Skip to main content

Ritalin for Narcolepsy User Reviews

Ritalin has an average rating of 7.0 out of 10 from a total of 31 reviews for the treatment of Narcolepsy. 61% of reviewers reported a positive experience, while 16% reported a negative experience.

Ritalin rating summary

7.0/10 average rating

31 ratings from 33 user reviews.

Compare all 33 medications used in the treatment of Narcolepsy.

10
13%
9
32%
8
16%
7
6%
6
0%
5
13%
4
3%
3
6%
2
0%
1
10%

Reviews for Ritalin

  • Anonymous
  • July 5, 2012

"I struggle with the Lethargic-type Depression. The Symptoms: lack of motivation, laziness, apathy, a-sociability (not caring about having others or relationships; NOT the same as anti-social), flat effect, low energy, excess sleeping, difficulty processing and connecting-the-dots; like when reading things for example, poor concentration, lack of drive, staying at home all day doing nothing, not getting a job, lack of determination and perseverance, giving up easily, low attention-span, etc. Ritalin works great for 'Lethargic Depression', and even MORE so when combined with my Cymbalta (60mg once-daily). I take 20mg in the morning, and I have a lot more energy. Just cleaning the dishes doesn't seem like an exhausting burden anymore. My facial expressions and effect don't seem flat, zombie, stiff and mask like. I can process what I'm reading more clearly. I CARE more and FEEL more. I feel motivated, and more active, no longer just sitting and watching TV all day, letting the house turn into a pit. I'm being productive, I can keep many things at the front of my head without forgetting. Overall I've gone from the walking, living dead -to- a living, happy, productive person. Overall, I take 90-120mg of the regular Ritalin (methylphenidate) in divided doses throughout the day."

9 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
291 Report
  • SleepyK
  • January 10, 2012

"I've been taking Ritalin for 3 years for Narcolepsy. I was very unwilling to try it at first, but after much research and a push from my doctor, I was finally alert and able to think clearly for the first time in years. I've had to alter my dose at times and currently take 10 mg twice a day. I work part-time and try to alter my lifestyle so I won't need to up my dose too soon. I can't imagine life without it and hope it continues to work for years to come."

9 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
113 Report
  • Anonymous
  • January 24, 2010

"I have taken this medication for over 5 years to help me stay awake due to a narcolepsy diagnosis. The drug is very effective, and I have not become addicted in any way, although I have developed a tolerance to the medication and have had to increase my dosage to now the highest amount available. I will most likely have to change to another medication. The side effects have also increased, including mood swings and feelings of depression when the drug wears off, and now I am convinced that it is time to switch medications. Even with these increased side effects, without this drug, I wouldn't have been able to function as a normal human being, and now I am nervous that I won't be able to find another medication that was this effective."

9 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
93 Report

Frequently asked questions

  • Tonytoo
  • April 10, 2011

"I have been on Ritalin for 20 years. It has worked great. While working full time, I took 20 mg twice daily. Now retired and taking only 10 mg each morning, I feel more tired, but being retired, I function well and can rest anytime I need to."

10 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
76 Report
  • Yooji
  • Taken for less than 1 month
  • August 21, 2018

"I was recently diagnosed with narcolepsy after a sleep study. I was nearly passing out while driving so often that it was hindering my life. I couldn't play with my 3 year old, and I couldn't clean or take care of myself. After a bad experience with Nuvigil, I was prescribed ritalin, and I take 15mg 2x a day. I am happier, I can drive and spend time with my daughter without having to lay down every hour. I'm able to do my college course work without putting it off until the last moment. Ritalin has changed my life."

9 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
38 Report

Are you taking this medicine?

  • Depre...
  • Taken for 5 to 10 years
  • September 22, 2016

"I have narcolepsy, and have been taking Ritalin for about 20 years. I was diagnosed with depression about 7 years ago, most recently taking Effexor, and citalopram. About 6 days ago I spiralled down fast and hard. Couldn't eat, sleep, reason anything good, was crying hysterically, horrible feelings, felt like I was slowly going crazy. I had stopped taking my Ritalin thinking it would keep me awake. Today I took my Ritalin, went for a nap and woke up clear. I was calm, it's been 8 hrs of no crying, no churning inside, no hysterics, I am sleeping, I can can think things through....absolutely night and day. No one ever told me that Ritalin could be helping my depression too."

