How long does Ritalin withdrawal last?

Ritalin withdrawal lasts from a few days to a few months after your last Ritalin dose. In fact, protracted Ritalin withdrawal can take weeks to months to resolve. More on how long Ritalin withdrawal lasts here.

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Are you ready to stop taking Ritalin (methylphenidate)?

What happens when you stop taking Ritalin? When you decide to detox from Ritalin after taking Ritalin for more than a few weeks, you will go through withdrawal.  Although Ritalin stays in your system for a few days after use, withdrawal from Ritalin starts a few hours after your next expected dose.

While withdrawing from Ritalin is an uncomfortable experience, it is not life threatening. So how long does it last? (for several weeks). More here on how long Ritalin withdrawal lasts, with a section for your questions about Ritalin at the end.

How long until Ritalin withdrawal starts?

Ritalin time in the body is up to 12 hours. Overall effects of immediate release Ritalin typically last 4-8 hours, while residual effects can last up to 12 hours. Overall effects of extended release Ritalin typically last for 12 hours, while residual effect can last up to 24 hours. Once you have decided to stop taking Ritalin, withdrawal symptoms can start as early as a few hours after the effect of Ritalin has worn off. The most common symptoms of withdrawal from Ritalin include:

  • agitation
  • change in heart rate
  • depression
  • extreme fatigue
  • nausea
  • nervousness
  • unpleasant dreams

How long do Ritalin withdrawal symptoms last?

Symptoms of Ritalin withdrawal can last anywhere between a few days to several months after you last take the medication. The harsher, acute effects of withdrawal should resolve within about a month. However, people have reported still feeling fatigue and increased appetite, depression, and cravings long after the initial 30 days.

Ritalin withdrawal timeline

Ritalin affects people differently. In fact, symptoms of withdrawing from Ritalin will change from person to person. However, it can take days to weeks to completely remove Ritalin from the system. It is important to note that because Ritalin is a stimulant, withdrawal symptoms can be delayed. Furthermore, severe withdrawal from Ritalin has been compared to the street drug cocaine as both affect the brain and body similarly. In sum, it may take several weeks to months to no longer feel the effects of Ritalin withdrawal symptoms, especially for those who are abusing Ritalin and have developed a psychological need for it.

The first 24 – 72 hours of Ritalin withdrawal – General onset of symptoms can manifest shortly after the drug has worn off and linger for up to a few months after methylphenidate is totally out of the system. Intense fatigue, agitation/nervousness, continuing stimulation, and drug craving are typical symptoms that occur during the first days after coming off Ritalin. The worst onset of symptoms (fatigue, change in heartbeat, nausea) often occurs directly after withdrawal or coming off of Ritalin. Many people report that the most common reaction to acute Ritalin withdrawal is that of depression, nervousness, and fatigue. You might also experience uncontrollable shaking.

Week 1 Ritalin withdrawal – In the first week after stopping Ritalin, symptoms of withdrawal tend to even out with an apparent return to “normalcy”, although drug craving may occur and disturbed sleeping patterns are common. During this phase of withdrawal symptoms can include; depression, exhaustion, extreme fatigue, and an increase appetite.

Week 2 Ritalin withdrawal – Protracted withdrawal symptoms manifest at week two. Anxiety, nervousness, and depression which shows up on the onset with reappear during week two. Waves of severe drug craving also arise during week two of withdrawal as well as continued issues with sleep and fatigue.

Week 3-4 Ritalin withdrawal – During this phase of withdrawal, nervousness, and depression may still be present. Additionally, long periods or disturbances in sleep are still reported. You might also still crave Ritalin as the physical dependence starts to decrease the need to take it might still really affect you as stressors in your life present themselves.

Post-Acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) – The medical definition of PAWS is a set of symptoms that occur right after you stop taking Ritalin and can last several months afterwards. Sleeping disturbance, irritability, and mood swings are typical of Ritalin use and these symptoms can linger for weeks to months after your last dose of Ritalin. Additionally, cravings for the drug can linger longer after you have stopped taking Ritalin. People suffering from addiction are encouraged to seek help.

Ritalin withdrawal: how long?

Ritalin affects each person differently depending on the dosage and how long you have been taking Ritalin. In other words, each withdrawal period is unique to the person taking Ritalin. Various health concerns also need to be taken into consideration when creating a plan for Ritalin withdrawal. In general, however, if you taking Ritalin for medical reasons in doses as prescribed, symptoms of withdrawal tend to be less intense than someone abusing the medication or taking higher doses than prescribed.

How long Ritalin withdrawal questions

Did we cover everything you wanted to know about Ritalin withdrawal? If you have any more questions regarding withdrawal from Ritalin please ask. We do our best to respond to your questions personally and promptly.

Reference Sources: PubMed Health: Methylphenidate
The Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse and Violence Prevention: Recreational use of Ritalin on College Campuses
PubMed: Methylphenidate Abuse and Psychiatric Side Effects
PubMed: Withdrawal from Chronic Amphetamine Produces Persistent Anxiety-like Behavior but Temporally-Limited Reductions in Monoamines and Neurogenesis in the Adult Rat Dentate Gyrus.
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.


