Ritalin withdrawal treatment: How to treat Ritalin withdrawal

What’s the best way to withdraw from Ritalin? Under medical supervision. Here, we review how to treat Ritalin withdrawal symptoms, and answer your Ritalin withdrawal treatment questions.

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Reviewed by: Dr. Dili Gonzalez, M.D. Dr. Juan Goecke, M.D.

ARTICLE OVERVIEW: Ritalin (methylphenidate) withdrawal is usually NOT life threatening. If you have been taking Ritalin as prescribed, most symptoms of Ritalin withdrawal are mild and resolve within a week. More on in this article what to expect during detox and how symptoms can be treated.


Psychoactive Effects

Ritalin (methylphenidate) is a central nervous system stimulant commonly prescribed for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Most prescriptions come in tablet, capsule, or liquid form, which a person takes by mouth. Long-term use can result in dependence and withdrawal symptoms upon quitting.
Additionally, Ritalin can produce effects similar to cocaine and amphetamines when misused. In fact, methylphenidate has a high potential for abuse and is a Schedule II substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Its use is enforced by the DEA.

Why Withdrawal Occurs

Ritalin acts on monoamine neurotransmitter systems in the brain, which include norepinephrine and dopamine. Stimulants like Ritalin enhance the effects of these chemicals. When used as prescribed, stimulants have a paradoxical calming effect on the brain. But like other drugs in the stimulant category, it is possible for people to become dependent on it.

Dependence is a predicted outcome of taking methylphenidate daily. It occurs because the brain needs to adapt to stimulant effects in order to continue functioning. To do so, it “slows down” some effects. Then, when you take the Ritalin out of the system, these “slowed down” functions manifest until the brain has time to readjust to the non-chemical state. These “slowed down” symptoms like fatigue, depression, and muscle aches usually resolve within a couple of weeks…but can be difficult to deal with.

Dependence vs. Addiction

Still, dependence is different than a “drug problem”.

When used to get high, drugs like Ritalin can be addictive. An increase in dopamine signaling can induce a feeling of euphoria. But it comes with a risk. These medications’ effects on norepinephrine increase blood pressure and heart rate, constrict blood vessels, increase blood glucose, and open up breathing passages. Indeed, nonmedical use of stimulants for cognitive enhancement poses potential health risks, including addiction, cardiovascular events, and psychosis.

In other words, Ritalin can temporarily produce an artificial feeling of pleasure; it produces its pleasurable effects by chemically acting like certain normal brain messenger chemicals, which produce positive feelings in response to signals from the brain. The result is an addiction to Ritalin because the person can depend on the immediate, fast, predictable high it provides. At the same time, Ritalin short circuits interests in and the motivation to make life’s normal rewards work. More and more confidence is placed on Ritalin while other survival feelings are ignored and bypassed.


The effects of Ritalin withdrawal vary by person, but can generally be expected to begin 12 to 24 hours after use stops. The detoxification process for Ritalin can take a while to complete, with acute detox from Ritalin resolving 3-5 days, while some major symptoms can persist for 1-2 weeks, or longer.

Still, the total amount of time spent in Ritalin withdrawal will vary in severity and length according to patterns of use. The duration of withdrawal depends on the dosing amount, frequency of dosing, and the overall duration of time the person used Ritalin. Individual factors such as age, gender, weight, individual drug metabolism, and overall health also play a role in duration of withdrawal.


Withdrawal symptoms seem to be most severe in the initial days following cessation of use, although people using Ritalin as prescribed can expect less intense symptoms than Ritalin addicts or abusers.  Initial depression and feeling anxious are common in the first days of Ritalin withdrawal, with an intense craving for Ritalin sometimes present.

Stimulant withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Aggression.
  • Depression.
  • Disturbed sleep patterns.
  • Dysphoria (a dissatisfaction with life).
  • Extreme fatigue.
  • Insomnia.
  • Prolonged periods of sleep.
  • Sleepiness.

