Long-Term Ritalin Use May Worsen ADHD Symptoms

Extracted from an article in in May 2013 titled, "Long-Term Ritalin Use for ADHD May Worsen Symptoms and Reduce Drug Efficacy"

Long-term use of Ritalin could decrease the efficacy of the treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) patients, and may even worsen symptoms of ADHD, a new study shows.

In the findings published in PLOS ONE on May 15, researchers for the first time looked at the long-term effects of Ritalin on this disorder, which is one of the most common childhood conditions that can persist long into adulthood. Methylphenidate is commonly known as Ritalin and prescribed to treat ADHD patients. During the study's course, participants underwent a 12-month treatment of Ritalin. At the end, researchers noticed an elevated level of dopamine transporters (DAT) in participants.

DATs are proteins that pump dopamine neurotransmitters (DA) into the brain and are especially important for disorders like ADHD, which is associated with structural or regulatory damage to the DA transporter. Dopamine is responsible for reward-driven learning and plays a major role in motivation and attention.. Researchers found that the rise in DA transporters as a result of long-term Ritalin use means the lengthy consumption may decrease the treatment's efficacy and worsen symptoms...

In a 2012 study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London found that an ADHD patient could adapt to medication over time and suggested that short-term is better than long-term use of medication.