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  1. Hi, I have been off Methylphenidate for about two weeks and I have and panic attacks before, but now I have depression and mini attacks and I’m not sure if it is related to my off coming of the pill, I would just like more information

  2. Hi. I am anary as hell for not being informed by my physician that ritalin was addictive. I switched to adderall started feeling like a zombie. Could not wake up. Also severe chronic pain. Dr negligent in refills throwing me into withdrawls. Would not put me back on Ritalin. I did not know what was wrong with me. No energy to do anything combined with pain. Dr. Mad at me. Decides to wean me off oxyneo. He had nothing to do with my decreasing my opiates. I did it all alone. I have untreated severe ptsd. Begged for help for over 10 years. Severe panic and anxiety. On clonezepam. .he cruelly threw clonezepam cuts causing severe withdrawls. Did not know adderall or ritalin was addictive

  3. if you take methylphenidate 5mg once a day in the morning ,how should you stop
    will you have withdrawal , have been taking for a month

  4. my son was put on ritalin back in1980 or a little earlier they told me at school that if i did not put him on it they would take him away from me and let social services would put him some where agaisn’t my better judgement i had him put on it he went down hill every since they put him on it now he is fighting to get off drugs he is improving a little now but i blame the drug and school for making me put him on it they become drug addits after they get of it and they are very bitter and not trusting people after that know one should be put on it

  5. Hello everyone,

    This is my first call for help. I feel desperate. From what started as a innocent prescribtion medicine (30 mg IR per day) 2 years ago, ended in a addiction of 200-250mg per 18 hours. Some of it i get from my doctor (80 mg on prescribtion) and the rest i buy from anyone who’s selling. I’m at University and i feel like i need this dose to function normally. (I do not get high on this medicine anymore). However, if i take less of it I am not being able to study, do the dishes, cook, etc. due to extrime fatigue and irritatible plus being sick of life. This is the reason why I cannot tell anyone about it. If i tell any doctor or mental worker >I HAVE< to quit because of the abuse, while this is just not possible for me. I will not pass University or even function in daily life.

    I don't have much side effects using this high dosage. Maybe i am not that spontanious happy guy i was before. I feel more "robotic", but overall the side effects are not the problem. Probably because of the immense tolerance.

    The reason why I am posting this is: I only got enough pills for like 3 days (at 200mg per day which is the MINIMUM i can function on (though i still have cravings for more) and I don't know what will happen when i am out of ritalin. I will have to wait for a while before i can get 240 pills from the pharmacy, but this is used to be for a month, and I JUST CAN'T drop it to 80mg per day. I already take 60mg to start of the day and once again; this is only to make me function "normally", not to get some sort of high. I'm passed that. Yes everyone, i am a true Rita addict…..

    What can I do? Who can help me out? What are my options? I'm from Europe and Health Care isn't as good as it is in America. I wish i could taper my dose to 80mg…..

    I want to add: everyone starting Ritalin, please be carefull or better: stay away from it. It may control your life. When you think you are addicted, it is already too late.

    Thanks in advance for helping me out.

    Blessings to everyone,


  6. Does Ritalin cause tightness in the chest, agita, muscle pain in the stomach and pain in the hands and feet, I was on the generic brand Methylphenidate and Celexa, my doctor took me off of them weeks ago and I still feel miserable. Thanks for the help.

    1. Hi Geno, It seems to me that you’re experiencing Ritalin withdrawal symptoms. I suggest that you speak with your doctor ASAP. And, you may consult with a pharmacist to recommend some over-the-counter medications to ease these symptoms.

  7. My 7 yr old took ritilin la for 10 days we found out dosage was too high (doc wrote it wrong) I brought her dose town and she got very aggressive, angry, nightmares, moody, and talked about hurting herself or others. I took
    Her off cold turkey. No one told me about withdrawl-I’m asking us this normal and how long

  8. Hi, my doc prescribed Ritalin since mid-October last year (2016). I was withdrawing from oxycodone after an operation but could not concentrate and do my job. The doctor stopped cold turkey! Another doc figured Ritalin might help me focussing and concentrating until I’m off oxycodone. It worked! I felt wonderful and could concentrate, but, I started taking more and more. Now I’m 2 weeks short of supply and feel terrible. After 4 months, will these withdrawals be bad for long? I feel like a zombie. Thanks my friends

  9. Hello, my son has been on Ritalin for 18 years, he is now 37. He has been under the care of a doctor and has never abused the Ritalin. He also suffers from anxiety and depression and is on medication for that, but is doing well, working and has a family. He moved recently and due to laws around prescribing controlled substances he ran out of his Ritalin. He has been unable to get a doctor appointment for a while, and does have one in two weeks but he has been off Ritalin for 2 weeks now and is developing serious anxiety, sleeplessness and depression. Any suggestions for handling for the next 2 weeks until he sees the doctor? I an very worried his depression will become severe again and he has been doing so well. Thanks for any help you can offer!

  10. I have been prescribed ADHD drugs since I was 8 or 9 years old. I was on Concerta for a while, and when that began to lose effect (I think I was about 14 or 15) I was prescribed methylphenidate in the form of a transdermal patch (Daytrana). I continued using that until I was 23, when I came off the medication to join the Navy (which didn’t pan out, thankfully).
    My question, having read that Ritalin causes long-term brain damage to the frontal lobe, is: How long does it generally take for the brain to repair itself after such long-term use of methylphenidate?
    Thank you.