Was this helpful?YesNo
41 Report
  • Anonymous
  • January 5, 2012

"I have been taking Ritalin for my narcolepsy for almost three years now. It helps significantly and without it, I don't think I would be able to work or function. However, my dosage has needed to be increased as it seems my body is getting used to it. It's also a great alternative to Provigil because it does not interact with birth control pills as Provigil does."

8 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
56 Report

More FAQ

  • Anonymous
  • October 17, 2008

"I really like it. The only thing about the Ritalin is that you get a slight rush and then it seems to wear off before it should. My dosage was doubled and that seemed to work out a lot better. It truly does the job as I don't fall asleep all the time."

9 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
57 Report
  • Dicka...
  • Taken for 6 months to 1 year
  • August 11, 2019

"I started on Ritalin for narcolepsy at 10mg twice a day. Did not keep me awake. Went to 20mg twice a day still didn't work well. 30 mg twice a day is working well. I feel so much better and I'm more active than I have been in years."

9 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
21 Report
  • Tobyc...
  • Taken for 1 to 6 months
  • November 11, 2016

"Recently diagnosed with narcolepsy and was given provigal. That did nothing. Given Ritalin and this is doing nothing either. Started at 10mg twice a day. Increased to 30mg twice a day. This is nothing more then a decent cup of coffee. Lasts no longer then an hour. Need better help for my tireness."

4 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
29 Report
  • htfloor
  • August 27, 2009

"This medicine is doing it's job. I actually fell asleep standing up in my dining room. Hit my chin on the table (ouch). Now, I don't fall asleep at inappropriate times (after I take my first dose). I do have concerns about it's habitual possibilities, which I must say, my doctor did not warn me about. I will have to keep a close watch on my behavior I guess, but it is working."

7 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
40 Report
  • ncos
  • July 21, 2018

"Let me start by stating that I am a 24 year old female with history of Idiopathic Hypersomnia, coarctation of the aorta and patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). I was recently in a car accident and received my second concussion. Upon visiting my neurologist for headaches/migraine complaints I brought to his attention my debilitating fatigue I've experienced since the last concussion. I've been to multiple doctors and they pushed aside this symptom. I was almost in tears when my neurologist prescribed Ritalin. Day 3: improved concentration AND more energy!. So far so good. I was worried I would have problems because of my heart conditions but it is anatomic and not rhythmic so I'm okay! He also assured this will help with weight loss which is great! Hope to continue to see great results with this medication."

8 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
20 Report
  • Jeane...
  • Taken for 10 years or more
  • August 9, 2016

"Taken Ritalin over 15 yrs for NARCOLEPSY. Provigal to $$. Over the years I have increased to 40mg two times daily. Have not (and won't) increased dosage in over 5 yrs. Retired now so it's easier to adjust mg. If I feel it's not working, I will stop taking it for a week or two (if possible) and then go back 10 mg at a time. May be time consuming but never had addiction. Considering the SR."

8 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
24 Report
  • Juliu...
  • April 13, 2009

"I had to quit Ritalin, despite starting on a very small dose, because it gave me tremors and a "wired" (but not alert) feeling. The problems did not diminish within 2 weeks, and that was all I could stand."

3 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
38 Report
  • NotCo...
  • Taken for 10 years or more
  • September 7, 2020

"I was diagnosed with excessive daytime sleepiness in the 90's. I took Ritalin twice a day for more than a decade. I found it was like being on a roller coaster. My first dose was mid-morning and it would take at least 30 minutes before it started kicking in. It "peaked" about 2 hours after consuming the dose where I felt awake, alert and full of energy for a very short time. Then it's effects slowly wore off, leaving me feel completely out of it, depressed, slow, un-motivated. I took the 2nd dose mid-afternoon, and it's effectiveness ran the same course. It was a struggle getting through every day."

