Are you suffering from a sleep disorder while expecting? Has your doctor prescribed some Ritalin for the condition? And although you trust your doc, you, understandably, want to know more about Ritalin, is it safe for the fetus, and can it cause any complications.
If either of these questions had you nodding along, it might be a good idea to read our post. So, scroll down to learn all about Ritalin during pregnancy and how safe it is to have then.
What Is Ritalin?
Ritalin is popular as methylphenidate hydrochloride. The medicine belongs to a class of medications popular as central nervous system stimulants (CNS stimulants). Ritalin works on altering norepinephrine and dopamine levels in the brain to enable signals to transmit from one nerve to another. The drug helps treat narcolepsy, a sleep disorder, and is regularly prescribed to people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)(1).
Is It Safe To Have Ritalin During Pregnancy?
Yes! You can have Ritalin while pregnant, but as with all other medications, speak to your doctor. She will be the one to determine the best dose for you. The benefits of the medication may outweigh the potential risks to the unborn baby. But, ensure that you don’t have more than the prescribed dose of Ritalin. If your fetus suffers from exposure to Ritalin, your unborn baby is at a high risk of contracting brain defects that may result in ADHA and developmental disabilities. Follow the physician’s prescribed dose of the drug(2).
[ Read: Labetalol During Pregnancy ]
Health Benefits Of Taking Ritalin While Pregnant:
Apart from increasing the levels of neurotransmitters in your brain, Ritalin offers many benefits while you are pregnant. Some of them include:
1. Enhanced Cognitive Function:
Ritalin stimulates the central nervous system. It increases the levels of dopamine neurotransmission in your brain and raises your efficiency. It helps you focus and improves your attention, filters out distractions, and motivates target-accomplishing behavior. The medication improves your ability to concentrate and boosts cognitive function. It motivates you to complete the undertaken task. Ritalin also minimizes the symptoms of ADHD and enables smooth cognitive functioning during pregnancy (3).
2. A Cure For Narcolepsy:
Narcolepsy is a disorder resulting due to inability to stay awake. Dozing off can be inappropriate at work, and dangerous while you are driving. If you are suffering from narcolepsy during pregnancy, the right dose of Ritalin can help reduce the symptoms of the disorder, minimize lethargy, and promote normal functioning (4).
3. Minimize Fatigue:
Increased levels of dopamine and norepinephrine due to Ritalin help minimize fatigue during pregnancy. The drug helps you feel active and helps refreshes your mood (5).
[ Read: Xanax During Pregnancy ]
4. Reduces Obesity:
Ritalin is also an effective treatment for obesity. The drug increases your metabolic rate and suppresses your appetite. You need to consult your doctor and use the medication along with necessary exercises and diet to get rid of unwanted excess weight and improve your health (6).
Side Effects Of Ritalin During Pregnancy:
There are many benefits of having the medication during pregnancy, but there are certain potential side effects of the drug. Some of them include:
• Abdominal pain
• Decreased appetite
• Irregular heartbeat
• Blurred vision
• Changes in the blood pressure
• Skin rash
• Weight loss
• Fever (7)
[ Read: Acyclovir During Pregnancy ]
If you suffer from any of the above side effects for a prolonged period after having Ritalin in pregnancy, then seek medical assistance as soon as possible.
Did you take Ritalin during pregnancy? How did you benefit from it? Did you suffer from any side effects? Tell us about your experiences below. Fellow mommies would love to hear from you. So, leave your comments or suggestions in the section below.
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