  11. My doctor started me out on 5mg for depression and I didn’t notice any changes. I saw her 2 weeks later and told her I didn’t feel any difference so she upped it to 10 mg. A few days later I started noticing being more depressed than ever, crying. So I was on the 10 mg for about 2 weeks. Now I feel fatigue cold sweats. ! still crying and just want to sleep.I’m also taking lexapro, buspar and Valium. How will I know when the ritulan is out of my system? I also take thyroid medicine and high blood pressure medicine.

  12. I am a former addict and alcoholic and my doctor put me on ritalin because I’ve been dealing with very severe depression and have been bouncing between antidepressants. It’s been awful feeling so terrible all of the time. He knows I’m an addict and put me on ritialin 60mg a day. I started feeling a lot better, but so much better I needed more and more and now just pop them and I totally think I must be up to about 160 – 200 a day. I know they’ll run out and I’ll have to deal with detox. I’m just wondering if I should contact someone about my issue now. I have 2 and a half years sober and now this crap… Everyday I say, I won’t take them, but I do. So obviously I am addicted. Would this be something necessary for treatment? I just don’t want to sink to that low mental depression that got me onto these and then sink lower because I’m now coming off. It’s a scary situation because I don’t want to depend on anything and I feel now that the pills are the only things giving me some sort of pleasure. I’m basically self-medicating. If you have any thoughts, please let me know. I have some Propanol and Klonepine (of course addictive too) that might alleviate the withdrawl. As well as some gabapentin. So I’m not sure if this is serious enough to seek outside help or just face it and deal with it. I realize coming off of it is not life-threatening, it’s just very uncomfortable and depressing. I am just having the problem with will-power, even though I belong to a 12-step program. Thanks

  13. I have been on ritalin for ADHD for about 6 years and am trying to stop taking it. All the withdrawal studies that I read about talk about extreme fatigue and sleeping excessively. But I experience just the opposite. I go Literally DAYS without sleeping or even feeling tired (but I do feel exhausted regardless; just CANNOT sleep!). My body feels tired and achy, but my mind will NOT shut down. Is this normal for some people? I can live with all the other withdrawal symptoms (except for this frequent, uncontrollable, uncomfortable, and embarrassing “shake” in my left hand – the hand I primarily use) but how long can I go without sleeping? I feel exhausted but just cannot sleep. how long will this last? How about the shaking in my hand, is that permanent (it has lasted up to 7 days before I just start taking ritalin again out of frustration). Thanks ahead of time for any advice given to me, Julie

  14. I have been on ritalin for ADHD for about 6 years. Everytime I try to stop taking it, I get an EXTREME shaking in my left hand (the hand I write with and primarily use). When it happens, I end up taking more ritalin than prescribed to make it stop and this results in me running out of my prescription before the month ends. This can mean going 5-7 days without ritalin all together and my hand will shake the ENTIRE time. It’s uncontrollable, frequent, uncomfortable, and EXTREMELY embarrassing. How long will this last or is this somehow permanent? It’s driving me crazy!!!!! Please give me any advice that you know about this. Thank you, Julie

  15. My sons regular pediatrician wasnt in the office the day his script was to be filled so they printed his medication and had another physician sign it. The other dr signed his script without reading my sons dose first. My son has been on ritalin for over 2 years at a high dose because its the only dose that works for him. When i dropped off the script at the pharmacy the pharmacist called the dr who signed about my sons dose everyday and then informed me that the physician wasnt comfortable with my sons high dose and ordered the pharmacist to destroy my sons script. I then called the physicians office and inquired to why this action was being taken. His nurse informed me that the dr wasnt comfortable with the dose amount and refused my sons meds which he needs everyday. My child will be out of his meds in 2 days and his regular physician wont be back in the office for another 7 days. I brought this matter to the nurses attention and she stated that i always fill his meds early. I proceded to tell her that yes i did because i dont want my son to run out in any manor. He has had to wait a week a year ago for his new script because of an insurance cancellation due to late paper work being filed and i had to watch my son withdrawl from his meds. His meds for a 30 day supply cost over 400 dollars and i am a single mother whom cant afford to pay that much. The nurse then tells me that people dont withdrawl from ritalin so i told her she was wrong and if she is so right then tell that to the little man i had to nurse and care for 24/7 for that whole week because he was withdrawling that he is crazy about all his symptoms because people dont withdrawl from this medication. I became very angry and asked the nurse why the dr whom signed the script didnt look at the dose before putting a signature on it and discuss the dose and his concerns while i was there. She informed me that he didnt read the script because he had no reason to question another trusted doctors prescription. I firmly believe that if a dr is going to sign a script for a patient because their regular dr isnt in should always look at what he is signing no matter the level of trust or not and if he doesnt read it and still signs it then the meds shouldnt be rejected for a child because he thinks the dose is to high. If the dr has an issue then he should address his concerns with the regular prescribing physician when that dr returns to the office. I also told the nurse that it was the regular dr whom raised the dose to begin with because the lower dose wasnt working. I have tried all the adhd meds available since my son was 7 years old and it took until he was 14 1/2 until we found a med and dose that works. My son is now 17 years old and he is freaking out because he doesnt want to go through what he went through last year. He takes his meds as prescribed because i despense them to him as well as his school during the week as scheduled. He is not allowed to dispense his own meds in anyway because i keep them in a fire and water proof safe thats mounted to my closet floor. I have a timer at home that goes off every 4 hours so i am reminded its time for his next dose. So because of this doctors inability to check a script my son has to withdrawl again. I am not only worried for him but very pissed with the signing physician in regards to this rediculous issue. To all physicians. Dont put your name on a patient prescription if its not your patient without looking at what and how much is being prescribed. This dr could have just givin my child for now enough meds to get him through till my sons regular dr was back in the office instead of denying him any meds at all for a week. Not a very happy mother.