3 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
13 Report
  • jezzml
  • Taken for 2 to 5 years
  • April 4, 2017

"When I was first diagnosed with narcolepsy at 13, I started with Ritalin and was taking about 40mg per day and definitely helped with my narcolepsy but wasn't strong enough to keep me fully awake and repress my cataplexy. I now take 81mg of concerta and 10mg of ritalin in the mornings and if needed another 10-20mg ritalin in the afternoons or when feeling tired. It's definitely been a life saver especially during class or when I'm out. Didn't have or had any significant side effects and am so glad to have been introduced to it"

8 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
19 Report
  • Punky
  • October 11, 2020

"In a single year, I was diagnosed w/intracranial hypertension, narcolepsy + severe sleep apnea. I use an ASV bc My brain forgets to breathe at night. Before Ritalin, my ASV didn't help much. I'm a 35 yr old F + I've tried Provigil, Nuvigil, Adderall, Sunsoni, & only 80mg of Ritalin ÷ in doses of 40mg 2× day has WORKED. My life is back & my apnea scores are lowest EVER. My neurologist can't believe it. Ritalin keeps my brain active so I breathe at night. Push thru the side effects; they WILL GO AWAY!"

9 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
11 Report
  • Sleep...
  • Taken for 1 to 6 months
  • July 29, 2018

"I have narcolepsy w/cataplexy and was prescribed Ritalin. Doc started me on a low dose to be taken twice day. The first 2 days I felt awake & alert, didn’t nap till 4:30 pm. After that, I just got sleepy. Never had that get-up-and-go like those first few days. Now after being on it for over a month, about 15 min after dosing I’m falling asleep. Literally head bobbing. I nap off and on all day long like before I was on Ritalin or I feel sick. I also notice that my chronic pain is heightened. Everything seems magnified on live wire. My eyes hurt, I’m more sensitive to light & have daily headaches on top of my chronic migraines. I finally see my neurologist tomorrow & hopefully he’ll have an alternative plan for me."

1 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
14 Report
  • Rick...
  • Taken for 10 years or more
  • January 12, 2024

"I was diagnosed in 1977 at the Mayo Clinic by Dr. Robert E Yoss. It changed my life! No one understood Narcolepsy like Dr. Yoss. He said some doctors will tell you to take a nap around noon for 15 minutes, that's when to look for a new doctor. Dr. Yoss said, 'I don't take my glasses off when I'm in the middle of reading something, so you should not be taking a nap in the middle of the day.' Dr. Yoss retired from the Mayo Clinic and had moved his practice to his home. He would only see people with Narcolepsy. He said most people with Narcolepsy are underdiagnosed and not being treated properly. When he said to take as needed, I asked, 'Well, how much and how often?' He explained that not every day is the same, some days you may be more tired and some days more alert, so take what you need when you need it."

9 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
2 Report
  • Emah
  • Taken for 2 to 5 years
  • January 27, 2021

"In 2017 after years of struggling with sleep issues I got myself a sleep study. It turned out I had Narcolepsy without cataplexy after a full night time study and MSLT. At first I was taking 10mg of Ritalin 2x a day, that wasn't working so she switched me to 10mg of Ritalin 4x daily. I was finding that I'd get terrible headaches from it so she tried me on Provigil 200mg. That alone wasn't working as your body adjusts to it. I started supplementing with 10mg of Ritalin 1x a day. That also wasn't working. I now take Provigil 200mg at 5am and supplement that with 20mg of Ritalin at noon and move on to another 10mg of Ritalin around 4pm and I'm getting through my 12 hour work days, plus still have energy when I get home! It's absolutely wonderful to feel like a normal functioning human being again. No headaches, no anxiety, concentration is perfect and I feel like me again. Adjust your meds if it's not working, fight to feel better."