Repeated misuse of some stimulants (sometimes within a short period) can lead to feelings of hostility or paranoia, or even psychosis. Further, taking high doses of a stimulant may result in dangerously high body temperature and an irregular heartbeat. There is also the potential for cardiovascular failure or seizures.


The first step in Ritalin withdrawal is to seek assessment. Your doctor can help you determine the level of dependence to the drug and then suggest a treatment plan. Often, experts help to taper the drug dosage and attempt to ease withdrawal symptoms. Gradually reducing methylphenidate dosage over the course of a few weeks can help minimize the severity and intensity of withdrawal symptoms during detox, but requires medical supervision.

Successful treatment during Ritalin withdrawal may also incorporate several components, including detoxification, counseling, and medications. Multiple courses of treatment may be needed for the person to make a full recovery. This is why medical assessment is critical during Ritalin withdrawal.

If addiction is discovered, do not fret! It is a medical condition and is treated medically. The two main categories of drug addiction treatment are behavioral treatments and medications. Behavioral treatments help change unhealthy patterns of thinking and behavior; teaching strategies to manage cravings and avoid cues and situations that could lead to relapse; or, in some cases, providing incentives for abstinence. This often takes the form of individual, family, or group counseling, and can help you improve your personal relationships and ability to function at work and in the community.


Treatment for withdrawal from prescription stimulants like methylphenidate is symptomatic. Symptoms are usually not medically life threatening and do not require pharmaceutical intervention. Still, some medications may be used during Ritalin withdrawal to treat symptoms and provide support. These include:

  • Antidepressants, used to minimize risk of doing harm to self or others.
  • Benadryl, used for sedation and for effects on possible dermatologic problems (itching and hypersensitivity of the skin).
  • Drug craving medications, medicines such as bromocriptine, amantadine may address cravings for Ritalin, but without clear results.
  • Neuroleptics, this class of drugs can be used if needed to treat psychotic episodes provoked by high doses of methylphenidate.

Additionally, alternative treatments such as acupuncture to the ear may help ease symptoms of Ritalin withdrawal. But in any case, plenty of bed rest and drinking plenty of fluids is indicated as the body adapts to the absence of methylphenidate.

Is It Possible to Detox At Home?

Medical supervision is best when getting of Ritalin. In cases of prescription use, seek the advice of your prescribing doctor and follow her/his suggestions.
If you’ve been abusing Ritalin…seek medical help. In most cases, people underestimate how difficult it will be to stop using this drug. Methylphenidate detox can trigger severe psychiatric episodes and poses the following risks:

  • Detox can be difficult and as a result many people give up and relapse back into addiction; even worse, the emotional depression, extreme anxiety and thoughts of suicide can lead to a devastating end.
  • Quitting the drug suddenly can cause heart complications and stroke. Without medical supervision, detox at home could turn lethal.
  • When withdrawal symptoms become excessive, many people panic and take more of the drug and this can lead to an overdose and can lead to a serious health risks like convulsions, an elevated temperature, heart rate and blood pressure, and hallucinations.

For the reasons stated above, qualitative medical supervision is usually required. This is why experts do not usually recommend that the person detox at home. Moreover, persons undergoing drug detox need to know that someone cares for them, and respects them.


Ritalin withdrawal is not typically life threatening. However, withdrawal effects can be physically and psychologically uncomfortable, and people may relapse to ease symptoms. People may also experience depression and suicidal thoughts when withdrawing from Ritalin.

Psychiatric side effects can also be triggered during cases when you are abusing Ritalin. According to this study published in the medical journal, The Primary Care Companion in 2000, this can include [1]:

  • Delerium
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Violence

For the safety of the person, doctors suggest that you seek guidance of specialized medical personnel when getting off Ritalin. So, always seek a medical opinion before, during, and after withdrawal. The support of family and loved ones can help you get through the difficult time..