  16. Hey there. I’ve been prescribed to ritalin (varying doses of both short acting and long acting) since 2005/6. (It’s now 2016). The medication really helped me develope my academic skills as well as my social skills. Unfortunately, my dependency and fear of being without this “aid” has lead to anxiety, depression, substitution substances (alcohol, pot, pain killer pills). Since being put on Zoloft following a terrible reaction to Pot (I had been smoking pot daily for at least five years and one day I had heart-attack like symptoms and went to the hospital in an ambulance. Since then I have not smoked for fear of experiencing the same reaction.) Zoloft is an SSRI (antidepressant) which doesn’t allow for consumption of a large number of other medication or alcohol. So, I have been sober of pot and alcohol since last November ~ 7 months. However my anxiety and panic attacks have continued. My doctor prescribed me clonazapam 0.25mg, but doesn’t want me to continue taking it. I am pretty confident that the Ritalin is now what is triggering the majority of my panic attacks. At times I would take an extra pill or two which leaves me short at the end of the month. Somehow, this month I ran out about a week early. I have been without the Ritalin now ~4 days. I have been trying to convince my doctor to switch me to something else because I really have been concerned that the Ritalin is causing more harm than good. Up until today I only really experienced extreme fatigue and vivid dreams. Last night I had some hot flashes. Today I have been feeling quite nauseous, anxious, “helpless”- feel like crying, sick to my stomach and overall, quite poor. I had two panic attacks today and used up my last two clonazipam. I have an appointment tomorrow to see my doctor but I feel like he is just going to disregard what I tell him and do something stupid. He made a referral for a paychietrist several visits ago, but nobody from the hospital has contacted me. I started seeing an addictions councillor for alcohol when I first started Zoloft because it causes intense habit forming behaviour. I know I still need something for my ADD but I keep feeling like anything I take is going to cause my body to freak out. I’ve tried concerta- but my body couldn’t breakdown the putter layer and I would find the “gerbal pellet” exactly as I had swallowed it in the toilet several hours later. adderal didn’t seem to help me focus at all, and made me EXTREMELY constipated. I also have celiac disease and IBS. Any comments or feedback would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

  17. I’ve been taking ritalin (20 mg a day) for like a year now. recently I changed my psychiatrist and he told me to stop taking them. am i addicted to ritalin? how bad will the withdrawal be?

    1. Hi Mark. Call the helpline you see on the website to speak with a trusted treatment consultant who can help you make the right decision.

  18. Sheri I already know what you do on them we all do it and its just the nature of the drug. I used to use meth over a decade ago and Ritalin saved my life as it was a step down from the hard core stuff so I was able to wean of meth by transferring to Ritalin. Withdrawing for me took about 72 hours had loss of energy, some irritability and slept a lot. Its a lot easier coming off Ritalin than I did with cigarettes but you just keep going till you meet your goal. Ritalin is not a medical necessity so keep that in mind you will not expire without them.

  19. This response is to Cheri
    Its important to get a good night sleep least 8 hours. I notice you stated you are feeling like you just want to leave the earth due to depression, you are not alone in that thought, many of us with depression and AADD have those thoughts. It looks like from what you wrote you are just on stimulants and not an antidepressant so I gather your Therapist concluded not to prescribe you one based on the talk therapy or some other issue. Its important to communicate to your Therapist that you are depressed so they can prescribe you the proper antidepressant. I have a relative that takes Cymbalta 60mgs daily for depression along with Ritalin and concerta. In addition, to help him sleep 150mgs of trazadone with one lunesta or alternate rozerem. B.T.W. after being in therapy for many years I would like to tell anyone out there research your meds read the case studies online find out what worked for patients effectively and what didn’t.

  20. I have been taking methylphenidate for about 10 years and just recently went off. I’m feeling the fatigue, tiredness, and lack of motivation however it’s getting better after two weeks. My question is whether I could be supplimenting with natural suppliments such as vitamin D and Cogniflex while withdrawing or wait till I am through the withdrawal.

  21. Can withdrawal off of ritalin and concert cause pretty bad shaking/tremors and a feeling of weakness? I stopped and felt very wear while hiking and couldn’t make big step up rocks without using my hands…they are just like stairs but some are steep. I could previously do it. Also sometime I wonder if I’m cold because I’m shivering. Holding stuff and my hands violently shake…they used to prior to taking ritalin/concerta but are much more severe now.Is this a withdrawal symptom and how long should it last?

    1. Hi Jasmine. Withdrawal of Ritalin may cause tremors and weakness besides other symptoms. Withdrawal may last anywhere between a few days to several months after you last take the medication.