9 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
7 Report
  • Short...
  • Taken for 1 to 6 months
  • April 11, 2018

"Had Narcolepsy from age 5 due to brain swelling. Ritalin has definitely helped. I can do a lot of things other than sleeping when I am on it.... When I am on it sometimes I Hyperventilate however. I take in everything around me (sounds, sights, smells). And I do worry sometime does it overload my brain and in long term would that end up making more problems down the road? Also because I need to be put on a higher does because my body becomes use to it. Pupils are always big on these meds (so I wear sunglasses to look after my eyes when I am out. Heart rate resting sits around 130bpm and goes up when going to the gym or working out. And cannot do long distances running. My hands shake a lot often need help from husband to drink tea as it can be difficult. All in all I guess it does sound bad my side effects but it gives me my life back. I gives me time were I am not tired so I will do it."

8 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
10 Report
  • Amy
  • July 26, 2020

"This drug killed my creative spirit. I began taking it 1.5 years ago for excessive sleepiness. I was diagnosed with sleep apnea and got a CPAP, but in the meantime I was on this. It kept me awake, but after I got the CPAP, it became my morning boost. I write romance novels, and around the time I went on this I began struggling to write. I went from producing a book every 2-3 months to producing NOTHING for over a year. I got a therapist to discuss my problems writing. One day, I succeeded in telling her exactly what the problem was. "It's like everyday life, and dishes and children and laundry are all the crazy waves on the top of the ocean, and in order to write, I need to sink down deep into the sea. Not only do I have no desire to go there, I actively avoid it." As soon as I heard myself, I realized, IT'S THE RITALIN. I stopped taking it and saw a huge change. Within a month, my creative life returned to normal. This can be an amazing drug, but proceed with caution!"

5 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
7 Report
  • sleep...
  • February 6, 2017

"Hi I was Diagnosed when I was 6 years old and I am now 25 years old. I have taken Provigil, Adderall, Nuvigil, Ritalin, and now methylphenidate ER. I could not take the recent medication due the side effect I use to get all the time and it wasn't until I started taking folican xr that my life had change . I felt like I was never diagnose at all . I started taking folican when I was maybe in middle school up until a year ago . I was put on another medication which is methylphenidate which seem to make me more tired . The things I could do as a person without narcolepsy I can no longer do them . Emotion that by itself put strain on me . This by itself seem to do nothing . 10mg 1-2 a day . When I was on folican I took 15 mg 3 times"

1 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
10 Report
  • profe...
  • April 17, 2023

"I suffer from bipolar disease and my depressive episodes are just living hell. I literally can't get out of bed and talk to others. I also suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness. Ritalin made me a little ,I wouldn't say happier just more jazzed up. After 2 to 3 hours the comedown and crash happened and it made me going through a depressive episode. I stopped taking it and again changed to Modafinil. It doesn't have any crash or comedown. My problem was that its effects weren't strong enough for me and I witnessed that at least in my case and many other people's experiences, Modafinil is way more effective and a lot of safer than Ritalin. Once I worked on Modafinil for 11 or 12 hours straight without any pause at all. However, on Ritalin after 2 hours and something I became too exhausted. These stimulant meds aren't effective enough for a person who really suffers from a mental condition."

1 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
1 Report
  • Anonymous
  • Taken for 1 to 2 years
  • February 5, 2023

"I have to take medication to sleep which makes me groggy in the morning and I was falling asleep at the wheel. I used to take geodon, also for schizoaffective disorder. Was prescribed Ritalin and it did help me wake up and it was easy to get to work on time. However it made my paranoia and anxiety so much worse. Everyone was out to get me, plotting against me, etc. Had awful anxiety 24/7. Quit Geodon and now I’m on trazodone and seroquel, without them I can’t sleep but again it’s hard to wake up in the morning. I miss being able to wake up easily with Ritalin but I don’t miss the paranoia and anxiety."

5 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
1 Report

Reviews may be edited to correct grammar/spelling or to remove inappropriate language and content. Reviews that appear to be created by parties with a vested interest are not published. This information is not intended to endorse any particular medication. While these reviews may be helpful, they are not a substitute for the expertise, knowledge, and judgement of healthcare professionals.

Learn more about Narcolepsy

Care guides

Symptoms and treatments

Medicine.com guides (external)