Stuttering as a Side Effect of Ritalin

Filed Under: Side Effects of ADHD Meds, Ritalin

Q:

"My grandson has been taking Ritalin for six years (10 mg twice a day). He started stuttering after about a year on this drug. Is this a result of the medication?"

Dr. Larry Silver specializes in treating children with attention deficit disorder (ADHD).
A:

Speech dysfluency (stuttering) is not a side effect often seen with Ritalin. Also, since the stuttering started a year after being on Ritalin, I doubt if this medication caused the stuttering. It would be my suspicion that the stuttering is a separate problem not related to the Ritalin.

I hope your grandson is seeing a speech-language therapist to help him with his stuttering. If there is any doubt about the impact of Ritalin on stuttering, it would be easy to stop the Ritalin and see if the stuttering stops.

Larry Silver, M.D., is the author of Dr. Larry Silver's Advice to Parents on AD/HD and The Misunderstood Child: Understanding and Coping with Your Child's Learning Disabilities. He is also a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
 
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