Methylphenidate contributes to the treatment of ADHD by increasing attention and decreasing restlessness in children and adults who are overactive, cannot concentrate for very long, or are easily distracted, and are impulsive.
Because of the potential for abuse, methylphenidate and amphetamines must be kept out of reach of children, particularly visitors and older siblings of a child being treated for ADHD.
A central nervous system stimulant, methylphenidate is also used to control narcolepsy, a condition characterized by an overpowering desire to sleep.
Methylphenidate is intended to be used as part of a total treatment program that also includes social, educational, and psychological treatment.
A clinical trial of the drug, methylphenidate (Ritalin), was conducted with 33 boys with autism spectrum disorder between the ages of 5 and 13.
When used to treat ADHD, methylphenidate and amphetamines do not have the adverse effects associated with these drugs when they are abused.
Methylphenidate is also affected by epilepsy, Tourette's syndrome, glaucoma, high blood pressure, psychosis, severe anxiety, and tics.
The most common use of methylphenidate and amphetamine in children is for control of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
The reports of growth suppression associated with amphetamines and methylphenidate are not definitive but appear to be valid.
Starting treatment with methylphenidate or amphetamines may unmask the condition, and the tics will become apparent.