Signs of a Drug Problem

People choose to abuse methylphenidate for various reasons. Certain people choose to abuse it to use it recreationally. Typically, a person who abuses methylphenidate may experience the following signs of addiction:

  • Appetite loss.
  • Anxiety.
  • Restlessness.
  • Irregular heartbeat.
  • Headache.

In certain cases, methylphenidate abuse can also lead to death. Persons who have heart defects are at an increased risk of death from methylphenidate abuse. Why do people become addicted to Ritalin and others don’t? This NIDA video explains how some people are vulnerable to addiction, while others aren’t.

If you have a problem with Ritalin, it can be treated! Reach out for help to your prescribing doctor. Or, call us on the hotline listed on this page. Ritalin addiction occurs in around 10% of all users…and it’s a medical condition. Why suffer alone? Reach out for help.

Who Uses Ritalin?

If you think that you may have an addiction to Ritalin, you are not the only one facing this problem. Indeed, we’d like to present you with a few facts to let you know that you are not alone…

According to the DEA, a wide spectrum of the population has abused methylphenidate products. Still, the primary abusers are individuals younger than 25 years old who often obtain methylphenidate from a friend or classmate. They mainly use this drug as a study aid or to party. In fact, people misuse these drugs in the absence of medical need in an effort to enhance mental performance. [2]

How many people might have a problem?

According with the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), in 2015, 3.5 million people aged 12 or older used methylphenidate products in the past year, about 1.3 percent of the population. Then, in 2016 an estimated 540,000 people aged 12 or older had a stimulant use disorder. This number of people with a stimulant use disorder, representing 0.2 percent of people aged 12 or older. [3]

  • An estimated 0.2 percent of adolescents aged 12 to 17 had a stimulant use disorder, which represents about 56,000 adolescents.
  • Approximately 170,000 young adults aged 18 to 25 and 315,000 adults aged 26 or older had a stimulant use disorder in 2016. These numbers correspond to 0.5 percent of young adults and 0.1 percent of adults aged 26 or older.

Additionally, militaries have long used stimulants to increase performance in the face of fatigue, and the United States Armed Forces allow for their use in limited operational settings. Using Ritalin is now also reported by some professionals to increase their productivity, by older people to offset declining cognition, and by both high school and college students to improve their academic performance.

Your Questions

Do you still have questions about how to withdraw from Ritalin? Please ask them below. Or, if you have been through Ritalin withdrawal and have some tips or suggestions to add, we welcome your experiences. We will try to respond to all comments personally and promptly.

Reference Sources: [1] NCBI: Methylphenidate Abuse and Psychiatric Side Effects
[2] DEA: Methylphenidate
[3] SAMSHA: NSDUH Data Review: Prescription Drug Use And Misuse In The United States: Results From The 2015 National Survey On Drug Use And Health
DEA: Methylphenidate
NCBI: Treatment For Stimulant Use Disorders
NIDA: Misuse Of Prescription Drugs
NIDA: Stimulant ADHD Medications: Methylphenidate And Amphetamines
NSDUH: Results From The 2016 National Survey On Drug Use And Health
SAMHSA: Treatments For Substance Use Disorders
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.
Medical Reviewers
Dr. Dili Gonzalez, M.D. is a general surgeon practicing women's focused medici...
Dr. Goecke is a medical doctor and general surgeon with personal experience of...

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a licensed medical professional.


