Methylphenidate (MPH, Ritalin, Concerta, Smarties, Skittles)

New Jersey Ritalin/Concerta Prescription Drug Possession and Distribution Defense Attorneys

Prescription Drug Facts About Methylphenidate (MPH)

Brand names: Ritalin, Concerta, Metadate

Street names: Uppers, Rids, Rit, kiddie coke, Smarties, Skittles, Pineapple, Vitamin-R, R-ball

Drug Classification:  Methylphenidate is a Schedule II substance in the US. It is illegal to sell without a DEA license and illegal to possess without a license or prescription. Refills for prescriptions cannot be phoned in but rather require a written prescription.

General Drug Information

Ritalin (methylphenidate) is a stimulant drug prescribed in the treatment of attention-deficit disorder and narcolepsy. It is the most commonly prescribed stimulant drug. Ritalin chemically is similar to amphetamine, but has a more complex structure that affects the body differently. Some users describe Ritalin as producing less euphoria than amphetamines, leading to the claim that Ritalin is “more dull” and other stimulants.

While a huge number of people are prescribed Ritalin every year, its use remains controversial. Many believe the drug is overprescribed, especially among children, while others see use of the drug as cheating in school or work settings. Since the drug is so medically prevalent, most of the supply for its recreational use comes from diversion for legitimate prescriptions.

Abuse by College Students

Many college students and adults take Ritalin to improve performance in school or at work by improving concentration, or to stay awake for long periods of time. When medically supervised, the risk of abuse of Ritalin is low. Dangers become far more pronounced when individuals abuse the drug by crushing and snorting it (insufflate) or injecting it in an attempt to create effects similar to those of cocaine. Do not take Ritalin if you have been taking an MAO inhibitor, as this may vastly intensify the effects of the drug leading to potentially life-threatening conditions.

Side Effects

Ritalin increases alertness and focus while decreasing appetite and fatigue. It causes an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. Side effects may include stomach pain, nausea, dizziness, headache, sweating, anxiety, insomnia, weight loss from appetite suppression, and numbness in extremities like the hands and feet.

Children under 6 years of age should not be given Ritalin, and risks pertaining to stunted growth and liver damage exist for children taking the medication. Less common and more severe side effects include irregular or pounding heartbeats, muscle twitching, and hypersensitivity (skin rash, fever, and easily bruising or purple skin) and if observed warrant contacting your doctor immediately. An allergic reaction to Ritalin is characterized by hives, swelling of the face, throat, tongue, and lips, and difficulty breathing, and also warrants immediate medical attention. Overdosing on Ritalin can be fatal and can cause vomiting, tremors, seizure, hallucinations, and fainting.

Addiction and Withdrawal Symptoms

While there is little evidence of addiction to Ritalin when it is used as was medically intended, recreational use of the drug can rapidly produce tolerance and can be physically addictive. Taking high doses of Ritalin can lead to paranoia and violent aggression Common withdrawal symptoms include extreme fatigue, depression, and changes in heartbeat. Some withdrawal symptoms can be treated with antidepressants, or therapies designed for withdrawal from cocaine or other stimulants.