Aug 18, 2011 | By Aironius French
Ritalin is a prescription drug that contains methylphenidate, a central nervous system stimulant comparable to amphetamines, according to RxList. The drug company, Novartis, brought Ritalin to market to treat narcolepsy and hyperactivity, after being approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1955. Ritalin use is much more widespread now, especially for attention deficit issues in children, and the effects of its misuse are becoming more evident.
Ritalin is a stimulant classified as a schedule 2 drug. Methylphenidate is very similar in structure, chemical behavior and physiological effect to cocaine. As a result, Ritalin can produce a "high" effect when it is misused at higher than prescribed amounts. This high effect, along with other biochemical processes, causes addiction, dependence and cravings.
In 2000, the United States Drug Enforcement Agency issued a warning for Ritalin users and stated that it has a high potential for abuse, especially if it is misused, and may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence (Reference 4). This warning was issued because not only was addiction widespread in those who abused Ritalin by snorting and injecting it, but also in those school children who were on recommended prescribed dosages. Methylphenidate also causes the body to build a tolerance against it, so more of it is required over time to produce the same effects.
Sleep Disturbance & Insomnia
Ritalin is a powerful central nervous system stimulant, which is why it is so effective for combating severe day-time sleepiness and narcolepsy. Unfortunately, when Ritalin is given to children for attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, sleep disturbance is a common side effect. In those who heavily misuse Ritalin, the sleep disturbance often develops into full-blown insomnia with severely disrupted sleep cycles. Ritalin users and abusers both display the characteristic "zombie-like" disposition of chronically sleep deprived persons.
Another common negative effect from the misuse of Ritalin is the experience of certain unwanted feelings. The higher the daily dosage of Ritalin, the stronger these feelings become. According to Daily Med, these feelings are often described as anxiety, nervousness, agitation, irritability, paranoia, depression, restlessness and even irrational anger. Violent and aggressive behavior has been reported by Ritalin users.
Negative Cardiovascular Effects
The most serious effect that a person who misuses Ritalin can experience is a sudden heart attack leading to death, although this is considered rare. DrugLib.com notes that the cardiovascular system is always over-stressed in those who take amphetamine-like stimulants, and symptoms such as heart palpitations, increased heart rate and hypertension are relatively common.
Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/250661-effects-of-ritalin-misuse/#ixzz1lAZi8HJU