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  1. Hi,
    I was put on methylphenidate (both the long-acting, 40mg of Biphentin 1x a day & the short-acting, only 5mg of Ritalin 1x a day) after having an unsuccessful run with Vyvanse for a year or so. It was love at first pill, & I quickly started taking more & more & more per day until now I’m at 280mg of Biphentin & 35mg off Ritalin in 2 days — I have to add that I have a history with crystal meth abuse, but I haven’t touched the stuff in almost 8 months.
    I only get a weekly dispense of medication, & it’s gone the day after I get it. The following 4-5 days that I don’t have any methylphenidate can only be described as a complete nightmare. I’m terrified every time I’m close to running out — I’ve progressed to injecting the medication to try & intensify the experience, which only makes me go through it quicker.
    Anyways, during the days I’m out of meds I can’t do ANYTHING. I have extreme anxiety coupled with lethargy & such intense depression I have no motivation to leave my apartment or even shower for days on end! I’m in & out of bed, writhing in agony & simply useless beyond belief; that combined with the feeling of just not caring about life or anything whatsoever & crazy appetite swings that adversely affect my type 1 diabetes that I have trouble controlling. It scares me so much thinking of quitting or cutting down because my doctor & I agree that my ADHD is so bad that I need stimulants, but how can I get the medication I need if I’m going to have to quit it in order to beat this addiction? No-thing else helps my ADHD, but at the same time I can’t keep living week-to-week with these unbearable 4-5 day waiting periods in between binges.
    I just want some advice on how to approach my psychiatrist in 13 days when I finally see him. I don’t want him to freak out & rip me off of stimulants for good as soon as I tell him, but maybe that’s what I have to do? I’m scared & confused, please help.

  2. I just went off my ritalin dosage completely 5 days ago.
    Because my dosage for ritalin average was only 5 to 7.5 mg./day, For a number of times over nearly 4 years, I tried reducing the ritalin in increments of 2.5 mg down to 1.25mg. All these attempts were just too uncomfortable most of the time. I started taking ritalin for chronic fatigue and ADD. I can’t complain about the outcome so far.
    Adjustments have been made on some of my medicines to help compensate for the absence of ritalin

  3. Hi, I wanted to see what Ritalin was doing to my grand son so for 3 days I took 2 of 5mg in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. I got the shivers and all like he did. Once I stopped I thought it was over so what a surprise for me to be in withdrawal. At first I was sure what was going on. Once school ended for the Holidays to took my grand son off for the Holidays thinking it would be ok… What a night mire . Now for me 19 days later I am up and down, sleeping and taking it easy, havent been out during the holidays at all cause had some very bad days. Grand son had bad days at the start, really scary shivers, I held him till he fell asleep,,, He had a few bad days but seems to be doing not bad. I will get him slowly back on 1 of 5mg in the morning starting the 4th and go up to 2 on the 8th if all goes well. Seeing his doctor on the 17th. only morning he will sleep and eat better im sure. As for me I hope to have more good days soon and never will I try that agaIn.

  4. My son was on Ritalin from 4 to 14 and Doc took him off cold turkey worst week of our lives so i put him back on as he was going through complete withdrawal the whole time sweats,mood,shivering ,sweating it was like someone with the DT’s we then cut him down by a half pill over 6 months he was on 60 mg a day when we got to the last half i took him off completl ynot realizing we needed to go down to a quarter pill and still went through all th same symptoms and moods But even after all that i wish our doctor would RE prescribe as his new medS do not help him at all it is constant moods and defiance MISS RITALIN

  5. I’m taking 25mg of the extended release which is supposed to last 8hrs . If you drink coffee as well, which is a stimulant would that cause anxiety. I seem to get very anxious and I’m wondering if I should stop drinking coffee? Any thoughts ? Thanks Rick

  6. These posts are encouraging. I take 36mg of Concerta (Rx) daily. I don’t like being “dependent,” however, I don’t trust myself without it. I was diagnosed with adult ADD 6 years ago and it’s been a game changer (focus, retention, and giving myself breaks when I make mistakes). I’ve tried natural alternatives but they don’t work as well; the negativity, being scatter-brained, and not being able to put two-and-two together come right back. I’ve been reading more and more about how methylphenidate works and frankly, it’s concerning. It’s almost like your brain won’t produce dopamine (anymore) without it; the anxiety and “withdrawal” seem to be from lack of dopamine. I’ve also experienced many of the sides people are writing about: the weight gain, depression (probably from doses that were too low), loss of creativity and even not seeing well. However, being able to remember names, facts, geography, etc, is necessary in my job. Anyway, just wanted to share!

