Ever wondered if you were harming your child with psychostimulants? Parents must be informed of the short term and long term Ritalin side effects. Ritalin is a mild central nervous system stimulant. It is the drug of choice for treating ADHD for hyperactive kids. Of the many psychoactive drugs prescribed to children in the United States, Ritalin is a powerful stimulant that is classified as a Schedule II narcotic (classification for medical drugs with the highest abuse potential and addiction profile).

The most common symptoms of ADHD are impulsiveness, hyperactivity and inattention. Now your child might not have all of these behavioral problems. Some kids are primarily hyperactive. Others get sidetracked easily, become bored or daydream.

Many children take this stimulant with few side effects of Ritalin. Others experience mild problems. Some children simply are unable to tolerate stimulants. At this point another drug may be recommended – or a safe, natural solution.

Common Ritalin Side Effects:

  • Reduced appetite – This can be problematic for the parent to come up with a mealtime schedule that fits with the child’s medication. While on the medication your child may have a reduced appetite and at the end of the cycle your child may have an increased appetite. This can also cause a loss of weight or an increase in weight. Your child’s appetite may improve after several weeks or months.
  • Rebound – A common problem with short acting methylphenidate or amphetamine. Children may experience irritability or depression for an hour as the stimulant wears off. Sometimes this is worse than the child’s behavior before the medication was started.
  • Difficulty sleeping – Doctors recommend to take a sleep history before starting any stimulant medication. Problem maybe corrected with reducing or increasing dosage. This side effect of Ritalin can be compounded with the mealtime schedule.

Added to the list of side effects of Ritalin are irritability, headaches, anxiety, jitteryness or nervousness, stomach aches, dry mouth, dizziness, blurry vision, drowsiness, anemia, anorexia, scalp hair loss, blood glucose changes, increased blood pressure and pulse change, psychosis or paranoia, seizures, and sudden death (rare).

I was shocked to learn Ritalin is also used to treat narcolepsy (an uncontrollable desire to sleep). It is no wonder that Ritalin has been called “kiddy cocaine”. Ritalin can be helpful in the short term in reducing ADHD symptoms but no physician will claim that Ritalin cures ADHD.

Believe me, you have your work cut-out. Parents must be aware of these Ritalin side effects and should constantly monitor their child’s health and behavior. Drugs are not a quick fix for treating ADHD. Many of these symptoms can be alleviated safely and effectively with a combination of homeopathic treatment, dietary control, behavioral therapy, and an overall healthy lifestyle.

The greatest thing about natural treatment is that it doesn’t cost much and it is 100% safe. Prescription drugs on the other hand are expensive and have dangerous side effects. A homeopathic remedy can be a highly effective alternative treatment for ADHD in order to get rid of bothersome symptoms of ADHD such as erratic behavior, lack of concentration, hyperactivity, and twitching. Best of all, homeopathic remedies are non-addictive and have no side effects whatsoever. It won’t take you long to see how much healthier and happier your child can really be if you give homeopathy and lifestyle improvement a try.

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Wayne McDonald is a health enthusiast who has been researching the best natural remedies for various health conditions for many years. Find out more about some of the most effective treatments for ADHD on his site at http://www.adhd-natural-solutions.com