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How Ritalin, Ritalina, Concerta helps ADHD Patients; Brain Effects of Ritalin/Concerta

Abstract: Ritalina stimulates a neurotransmitter called dopamine in certain areas of the brain, causing the person to feel calmer and more concentrated.

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How Ritalin, Ritalina, Concerta helps ADHD Patients; Brain Effects of Ritalin/Concerta

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Written by: Martin Winkler, German psychiatrist and psychotherapist.
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 28 Apr 2017.

Why does Ritalin, Ritalina, Concerta help ADHD patients? What are the brain effects of Ritalin/Concerta on them?


Ritalina (Methylphenidate) is a psychostimulant that modifies the amount of the neurotransmitter dopamine. There is a special transport system for this neurotransmitter that is blocked by methylphenidate so more dopamine is available for the function of the brain in specific areas of the brain. This helps the brain to sustain attention, to control impulses or to regulate emotions. Usally ritalina works for at least 80 percent of adhd patients, if it is properly used and combined with psychosocial and psychotherapeutic treatment options.

The normal version of ritalina starts working 30 minutes after intake and lasts for about 3 to 3,5 hours. Usually the patients feel calmer and will feel the differences of awareness and concentration. However the doctors have to try out the right dosage. Any form of wrong dosage can cause unpleasant sensations or lack of concentration. Usually trying out the right dosage might take several weeks.

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