The Ultimate Guide to Ritalin Side Effects 2021 | Nootropics Review

ritalin side effects

The Ultimate Guide to Ritalin Side Effects 2021 | Nootropics Review

Ritalin is a popular nootropic that is used by many to boost mental performance and energy. Similar to Adderall, many students in the UK use it as a study drug, however, it's more popular in the US.

But, should its popularity be a concern? What are the side effects most commonly associated with Ritalin?

We asked our team of nootropic experts to review the existing scientific literature and to draw their conclusions.

Did we miss anything? Do you want to let us know what your experience with Ritalin was like? Let us know in the comments below.

If you're interested in this topic, you should also consider checking out our article Smart Pill UK 2019 Review - Which Ones to Try and Which to Avoid.

Important note: this article discusses Ritalin when used as a nootropic/cognitive enhancer, and details Ritalin side effects for those without ADHD.

If you have been prescribed Ritalin for any medical condition, you should continue using it as advised by your doctor.


What is Ritalin?

What are Ritalin's side effects?

Options other than Ritalin?


What is Ritalin?

Ritalin is the brand name for methylphenidate, a stimulant. It isn't an amphetamine but has similar effects as both substances are classed as stimulants. 

Methylphenidate was first synthesised in 1944 and has been used medically since the 1960s. Today, Ritalin is used as a treatment for ADHD, narcolepsy, and other disorders. 

It's believed by some to have cognitive-enhancing effects, and, as it's a stimulant, Ritalin can help with wakefulness as a result of sleep deprivation.

Quick Tip: BrainZyme Focus Pro works as a great alternative to AdderallRitalin's mechanism of action is (by a large degree) to act on the brain neurotransmitter dopamine, of which one pathway has a major motivational component. It can for some also increase wakefulness and decrease appetite.

A safe, natural and fully legal UK alternative such as Brainzyme® Focus Pro works on the same pathway as Ritalin (and thus has similar results with fewer side effects).

What are Ritalin's side effects?

Most of Ritalin's side effects are reported to be mild, according to studies into side effects on children with ADHD. However, these are among children that may normally be prescribed the drug, rather than people using it off-label without a cognitive 'need' for Ritalin, so results may differ.

By looking at various sources (the FDA, the NHS, manufacturer information and various independent studies), we have compiled the following comprehensive list of Ritalin (Methylphenidate) side effects.

Common side effects:

  1. Headaches
  2. Decreased appetite
  3. Stomach ache
  4. Nervousness/anxiety
  5. Insomnia
  6. Nausea
  7. Increase in blood pressure
  8. Mood swings

Rarer side effects:

  1. Seizures
  2. Problems with your vision
  3. Cardiovascular issues
    1. Circulation Issues
    2. Psychological problems - it can potentially activate or exacerbate pre-existing mental issues and precipitate hypomanic or manic symptoms or can even lead to paranoid psychosis.

    Options other than Ritalin?

    If you want something that avoids the side effects of Ritalin but is still capable of improving your cognitive performance and studies, then consider a natural nootropic.

    Brainzyme, for example, uses Tyrosine, which has been found to boost dopamine in the brain in a similar way to Ritalin. 

    But as it's from a naturally occurring protein, not a synthetic pharmaceutical, it can arguably cause less of the side-effects associated with Ritalin - and, as it is legal to sell, there's no chance of buying a counterfeit product that has been adulterated.

    A comparison table is below, regarding the effects of Ritalin versus those of Brainzyme.


    Ritalin Brainzyme
    Helps concentration, motivation, wakefulness.
    Works fast
    Helps concentration, motivation, energy.
    Works fast
    Side effects Side effects

    o Headache.
    o Decreased appetite.
    o Stomach ache or nausea.
    o Tapping/restlessness.
    o Hypertension or tachycardia.
    o Mood swings.
    o Long term side effects for Ritalin can get worse.

    Hardly any side effects; some reports of feeling thirsty or going to the bathroom more.
    Wakefulness Wakefulness
    Keeps you awake for a long time.
    Potentially longer than you want it to.
    Difficulty switching off.
    Helps maintain wakefulness and alertness.
    Focus Focus
    Laser focus, which can be on the wrong task.
    You may end up playing computer games, reading about other topics, etc.
    Can be detrimental to studying.
    Can induce issues like paranoia, that will disrupt focus.
    Helps give you the motivation and will to work, and aids in reducing distractions.
    Assists in maintaining a natural focus.
    Stimulation Stimulation
    Highly stimulating, causing agitation in some individuals. Calms and focuses the mind.
    Tolerance Tolerance
    May cause tolerance, needing increased doses to have the same effect.
    Off-label abuse can be addictive.
    No issues with tolerance
    Availability/Legality Availability/Legality
    o Only available by prescription.
    Maybe screened for in sporting drugs tests.
    Readily available to buy
    Legal and natural for sporting use
    Both aid in motivation, concentration and alertness.

    Ritalin can be more potent, with more potential for side-effects which can lower productivity and hinder results.

    Brainzyme, by comparison, is a natural nootropic.

    It's smoother, and overall may yield more productivity and better results, especially over weeks and months.

    You would need to decide for yourself which one is better for you, especially in light of the side-effects and other issues.


    Because of the risks outlined above (side-effects, safety, legality etc), we do not recommend to use Ritalin as a nootropic. However, the good news is there are alternatives you can try.

    People taking Ritalin as a nootropic mainly do so for three reasons: To increase concentration, to increase mental performance and to reduce tiredness.

    We would recommend opting for a substance that is safer, comes with fewer side-effects, is better value for money and has been scientifically proven to do all of those three things.

    Related articles

    If you liked this article, you should also consider checking out the following related articles:

    The Ultimate Ritalin UK Guide - Uses, Side Effects and Legality in the UK.

    The 7 Best Modafinil Alternatives to Boost Your Brain in 2021.

    The Ultimate 2021 Adderall UK Guide: Legality, Alternatives & More.

    * = Important note - whilst Brainzyme is scientifically proven to support concentration and mental performance, it is not a replacement for a good diet, moderate exercise or sleep. Brainzyme is also not a drug, medicine or pharmaceutical. It is a natural-sourced, vegan food supplement with ingredients that are scientifically proven to support cognition, concentration, mental performance and reduction of tiredness. You should always consult with your doctor if you require medical attention.


    • Hi Blake,

      Thanks for your question!

      I am not a Doctor and cannot give medical advice.

      However, many customers have given us feedback to the extent that BrainZyme has helped the results obtained with Ritalin (when being taken ‘off-label’ as a ‘smart-drug’), as it can act in synergy.

      Some customers have told us they have been cycling Ritalin with Brainzyme, and this prevents problems with becoming dependent on Ritalin.

      I hope this helps!


      Robert (Mod)
    • Can I take brainzyme as well as Ritalin?


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