  7. 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. Probably because of the immense tolerance. Maybe i am not that spontanious happy guy i was before. I feel more "robotic", but overall the side effects are not the problem.

    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….. besides Ritalin I also take 15mg Remeron as an antidepressant. It helps me fall asleep as well. I also have Lorazepam but I don't use it anymore. I can function without this. Can you imagine? Ritalin happens to be even more addictive than Lorazepam. When one is depended on benzodiazepams or opiates, it's possible to taper down. When using a stimulant like ritalin, a taper will not work due to cravings and so.

    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….. but it just is not possible for me. In my eyes 80mg is like a starting dose. How can this be? I wish i could function without this medicine or at least on a normal dose.

    I want to add: everyone starting Ritalin, especially if you are sensitive for addictions (and people with ADD just happen to be much more sensitive for addictions). 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 and be safe.


    1. Hi Brandon. I suggest that you speak with your doctor to help you plan an individualized tapering schedule. Also, you may look for qualified treatment facility in your area. Moreover, you may enroll into support groups that can give you the strength to move on.

  8. Dear Sir/Madam
    I’ve been taking Ritalin by sniffing/snorting for the past 6 years the last 2 years of which it reached 12 tablets a day. I am desperate to give it up and I intend to do it during 15 days my New Year holidays. I have started to reduce my daily use by 2 tablets every day. Today, I’m going to sniff 10 tablets and tomorrow it will become 8. By the way, I am also on MMT treatment for the past 15 years. I take 6 ml of Methadone syrup every day and have no problem with that. My doctor has prescribed Clonidine, Nortriptyline, Thioridazine and Trihexyphenidyl for treatment of Ritalin withdrawal. I intend to do it one way or the other so, help me! If you can suggest anything else to ease my withdrawal symptoms, I’ll be thankful.
    Looking forward to hearing from you with many thanks.
    Best regards,

  9. hi, i go through withdrawal at different times, i think i am growing immune to he 40 mgs sr i get every rmorning, i’ve had very very bad bouts of having water pass through me on the toilet up all night rushing to the toilet, my breath smells like eggs or metal when i belch, my stomach get majorly grumbly i do also have hep c and celiac, any info or anyone know of anything i can take for the stomach/breath/diareah part? food or drug?

  10. Hi. Last month, my brother was diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed Ritalin for his condition. His mood and concentration have significantly improved, and he seemed to be doing well in school. Yesterday, he suddenly started becoming irritable and verbally aggressive while on our family trip. Only when we confronted him did he say that he ran out of Ritalin 2 days ago. It sounds consistent with Ritalin withdrawal. We’re all dead-tired while having to deal with him while on vacation, and we can’t get him any meds while we’re here. Any non-pharmacologic ways of dealing with withdrawal? Thank you

  11. Hi
    Due to severe depression I was prescribed methylphenidate 10mgs instant release. The 10mg dosage had no effect, so I increased dosage till I could feel relief from depression. Now I’m in a sticky situation as my tolerance has built up and a dependancy has taken place.
    I cannot face life or get out of my bedroom till the methylphenidate has kicked in, as it removes a scary fear that I have for the world it lifts my depression temporarily and relieves my anxiety.
    Before it goes to far I need to get off this drug, I’m not adhd and have reached a tolerance that 30 ten mg methylphenidate lasts me 2 days. Fortunately this has not been going on for years, but at most say 3-4 months. Secondly my reason for the use of methylphenidate removed my cocaine cravings and reduced my cocaine use by at least 90 percent. I also use subutex 8mgs as prescribed or when needed as I was addicted to codeine that I obtained from cough syrups. I have been diagnosed with GAD – general anxiety disorder. Lastly my benzodiazepine usage is very high, for example 40mgs alprazolam ( alzam ) would just have a mild calming effect.
    I believe that I’m getting caught in a upper and downer combination of substances. I use 50mg Exira a snri for almost over 6 months.
    In conclusion I need feed back with my plan of action.
    Want to go cold turkey with the methylphenidate as it is just a temporary fix, no long term healing properties as a ssri or snri.
    Then I will loose all motivation and depression will probably be sever and anxiety.
    I could manage the anxiety with benzo use, but would probably not be any good for the depression and probably increase the severity of the depression, but strangely taking larger benzo amounts give me a type of stimulating effect and gets me motivated, unfortunately high benzo use will cause rebound effects and worsen the anxiety and depression as benzodiazepine usage should on most cases only used for short term use on average for about 2 weeks till the re uptake class of ssri and snri, sari, nassa-mirtazipine. I have tried mood stabalizers and anti epileptic and ant psychotic meds prescribed to me like seroquel and epilem, pregabalin and olanzapine and others I cannot remember, without any positive outcome.
    I believe it’s genetic as my mother sufferers with severe depression and ECT therapy did not aid or improve our conditions, as I have also received 6 ECT treatments. ECT- electroconvulsive therapy i.e. Shock treatment.
    My treatment resistance depression has caused me to loose my wife and 15month old daughter and financially bruised.
    Any feedback would be appreciated, I have been to psychiatrists,psychologists and rehabs.
    All I would like is to be normal.
    Regards Francois