  22. I have taken several forms of methylphenidate for over 20 years, prescribed by physicians. It took a long time to get the medication and dosage right. Finally I found a good mix: concerta 36mg 2 in am, 18 in afternoon and Ritalin 20 mg prn.
    That combo worked well

    Then, that doc moved out of state. Went to primary who gave me concerta 54mg in am, 18mg in afternoon and Ritalin 20 mg prn.

    Primary was concerned about dosage and wanted a shrink’s input. The new shrink have me Ritalin 20mg three times daily.

    I just want to die. The depression is so severe that I can’t function…can’t sleep, agitated….considering suicide. But, I am a Christian, so that option is off the table.

    What, if anything, do you recommend?

  23. have had trouble focusing on tasks for all my life and was considering ritalin ; was looking for evidence of people taking it for a while and then stopping and having some of the good results of increased focus and perhaps better memory carry on after stopping but have seen largely the opposite at least in the short term . Is this truly the case , if so I feel I might be better off never starting it .

  24. To the writer regarding “taking l-tyrosine” after the semester ends
    I would give a thumbs up for that action. In light of your question I would like to add its never comfortable coming off a drug i.e. Ritalin that you have been taking for a while. I was on lunesta a sleep med for years, then last winter my ankles were swelling I was irritable and a voice inside me said you really got to get off these. So I went to obtain melatonin to sleep, it was a natural substance and 500 dollars cheaper than the hypnotic sleep pill lunesta and it worked. I am as of march 2016 a year off lunesta. I realize that lunesta is not Ritalin but the point i am making is its usually three days to get the junk out of your system. My thoughts are on the last day of your last Ritalin start with taking l-tyrosine. Also never forget you came into this world without Ritalin and you will not pass due to the fact that you don’t take it anymore. Also trust in yourself that you are an intelligent person and you have a lot to offer this world. Just by being here you are in process of self examination which is important to your life. Some never question what they are doing and it leads to their demise. Deep down inside your heart you know the answer.

  25. Well first of all taking adhd meds the way you described isn’t the best thing in the world. I gather you were partying and wanted to stay awake for the party. Years ago I used to drink but hated getting so drunk sleepy, I ended up smoking a joint that was laced by someone that had equivalent of speed in it. I had to call my friend as I was up for two days without sleep with panic attacks feelings of doom with rapid heart beating etc. Looking at what you wrote, it seems to me like you are assigning the blame to the Ritalin as the cause of these new strange symptoms. I wouldn’t rule it out that cranking Ritalin has after effects but just know one thing if you stay away from it and let time pass these symptoms will go away. If you want to speed just have coffee. I am an x speed addict I had all those symptoms they do go away with abstinence. Also ask yourself the question did your friends that night have your best interests at heart when they provided those to you? If things are fine in your life there is no need to add extra spice to it. I did speed and partied hard because things were not fine in my life and the cost later on was heavy. When you have a panic attack or any symptoms during this period take time to reflect on how Ritalin benefited you that night and was it worth it for what you are suffering now. Also take time to communicate with God who sits inside you and ask for guidance and let him know you appreciate your life and the good things that surround you. During my moments withdrawing I used meditation and prayer to get past it.

  26. I don’t have ADHD at all and my friend gave me some Ritalin. I snorted allot one night and never did it again because I didn’t feel anything from it. it’s been about 5 weeks now and I get really bad anxiety and panic attacks that I have never had before in my life. My heart is rapidly beating all the time for no reason, I can feel it pumping blood in my chest without even touching it. I get really bad sensations of fear for no reason at all. I have nothing in my life to worry about everything is great but I still get these extreme sensations of fear in my chest for no reason at all that last for 3 seconds and sometimes an hour. I’m 17 years old and I’m scared that I’m doomed to die an early death now. Please someone help us their anything I can do to stop this I’m scared I don’t want to die

  27. Hello, thank you for this resource, your time and expertise. I am someone who was prescribed ritalin by a psychiatrist and I do benefit from it’s use in many ways. The semester is ending and I would like to take a break from this medication to evaluate it’s necessity. Also, I find that the “obsession” I had with drugs and alcohol (of which I have been clean from for nearly 4 years) has returned in some aspects with this medication specifically.
    My question for you is: What is your knowledge of taking l-tyrosine or other amino acid precursors when discontinuing Ritalin?
    Thank you,

  28. So I have been taking Bubroprion 150mg 2x daily for like 2 yrs, and have been taking Concerta 54 mg for my adhd for like 9 months and just like a month ago my Doc. added a 5 mg adderall to take at the end of the day, So we decided to try just the Adderall 30 mg XR cap in the am and the 5mg in the afternoon and just completely STOP the Concerta and Buproprion, that started today and i feel like shit.. can i still withdrawl from the Concerta even if i switched to Adderall?

  29. As a former addict and having a partner who had a psychotic break on these stimulants I have to say…I really wish all of these stimulants could be banned. Everyone thinks, focus and more energy when the real truth is everyone who goes on them downs the whole bottle and tweeks on them till they are gone. When I was an addict you got the bag tweeked came down then you went looking for more. I have no faith in Ritalin its just another street drug that therapist get to give out to make you a lifer on meds. Sometimes they prescribe them after you complain that your bipolar meds are making you fall asleep that the wheel of your car.

