Posted by: Apile | 2011/04/20


Extreme weight loss& Ritalin

its been thee months since my 14 year old son has started ritalin.He takes one tablet everyday in the morning(should it be before or after meals?, he takes them anytme).I must say the teachers are commending the change of attitude etc and his first term report looked good except for English, his major and favourite subject and life orientation, a subject that requires common sence and maths, he has been struggling with this one.My biggest concern is that he has lost tremendous weight since he started.He is eating and sleeping normally mother mentioned an episode of extreme violence towards his 7 year old brother.he will do something today, become so teary and sorry and apologetic when you confront him in two days he will do the same things again, its a cycle. His friends are below his age, he has no steady male figure in his life, I try to be as open to him as possible so that he doesnt feel that he needs a male person to talk to. Please help about what I can do about the weight loss, its really terrible.he has been caught with a cigarrette and no one smokes in the family.

Expert's Reply


ADHD Expert

Dear Apile,

As Ritalin is known to reduce appetite and cause weight loss, it is recommended to be taken before breakfast to ensure a hearty meal can be eaten before the loss of appetite sets in. To counteract the weight loss, you can give him a supplement drink such as Ensure.

The change in moods experienced by your son is also common with Ritalin; a change in dose may help this matter which your prescribing doctor will be able to do if necessary.

From your post I do not know the reason for his friends being younger than him: if it is by choice, it may be an unconscious attempt to boost his self esteem. Depending on the age gap, it may not be anything to be concerned about, however, particularly as he gets older he should be encouraged to make friends with same age peers.

The potential smoking issue may be him rebelling or simply experimenting; either way there needs to be a consequence for such behaviour - underage smoking is illegal.

That you mention the lack of a "steady male figure" seems to indicate you have concerns about this; if need be, you could link him to a 'big brother' through a mentoring programme (

Best of luck,

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

user comments


Posted by: Apile | 2011/05/09

Thank you so much about the BBBssa, I had no idea, i will sure get right on it as we speak.
Thanks so much.
I have introduced him to Ensure.
He is eating like there is no tomorrow, the eight loss is puzzling really.

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