    1. Hi Francois. I believe your depression can be a result from the cocaine. You see, our brain always tries to maintain homeostasis, so when you take a dopamine-release-enhancing drugs, it responds by releasing less amounts of dopamine or lowering the number of dopamine receptor molecules. Now that your brain is dopamine-depleted it will need a long time to return back to normal. Speak with your doctor about switching to another medication that may work for you, but also try to boost your dopamine levels naturally.

      I don’t recommend quitting cold turkey, but instead you should taper doses down. The other medications you are taking can take care of some of the withdrawal symptoms, but it’s still not safe.

  12. Please help I snorted Ritalin with my friend and overdosed on it now like 2 weeks later I have really bad anxiety and panic attacks. I’m so scared I think I’m going to die any second please help. My heart is beating rapidly all the time over nothing and I get extreme sensations of fear all the time for no reason. Please help me someone I don’t know how to stop it and I’m scared I’m going to die soon I’m only 17

    1. Hi, Jayden. Call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 for an assessment of overdose risk, or call 911 ASAP.

  13. I’m 64 yrs old and a psychiatrist prescribed Ritalin for me over 16 years ago to help me with ADD. He has since been stripped of his license due to insurance fraud. My internist continued to write prescriptions for me without fully understanding its long term effects. I should’ve stopped taking it about 14 years ago. When I went through menopause, a very ugly time for many women, I became hostile, angry and my behavior became very erratic. I lost my very good job due to hostility towards a co-worker and then a year ago was diagnosed as an adult child of an alcoholic.
    My marriage is over because of my erratic behavior, though not helped by my husband having secret girl “friends”. Last week I finally threw the stuff out and have been itching, sleeping a lot and experiencing moments of confusion and anger/hostility. I took one 20 mg. pill on Sunday and created a very difficult situation between myself and a tenant in an apartment that my husband and I own (she was a former girl “friend” who I found him with last December when he lied about his whereabouts). Additionally, I am studying to become a medical coder to support myself after my divorce and the Metadate helped me stay awake, but the side effects overpowered the ability to concentrate on my studies and I spent study time on the internet searching for revenge strategies to get even with my philandering husband and his girl “friends”. I now know more than the average wife about spyware and clone phones, though thanks to a good therapist, chose to spend the money on myself rather than punish myself with knowledge of his infidelity.
    My doctor, an internist, joined a mega hospital and is now all about the money. He was once available within a week but is now booked out 3 to 4 months in advance. Welcome to 2015 Healthcare! An internist shouldn’t be prescribing psychiatric medicines. His practice performs a six month prescription review to generate revenue, performed by a physicians assistant who clearly doesn’t understand the side effects of Metadate (generic Ritalin).
    My strategy is to exercise daily (my dogs help with that) establish a regular sleeping schedule and continue therapy to work through my numerous issues. I drink coffee and iced tea at night to stay alert and am developing disciplines in lieu of the Metadate. Gotta go study – God bless all of you who have the courage to quit this stuff!

