How Much Ritalin Is Enough?

Filed Under: ADD Meds: Dosing, Ritalin

Q:

"I'm 39 and started taking Ritalin 2 weeks ago. I have been trying to find the right dose to take during the day. I feel better with a higher dose (15-20 mg every four hours), because a lower one gives me a headache. What should I do?"

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

The goal with Ritalin is to find the dose that helps the most with no side effects. The dose is not based on age or body weight. It is based on how quickly each person metabolizes the medication. Thus, it appears that 15 or 20 mg every four hours may be best for you. If this dose is working with no side effects, it might be the plan to stay on.

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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