  30. My son is 7 he has been on Ritalin for the past two years. The only reason he won’t be taken it for right now is due to insurance mishap. My question is could you please give information on where to find a wed page that will help people in my situation? I’m very worried about him and the effects he will go threw he has high ADHD! Thank You for the information you have giving me to understand what he will go threw!

    1. Hi Maria. I believe it’s best to contact your health insurance provider to figure out what the problem is. Or, if the doctor that initially prescribed Ritalin does not take the kind of insurance you have, you can search for a doctor in your area that will accept your health insurance plan and prescribe the needed medication for your son.

  31. My daughter stopped taking any of her ADD medication (ritalin and Adderall) for a least 5 or more years now. Could she possibly still have any side effect from that medication? She thinks that she is experiencing anxiety from it? Is this possible after such a long time?

  32. Well I just feel that my brain is numb. I kind of feel dumb . anxiety ,nausea ,depression etc not at all. Is this withdrawal or is it just something in my mind that I am less sharp and spontaneous in my daily life . maximum dose was 30mg a day . took it for 10 to 12 days consecutively. Often it was 15 or 20mg.
    This is my 4th day after quitting .

  33. Will I ever get over this extreme fatigue ? I’ve been addicted to Ritalin for 3 years and because of my extreme fatigue I keep going back .

  34. I started taking ritalin three years ago, without prescrition and without Dhda, in order to improve my grades. I occasionally used it when I had many things to do. Least year I got free supply and took about 8 months 6 days a week three pills a day. I stopped one month ago because of anxiety disorder. Until now I have panic and anxiety. What can I do to diminsh Panic atacks and anxiety? Im already taking Velanfaxina and practing sports….

  35. Hi, i’ve been off Concerta 18mg for a month, but the withdrawl symptoms just seem to get worse. I have been prescribed and taken concerta for a total of 6 years and one day I just couldn’t take the mood swings, racing heart beat, and constantly always becoming paranoid. Secretly, I decided to stop taking it, and at first, everything was going smoothly. Around week four now, I’m starting to eat constantly, and I can’t focus during the end of the day or during nightime when I have homework. I’ve been procrastinating and craving Concerta, but I can’t allow myself to randomly take it whenever I feel like it. I’m not sure if it would make things worse to just take it every now and then, but I am hoping to lead an independent life someday without this horrible drug. – a 16 year old who just wants freedom.

  36. Hello Charles. Check in with a pharmacist or your prescribing doctor about this symptom. It sounds like you need a medical opinion!

  37. I was taking Methylphenidate 20mg 2 times a day for a year and a half. I am 60 years old. It caused my blood pressure to rise quite high. My Dr. weened me off it but after two weeks I’m still having BP problems. How long will they last?

  38. Hi I’m very concerned I have a seven year old and she is on Ritalin she is doing so much better in school since she started taking it. However my ex doesn’t won’t to give it to her when she is out of school I’m fine with the weekend but she hasn’t had it all of Christmas break and i am worried about withdrawals please any advice would be greatly appreciated!

  39. Hi Trevor. When did you stop the Ritalin…was it cold turkey? Do you have any symptoms of fatigue, depression, or anything else? Have you considered calling your local pharmacist for advise?

  40. Hi i was 15 when i was diagnosed with adhd at about christmas time last year but about 2 weeks before that i abused molly for 2 days than took a day off than i did it agian 3 days in a row , i got proscribed ritilan and my friend was selling his ritilin , i bought some off him and popped it and snorted it for about a month i didnt even bo what to think , i just want the facts . Am i okay?

  41. Hi thanks for the information. Took ritalin for 15 years. Stooped three years ago and now have memory issues, visual problems, and weakness. Can it cause memory issues and autonomic issues? Also, what causes the extreme fatigue (what part of the brain)?

  42. Hello Juan. I have the following related articles that provide the information needed to have you prepared for what’s comming up. However, note that a doctor’s approval and further monitoring will probably be needed. Here are the links for you to visit:

  43. This is a great page. Thanks for putting it up. I’ve been on Concerta (an extended release version of Ritalin) for almost 12 years. I was taking 36mg per day, and I decided this weekend to stop taking it. I tried to stop in the past, but the withdrawal symptoms got so bad I had to go back. Starting from day 1, I’d always get overly tired, agitated, and my ability to focus was worse than before starting the meds.

    This time is a little different however. I’m taking Wellbutrin which seems to be taking a lot of the edge off. I’m a little tired but still very much functional. In the past I wasn’t functional from day 1.

    As a personal log that might help others who find this site, I’d like to post my update and progress here. 12 years is a long time, but the mediation is causing me high blood pressure and increased anxiety – so it’s time I find another way to deal with my ADD.

    With the help of Wellbutrin, I plan to get through the next few weeks drinking lots of water, exercise and a positive outlook that these uncomfortable feelings I have are just temporary and will eventually go away.

    Wish me luck! 24 hours so far and counting!

    P.S. I intend to get lots of sleep in the next few weeks. 🙂
    I hear sleep, drinking lots of water and exercise are key. With the help of Wellbutrin I think I can do it this time!

