Disclaimer: I am not advocating against this medication as I am not a doctor. I am just giving my experience and how people from my family react to Ritalin.
When taking your child or yourself to a psychiatrist or any medical professional, it is important to be informed and educated on what you are taking. The medications that are prescribed are proven but everyone reacts to medication differently. If you do not want your child or yourself on a certain medication, it is very import. This way you can make sure your wishes are respected. This is called informed consent.
Part of being informed is knowing what the medication that is being refused is called. There are usually different names for the same medication.
For example, all the brands for Ritalin are
The generic name for Ritalin is methylphenidate.
When I was diagnosed with ADHD in 1988, I was prescribed Ritalin. In the 1980’s Ritalin was all there was. I was prescribed it when I was 6 and a half. I remember taking it in school. The school nurse taught me how to swallow a tablet. I do not remember this but I was told when I was on it I was aggressive. I targeted my aggression toward my best friend. As soon as my parents saw this was happening, I was taken off Ritalin. But it was not replaced with anything because there was nothing else. My mother tried to medicate me with coffee because caffeine is a stimulant. It did not work well and I had to learn how to cope and succeed on my own.
Roo Was Prescribed it Twice Without Me Being Informed
Roo was diagnosed at five years old with ADHD. He was diagnosed by the same neurologist that diagnosed my other children with ADHD and autism. I was very clear from the beginning, no Ritalin. I was willing to try other medications. I was worried that Roo would have the same reaction I did, he was more similar to me than my husband.
After seeing this neurologist for several years, he was on different medications that were not Ritalin. One appointment, he prescribed a medication I never heard of and and thought nothing of it.
When I went to pick up his medication at the pharmacy, I asked to see the box because I never have heard of this medication. The pharmacist’s daughter was in N’s preschool class so I straight up asked her if it was Ritalin and she told me yes. I looked it up. I was livid because i SPECIFICALLY said no Ritalin. I called the doctor and they argued with me. After a few minutes, they agreed to put it on Roo’s allergy list so this never happened again.
Today Roo had a telehealth appointment with his psychiatrist. She is normally amazing with the kids and listens. She has changed the children’s medications according to their needs. We have been seeing her for about 6 years no complaint.
At this telehealth appointment, she decided to change his medication. She did not say specifically Ritalin. She said it was methylphenidate. My husband went to the appointment when I was working. Nick told me they were putting Roo on a stimulant and he could not remember what it was called. He said it was methyl something. This prompted me to call the pharmacy. I asked them what the stimulant was. He told me it was methylphenidate. The pharmacy tech knew I say no Ritalin for Roo.
After I got off the phone with the pharmacy tech, I had Nick call the psychiatrist’s office. I knew if I called, I would not be very nice and I would not get anything done. Nick waited for an hour for them to answer. Once they did, they apologized. They agreed that he cannot take this medication and put it on his allergy list. They found the note when I explicitly said NO RITALIN. They are calling back with a different medication.
This is why truly informed consent is extremely important. Had we not been truely informed, Roo would be taking a medication we did not want him on. Again, I am not advocating against this proven medication. It just is not right for our family due to side effects being experienced. This is for Roo’s and everyone else’s safety.