  14. My insurance won’t pay for my Ritalin to treat chronic fatigue secondary to MS. So even the generic costs $85 per month. This month I could not afford it. So I have gone without for about 9 days.
    I have experienced depression, aggression, anxiety, disturbed sleep, and today I screamed and yelled at a stranger for no good reason. I literally lost complete control of myself and the shame of that moment will haunt me for a while.
    It did not occur to me that the lack or Ritalin could have influenced by behavior…but given how out of character it was for me, it only makes sense.
    At this point I wonder if i should continue to go without?

    1. Hi Virginia. Yes, what you experienced during those 9 days without Ritalin was definitely the process of withdrawal. Unfortunately, I cannot answer whether you should continue your treatment or not. Do you still need the Ritalin to help you manage your health condition? If not, and you feel fine without them, you can tell that to your doctor, so s/he will stop prescribing.

  15. Hello,I have a problem,my roommate use Ritalin,just something 40mg pre week,so I wanna try it,and because I dumpshit, just by two days,I was taken 240 mg and I couldn’t go sleep.Just tonight I called to ambulance,because my pressure was to high and heartbeat too fast.They give me a pills to normalize it,so I’m ok.But I have a guestion,based on the amount that I take barely in one day cuz I didn’t sleep,how long it’s gonna take get my eyes back to normal and could because of 240mg the danger affect be more aggressive?

    1. Hello Eli. Since Ritalin leaves the body within few days, and you only take it once, than you should be fine very quickly. But, have in mind that every drug affects each person differently, so in future consult your doctor before taking any psychoactive drug.

  16. My husband has been abusing Ritalin for the past 8 months. He’s been snorting it. His dose going up to 300mg a day. He’s extremely paranoid. And has crazy out of control episodes. He has been taking Prozac along with and some other antipsychotics. But nothing seems to help. They don’t have proper rehabs and the doctors here are unable to fix the issue. Can you tell me what exactly the doctors need to look at in such patients and what course of treatment should he go about. I’m scared that rate he is going he might damage his brain or have cardiac arrest. Husband otherwise is a very intelligent man. And he’s ruining his work and everything because of this issue. Any information would be very helpful. Thanks!
    Also if I plan to bring him to the states what place would be best for Ritalin rehabilitation.

    1. Hello Laila. I suggest you call the helpline number displayed on our site to get in touch with our trusted addiction treatment professionals who will gladly help you find the proper treatment center and program for your husband’s best recovery.

  17. I started using ritalin a few months ago. I would quit not even think about it for weeks. But this last run has been the worst I have been doing avg 120 mg/day and drinking so itvwould convert to ethylphenidate in my system. I started tapering three days ago I wanna be sober for Christmas I only did 40 mg today. I already feel slower in conversation I woke up and was agitated but I knew why, this isnt the first time I have kickef something, benadryl helps especially in getting sleep. I dont have a question per se but today was my last taper I flushed the rest wish me luck.

  18. I recently decided to quit my Ritalin after doing something really really stupid in order to get my fix sooner when I ran out of my prescription (40 mg/day) four days early. That was about a week and a half ago and it’s been HELL. I’m a graduate student and have been taking Ritalin for ADHD for almost a decade. Now I can never sit still, I’m always exhausted, always hungry, and have no filter at all it seems for what comes out of my mouth in and out of classes. When I wake up in the morning I just want to stay in bed because I’m terrified to face the day. When will the horror end????!!!?!?!?!?

  19. Hello Brad. You are not alone! In fact, prescription drug use has been known to turn slowly into abuse over the course of years…as in your case. Continue being honest…and it will work out! Take that step of faith and things will get better. You are in my thoughts.

