zig
0

Notifications

  • You're all caught up!
ADD & ADHD Center

What Effects Does Ritalin Have During Pregnancy?

by
author image Michele Noonan
Dr. Michele Noonan is author of "Train Your Brain To Get Thin," has published in journals including the "Journal of Neuroscience" and appears as a science expert on TV and radio shows. Noonan is a former Caltech scientist with a Ph.D. in neuroscience from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and a psychology B.A. from Boston College.
What Effects Does Ritalin Have During Pregnancy?
Ritalin, also known as methylphenidate, may be dangerous to the fetus during pregnancy. Photo Credit dimabs/iStock/Getty Images

Overview

Ritalin, the brand name for methylphenidate, is a stimulant used to treat Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. ADHD is a psychiatric disorder with symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Ritalin is a stimulant classified as Class C, which means its safety has not been determined in clinical trials with pregnant women. However, no major birth defects have been found in case studies according to the 2007 book "Drugs During Pregnancy and Lactation: Treatment Options and Risk Assessment" by Christof Schaefer and others. Pregnant women with ADHD should consult their doctors to determine if taking Ritalin is absolutely necessary; otherwise it should be abstained from to protect the fetus.

Brain Defects

Children exposed to Ritalin in the fetus may have developmental problems similar to ADHD. Mothers who abuse Ritalin have children who have developmental disabilities including poor academic performance and delays in language and math, according to Peter Breggin's 2001 book "Talking Back to Ritalin: What Doctors Aren't Telling You About Stimulants and ADHD."

You Might Also Like

Growth Retardation

Mothers who abuse Ritalin during pregnancy have children that are underweight and premature. In a 1993 study by registered nurse Val Debooy and others published in the "American Journal of Diseases in Children," 31 percent of 39 infants born to mothers who abused Ritalin intravenously had growth retardation, and 21 percent were born prematurely.

Addiction

Ritalin is an addictive and controlled substance, and fetuses exposed to Ritalin can become addicted to it as it passes through the placenta. According to a 2005 study by Peter Hackett and others published in "Therapeutic Drug Monitoring," in mothers taking Ritalin in doses from 35 to 80 mg/day, the fetuses received between 0.2 percent and 0.7 percent of the mother's dose. Newborns can suffer withdrawal symptoms once born. Debooy's 1993 study found that 28 percent of 39 infants born to mothers who abused Ritalin intravenously had withdrawal symptoms.

Related Searches

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
THE LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Nutrition, Workouts & Tips
GOAL
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
GENDER
  • Female
  • Male
lbs.
ft. in.

References

Demand Media