What Are Some Common Long Term Side-Effects From Taking Methylphenidate (Ritalin/Concerta)?

Question by God of Dreams: What are some common long term side-effects from taking methylphenidate (Ritalin/Concerta)?

Best answer:

Answer by DB84
I believe that it gave me depression, OCD, and anxiety. It appears that no long-term studies have been done in humans on the mental health effects associated with long-term use of the drug (which is actually very scary if you think about it). There have been documented reports of stunted growth and weight loss with Ritalin over time.

Here’s my story: I was a happy kid with a loving family and a lot of energy. I was given Ritalin at the age of 6 (now 25). I developed OCD symptoms right away (which of course they dismissed as another disorder), and over time it gave me major depression (if you overstimulate the dopamine system with a chemical for a long period of time that’s what will happen). I have recently learned that Ritalin uses the same mechanism as cocaine. They may not be the same drug but they act on the brain in the same way so the impact of long-term use will be similar, i.e. depression, anxiety. I started getting some feelings of depression in 4th grade (after 3 years on the drug) and by the time I was 15 I was so depressed that I didn’t want to get out of bed, and unfortunately I’ve tried a ton of SSRI’s and none of them work on me because it’s my dopamine system that has been screwed up by Ritalin. I can’t even work now because of the depression so it doesn’t really matter whether I did well in school or not. In the end this drug creates more problems than it solves for kids in my opinion.

Research done on rats shows very strong evidence that Ritalin causes depression, take a look at the research that was done at Harvard’s McLean Hospital. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041220013546.htm

It also causes brain atrophy. Information on that study below…

Nasrallah, H., J. Loney,S. Olson, M. Mccalley-whitters, J. Kramer,C. Jacoby. 1986.
Cortical atrophy in young adults with a history of hyperactivity in childhood. Psychiatry
Research. 17: 241-246

There seem to be fewer long-term issues with adults taking the drug though I am not positive of that. It just seems like the people that started taking it as teenagers and adults did not have the same thing happen as I did for the most part. But I could be wrong. I think that my dad, who started taking it after I was diagnosed, has had some major personality changes (i.e. mild to moderate depression, loss of humor / spontaneity) over the years on the drug. He also has some weird tics that I believe are related to the drug since there appears to be research that supports that correlation and other people have reported this happening. I think he has been on it about 17 years.

This link may also provide you with some answers to your question. http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/572351.html

I hope this helps. If you are considering this drug for a child and want more info on my experience or some of the research I have found please feel free to contact me. I will be happy to help in any way I can.

Answer by wondermom
Speaking as a doctor who treats ADD/ADHD, check out this comprehensive list of Ritalin side effects:


5 Pot Facts for 4/20
This drug, long outlawed in the United States, has gained growing public acceptance. Both Washington state and Colorado now … (On the other hand, another compound in marijuana, cannabidiol, actually decreased psychotic brain processes, the study …
Read more on LiveScience.com

Denver deaths put focus on marijuana edibles
A husband with no history of violence is accused of shooting his wife in the head, possibly after eating pot-infused candy. The two recent deaths have stoked concerns about Colorado's recreational marijuana industry and the effects of the drug …
Read more on Jackson Clarion Ledger

Your Body after Chemotherapy (Conditions A-Z) — Unfortunately the end of chemo treatment doesn’t mean it’s the end of symptoms. Find out what post chemo symptoms these survivors face. And for more videos, …

Find More Side Effects Of Long Term Cocaine Use Information…