  20. I was prescribed ritalin a few years ago. It was a night and day difference. My productivity increased, I was happier, and my life was worth living again. My prescription is 20mg 3x a day. While I’ve been on ritalin I have gained weight, had several instances of depression and anxiety as well as paranoia. To fight off those feelings, I would just take more ritalin. I can say for sure that I have always ran out of medicine at least a week and a half before I should. There’s been days where I have taken over 180 mg. I’ve known I’ve had a problem for quite a while but I have mentally become dependent on ritalin. It’s my wonder pill. I get stressed out if I have to sit down some where for an hour and I can’t take a pill. My wife and I had a baby three months ago and it put a lot of things into perspective for me. I’m tired of not being able to see well, I’m tired of being so stressed out that I can’t sit down, I’m tired of my muscles cramping up all day long, and I’m tired of being a fat zombie. I’m calling my doctor tomorrow to see what we can do. I’ve been afraid to get off them because I’m convinced I will lose my job if can’t concentrate. But now I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that I can find a job that I will be able to do without nonstop stimulants. It’s exciting to think about having a normal life again, but then again that may be the ritalin kicking in. Do y’all know what the scary part is? I’ve been able to sustain this horrible addiction the whole time without a single person noticing it. I prefer to keep it that way too. I will tell my wife of course so she can prepare for the side effects. Life’s too short to be living it the way I have and I’m ready to get better. Has anybody else had this problem? Or is anybody else currently going through this problem? I’d love to hear from anybody that’s got some advice or even words of encouragement. I’ve never been to this site and I don’t know if I will ever be back. Here’s to living life the way God intended!

  21. Hello Vitality. Have you consulted with your prescribing doctor yet? Record your symptoms: timing, severity, duration, type….and schedule a follow up appointment.

  22. Hi i’ve been taking Ritalin 20 mg a day for like 3 and a half month’s and i’ve been experiencing palpitations and laitly started having chest pain on my left side. So i stopped completely cold turkey and i started having headaches sever tiredness {fatigue}. The worst part is the fact i can not think i’m all ways confused like i feel brain dead like never before is that kind of normal for some people. It’s been few day’s that i have been off Ritalin 20 mg now so please help thank you…

  23. I just detoxed from venlafaxine 2/6 and am still having a few withdrawal side-effects. It was a very bad experience, took 5 months and had to go down to 3mg (from 300mg) before going off to lessen the side-effects. Next I will detox from 20mg x2 day methylphenidate. Any tappering directions/recommendations? And what should I expect during this detox?

  24. Hi Koen. It sounds like methylphenidate is working for you to help manage focus. I’d encourage you to keep a log/journal/calendar report of the symptoms that you experience so that you can track them over time with dosing. This kind of report can be very helpful to a prescribing physician or pharmacist to establish some baseline information, as well as figure out what might be causing problems…and can help you make decisions about use in the future. Best of luck to you!

  25. yes, i am diagnosed with severe ADD and i cannot have any kind of education without my daily 54 mg, so the therapeutic effects are indeed more important, at least until i have finished said education.
    this article merely made me wonder why i have never had any of these negative withdrawal symptoms.
    out of said symptoms, i do suffer from disturbed sleep patterns and sometimes mild depression, but only when the methylphenidate is still active, rather than when i stop taking it

  26. Hello Koen. Thanks for your question. Like any medication, you’ll need to weight the therapeutic effects against the adverse side effects to decide whether or not it’s the best option for you. Are you being treated for attention difficulties?

  27. the strange thing is, that i take methylphenidate by prescription, but that i seem to get these symptoms only while the stuff is still active, or up to a few hours thereafter
    furthermore, if i stop taking it, like in a holiday, when i don’t need it, then the first few days after the stop, i get symptoms like positive anxiety, extreme appetite and an improved sleep pattern
    methylphenidate only seems to improve my concentration, and not even in all area’s. apart from that, it just has a lot of side-effects, which wear off almost directly when i stop taking it.
    this has never really bothered me or my doctor very much, but this article does serve to worry
    any ideas?

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