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Is it true that the medicine Ritalin is a type of speed/amphetamine?

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FRANK Advice
10th Apr 2015

Ritalin is the brand name for methylphenidate which is a medicine mainly used to treat attention deficit hyper-activity disorder (ADHD), but it can also be used to treat narcolepsy (a sleep disorder where a person suddenly falls asleep at inappropriate times).

Ritalin is not part of the amphetamine family of drugs, but it is a stimulant and therefore has amphetamine-like effects. Such as, feeling wide awake, refreshed, energised and able to focus on one thing for a long time without getting distracted or tired. In recent years Ritalin has been used as a study aid and in exams, many people think that this is a form of cheating. Ritalin can also make you feel nervous/panicky, tired and it can cause insomnia.

Other risks reported from using Ritalin include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, anorexia, increased heart rate, tics, headaches, rashes and depression.

Ritalin comes as yellow, grey and white tablets and as capsules which can be half green, half white or half blue, half white or half brown, half white or half lilac, half white, or half light grey, half purple, or half grey, half purple, or lilac.

The tablets can be swallowed or crushed into as powder and snorted, while the capsules can be swallowed or the powder can be removed from the capsule and snorted. An injectable solution can be made from powdered Ritalin.

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