Is Ritalin really safe to give your child?

Is Ritalin really safe to give your child?

Parents want to do what is best for their children. When a child is diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, the primary solution offered by a physician may be methylphenidate hydrochloride, commonly known as Ritalin. While Ritalin has been shown over the years to help many children in Nevada and across the U.S. concentrate in the short-term, just how safe is the drug over the long-term?

A popular drug

An article in the New York Times Sunday Review states that three million-plus children take a prescribed drug for focusing issues. This category of stimulants has been so popular among psychologists and parents alike, the pharmaceutical company that produces Ritalin has experienced several shortages over the years. However, the author of the Times article, a psychologist specializing in child development, has come to believe that Ritalin neither improves school achievement nor reduces behavior problems over time. In fact, the drug may have a detrimental effect. As a Reno product liability lawyer would understand, potential side effects may outweigh any short term benefit.

Long list of side effects

According to RxList, Ritalin is classified as a central nervous system stimulant. Common side effects for children may include loss of appetite, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, weight loss and sleeplessness. Some or all of these may pass as the child builds up a tolerance to the drug. Serious side effects that may require immediate medical attention consist of the following:

  • Fast, pounding or uneven heartbeat
  • Severe headache
  • Blistering skin rash
  • Prolonged aggression
  • Hallucinations

A Reno product liability lawyer would know that some children may develop motor tics from Ritalin use.  High blood pressure, stunted growth, anxiety and seizures are all possible side effects as well. In rare cases, a young boy or teen may experience a prolonged erection, which should be treated right away before permanent damage can occur.

Difficult withdrawal

In the past, it was theorized that Ritalin had a calming influence on children with ADHD, despite the fact that it is a powerful stimulant. According to the New York Times, today some people suspect that children suffer harsh withdrawal symptoms when going off the drug, similar to the experience of long-term smoker or coffee-drinker who has stopped using nicotine or caffeine. In other words, for some children, Ritalin is a dangerous drug.

Understand the risks

Just because a drug is widely prescribed does not necessarily mean it is safe for every child. A Reno product liability lawyer may be able to help if your child suffers debilitating side effects from Ritalin.