  44. Hello,
    I have an autistic brother who has also been diagnosed with ADHD. He was placed on ritalin for quite a while but we were advised to stop giving it to him because of its longterm side effects nd we did not know how to properly put him off the drug so we stopped abruptly. The problem is he can not talk so we do not know if he had gone through any severe adverse effects while taking the drug. We however noticed that he was very aggressive when he was taking it but he became a lot calmer after the drug was withdrawn. He has been off it for the past 6 months now, but lately he suffers from insomnia some nights, sometimes he is restless nd he has had two seizures ( in june nd august). My parents nd siblings don’t have a history of seizures. He has been placed on tegretol. Please I would like to know if the sudden withdrawal from ritalin might be the cause of his seizures?? If it is possible, what do you advice we do?. Looking forward to your response. Thank you

  45. Hi, I’m a 24 yo female who was taking 60mg a day and I quit cold turkey. I’m experiencing extreme fatigue the first 10 or so days, then now I’m very awake and hyper and having very vivid dreams. I’m in recovery from anorexia which is why they took me off of it. I’m an addict and alcoholic, and the cravings are very intense.

    I’m also on prozac 40mg, Lamictal 350mg, and Abilify 20mg.

    What should I ask my pdoc about tomorrow, how long does this last, and what should I do about these side effects?



  46. I found what I was looking for through the comment regarding the reactions of their partners upon either running out of Ritalin or voluntary withdrawal. This was not delineated in the main article but promptly articulated by the responder upon feedback from the those having the reaction of bad behavior associated with coming down or running out of Ritalin. This is something that I can relate to. Also searching for understanding on how to deal with that negative behavior and found that the commentator said it best or in a nut shell, if you love the person and they either run out of supply or voluntary withdrawal, they do need a time out from you. My approach this night was I did not engage my partner I let him rant and am trying not to feel hurt though I do. This too shall pass but how much can one take is the question for me? I need to know that when the pills run down is my relationship over? Sometimes I feel that way. Tonight despite his nastiness I thought of how he makes me laugh all the time and this one small window of time when things get bad I just have to suck it up for now. I am glad I found this site I am at ease now thanks

  47. My doctor gave me ritalin for college, I was told i had add when i was little. I’ve never taken Ritalin before or other drugs for ADD. This was the first time and so i took the ritalin for about 4-5 months. The entire time i was taking it i felt pretty good like really good. It made class pretty easy. Toward the end of taking it i started getting really bad watery eyes and feeling depressed. It’s been about 8 months and i have these symptoms still.

  48. Hello Maria. Hang in there…mood disorders are possible due to withdrawal from Ritalin and can be normalized once she is on her medication again. What kind of treatment center will she attend?

  49. I need help ASAP my wife is ADHD and has bipolar 1 disease her doctor just refuse to see her anymore cause she owe him money but she has insurance and she paid her copay he sent her to a treatment center but her appointment is not until Thursday I don’t know a lot about ADHD cause I been learning about her bipolar she is withdrawing off Ritalin and she is so agitated and snappy she ‘s become so mean to me I don’t know what to do to help her in the mean time she has been on this medication for over 25 years and to stop cold turkey is very hard for me and her when I tell her I will leave she doesn’t want me to but she still mean to me what can I do to help her is there another medicine to give her that will help I really need some help on this.

  50. I have abuse a ritalin instant release 40mg once a day and i used it total 1500 mg in a month before my exams and after exams i quit ritalin and after 3months now i cannot focus on studies i cannot absorb the data of text in books please help me and reply me on urgent basis

  51. Hello Bachalah. Talk with your doctor first about a taper. Setting up a tapering schedule can help you minimize the withdrawal symptoms and make them less severe- but always stop Ritalin under a doctor’s supervision.

  52. The reason I am not going to take Ritalin b/c I can’t think clearly. I still have ADD it only works for ADHD. I do have Angina. I had PE. Medication Wafarin, Wellbutrin 2 times a day, Kolopin 3 times a day for panic anxiety disorder. I also, take heart medication.

  53. I need to find out from taking Ritalin 30 mg Pill form for 38 days. Then Doctor puts me on Ritalin LA 30 mg once a day morning for 45 days. Which total 4 months 1 day of Ritalin which includes: Ritalin both forms Pill Form taken for 38 days. At Present time I take Ritalin LA 30 mg once a day taken for 45 days. Which I came up with both Forms taken for 4 months and 1 day I need to find out what kind of withdrawal to expect?

  54. Well I screwed up agian I took 3 ritalins not sure what does I feel alright just I started sweating under my arms out of no wear and my heartbeat is higher than normal and I know I’m dumb never agian am I doing that agian, but will I be ok will the side effects wear off when the ritalins out of my system or do I have to see a doctor? Thanks

  55. Hello Natasha. A one-time binge can cause withdrawal symptoms from Ritalin, but they are unlikely to last as long as one week after administration. Perhaps the extra studying and stress have taken a great effect on your brother than you assume. If you’re really concerned about him, talk openly about your concerns and ask if there’s something else going on in his life that he’d like to talk about.

  56. My brother, aged 20 recently had exams and took around 60 mg of ritalin over two days to prepare for them. His decision was a bit surprising considering he doesn’t have ADD/ADHD. However now it’s been a week and he claims to still have withdrawal as he is fatigued and cranky. Is this possible? Or might there be something else wrong with him?

