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Can Methylphenidate Cause Aggression?

Methylphenidate is the generic name of the brand name medication Ritalin, which is a prescription drug commonly prescribed to treat attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder. While methylphenidate has proven effective for treating symptoms associated with ADHD, several studies show the medication affects behavior. Many people who take this drug regularly exhibit increased aggression, as shown by several in-depth research studies.

Methylphenidate Has an Effect On Aggressive Behavior

For example, according to an article published by the National Library of Medicine and the National Center for Biotechnology Information titled: “Long-acting methylphenidate has an effect on aggressive behavior in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder” aggression is frequently observed in both children and adults who are being treated for ADHD with methylphenidate. Therefore, as reported in March of 2006, the Food and Drug Administration issued a new warning for the parents of children being medicated with methylphenidate (Ritalin) and other ADHD prescription medications. They suggested that parents be on the lookout for angry and violent outbursts and consult with the prescribing physician should aggression become a problem. Can Methylphenidate Cause Aggression?

Prescription Stimulant Addiction

While aggression is not a particularly common symptom of methylphenidate use, there is no doubt that this particular medication can cause aggression. If you or someone you love has been abusing Ritalin or any other prescription stimulant, however, aggression will be a much more common side effect.

More About Prescription Stimulant Abuse

Taking a higher dose than prescribed or recommended is a surefire way to exacerbate and worsen side effects. For more information on methylphenidate abuse and recovery, pick up the phone and get confidential help for addiction and dependence.

Signs and Symptoms of Prescription Stimulant Dependence

If you or someone you love has been struggling with prescription stimulant addiction, there are several signs and symptoms to be on the lookout for.  People who abuse prescription drugs have rarely been prescribed these drugs themselves. Instead, they often receive them from friends, acquaintances, or relatives or purchase them directly from drug dealers. You can look out for some tell-tale signs to better know if a loved one is abusing prescription stimulant drugs such as Ritalin or other ones.  Outside of drug-seeking behavior, warning signs include:

  • Taking a higher dose of the drug than recommended for a longer period than intended.
  • Attempting to cut back or quit but being unable to do so. 
  • Exhibiting behavioral changes, which could include aggression.
  • Developing a physical tolerance over time. 
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when use is stopped suddenly. 

Other Side Effects of Methylphenidate

Aggression is not the only side effect caused by methylphenidate. Some of the other potential side effects include:

  • Nervousness
  • Irritability and agitation
  • Insomnia and other sleep issues (difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep for longer than 30 minutes or an hour)
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Loss of appetite, which often leads to subsequent weight loss
  • Diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues
  • Decreased sex drive and sexual desire 
  • Increased heart rate, and in rare situations, heart palpitations 
  • Panic attacks and extreme or worsening anxiety
  • Profuse sweating and night sweats 
  • Headaches 
  • Muscle tightness and stiffness
  • I am uncontrollably moving a specific part of the body.

Evoke Wellness and Prescription Drug Addiction Recovery 

At Evoke Wellness, we effectively treat all symptoms associated with prescription drug addiction in a structured environment that focuses on consistently delivering the highest level of clinical treatment available.  We believe in a whole-person approach to drug addiction recovery, meaning we focus on physical, mental, and emotional healing while preparing every one of our clients for continued success in sobriety. We understand that because prescription drugs are so commonly prescribed and readily accessible, it can be extremely difficult to quit without developing a solid set of relapse prevention skills. 

Overcome Prescription Stimulant Abuse at Evoke Wellness Today!

Our recovery program focuses on relapse prevention training, along with a wide range of other addiction services. To learn more about recovering from methylphenidate or any other prescription or illegal drug, contact us today. We are standing by 24 hours a day to answer any additional questions you may have or help get you started with our simple admissions process.