Methylphenidate, or Ritalin, is a type of medication given to people, usually children, who are affected by attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. This disorder is noticeable through symptoms that include a rather persistent exhibition of high degrees of activity, impulsiveness and lack of attention. While these symptoms may be prevalent in many people at one point or another, the people with ADHD display them more frequently and at a higher level than is typical in most individuals.

This unusual kind of behavior begins in children ages three to five and can be recognized and diagnosed during the child's elementary school period. It is usually diagnosed because of the child's hyper-active movements, lack of attentiveness, and impulsive behavior. While symptoms may dissipate as the child enters adolescence and matures to adulthood, the disorder is sometimes found to be present in some adults, signifying that it can persist beyond what was perceived to be its natural life span. There is also a startling estimate that an approximate three to seven percent of children have ADHD.

The logic behind the usage of Ritalin in children with ADHD, and even in adults who have attention problems, is connected with the brain's production of dopamine. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that controls a person's movement and emotions. With Ritalin, the dopamine levels in a patient's brain increase to give the child a calming effect as well as an increase in focus. Along with psychotherapy, the usage of Ritalin to treat ADHD is seen as invaluable to these children suffering from the disorder.

While Ritalin is indeed seen as a huge help for those suffering from ADHD, there are quite a few drawbacks associated with the medicine. Ritalin is a stimulant; therefore, addiction to the effects of the drug is a danger. Other side effects of the drug include difficulties sleeping, depression, motor tics, and blurry vision. Some of the more rare side effects may include hypertension, or high-blood pressure, and palpitations. These more dangerous side effects have led to a number of patients dying or falling victim to severe side effects such as heart attacks or strokes induced by this medication.

In recent years, there has been a marked increase in the adverse effects of Ritalin in people of all ages. There have been people who have lost family members to strokes and heart attacks that are side effects of the drug. There are also others who have seen their children become addicted to the drug and have subsequently needed to rehabilitate their loved ones. This created a lengthy list of lawsuits against Ritalin and the company that produces it, to have them held accountable for the adverse effects that the drug has generated in the patients taking it and subsequently, the damages it caused to their families and lives.

There have also been speculations that the emergence and diagnosis of ADHD was created by these people who stand to earn from the prescription and sale of Ritalin. While this is still being questioned, people who are showing adverse reactions to the drug are suffering. The company that sells the drug is required to report any adverse side effects that may be experienced from taking the drug. Failure to do so can be considered negligence on their part, and is a serious offense to deal with.

If you or a member of your family has suffered undue trauma or ill health due to Ritalin, contact a reputable lawyer to handle litigation for you. There are a few Ritalin lawsuits pending the court's decisions, and you can have a right to your day in court too. You do not have to stand idly by and watch your loved ones suffer from the side effects of Ritalin. Contact a lawyer near you, and ask what you can do to help ease the pain and suffering you or your loved one is going through.