Can Ritalin make you gain weight?

Obesity and being overweight has become the scourge of the modern world. Most of us are leading lifestyles seem to be tailored to cause obesity and being overweight. We exercise less and less, we eat food that seems to be getting unhealthier by the day and we are exposed to ever-increasing amounts of stress, which can result in overeating. And obesity is much more than just an issue of self-image. Obesity and being overweight significantly increases the risks of developing such conditions like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol.

These conditions all affect eh quality of life in a detrimental way, they shorten the life expectancy and they can all lead to further, more dangerous complications, as well as episodes, mostly cardiovascular events that can be life-threatening. Therefore, it is quite understandable that people wish to know if a certain medication is going to make them gain weight. It is even more understandable when you consider the fact that there are many medications that name weight gain as one of their side effects.

In case of Ritalin, this should not worry you. There is nothing about the Ritalin’s mechanism of action that can in no way result in an increase in weight. Moreover, Ritalin will do exactly the opposite in certain cases. Namely, weight loss and appetite loss are among the side effects of Ritalin that are considered to be most common.

The reasons why Ritalin can result in loss of appetite and weight loss can be found in the very mechanism of action of this medication. Namely, Ritalin brings benefits to patients suffering from ADHD and narcolepsy by inhibiting reuptake of certain neurotransmitters in the brain called dopamine and norepinephrine. It mostly acts by inhibiting the reuptake of dopamine by the dopamine receptors, but it also does the same with norepinephrine receptors, which is what is of interest to us.

Namely, norepinephrine is responsible for a number of processes in the human body. For instance, norepinephrine underlies something called the fight-or-flight response, which is an adaptation syndrome which results in a number of things. For one, it results in the loss of appetite. It also increases the heartrate, while it also triggers release of glucose from energy stores, which directly results in weight loss. As you can see, this fight-or-flight response can definitely result in weight loss and, in fact, there are many weight loss medications that rely on this response in order to do their job.

As you can see for yourself, there is not a chance that Ritalin is going to cause weight gain. In fact, there is a probability that it is going to result in weight loss due to its effect on neurotransmitters in the brain. However, you should never consider using Ritalin as a weight loss pill as it is too dangerous to be used for this purpose as it is not its intended purpose and there are also medications that are much more efficient at this. Weight loss is considered to be a side effect of Ritalin and not the intended effect.

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