  57. Hi Jennifer. This is a great question. For someone with a history of drug addiction, doctors warn against the use of stimulants like Ritalin. Drug abuse can start quickly, as you’ve seen. Total abstinence from mind altering pharmaceuticals is preferred.

  58. My friend has a past of drug even hard drugs; he’s stopped taking them since years now and let’s say once per year he has a weekend of music festival where he goes on drugs; but not addicted so after that weekend nothing.
    These last two weeks he’s been working a lot and accumulate stress. He took about 8 Ritalin on 2 days. And now he is now in a very bad state, paranoia/panic/sweating hands/cold feet/very suspicious, agitated, etc – this has now last for 1 week – he’s been seeing doctors who gave him injection of Valium/Dorcomin injection and tablets/Deanxit, and nothing seems to work – he is himself and suddenly back in his world. Please advise what has to be done and if he can go better. are these medications good or should be totally avoided?

  59. Hello Quinton. Hmmm. The symptoms that you describe, if any, may be associated with Protracted Withdrawal Symptoms from long term Ritalin use. The problem with amphetamines and methylphenidate is that researchers still don’t know what long term effects can be associated with their long term use.

    I’d suggest two things:.

    1. Report the symptoms to the FDA:

    2. Follow up with a medical doctor or mental health specialist to find alternative treatments and to address the underlying physical or emotional reasons that may be causing these symptoms.

    You are not alone. You seem to be honest and brave enough to want to face these issues without pharmaceutical intervention. Help is out there for you.

  60. Ummm I was a long term taker of ritalin and im concerned some of the psychological issues i face in life right now might be due to long term use of ritalin (13 years, 2 pills a day) from around the age of 4 or 5 till about 2-3 years ago, near the end of high school i was battling depression as it was due to personal issues but around 2 years ago i started to get somewhat emotionally distant i have difficulty sleeping anxiety mood swings and a tendency to get occasionally rude or angry for no reason even when i have the best intent these changes seem to be getting worse what pointed me towards ritalin as a potential cause is that i decided to take it again tonight to help me concentrate on a school project (first time since the end of high school) and my mood immediately changed (have had a rather depressing week) and i now feel much better more calm honestly a little happier etc, is their potential for the ritalin to still be effecting me even though i havnt taken it in so long?

  61. Hi Sandra. It seems difficult to distinguish. You may want to give your boyfriend some leeway during withdrawal, because it’s truly difficult: physically, mentally and emotionally. He needs understanding and compassion at the moment and may perceive your hurt and need for an apology as restrictive and reproachful. Give him some time…and support, if you’re able to.

  62. Hi,

    My boyfriend is 43 and has been taking ritilan for adhd since he was 35. He took extended release once a day but not sure dosage,

    He recently lost his dad and has been very stressed and he had gone to the doctor and learned his bp was high and he was placed on bp meds and a water pill.

    After about a week he told me that he stopped taking ritalin cold turkey. I asked if that was safe without consulting a doctor. He said its out of your system in 12 hours and because of blood pressure he decided to stop.

    Since he stopped he has been rude and made nasty remarks about people -a side ive never seen. on three occasions he was extremely mean and completely out of line in the way he treated me and comments he made to me. he sent a text saying hes sorry but then he did again and i saw someone id never seen before. Is this related to ritalin withdrawl? If so, is he aware that he is being completely rude and mean? I told him if he couldnt give me a proper apology in person i couldnt see him any longer until that happened. I tried to give him the opportunity to talk and i have not heard from him in two days. I started researching ritalin withdrawl and wondered if this might be the issue? In time would he realize his personality change and how he treated me? Should i be worried about him if i have not heard from him or just move on and assume hes okay,

  63. Hello Marielle. Yes, I know just how you feel. It’s the cycle of addiction. I would suggest that you fully disclose the pattern to your psychiatrist. If you find judgment and disappointment, find another psychiatrist. A good doctor will provide you with objective, unbiased information and help you to uncover the deeper issue behind using Ritalin and Adderall together. That you like the euphoric effect seems pretty normal to me. But you have to be willing to own up to the use, and to see where it’s heading. Get off the addiction elevator early, before it goes too far down. And then explore your inner self to get rid of that empty feeling. There is far more to yourself than you might be able to see right now. But you are an amazing and valuable person on this Earth!

  64. Hi. I was prescribed concerta 36 mg XR by my psychiatrist for anxiety and ADHD symptoms. I am 23 yr old female recovered from an eating disorder. I currently take Celexa 50mg, Xanax .05 XR once daily at night to mitigate panic attacks (I virtually have none and am weaning off xanax) however, my brother had multiple ritalin in his drawer and I started to experiment. I took one 20mg and felt great (ontop of concerta) it’s been almost two months that I have taken ritalin (sometimes up to 60mg) sometimes I snort it sometimes I EAT it but I want to stop. I am afraid of telling my psychiatrist and I dont know how to stop but I want to so badly. Please help me taper it down, what should i do? I feel vapid and empty.

  65. Hi Vicky. Can you please let me know what your question is? I’m not clear on how I can help you because I don’t understand what you are asking.

  66. please help me i am a healthy boy i took ritalin about 2000mg instant relaease and after i quit i nevr take ritalin but after quit i cannot focus or concentrate on things please help me it depends me to take again

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