Citation: ZFunk. "Permanent Heart Damage: An Experience with Methylphenidate (exp28962)". Erowid.org. Dec 8, 2003. erowid.org/exp/28962
I am going to start by saying that this happened a long time ago, but I thought my experience was worth bringing back. When I was 12, my dad committed suicide. I started having problems at school, and the head doctor decided I had ADHD, so he threw my mom a script for Ritalin. Little did I know, this drug would leave me with a disorder that still haunts me today.
After about the third day of taking it (at the DOCTOR prescribed dose, 25mg I think), I noticed a strange feeling in my chest. I felt over my heart, and my god, my heart was beating so fast. So fast that I immediately got scared and told my mom. After going to a bunch of doctors, including a cardiologist, I was diagnosed with Supraventricular Tachycardia. This condition, SVT as I call it, makes it so that if I have a rapid fluctuation in blood pressure (eg, bending over for about 10 seconds and then walking around) my heart will go into a mode where it beats two times as fast as it is supposed to. This can only be stopped by holding my breath out until I am near passing out, and then swiftly breathing in. Needless to say, this condition is the limiting factor in what I want to do with my life. I had plans to join the military, but even with them not knowing about the Ritalin I still have this heart condition. I know I can have surgery to fix it, but I don't trust ANY doctor to mess with my heart. Maybe eventually I will get it fixed, but not for now.
In summary, this drug has left me with a heart condition that limits what I can do everyday. I get heart palpitations sometimes up to 15 times a day (it happens less when I am in shape, but still happens) and I have to stop to correct my heart beat. Thee is nothing scarier than running for a half mile, stopping for a second, and then having your heart rate double on you when it is already pounding. Not to mention the constant migraines with the medicine to STOP my SVT flares.
I had plans to join the military, but even with them not knowing about the Ritalin (you can't usually join the military if you have ADHD or have used ADHD medications), I still have this heart condition. If you have a history of heart conditions in your family, don't even CONSIDER using ritalin. The permanent consequences are not worth the up effects.
[Erowid Note: The cause of SVT, according to a number of medical references, is genetic/physical predisposition. Other medical references suggest that certain diseases, surgeries, behaviours, plants, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals can cause or trigger SVT. Uses of methylphenidate with a family history of SVT or heart problems should, as the author suggests, contact their doctor to discuss the risks.]
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