- Heart disease or congenital heart defect
- High blood pressure
- Epilepsy other seizure disorder
- Tics or Tourette’s Syndrome
- Overactive Thyroid
- Anxiety, Tension, Agitation or any other psychiatric illness
- History of drug or substance abuse
Although the following is not a complete list, below the most common side effects of methylphenidate are listed. These medications are generally well tolerated and side effects are minimal. Should side effects last more than a few weeks or interfere with your, or your child’s ability to complete daily activities, you should speak with your doctor.
- Difficulty sleeping
- Decreased appetite
There have been some reports of sudden death caused by cardiac problems associated with stimulant medications. You should talk with your doctor about any heart condition or congenital heart defect. It is not known whether the underlying heart condition caused the sudden death in patients using methylphenidate or if the medication contributed to the cause of death, however, anyone with a serious heart condition should not take methylphenidate.
Stimulant medications can cause a spike in blood pressure and all patients taking stimulant medications should have their blood pressure monitored to make sure increases in blood pressure are not causing additional health problems.
Methylphenidate can increase agitation and nervousness in patients, and therefore, people with pre-existing psychiatric conditions should be monitored and, if needed, stimulant medication treatment should be discontinued. Some psychiatric conditions, which may worsen with methylphenidate use, include: anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression and other mood disorders. For people with bipolar disorder, special care should be taken as stimulant medication can cause a mixed or manic episode.
Some children and adolescents with ADHD show aggressive tendencies and when taking methylphenidate should be monitored to make sure aggression is not intensified or increased. Stimulant medications have not been shown to cause aggression or increase aggressive tendencies, however, care should be taken to monitor possible complications.