocaine and opium.
As a result, the US government requires that Methylphenidate be tightly regulated and controlled under the Controlled Substance Act.
This results in a black box warning label from the FDA (Food And Drug Administration) that states that Methylphenidate carries significant risk of adverse or potentially life-threatening effects.
Methylphenidate is amphetamine-like, and amphetamines are speed. So should you avoid Methylphenidate? While extreme caution should be exercised when prescribing powerful stimulant medications, especially for children or anyone with a history of substance abuse or addiction, the answer is not black and white.
While some users can tolerate stimulant-based medications rather well with minimum side effects, others have a more difficult time. Often, the only way to know how an individual will react is to begin a trial.
If you experience any unusual or adverse Methylphenidate effects, notify your doctor right away. Your doctor may choose to adjust your dosage, or choose to discontinue the medication altogether.